Final FRCA Written

Final FRCA Written – next sitting

Countdown to closing date for applications:
Closing date: 
14 January 2020, 17:00

Next exam date: 10 March 2020

Future dates: 

The Final Written examination is a stand-alone exam, applied for separately from the Final SOE examination. The aim of the MCQ is to test factual knowledge. The CRQ aim to test higher thinking including judgement, ability to prioritise and summarise, and capability to present an argument clearly and succinctly in writing.


If you need to submit your certificates, or have any other query, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on

For further information about on-line applications please visit the FAQ page

Structure of the Final Written

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
90 MCQ Examinations (60 x Multiple True False and 30 Single Best Answers in three hours).

Constructed Response Questions (CRQs)
CRQs will replace short answer questions (SAQs) as from September 2019. The first paper will be a hybrid with 6 CRQs and 6 SAQs, See information sheet on related downloads. Papers from March 2020 onwards will consist entirely of CRQs.

The paper will continue to examine a candidate’s knowledge of the basic and intermediate sections of the training curriculum as specified by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. As is the case at present, the paper will contain one question from each of the 6 mandatory units of training, and six from general duties which may include a maximum of one question from the optional units of training. Advanced sciences and professionalism in medicine may be included in any of the questions.

In the September 2019 hybrid paper there will be no set rule as to which will be SAQs and which CRQs. The CRQs will be graded as easy, moderate or hard as is the case with the current SAQs – this decision being based on the analysis of the questions by the SAQ/CRQ core group. The questions will continue to be marked out of 20 and the paper will have a duration of 3 hours (15 minutes per question)

When and where

  • The Written exam is held twice a year in September and March
  • The CRQ/SAQ paper normally runs from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and the MCQ from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
  • The exam is held at a number of venues across the UK.  Currently; London, Birmingham, Manchesther, Sheffield,
    Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Number of attempts
A maximum of six attempts, you must submit an AET FORM1 at least three months before the sixth attempt.

A pass in the Final Written is valid for three years measured to the published start date of the examination being applied for.

Results and Statistics

Details of results and statistics for all FRCA exams can be found here.

Guidance for unsuccessful candidates
Guidance interviews are offered after more than one failure on request.

A quick eligibility check is set out below. You must:

Final Written - maximum six attempts - pass valid  three years
Registered with the GMC (UK)  AND
  • Currently registered as a UK trainee in Anaesthesia, or registered as a trainee in Anaesthesia with the College of Anaesthetists, Ireland, OR
  • Currently sponsored under the RCoA IP and employed as an anaesthetist in an NHS post for six months, NHS appraisal required OR
  • Currently registered with the their respective College and is a former UK trainee UK or Ireland and left training no more than five years. OR Specialty/SAS grade who left training more than five years and has RA support. OR
  • Currently registered with the College; is a former trainee (more than five years) or a non-UK anaesthetic trainee who has been employed in the UK NHS as an anaesthetists for at least 12 months. NHS appraisal required. AND
Have passed the Primary FRCA examination  or exemption qualification within last seven years  AND
Have been awarded the Core Level Training Certificate (Not IP, former trainee (more than five years) or non-UK trainee)

The full eligibility for this exam is listed at Section 7 Paragraph 17 of the Examination Regulations.

The Chairman of the SAQ Core Group releases a report of the SAQ exam around two months after the exam date, see related links below for the latest report. 

FRCA Final Witten Candidate Advice
Advice on how to complete both the MCQ and SAQ/CRQ sections of the FRCA Final written can now be found in the related downloads section below.

FRCA Constructed Response Question examples
Example questions are available below, see related downloads.

FRCA Short Answer Question examples
Example questions are available below, see related downloads

Changes to the Final Written

The Chair's report regarding the CRQ pilot examinations along with the questions/answers used are available on related downloads below.

Related downloads: