FRCEM Primary

FRCEM Primary

FRCEM Primary

The FRCEM Primary (and the MRCEM Part A before it) is a daunting and notoriously difficult prospect and also represents the first step towards achieving a training post in Emergency Medicine and ultimately entering the Specialist Register. The FRCEM Primary examination is sat twice yearly.

The paper is three hours long and comprises 180 SBAQs. Each SBAQ will consist of a question followed by five choices, of which only one will be correct.

The main emphasis of the FRCEM Primary examination is the RCEM basic sciences curriculum. The following areas are tested in the following proportions:

  • Anatomy (60 questions)
  • Physiology (60 questions)
  • Pharmacology (27 questions)
  • Microbiology (18 questions)
  • Pathology (9 questions)
  • Evidence-Based Medicine (6 questions)

Unlike the MRCEM Part A examination, there are no longer questions directly testing clinical scenarios and biochemistry.

The 2017 FRCEM Primary examination dates are shown below (taken from the RCEM website):


Closing Date

Exam Date

Summer 2017

24th February 2017

7th June 2017

Winter 2017

25th August 2017

6th December 2017


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