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Foundation Programme Examinations

In order to be accepted onto a Foundation Programme in the UK, candidates must complete and pass both the Situational Judgement Test, or SJT, and the Educational Performance Measure, or EPM. The overall result of the Foundation Programme examinations is that most candidates perform at around the same level. This means that very few score markedly higher or lower than others.


Situational Judgement Test

The Situational Judgement Test is the replacement for the white space application form used in previous recruitment rounds, and is made up of seventy questions. Candidates will answer these questions over a two hour and twenty-minute period, for a maximum of 50 marks. The SJT exam date will be provided by the candidate’s medical school, or the UKFP Eligibility Office.

The Situational Judgement Test assesses an applicant’s professional attributes, and how well they measure up to the expectations of a junior doctor. No specific clinical knowledge is examined, but a general understanding of the demands and responsibilities of a healthcare professional is expected. A model SJT practice exam is available on the UKFPO (United Kingdom Foundation Programme Office) website. Candidates may also prepare by familiarising themselves with the GMC’s ‘Good Medical Practice’ document.

The paper itself is a mix of ranking and multiple-choice questions, and features no negative marking. Candidates should therefore attempt every question on the paper.

The Educational Performance Measure

The Educational Performance Measure, or EPM, is a system of establishing an applicant’s clinical and non-clinical skills. The EPM factors in a candidate’s medical school performance, additional degrees, and publications.

The EPM, like the Situational Judgement Test, can yield the candidate a maximum of 50 marks.

Many applicants find the fact that a 140-minute exam has the same weighting as the entire medical school education confusing. However, the SJT examines some of the most fundamental qualities in a doctor, and is therefore weighted like the EPM.

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