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Part 1

The MRCP(UK) Part 1 is the entry-level exam accessible to doctors with a minimum of 12 months' postgraduate experience in medical employment. It covers a broad range of topics to ensure the level of knowledge is appropriate to physicians at the beginning of postgraduate training.

MRCP(UK) tests the acquisition of a representative sample of medical knowledge, skills and behaviour as specified in the UK Specialty Training Curriculum for Core Medical Training / Internal Medicine Training. Part 1 is the first component of a sequence of assessments intended to match the progression of trainees undertaking the Core Medical Training / Internal Medical Training programme in the UK, adding unique information and building on previous assessments.

Knowledge as an essential base for the practice of clinical reasoning

Knowledge is vital as a basis for learning during postgraduate training, to develop understanding of disease processes and their treatment. Building on knowledge of basic medical science gained in undergraduate education, the purpose of Part 1 is to test knowledge and understanding of common and important disorders, as outlined in the UK curriculum, as well as clinical science. Knowledge and understanding of UK national guidelines is also required.

Success in the Part 1 indicates you not only retained the knowledge acquired during undergraduate training, but that your knowledge of medicine has expanded and kept pace with developments that have occurred since graduation, and continues to provide an appropriate basis for clinical decision making. Part 1 is a valuable milestone during training, and helps to prepare you for the more challenging Part 2 Written and Clinical Examinations.

Clinical science forms the basis of all medical practice, and so it is an important component of the Part 1 exam. Wherever appropriate, clinical science questions will include a clinical stem, although this will not invariably be the case if such a stem would not be justified due to the nature of the question.

The exam at a glance

  • one-day exam
  • two three-hour papers
  • 100 multiple-choice (best of five) questions per paper
  • no images
  • computer-based, administered by Surpass at a test centre internationally or online via a proctoring service in the UK.


To find out how and when to apply see: