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DRCOG format and pass mark

Format and pass mark of the RCOG’s Diploma exam, the DRCOG


The DRCOG exam changes to a new format from October 2020.

The RCOG has been closely monitoring the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In reaction to the current global crisis we have moved quickly to bring forward the release of our new Exams IT System to transition from written exams to computer-based testing through our partners Pearson VUE and will take place in their global test centres.

The DRCOG exam is now one examination which will last for 3 hours.


Extended matching questions (EMQs) are no longer part of the exam.

The test is comprised of the following the question format:

  • Test: 120 single best answer questions (SBAs)


Test: Single best answer

The test consists of 120 single best answer (SBA) questions.
Each SBA question is worth 2 marks.


Pass mark

What is the pass mark for the DRCOG?

The DRCOG uses a pass mark that has been standard set. Standard setting is a recognition that some of the questions used in the exam are more difficult than others and a different pass mark is used for each exam, depending on the difficulty of each exam. Therefore, pass marks and pass rates fluctuate and there is no fixed level or quota.

How does standard setting work?

The system we use to standard set the DRCOG is based on the standard setting system used for the MRCOG exam. A modified Angoff method is used for the DRCOG.

A panel of carefully trained representative consultants and GPs implements the standard setting procedures for the DRCOG. The panel reviews the questions, bearing in mind the standard a competent GP trainee should achieve.

Why is standard setting used?

The aim of standard setting is to improve the fairness and validity of the exam process and to set levels of competence for exam success.

The use of standard setting bears no relationship to the percentage of candidates who will succeed in the exam, or to any other external factors.