Official Partner The Royal Society of Medicine



Candidates must first register online and provide evidence of primary medical qualification or GMC registration before they can apply to sit the membership examinations for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The theory examinations may be sat in any order – preferably in an order that best reflects a candidate’s level of training and experience. A candidate may attempt each exam six times.

MRCPCH Exam Structure

The MRCPCH exams are usually taken during the two to three years of a candidate’s basic specialist training. The examinations form the basis for entry into Core Specialist Training in Paediatrics, and are comprised of

The theory exams are all completed at a test centre in non-sequential order, at any of three sittings per year. Successfully completing all three allows a candidate to sit the MRCPCH Clinical Exam. By the time trainees begin ST3, they have usually completed two of the theory exams – and all four parts by the time they enter ST4.

Foundation of Practice

The FOP assesses a doctor’s decision-making abilities and ensures they have the knowledge required of someone entering core specialist training. The examination

Theory and Science

The TAS tests a doctor’s knowledge of the principles which underpin clinical practice. The exam also tests the principles of evidence-based practice, and

Example questions for both FOP and TAS may be similar to the following:

Applied Knowledge in Practice

The AKP is actually two separate exams with marks from both combined to get one AKP result. The two exams test clinical decision-making, understanding, and knowledge. Each exam

The best of list format used in the AKP involve a simple statement is followed by five options – all of which are possible answers, but one is better than the others. The extended matching questions are similar, but may involve multiple clinical scenarios, lab results, and a much longer list.

The questions in the AKP may vary in how many marks they are worth, but the numerical value is visible in the test. There is no negative marking.

There may also be questions based on photographs, radiographs, investigation result charts, or maybe pathological material – as well as questions which focus on interpreting data as presented in cardiograms, for example, or a patient case history.

Dates of Exams

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health holds three sittings of each exam every year, with all sittings taking place concurrently, regardless of where the candidate is sitting the exam. Candidates will apply online during the relevant application period, between 9am GMT on the opening date, and 4.30pm GMT on the closing date.

The exam starting times will vary from country to country, and the timings relate to British Summer Time, and Daylight Saving.

The specific dates will change year on year, and applicants are encouraged to check on the RCPCH’s website before applying.

The current dates follow in the table below.

ExaminationApplication Opening DateApplication Closing DateExamination Date
Foundation of Practice23 July 20188 August 20189 October 2018
Theory and Science23 July 20188 August 20189 October 2018
Applied Knowledge in Practice25 June 201811 July 201813 September 2018


The following timings are for the UK and Ireland, and timings in other countries should be checked on the RCPCH’s website. The FOP takes place in the morning, and the TAS in the afternoon – often on the same day. Both AKP papers are taken on the same day.

Exam start and end times – UK and Republic of Ireland

FOP takes place in the morning. TAS takes place in the afternoon. They may be sat on the same day.

ExaminationStart TimeEnd TimeWith Additional Requirements
AKP Paper 19.30am12.00pm12.38pm
AKP Paper 22.00pm4.30pm5.08pm

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