There are four Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Great Britain and Ireland:

- England

- Edinburgh

- Glasgow

- Ireland


These professional bodies represent and advance the standards of surgical care for patients and surgery practice regulations. 


Membership to one of the four Royal Colleges is awarded following the successful completion of both Intercollegiate Membership examinations, namely the MRCS Part A and MRCS Part B.

The MRCS Part B is the second Intercollegiate Membership examination of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Great Britain and Ireland. The purpose of the examination is to determine whether trainees have acquired the knowledge, experience and clinical competence required for the completion of core training in surgery, prior to progressing to higher specialist training. The exam is conducted in English. Passing the Part B MRCS examination grants Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (specifically to the Royal College who administered your MRCS examinations).


The MRCS Part B is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination, comprising a series of stations in a circuit around which candidates rotate. At each station a candidate is required to undertake a clearly defined task, sometimes interacting with simulated patients (actors/volunteers) who are trained to perform a specific role. Stations may also involve mannequins, simulators or prosections.


The MRCS Part B consists of 18 stations; testing anatomy, surgical pathology, applied surgical science, critical care, clinical & procedural skills, communication skills and history taking. From October 2020, the Part B examination will include Health Promotion and Patient Safety, as well as several other changes. These can be seen in the Pass the MRCSFAQ on “what are the recent changes to the exam”.


Additionally, the following four domains that encompass the knowledge, skills, competencies and professional characteristics of the competent surgeon are assessed in the OSCE:


  1. Clinical Knowledge and its application
  2. Clinical and technical skill
  3. Communication
  4. Professionalism including decision-making, problem solving, situational awareness and judgement, organisation, planning and patient safety


Further details are available for Pass the MRCSMembers.

The below outlines the normal format of the exam. Due to Covid-19, the exam format for certain international sittings may incorporate a hybrid format, whereby some stations may be examined by an examiner via video call.


The MRCS Part B OSCE consists of 18 stations, each 9 minutes long (+ 1 additional minute to read the station) and worth a maximum of 20 marks. The 18 stations are divided into 2 Broad Content Areas known as Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills.


- Applied Knowledge consists of 8 stations, totalling 160 marks. Areas tested include 3 Anatomy stations and 2 Surgical Pathology stations and 3 Applied Surgical Science and Critical Care (made up of 1 critical care station, 1 interpretation of written data station and 1 interpretation of visual information station). 


- Applied Skills consists of 9 stations, totalling 180 marks. Areas tested include 5 Clinical and Procedural Skills (made up of 3 physical examination stations and 2 generic skills stations) and 4 Communication Skills (made up of 2 generic history taking, 1 generic giving/receiving information to/from a patient/relative and 1 generic giving/receiving information to/from another health professional).


- A pilot station from either Applied Knowledge or Applied Skills is included to bring the number of stations taken during the OSCE to 18, totalling 360 marks.


Each of the 18 stations is staffed by one or two examiners. In stations with two examiners, each examiner will be examining different aspects of a candidate’s performance.


To pass, you must pass both the Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills sections - in a single sitting. Within each BCA, a good performance on a station can make up for a bad performance on another, however, marks cannot be shared between BCAs.


Please note:

  1. You must have passed Part A of the examination to be eligible to apply for Part B.
  2. Entrance into MRCS examinations require a primary medical qualification that is acceptable to the United Kingdom General Medical Council for Full or Provisional Registration or to the Medical Council in Ireland for Full or Temporary Registration.
  3. Non-UK candidates must hold a primary medical qualification acceptable to the Councils of the colleges.
  4. You can check the acceptability of your medical degree at the World Directory of Medical Schools. If your medical school does not appear on this list, you should contact the examinations department at the Royal College to which you wish to apply.
  5. There is a limit of four attempts in which to pass the Part B, irrespective of the time interval within which they are taken.
  6. You are required to pass Part B within seven years of passing Part A.
  7. There are subtleties within the testing approach and timing for each area.


With effect from the October 2020 examination diet, the MRCS Part B examination will have the following changes:


  1. Physical Examination stations reduced from 4 to 3, therefore, reducing the number of stations contributing to a candidate's result from 18 to 17.
  2. Inclusion of 1 ungraded pilot station*, so the total number of stations taken on the day remains 18.
  3. Incorporation of Health Promotion within Communication Skills.
  4. Incorporation of Patient Safety within Anatomy and Procedural Skills.

Further information on what Health Promotion and Patient Safety looks like within the Part B exam is available for Pass the MRCSMembers.


* During the exam, you will not know which station is the pilot. Every station will have examiners present and you will be marked. Therefore, it is important to not second guess which is the pilot station and approach each with a clear and focussed mind.

In the UK and Ireland there are normally 3 exam sittings or ‘diets’ per year (February, May and October). Exact MRCS Part B exam dates vary across the Royal Colleges and across the UK, Ireland and International locations.


For a full list of upcoming MRCS Part B OSCE dates, and to book the exam, visit the relevant Royal College of Surgeons website (see the “What is the Royal College of Surgeons” FAQ for links).

Pass the MRCS™ recommends that you allow 4-5 months to prepare for the MRCS part B exam and conduct at least 5 mock exams. Shorter timelines are doable if you can increase your preparation intensity.


Firstly, the Part B OSCE is a verbal and visual exam, testing your ability to get the correct information out in a clear, concise and engaging manner. The OSCE is not a challenge to squeeze as many facts as possible in. Therefore, for each station, it's beneficial to practice saying your answer out loud or, even better, recording yourself to review your communication approach. As your exam approaches, group study can be a beneficial method of critically evaluating answers to identify areas of improvement.


