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DRCOG Single Best Answer (SBAs)

How to complete the SBA questions

Instructions for completing the single best answer (SBA) questions for the DRCOG exam.

General instructions

Answer sheets

  • The papers are marked by a computerised document reading machine.
  • Answers should be entered as instructed on the answer sheet
  • You must only use black or blue ballpoint pen for completing all parts of the answer sheets.
  • To select your answer, fill inside the circle using black or blue ink.
  • If you want to change your answer, you must cross out your unwanted answer and mark your new choice.
  • If you wish to return to an answer previously crossed out, circle the chosen answer making sure all unwanted answers are crossed out.
  • Please print your name as stated on your entrance ticket at the top of the answer sheet and write your candidate number (not your desk number) in the boxes provided. Then black out the lozenges corresponding to your candidate number. See the following example:

SBA how to

Front cover

On the front cover of each question book please print your name in the boxes provided and then sign your name in the space marked ‘signature’. Your candidate number must be written in the 4 circles provided.

Papers 1 and 2: SBAs questions

This operates similarly to the previous section, but with just five options to choose the best single answer from.

Answering the questions

The answer sheet is numbered 1-60 and against each number there are 5 lozenges labelled from A to E.

Each question in the question booklet will consist of a clinical scenario followed by a lead-in question, and then a list of 5 options (labelled A to E).

Indicate your judgment of each particular question by boldly blacking out the letter that corresponds to the single best answer in the option list.

Candidates may mark their responses in the question book and then transfer these to the answer sheet.

Please be aware that this will take longer, and all transfers must be done fully within the time allowed for the examination.

The option list will nearly always be in alphabetical or numerical order for ease of reference; if not, they will be in the most appropriate order for quick reference.

The most important element of the format is that you must select the single answer that best fits. You may feel that there are several possible answers, but you must choose only the most likely one from the option list.

Specimen answer sheet

A portion of a completed SBA answer sheet may look like this:


SBA example


Incorrect answers are not penalised.

It is in your best interests to ensure that for each of the answers, one circle is filled in by the end of the examination.

If you mark 2 or more circles on the same question, no mark will be awarded, even if one of the answers you choose is the correct one.

Please ensure you clearly and fully cross out any mistakes.


Division of marks

See the table below for how marks are divided between SBA papers.

A cumulative pass mark applies.


No. of individual question items

Mark awarded for each correct answer

Total marks

% of exam

Paper 1: SBAs





Paper 2: SBAs





SBAs require you to select the single most appropriate answer from the five options.

Sample questions and answers 

1. A 26-year-old nulliparous woman attends the gynaecology clinic with vulval soreness and dyspareunia. She takes the combined hormonal pill for contraception and her first smear was a year ago. On examination, three moist red patches less than 1cm were noted on the vulva. Subsequent biopsy of each lesion demonstrates undifferentiated vulval intraepithelial neoplasia. She attends the surgery for a repeat pill prescription a week before her clinic appointment and is keen to discuss her biopsy results and on going management.

What is the best treatment option she is likely to be offered?


5-fluorouracil cream


Laser destruction of VIN


Local excision of VIN


Imiquimod cream




Answer: C
Local excision of VIN

A 21-year-old woman attends the surgery for advice 4 weeks after a medical termination of pregnancy because her pregnancy test is still positive. Her bleeding has settled and she started the progestogen only contraceptive following the procedure.

What is the most appropriate next course of action?


Advise her to stop taking the pill and repeat the pregnancy test in 2 weeks' time


Arrange an urgent pelvic ultrasound scan


Change to a combined hormonal contraceptive preparation to induce a vaginal bleed


Reassure her that this is normal following a medical termination of pregnancy


Request a serum HCG test


Answer: B
Arrange an urgent pelvic ultrasound scan

Frequently asked questions

Find all answers to Frequently asked questions by candidates 

Support resources

Resources to support DRCOG candidates