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PACES exams weekly update: 23 November

2020/3 UK Diet The 2020/3 diet of UK PACES is now complete.

2020/3 UK Diet

The 2020/3 diet of UK PACES is now complete. 480 candidate places were delivered with unfortunately 108 cancelled places during the diet. Candidates who had their exam cancelled, or who had to cancel themselves on account of COVID-19 reasons, will be prioritised for a place in the next diet.

Release of results

We have been analysing candidate performance in the altered delivery format of PACES and comparing results to historical data to ensure that the exam standard remains consistent and that candidates are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by the changes in delivery methodology. We are satisfied that overall candidate performance has not been affected by the move to 2 mini-carousels and will now be able to release results.

Exam results for Royal Bournemouth, Raigmore, St George's, Walsall Manor and Kent & Canterbury will be released week comencing 23 November. Details on other centres will be updated on the MRCP(UK) website. We will no longer need to hold results back for additional analysis so the time from sitting the exam to release of results should now be much shorter. The rate limiting step will be the return of mark sheets to MRCP(UK) Central Office.

Station 2 and 4 remote delivery

At the outset of this exam diet we had anticipated that "sleeper" days may have been required for candidates to retake stations 2 and/or 4 if unresolvable technical issue arose on their exam day. We are encouraged that none of these retake days have been required. There have been some minor technical issues but these have been surmountable on the day.

Prioritisation Criteria

As reported last week, we continue to work with JRCPTB and trainee representatives to consider how we will prioritise applications for exams in the UK in 2021. We can confirm that the 2021/1 diet in the UK will only be open to candidates living and working in the UK. Prioritisation criteria will be published in due course.

International PACES

A total of around 240 International candidate places are scheduled to run in Autumn 2020. Our new centre in Pakistan has successfully run, Singapore is running this week followed by our centres in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates and Malta. Our recent survey of international PACES centres has suggested an increase in those who feel they will be able to run PACES examinations again in Spring 2021.

UK Application dates and provisional applications

The application date for PACES UK will open on Wednesday 25 November 2020 and close on Wednesday 2 December 2020. Please note that this is for a shorter period of 1 week on this occasion. Candidates are understandably anxious about when the examinations will take place. Please be assured that we will, as per normal procedure, notify candidates 6 weeks in advance of their exam date.

Concerns have been raised about financial outlay associated with provisional applications whilst awaiting exam results. We encourage candidates to provisionally apply whilst they await their exam results. Payment will not be required immediately on application and we anticipate that all candidates will receive their exam results before they are required to pay.

Live MRCP(UK) Twitter chats

The next PACES Twitter Q&A session is on Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 3pm GMT. We have included items which have previously come up into our FAQs, so please check the website first.


We welcome feedback. If you have specific queries relating to your exam day please contact the exams office at your College of entry.

For other general queries or suggestions please email: