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SBA and EMQ general instructions

Instructions for completing the single best answer (SBA) questions and extended matching questions (EMQs) for the Part 2 MRCOG exam

How to complete the new RCOG answer sheet format

Please only use a black or blue ball point pen to complete your answer sheet.

You will find the answer sheet on page 3 of the question paper.
Please detach this carefully at the start of the exam.

Please print your full name and your 4-digit candidate number on your answer sheet.

Please fill in the circles on the answer sheet that correspond with your candidate number.

To select your answer, fill inside the circle.
For example, if you believe the answer to Question 1 to be option B, your answer would look like this:

SBA question instruction example 01

 

If you wish to change your answer, please cross out your unwanted answer.
For example, to change from option B to option C, your answer would look like this:

SBA question instruction example 02

 

If you wish to return to an answer previously crossed out, circle the chosen answer, and ensure all unwanted answers are crossed out.
For example, to revert from option C back to option B, your answer would look like this:

SBA question instruction example 03

 

If you require a new answer sheet, please inform an invigilator who will be able to provide one for you.

 

Single best answer (SBA) questions (Q1-50)

Answering the questions

The answer sheet is numbered 1-50.

Each question in the question booklet will consist of a clinical scenario followed by a lead-in question, and then a list of five options.

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.
 

Marking

Incorrect answers are not penalised.

It is in your best interests to ensure that for each of the 50 answers, one lozenge is filled in by the end of the examination.

If you mark 2 or more boxes 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 erase any mistakes.
 

Specimen SBA question and answer

A 30-year-old woman presents to the infertility clinic with primary infertility and dysmenorrhoea and is found on ultrasound to have a 6 cm endometrioma in the left ovary.

What is the most appropriate initial management?

A. Gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonist for six months
B. In-vitro fertilisation
C. Intrauterine insemination
D. Laparoscopic drainage of the endometrioma
E. Laparoscopic excision of the endometrioma

Correct answer: E

Further sample SBA questions can be found here

 

Extended matching questions (EMQ) (Q51-100)

The reverse side of each answer sheet is numbered 51-100.

Each question in the question booklet will consist of an option list (lettered to reflect the answer sheet), a lead-in statement (which tells you clearly what to do), and then a list of between 1 and 5 questions (each numbered, again to match the answer sheet).

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.

Although the answer sheet will provide 20 possible answers, the option lists for questions may not use all of these. Most option lists will provide 10 to 14 answer options. The option lists 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.
 

Marking

Incorrect answers are not penalised.

It is in your best interests to ensure that for each of the 50 answers, one lozenge is filled in by the end of the examination.

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

Please ensure that any mistakes are clearly and fully erased. 
 

Specimen EMQs

Sample EMQs can be found here

 

Division of marks

There is no separate pass mark for the SBA and EMQ questions. Instead, there is a combined pass mark, which is determined by standard-setting each examination.

The SBA component contributes towards 40% of the overall mark and the EMQ component contributes towards 60% of the overall mark. We therefore advise candidates to allocate approximately 40% of their time to the SBA component and approximately 60% of their time to the EMQ component.
 

Division of written section marks

Paper 1Paper 2

 

Standard setting

Our well-established standard setting procedure ensures that the difficulty of each examination is taken into account and is not linked to a set pass mark or rate. A different pass mark is used for each examination, depending on the difficulty of that examination. It is therefore also not possible to publish the pass mark for the written section in advance of the examination. This is a complex process, which involves assessing the questions individually for their difficulty.

The aim of standard setting is to improve the fairness and validity of the examination process, and to set levels of competence for success in the examination. The use of these methods bears no relationship whatsoever to the percentage of candidates who will succeed in the Part 2 written examination, or to any other external factors.

 

Elsewhere on the site

Specialty training in O&G
Overview of the specialty training programme in obstetrics and gynaecology, including how the MRCOG exams fit in
Curriculum
The full specialty training programme in O&G – core modules, ultrasound, ATSMs, subspecialty and academic