The exam is held in 2 sessions, morning and afternoon.
Note: You attend either the morning or afternoon session. Exact times are confirmed in your candidate allocation letter.
- 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
- Blue or black ballpoint pens (no pencils, gel or felt-tip pens)
- 1 x stethoscope
- 1 x basic analogue watch
- Water in a clear plastic bottle (optional)
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 and candidate ID stickers.
Not permitted during the exam
- Written material
- Electronic devices (including smart watches and communication devices)
- Food or beverages (except water)
- 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 electronic devices such as mobile phones and smart watches 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 10 clinical stations in order. Exam invigilators guide you from station to station.
Five minutes before the exam starts, you are seated outside your first station.
The clinical scenario is printed on a laminated sheet, attached by a lanyard under your seat. After the announcement "you may now begin reading", you have 4 minutes to read it and familiarise yourself with the scenario. The same information is available inside the station.
When the bell rings, enter the station. You have 10 minutes to complete it.
The bell rings again to mark the end of the station. Leave all papers and materials in the room except those you’re allowed to carry. Leave the room, move to the seat in front of the next station and begin reading immediately.
There are no further announcements, and all subsequent times are indicated by the bells.
Examiners may provide time prompts for physical examinations, and towards the end of the station, only if you have not reached the expected point in the station according to their instructions. You will not be prompted if you are on track to complete the station as expected.
In static stations, examiners provide a time prompt when there are 2 minutes remaining.
These prompts are designed to give you the best opportunity to complete all elements of the station.
Completing a station early
If you complete a station in under 10 minutes, an examiner will ask if you have anything to add. If not, you can leave and sit outside the same station until the bell rings for you to move on.
You can’t re-enter a station once you’ve left.
There are at least 2 rest stations for you to regroup and use the toilet (escorted by an invigilator). Otherwise you must remain in the station for the full duration.
Starting or finishing the exam at a rest station is avoided where possible.
To maintain health and safety standards, you must sanitise your hands before and after each station.
Alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel is provided either outside or inside the stations. Advise the examiners if you sanitised your hands before entering the station.
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 examination, they’ll 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.
Examiner and Observer Roles
Leaving the exam
After the exam’s finished and before you depart, the Chief Examiner facilitates a debrief with all candidates. This is your opportunity to provide feedback and raise any technical or procedural issues to be noted.
Personal belongings are returned and you’re allowed to leave.
Note: to protect exam confidentiality, morning candidates will be held on-site until afternoon candidates arrive; this may be up to 30 minutes. You are not permitted to access your mobile phones or any communication device during this time. The Chief Examiner will advise when you can 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’ll 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, actors, observers, examiners or exam organising members during or after the exam
For more information, see the Academic Integrity in Training Policy (PDF).