Official Partner The Royal Society of Medicine



The MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills – PACES) is designed to test the clinical knowledge and skills of trainee doctors who hope to enter higher specialist training at ST3. Trainees must have passed the Part 1 written examination within the last seven years before taking PACES.


PACES is a half-day examination which takes place in a clinical setting such as a hospital or skills centre. The exam tests seven core skills over five stations, each with two independent examiners. Each station lasts for 20 minutes, with a 5-minute preparation window between each. The candidate will demonstrate their abilities when working with a patient encounter.

The PACES exam covers the following seven core skills:

Patient encounters

An encounter is when a candidate interacts with a patient or a surrogate. Stations 2 and 4 involve one encounter, whereas stations 1, 3 and 5 have two encounters. There is therefore a total of eight encounters throughout the exam, assessing the following core skills:

Stations 1 & 3

Stations 1 & 3 are the physical examination stations, all with an emphasis on

The candidate will read instructions on upcoming cases before entering the station. They will then spend 10 minutes with each patient, with a maximum of six minutes allowed for the examination, and a minimum of four for questioning from the examiners.

Station 2

Station 2 is the history-taking skills station, which examines a candidates’ ability to

Candidates will study a GP referral letter during the 5-minute interval, and then allowed 14 minutes for history-taking. The candidate will then conduct a one-minute reflection period, and five minutes of discussion with the examiners.

Station 4

Station 4 is the communication skills station, which aims to asses a candidate’s ability to

Candidates consult written instructions before the station and spend 14 minutes on the patient interaction. The candidate will then conduct a one-minute reflection period, and five minutes of discussion with the examiners.

Station 5

Station 5 is an integrated clinical assessment station and aims to assess how a candidate approaches a clinical problem – including their history-taking, examination, and communication skills. Each candidate reads instructions on both cases, then spends eight minutes with each patient. The candidate then spends two minutes describing the positive physical findings, and giving a diagnosis.

Key dates

Although dates vary slightly year on year, applicants must attend the date for which they registered. Current upcoming dates for PACES may be found in the table below.

ExamApplication PeriodAssessment PeriodFee
2018/323 July - 6 August 201829 September - 2 December £657

Additional dates, including those for international applicants, may be found here.


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