Secondly, it's important to practice the various skills in the same way that they will be tested. It can be challenging to move from an anatomy station straight to a communication station, where the examiner's focus is completely different.


Thirdly, as with every exam, your approach should be tailored. We recommend that you spend time upfront to properly evaluate and plan your approach, as this will make your preparation much more efficient. Remember, your time is your most valuable resource, therefore, be focused while preparing.


If wanted, we are happy to help Pass the MRCSMembers plan their study through one-to-one coaching or by simply contacting us with your question.

Pass the MRCS™ combines extensive surgical experience with outstanding success in the MRCS. Our team of consultants and surgical trainees have years of experience in MRCS education and produce the most useful, relevant and concise resources available for the Part B OSCE.


We believe that the best way to learn is by answering relevant questions on the topics commonly tested, with detailed answers and organised information on hand to propel your growth forward. We constantly refine and improve our syllabus, ensuring that Pass the MRCS™ continues to be the world leader in Part B preparation courses. We provide all our members with free access to the excellent Acland’s Anatomy, so that you have world renowned resources at your fingertips. We organise training courses, small group tutorials and one-to-one coaching, providing you with the best chance of success.


Our interactive online course has been carefully designed to work intuitively. You can either select a category and work your way through at your own pace, or test yourself by taking a mock OSCE. Flag topics that you need to revisit and utilise the collaborative Pass the MRCSCommunity for additional support.


Pass the MRCS™ is the most effective and efficient way to prepare for the MRCS Part B. It is specially designed to accelerate your rate of fact acquisition, allowing you to work around your busy job to master the MRCS syllabus and pass first time.

Pass the MRCS™ offers a monthly plan for £38 per month. The price of Pass the MRCSCoaching varies based on the number of sessions booked in one go.


UK trainees can normally reclaim the cost of membership via their study budget.


Through our Pass the MRCSGlobal Initiative, we can support surgeons from non-UK countries with membership fees when circumstances require. The main goal of this initiative is to support surgeons from all over the world in their journey towards MRCS success. Please see the “What is the Pass the MRCSGlobal Initiative” FAQ for further details.


To begin your enrolment, please visit the REGISTER page located at the top of your screen.

No, your Pass the MRCS account, online subscription and log in details are strictly personal and non-transferable. When you sign up to Pass the MRCS, you agree to our Community Code and T&Cs. This permits you, and only you, to use the Pass the MRCSWebsite.


All material contained on Pass the MRCS is protected by international copyright laws. Any breach or use of Pass the MRCSMaterial without our explicit permission will result in account termination and further action with the relevant authorities.


If you become aware of the use of Pass the MRCSMaterial outside of this website, please contact us immediately. Your report will be anonymous and you will be demonstrating the integrity expected of a surgeon.


If you are an MRCS mentor interested in using Pass the MRCSMaterial to help your candidates, please contact us to discuss becoming an Official Pass the MRCSAffiliate.

Yes, free trial stations can be accessed via the Pass the MRCSHomepage.


We also run free Pass the MRCSWebinars to help you become exam ready. Please contact us if you’d like to attend the next one.

Acland’s Anatomy in 3D provides world renowned anatomy dissection videos. It’s an incredibly valuable MRCS Part B revision resource, providing an atlas of real-life cadavers, rather than digital images, which are as closely aligned to the exam format as possible. Acland’s Anatomy also offers 300+ anatomical questions, allowing you to be 100% confident in your anatomy knowledge ahead of the MRCS Part B exam. This perfectly supplements the extensive, and continually growing, OSCEs already within the Pass the MRCSAnatomy section.


Access to Acland’s is included for free for Pass the MRCSMembers. This is great value because a 1 year subscription to Acland’s is normally $100.

Yes, one-on-one coaching is available for members at competitive rates and registration can be done on the Pass the MRCSHomepage


If you would benefit from dedicated time with the Pass the MRCSTeam, please contact us.

We're very proud that the Pass the MRCSCourse course has been repeatedly referred to as "the most important course". This is a testament to the expertise, dedication and commitment of the Pass the MRCSTeam. Each team member has made a significant contribution to the betterment of MRCS education worldwide. The sustained teamwork, clinical expertise and mutual support represents the very best in medical education.


As an aspiring surgeon, we know that you have the same ethos and dedication, and that's why we ask you to contact us if you would like to join the Pass the MRCSTeam.

If you are an MRCS mentor interested in using Pass the MRCSMaterial to help your candidates, please contact us to discuss becoming an Official Pass the MRCSAffiliate.

Pass the MRCS™ is proud to have supported several thousand non-UK aspiring surgeons in their journey towards MRCS success.


As a community, we are passionate about furthering the standard of MRCS education and stand with our partners to ensure that the world renowned Pass the MRCSResources are available to non-UK candidates in a fair and transparent way. We strongly believe in the ethos of the MRCS designation. It goes beyond a candidate’s surgical ability and represents a mark of approval of the individual’s character.


The Pass the MRCSGlobal Initiative is a call-to-action for all surgeons to uphold the integrity of the MRCS.


As part of this initiative, we can support surgeons from non-UK countries with Pass the MRCS™ membership fees when circumstances require. Additionally, the initiative includes free webinars and coaching.


Please contact us if you’d like to join the Pass the MRCSGlobal Initiative. Please note, both those studying for the MRCS and those that have already passed can join.