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The 2020 Divisional Written Examination will be delivered as a paper-based exam on Monday 17 February 2020.
Questions will be based on the Knowledge Guides. The Knowledge Guides detail topics and concepts you’ll need to understand to pass your assessments and progress your physician training.
Use the Workplace Learning Planner tool to create a customised study resource to help you familiarise yourself with the Knowledge Guides.
New Zealand: NZD$2283.90
If you have outstanding fees, you’re ineligible to sit the Exam unless you’ve applied to the Honorary Treasurer for special consideration. See Terms and Conditions of College Fees.
To find out if you are eligible to sit the Exam:
You can still apply for the Exam even if you haven’t yet completed all your training requirements for the year by the application deadline. To be eligible by the Exam date, submit all PREP requirements, including your Annual Progress Report by the dates specified in the key dates table.
Are you not currently in an accredited training position? You are eligible to sit the Exam but must have registered your interruption of training with the College.
Select the city where you want to sit the exam when you apply. Venue details are emailed to you 4 weeks prior to the exam date.
These requirements must be completed by 31 Jan 2020 for Australia and 20 Dec 2019 for New Zealand. You must:
Check eligibility requirements with your Overseas Trained Physicians Case Officer before applying.
See the Progression through Training Policy for limits on total training time allowed and number of attempts. The revised policy was implemented on 1 January 2017. View your exam attempts to date on the Basic Training Portal.
If you are eligible, you’ll receive an email with instructions to apply in early November 2019. Ensure the College has your current email address. Emails do not guarantee eligibility and extensions will not be granted.
Contact us if you don’t receive the email by 6 November 2019 and you've checked your junk/spam folder.
After submitting the form, you’ll receive two confirmations that your application has been received:
If you don’t receive a confirmation email, check your junk/spam folders.
Submit all PREP requirements, including your Annual Progress Report (APR), by the closing date.
If you don’t complete the requirements satisfactorily, your training will not be certified. You won’t be eligible for the exam and your application will be withdrawn.
Closer to the date, you’ll receive an email confirming your registration for the exam has been successful along with your candidate number and venue details. This is dependent on your eligibility as well as fees and annual requirements being up to date.
Withdrawals are not counted as exam attempts. To withdraw up until the start of the exam, contact us.
To request a refund outside of these rules on medical or compassionate grounds, submit an application under the Special Consideration for Assessment policy.
If you withdraw, you can re-apply to sit the Exam the following year if you meet the eligibility criteria. Application fees will not be rolled over from one year to another.
Submit your special consideration request by the closing date.
We will consider these circumstances before the Exam:
Once you’ve started either paper, only technical or other issues occurring during the Exam will be considered.
Your mark or result will not be adjusted due to any special circumstances. For more information, including how to apply, see the Special Consideration for Assessment policy.
The Exam for both Adult Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health is made up of two papers:
Each paper consists of a combination of multiple choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching questions (EMQs):
You'll have 5 minutes of reading time at the beginning of each paper. Do not write on the question booklet or scoresheet during this time.
All our exams 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 Exam and results processes are in line with international best practice.
All 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 exam process.
Some questions require you to interpret visual material, such as:
Other visual materials may be included in the Exam papers, but you won’t be required to interpret them to answer the question. Generally, they’ll be accompanied by the type of report you would see from the laboratory:
MCQs cover a range of subspecialties. Each question has 4 options. Choose only 1 option by filling in the corresponding bubble on the answer sheet.
In infectious mononucleosis, which one of the following cell types, in the peripheral blood, would be most likely to contain the virus?
A small number of EMQs will be included in the Exam. They have a similar reliability and validity to single-best-answer MCQs but are more effective at assessing problem solving and clinical reasoning.
Choose the most appropriate option, listed from A to H on the answer sheet, for each stem/clinical scenario.
Lead-in statement: For each patient with back pain, select the most likely diagnosis.
The Exam is based on the Basic Training and Professional Qualities Curricula.
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.
You’re expected to be familiar with:
Texts on the major subspecialties may be useful but not essential.
In line with changes made to the names of medicine ingredients by the Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA) from 2016, drug names on the Exam reflect the new name followed by the old name enclosed in parentheses, such as:
Divisional Written Examination – Adult Medicine – Clinical Applications Q1-100 (PDF)
Divisional Written Examination – Adult Medicine – Medical Sciences Q101-170 (PDF)
Divisional Written Examination – Paediatrics & Child Health – Clinical Applications Q1-100 (PDF)
Divisional Written Examination – Paediatrics & Child Health – Medical Sciences Q101-170 (PDF)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Begin your exam preparation as early as possible. Most successful candidates start preparing 12 months ahead of their examination.
College Learning Series
Basic Training Standards Curricula
Curated Collection resources
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 exams can place significant stress and pressure on your physical and mental health. Even following an exam, you may still feel the effects of the stress you were under.
You’re 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 explore other wellbeing and support resources.
Analogue watches and water in a clear plastic bottle are allowed.
Wear layers to adjust to the room temperature for your own comfort level.
During the exam, all mobile phones, digital watches, sport watches, smart watches (including but not limited to Apple watch, Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung), pagers and electronic communication devices must be switched off, placed on the floor under your desk and visible to the invigilators always.
If you are found with one of these devices on your person during the exam, you will be automatically disqualified and immediately escorted out of the venue. Phones or pagers that sound during the Exam will be subject to an incident report.
Apply for special consideration by Friday 31 January 2020 for exceptional circumstances.
Seating lists showing your allocated seat number will be displayed near the venue entrance.
Discuss enquiries about seating as soon as possible on the exam day with the Chief Invigilator.
For each of the two examination papers, you will receive:
Write your name, candidate number and exam city on the question booklet and answer sheet.
Enter your candidate number, not your MIN or table number, on both sides of the answer sheet. Find your candidate number on the email confirming your exam venue and successful registration. They can also be provided by invigilators where needed.
Do not open the question booklet or fill in your details until instructed to do so by an invigilator.
Sign the agreement on the front cover.
The content of all documents is confidential and cannot be removed from the examination room. You’re not permitted to reproduce or distribute the contents of examination material at any time or in any way. Reproducing or distributing the material is a breach of the College’s Academic Integrity in Training Process.
To answer the questions, fill in one bubble corresponding to the option you think is correct for each question. You must use black or blue ballpoint pen only.
To change an answer, put a cross through the incorrect bubble and fill in the correct one. To reselect a previously crossed-through answer, circle it and cross through all incorrect answers. Out of the ordinary answers will be manually reviewed.
The chosen response should be clear.
Don’t leave the examination room without the invigilator’s approval. If you need the toilet, the invigilator will escort you. If you want to leave before the end of the exam, stay seated and raise your hand. An invigilator will check your materials and release you.
When you’ve finished the exam, your question booklet and answer sheet will be collected. You can leave 30 minutes after the exam has started, but not in the last 10 minutes.
The Exam consists of 170 questions. Correct answers are worth one mark. Marks are not deducted for incorrect answers. The examination papers are computer-marked.
The pass mark uses statistical analysis approaches, including the modified Angoff process and Rasch equating. This ensures the Exam standard is valid and fair from year to year.
Twenty questions from recent Exams will be re-used in 2019 as ‘marker’ questions to compare the standard of cohorts from one year to the next. Scores on these questions don’t count towards your total mark.
You’ll receive an email to let you know if you have passed the exam or been unsuccessful in this attempt, on Thursday 12 March 2020 from 3pm AEDT/3pm NZDT. Ensure the College has your current email and postal address.
Contact us if you don’t receive the email.
Within 4 weeks, you will receive a second email with more detailed feedback including:
The Directors of Physician (or Paediatric) Education (DPE) at each hospital receive an email with candidates’ names and whether they have passed the exam or not.
When detailed feedback is provided, they will then receive a report showing aggregated performance of their hospital against national averages. No report is supplied where there are insufficient candidate numbers at the hospital to provide de-identified scores.
The Reconsideration Review and Appeals Process doesn’t apply to the outcome or results.
Once you’ve satisfied the requirements of the Divisional Written Examination, you can apply for the Divisional Clinical Examination. Information on how to apply will be included in your results email if you have passed the written exam.
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