Divisional Written Examination

The 2020 Divisional Written Examination will be delivered as a paper-based exam on Monday 17 February 2020.

The Instructions to Candidates guide will be published 1 week before applications open.

Upcoming changes

Questions for the 2020 Divisional Written Examination will be based on the new Knowledge Guides.

The Knowledge Guides detail the topics and concepts you will need to understand to pass your assessments and progress your physician training.

You can use the Workplace Learning Planner tool to create a customised study resource that will help you familiarise yourself with the Knowledge Guides.


To find out if you are eligible to sit the Divisional Written Examination, you can:

You can still apply for the Examination even if you haven’t yet completed all your training requirements for the year by the application deadline.

To be eligible by the Examination date, you must submit all requirements, including your Annual Progress Report, no later than:

  • Australia: Thursday 31 January 2020
  • New Zealand: Thursday 20 December 2019

Are you not in an accredited training position currently? You are eligible to sit the Examination but must have registered your interruption of training with the College.


Applications are open from 9am AEDT, Friday 1 November to 12pm AEDT, Monday 25 November 2019.

The Divisional Written Examination is facilitated across all major cities and large regional centres throughout Australia and New Zealand.

When applying, you are required to select a location where you want to sit your Examination.


Preparation tips

Practice your approach

A supervisor or mentor can help you with practice questions. Go through your thought process out loud with them as you construct an answer. Using this approach with them may help you obtain valuable feedback and a better insight into your approach to the questions.

Organise and equip yourself

Having a quiet, comfortable place where you can study is important. Find a way to study that best suits your individual learning style. Develop a study plan and revision timetable. Use different learning approaches such as flashcards, mind maps, diagrams or opportunities to teach others as part of your revision. Online resources can also be useful, see the online tools and apps section.

Study with others

The shared experience of studying with others has helped many trainees feel more motivated, confident and on-track during the crucial preparation period.

Many have joined (or created) a group that was supportive, met regularly, shared resource ideas and provided an environment conducive to constructive feedback.

The RACP Trainee Facebook group (a closed group) is a space for you to meet with other trainees and share experiences, tips, events and ideas as well as receive trainee information from the RACP.

Attempting the Examination again

Meet with your DPE or mentor

If you are actively training, meet with your Director of Physician or Paediatrican Education (DPE), or your mentor if you are on Interruption of Training, to talk through your previous attempts at the exam. Your DPE or mentor is likely to have valuable insights to share about areas you need to focus on and areas to improve.

Use the Improving Performance Action Plan template and plan your study to maximise time spent on these focus areas. For example, once a week you could spend time on each area to make sure you have a thorough understanding of each topic.

You could also ask your supervisor or mentor to share trial case studies and cross-reference them with the new Basic Training Curricula and the new Knowledge Guides.

Repeat what worked

What study materials did you use last time? What was helpful and what wasn't? Review your materials as well as look for others valuable study materials and opportunities, especially any onsite learning that's available to you.

Start early

Begin your exam preparation as early as possible. Most successful candidates start preparing 12 months ahead of their examination.

Online tools and apps

The College does not endorse any external online tools and apps and we do not take responsibility for any impact they have towards your Examination preparation.

There are apps available to help you create, collate and organise study notes, flashcards and mind maps for revision. Popular tools and apps include:





Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental techniques to help you master tough subjects
A free online learning module delivered by Coursea that takes you through the latest research on learning techniques and strategies to maximise your study time.

A website and app resource developed for the UK MRCP/MRCPCH examinations. It provides a question bank and other associated resources which may be helpful for your general revision.


Preparing for and sitting examinations can place significant stress and pressure on your physical and mental health. Even following an examination, you may still feel the effects of the stress you were under.

You are not alone in managing these difficulties. The RACP Support Program provides a professional and confidential counselling service to all our Fellows and trainees, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

See Physician Health and Wellbeing to learn more about our Support Program and explore other wellbeing and support resources.

About the Examination


The Examination includes Multiple-Choice Questions and Extended Matching Questions.

All Multiple-Choice Questions will offer 4 answer options.

All Extended Matching Questions will offer 8 answer options.

Quality assurance

All our Examinations are designed and developed by senior Fellows and educational experts in line with the curriculum. Robust quality assurance processes are in place to ensure the Examination and results processes are in line with international best practice.

All examination results undergo detailed analysis to ensure they accurately reflect your performance and that trainees have been given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and ability in the examination process.

Related content

Examination dates
Past Examination results

Close overlay