The exam is held in 2 sessions, morning and afternoon.
Example timetable | Arrive and sign in by 7:30am AEDT
Note: Exact times are confirmed in your candidate allocation letter.
||Pre-exam brief by Chief Examiner
||Post-exam de-brief by Chief Examiner
- printed copy of your candidate allocation letter confirming your name, candidate number, session time and venue
- current photo ID with your full name and signature, for example a passport or driver licence – digital IDs are not accepted
- blue or black ballpoint pens (no pencils, gel or felt-tip pens)
- 1 x stethoscope
- 1 x basic analogue watch
Tip: Dress appropriately. Consider the weather conditions, the venue and your comfort while examining patients. You don’t need to wear a suit, but you should look professional.
On sign-in, you receive an ID badge, ID stickers and timetable. You also get a notepad and pens for note-taking for the OSCE Stations.
Not permitted during the exam
- written material (other than your candidate allocation letter)
- electronic devices (including ‘smart’ watches and communication devices)
- food or beverages
- all other belongings (for example, bags)
Clinical assessment equipment is provided at each station. You cannot bring your own equipment or aids into the assessment area unless you were granted special consideration before the exam.
During the exam, all mobile phones, smart watches, electronic devices etc must be switched off and placed in your bag. Your bag will be securely stored on-site. If you’re found with one of these devices on you during the exam, an incident report will be completed, you’ll be automatically disqualified and immediately escorted out of the venue.
Completing the exam
You rotate through the 6 stations, each one in a separate room. Your timetable indicates the order of your questions and exam invigilators guide you from station to station. Stations may occur in any order.
The clinical scenario is printed on a laminated sheet, attached by a lanyard under your seat. After this announcement: 'You may now read the information sheet', you have 5 minutes to read it and familiarise yourself with the scenario. You can make notes. The same information is also available inside the station. When leaving the station, hand your notes to the examiners and take the notepad with you.
A brief patient description is printed on a laminated sheet, attached by a lanyard under your seat. After this announcement: 'You may now read the information sheet', you have 5 minutes to read it. The same information is available inside the station.
There is no pre-reading material.
An invigilator instructs you when reading time starts and ends, and when to enter the room. Examiners time the station length however do not rely on them to keep pace of your answers.
Completing a station early
If you complete a station in under the designated time, an examiner will ask if you have anything to add. If not, you can leave and sit outside the same station until the invigilator instructs you to move on.
You can’t re-enter a station once you’ve left.
There are regular breaks in your exam schedule. You either sit outside your next station or an invigilator will lead you to a break room. If you need the toilet, an invigilator will escort you.
If you perform an inappropriate physical examination and the patient is at risk of being hurt, the examiners will warn you to modify your technique. If you continue to conduct an inappropriate exam, they will stop you and move on to the next question.
The examiners can give the physical examination component of the station a zero score. All other questions are marked on their own merit.
To maintain health and safety standards, you must wash or sanitise your hands before and after physical examinations. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel is provided either outside or inside the stations.
Two examiners assess you in each station. When you enter the station, the examiners check your ID and introduce themselves and the other people in the station (for example, co-examiner, patient).
In all stations, examiners give specific instructions. You can ask them to clarify instructions or repeat information. The examiners observe and score your performance while you undertake specific tasks.
The examiners notify the Chief Examiner of technical and procedural problems during the exam.
Note: For Clinical Stations only, an AFOEM Faculty Assessment Committee approved FRACP examiner may be assigned as the co-examiner.
Quality Assurers and Observers
An AFOEM-approved Quality Assurer (QA) or Observer may also be present. They’re not involved in examining or contributing in any way to your assessment.
The Quality Assurer’s role is to ensure that the examiners, actors and patients are conducting the assessment according to the calibration guidelines.
The Observer is there to learn about the exam process.
Leaving the exam
After the exam is finished and before you depart, the Chief Examiner provides a debrief and notes technical or procedural issues.
Notebooks are collected and personal belongings returned, and you are allowed to leave.
If you arrive up to 30 minutes late, you can attempt the exam, but you won’t get additional time.
If you arrive more than 30 minutes late, you won’t be permitted to enter the exam.
Variation in the exam day procedure is advised in the Chief Examiner’s pre-exam brief. If circumstances require a procedure change during the exam, we give clear instructions.
Exam materials and content are confidential. You must sign a confidentiality agreement before the exam.
The following is considered academic misconduct:
- removing exam materials from the venue
- wilfully damaging or interfering with a station or equipment
- reproducing or distributing the contents of exam material
- discussing your performance or details of the exam with the ‘patients’, observers, examiners or exam organising member during or after the exam
- communicating exam content with candidates still to sit the exam
For more information see the Academic Integrity in Training Policy