What to expect on exam day

How to prepare for your PACES examination day

This information is designed to help you prepare for the day of the examination and to find out what happens on the day itself.

Before the examination day

  • Review the MRCP(UK) PACES regulations
  • Print a copy of your admission documents
  • Check the details on your admission document
  • Plan your route to the test centre leaving plenty time for any possible transport delays
  • Ensure you bring photographic identification with you on the examination day; MRCP(UK) Central Office specifies appropriate ID to be an official document which contains your full name, signature and photograph. For more details see the FAQ.
  • Make sure the name on your admission document matches the name on the forms of ID you will present at the examination; contact MRCP(UK) with any name discrepancy queries well in advance of examination date.
  • Confirm leave or cover arrangements.

On the day - pre-examination

  • Arrive at the test centre at least 1 hour before the examination is due to start; refer to the reporting time on your admission document.
  • Be prepared to store any bags, coats and electronic devices (including mobile phones and pagers) in a separate room.
  • Declare any personal medical equipment to the host before the start of the examination. Please note the host centre will supply all required medical equipment.
  • Dress appropriately - in a smart and professional manner and in accordance with any dress code in force at the hospital where the exam is being held.
  • Remember that you will be required to examine patients so avoid garments that are either tight or restrictive, or excessively flowing - or anything that makes it more difficult for you to carry out a physical examination satisfactorily.
  • Remember also that at stations 2, 4 and 5 you will be expected to communicate with the patient or surrogate, so be aware of anything that might make it more difficult for you to demonstrate empathy and understanding eg facial veil or dark glasses.  If you do not clearly demonstrate these abilities, examiners will mark the corresponding skills as unsatisfactory.

What to expect during the examination

  • For further information on what to expect during the examination, please refer to the candidate guidenotes
  • To find out how to fill in PACES marksheets see the instructions.