FRCEM Primary: Everything you need to know to pass

The reason you are reading this is because you have taken the brave step to improve yourself as an Emergency Medicine doctor and potentially pursue a career in the NHS by gaining your Membership into the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (MRCEM). Congratulations! This article will spell out everything you need to know about the FRCEM primary and how to pass the exam.

Eligibility for the FRCEM Primary

A candidate will be eligible to enter the FRCEM Primary examination provided he/she holds a medical qualification approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of registration.

Candidates who are registered with the GMC should include their registration number in the appropriate place on the application form. If you are registered or anticipate being registered with the GMC then your personal data, including your examination results, will be passed to the GMC for quality assurance and research purposes and to facilitate the awarding of certificates for completion of training (CCTs).

Candidates registered with the Irish Medical Council (IMC) or an international medical council are required to upload a copy of their current medical registration document at the time of application.

When, Where, Cost

  • FRCEM Primary – £310.00 (UK Centres) or £390 (Iceland, Malaysia and Oman)


Structure and Content of the FRCEM Primary

The FRCEM Primary examination will consist of a three-hour multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper of 180, single best answer questions (SBAQ). By SBAQ, a few of the multiple-choice answers could be correct but there is one answer that is better than the others.

With this, make sure you manage your time effectively during the exam as you can see that it is 1 minute per question. If you are not sure about a question, simply move on and come back to it.

The examination is conducted in English and candidates are advised that IELTS Level 7 is the expected standard for completion of the FRCEM examinations.

1) Make sure to give yourself enough time in the build up to the exam so that you know exactly what to expect when you sit it.

2) Utilise the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Curriculum – it is very representative of the exam you are going to sit. There is also additional information in the RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum. If you know both of these then you are guaranteed to ace your FRCEM Primary.

RCEM Curriculum 

RCEM Basic Sciences Curriculum

3) Utilise as many past paper and mock questions as you can – this will allow you to assess your weaknesses and enable you to focus your revision effectively.

Sample Questions

Useful Revision Resources


Moussa Issa: All in one notes

Revision notes for the FRCEM Primary

Question Banks:

FRCEM Success

Youtube videos:

Bromley Emergency Courses

James Rowley


FRCEM Information and regulations pack

For any further information and queries or if you would like to discuss career opportunities in the NHS for the future once you have completed your MRCEM exams, please contact I would be delighted to help you progress in your career.

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