Glossary beginning with A

Definitions for commonly used terms in postgraduate medical education
Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.
Administrative office

Place where examination applications are processed.

For all international examinations and the SCEs this is MRCP(UK) central office.

Angoff’s method

The standard of MRCP(UK) examinations is predetermined by a group of examiners (between 5 and 8), using Angoff’s method to criterion reference each question. The examiners are all physicians specialising in a relevant discipline. Each examiner allocates a score for each question, based on what proportion of just passing candidates they think should answer the item correctly. The judgements are all submitted in advance.

The examiners then meet and those with the highest and the lowest scores justify their reasons for selecting this score. Other examiners contribute views as appropriate. All examiners then rescore the item and a mean score is obtained. The highest and the lowest average marks are excluded, and the remaining scores averaged to give the trimmed mean score. This is the pure criterion-referenced pass mark. The final examination mark is determined using Hofstee’s method: this provides a compromise between the criterion-referenced mark discussed above, and norm referencing.


Application period

Time period for submitting your application to take an examination. Applications are not accepted before or after the specified dates for each examination, as published on the website. 

Synonyms: registration period

Assessment period

For the MRCP(UK) examinations the academic year is divided up into three assessment periods, called diets. These are set out as follows for the year 2016: 2016/1 (first diet), 2016/2 (second diet), 2016/3 (third diet). 

Synonyms: diet, assessment period