Limit on attempts

All medical royal colleges and faculties are required by the General Medical Council (GMC) to introduce a limit on the number of attempts at their examinations. The GMC have specified that the maximum number of attempts allowed at each part of the examination should be six.

When does the policy come into effect?

The policy came into force from 1 January 2014. From January 2014, if a candidate has not attended the examination and is recorded as absent, this will be recorded as one attempt. If a candidate was marked as absent before January 2014, this will not count as an attempt. A withdrawal (as determined by the regulations on acceptable withdrawals) will not be deemed an attempt.

The number of attempts a candidate has had will be counted from the moment they became an MRCP or SCE candidate and not from when the policy started.

GMC notice

The original statement from the GMC can be viewed on the GMC website.

How to apply for an additional attempt after having six attempts at an examination:

  • Discuss your past examination attempts with your educational supervisor (or equivalent), to locate areas of persistent weakness and produce and implement an educational plan designed to target these weak areas. For more information on this see our FAQs.
  • Once additional educational experience has been undertaken, discuss with your educational supervisor (or equivalent) when you should attempt the examination again
  • Once you have identified which exam you should next attempt, download and complete the Additional attempt form.
  • Your educational supervisor and training programme director (or equivalents) must sign the form confirming that you have demonstrated an improvement in knowledge and skill so that a pass result is highly likely at the next attempt. Your educational supervisor must then scan in a copy of the form and email it to your College of Entry. Please note the form must be emailed from your educational supervisors work email address. For more information on this see our FAQs.
  • Forms must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the application period opening. Once the form has been received it will be verified by your College of Entry and restrictions will be removed from your record on the MRCP(UK) database; this will usually take no longer than 5 working days from receipt of the form. You will then be able to apply online or by paper for an additional attempt at the examination.

Limited attempts for MRCP(UK) examinations

Limit on attempts

* Please note candidates have six attempts for Part 2 Written and six attempts for PACES.