FRCS (Surgical Neurology)

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Applying for the Exam

To be eligible for the exam candidates must have a successful ARCP Outcome 1 at ST6 onwards or equivalent. Three structured references from referees on the UK/Irish Medical Register with direct experience of the candidate’s current clinical practice within the last two years must be provided. Candidates must also provide details of their GMC number, medical qualification, and MRCS.

For full details of applications, including rules, regulations, and current fees, see:

To find out when the next exam will be held, see the examinations calendar. Find your nearest testing centre for Section 1 here.

Exam Format

The exam is in two sections.

Section 1 is a written test composed of a combination of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ single best answer; 1 from 5) and Extended Matching Item questions (EMI). Paper 1 consists of SBA questions and is 2 hours long. Paper 2 consists of EMI questions and is 2 hours 30 minutes long. Both papers are completed on the same day at a testing centre.

For information on the computerised platform, see

Section 2 is the clinical component of the exam and consists of a long case, short cases, and the oral components. The long case is 30 minutes long and is structured with approximately 10 minutes for history and presentation of salient points, 10 minutes for examination, differential diagnosis and investigation plan, and 10 minutes for general management plan, treatment options, and potential complications.

The short cases last 30 minutes and test categories such as clinical knowledge, diagnostic acumen, investigations and interpretation, treatment options, and taking consent.

The oral components are three half hour orals in each of the following:

  • operative surgery and surgical anatomy
  • investigation of the neurosurgical patient including neuroradiology
  • the non-operative practice of neurosurgery

Full examination information with rules, regulations, and example questions is available at:

Number of Attempts

Candidates have a two year period from their first attempt with a maximum of 4 attempts at Section 1. Candidates who have achieved the required standard in Section 1 and have been granted eligibility to proceed to Section 2 have a maximum of 4 attempts.