What is MRCS? Complete tutorial

Complete Tutorial on MRCS

The Membership Examination of the Surgical Royal Colleges of Great Britain and Ireland (the MRCS) is an exam available for surgical trainees in speciality. this article provides you with a complete tutorial on MRCS.


The MRCS examination is a test taken in order to assure that a surgical trainee possesses the correct skills and knowledge to progress to upper levels of special surgical training. This examination is compulsory for practising surgery in the UK and the results are recognized all over the UK and Ireland. Upon Completion, you will be able to join all the 25000 surgeons already recognized by this prestigious institution worldwide. This is almost as good as a retirement from further hard work and is the highest level a surgeon can attain. It is a postgraduate diploma for surgeons. Before January 2017, MRCS was conducted separately by all the 4 Royal Colleges of Surgeons of UK and Ireland but now they conduction it in collaboration with each other. The colleges involved are

  • Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

You get your Diploma from any of these colleges after you get through MRCS completely.

What is its need?

Of course, there are reasons for every test. MRCP is the UK and Irelands way of determining whether you meet their demands or not and those demands are listed below.

  • To test the basic medical sciences knowledge, skills and the basic surgical skills
  • To assess the communication skills and the professionalism of the candidate
  • To make post-graduate surgeons work as specialist surgeons in the UK
  • To make you eligible for the Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of the Surgeons (FRCS)
  • The ultimate objective is to ensure that the surgeons being recruited are skilled enough to meet the market demand in the UK or Ireland

You are expected to successfully pass all the stages of this examination to work as a Surgeon in the UK or Ireland. You will be awarded a diploma and certificates on core surgical training after completion.

Difficulty Level

MRCS is in clear words a very difficult exam. every year thousands of students sit for the exam and like I said before 30 per cent is the passing rate. If you have your mind straight for it then aim for it.

Complete Tutorial on MRCS


The examinations are currently organised in a multi-part form. it includes both theory and practical assessments.


Until 2017, Part A was a 4-hour written examination which was used to assess to applied basic sciences and principles of surgery using multiple-choice-questions MCQs and Extended matching Questions. This part has a pass rate of 30% worldwide. This exam is now 3-hour duration and is divided into 2 papers.

Applied Basic Science paper

Time duration 3 hours. 180 (best choice) questions are asked about your basic applied sciences in surgery and generic surgical sciences.

General Principles of Surgery paper

Time duration is 2 hours. 120 single best options and matching options are combined.

the total time duration for both papers is 5 hours in the same day and you will be required to provide them a minimum level of competence in each paper, in addition to the set mark for passing.

Exam Centres

The exam is exclusive not only to the UK and Ireland but for abroad too. below are some of the test centres for the exam

  • London
  • UAE
  • Malaysia
  • Afghanistan
  • Oman
  • Kenya
  • Cyprus
  • Ghana
  • South Korea
  • Lebanon
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Ireland

Good news for Pakistanis that unlike AMC this exam is conducted in Pakistan too in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad and other minor cities too. The exam is conducted in many other countries not mentioned too.


The candidate must have completed his/her primary medical qualification (MBBS, MD) or others equivalent and that too from the listed institutions in the directory of Medical Council of Ireland and the General Medical Council of the UK.

IELTS is not required for the MRCS exam. It is only required when you apply for registration with the GMC (General Medical Council).


Clinical electives are not mandatory for MRCS part A exam but having some for 8-10 months at a hospital may very slightly increase your chances to getting employment and a plus point on your CV.

Complete Tutorial on MRCS


Part B of MRCS is Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). It is the next and the tougher step after part A. It aims at testing your surgical knowledge to its application in clinical surgery. In short, it tests what you know to how you put it to work.


  • Anatomy
  • Surgical Pathology
  • Applied Surgical Sciences
  • Critical care
  • Communication skills
  • History taking
  • Clinical and procedural skill

It is just like any other OSCE examination i.e puts your knowledge to practical work.

Structure of the Exam

The exam consists of a total of 18 stations like in an OSCE with 9 minutes provided for each. All stations have their own questions from different areas of Knowledge and all stations have an alphabet and a number assigned to it.

Station Questions asked about Time duration





Basic Surgical Knowledge Assessment.Pathology stations

Anatomy Stations

Critical Care Stations

(Total=72 minutes)

18 Minutes

27 Minutes

27 Minutes





Surgical Skills AssessmentClinical Examination

Communication Skills

History Taking

Procedural Skills

(Total=90 Minutes)36 Minutes

18 Minutes

18 minutes

18 Minutes


MRCS part B is highly recommended after you have completed your MRCS part A exam. the more time you take to delay it the difficult it gets for you.

Test Centres

Unlike Part A, Part B only has a limited number of test centres available to it. shown below

  • London
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Dublin
  • Bahrain
  • Malaysia
  • UAE
  • India
  • Egypt
  • Bangladesh

Eligibility of course is that you should have passed your Part A exam.

Scoring criterion

MRCS Part A requires a passing score of around 70% of the total 300 you have to get 200 at least.

MRCS Part B has a simple Pass or Fail Criterion. There is no percentage involved.

                                                    Fee Structure


  • 526 Euros in the UK
  • 500-650 Euros for International centres (depending on the currency rate)
  • 595 Euros in Ireland


  • 950-990 Euros in the UK
  • 1095 Euros in Ireland
  • 1150-1200 Euros for International Centres

How to Apply And Upcoming Exam Dates

To apply or register for the Upcoming MRCS exams, follow the link below




This was all about a Complete Tutorial on MRCS. Any questions in mind can be dropped in the comments below and will surely be answered and updated in the article.


  1. What after MRCS?Shall we do speciality training in Surgery fied of our intrest?If yes how many years for speciality training? Is MBBS is enough to write MRCS?


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