The Final SOE consists of two subsections:

SOE1 - Clinical anaesthesia with linked applied clinical science; consisting of four clinical short cases each with linked applied clinical science questions.  The sequence is normally short cases 1 followed by science question 1, short case 2 followed by science 2.  However, in some instances the linked science question will be covered before the clinical short case, (e.g. science 1 followed by short case 1). The SOE will be in two parts A and B, taken consecutively, with candidates moving exam floors to sit both parts.  Each part is 26 minutes in duration, comprising of two clinical short cases with linked science questions, as described above with 13 minutes devoted to each pair of questions.

SOE2 - Clinical anaesthesia consisting of a two section clinical long case followed by two stand-alone clinical short cases taken in one sitting.  This SOE is 36 minutes in duration comprising of 10 minutes to view clinical material, 13 minutes devoted to a two section clinical long case and 13 minutes devoted to two quesions on clinical anaesthesia unrelated to the long case.

The SOE tests at least two topics from the general duties unit, at least four topics from four of the six essential units and may use up to one topic from optional units of the curriculum.

Examples of question in this new format can be found on related downloads below.

SOE Films

Welcome to the Final SOE series of short films designed to assist trainees in preparation for the Final oral examinations and to assist trainers in providing advice and instruction.  The aim of the films is to demonstrate:

  • How examiners perform an SOE
  • The way questions are structured
  • The level of knowledge required
  • Examples of pass and borderline performance

There are eight films in total in this series. There is a short introduction to the series, six five to six minute films of part  of an SOE 1 or 2 examinations and brief closing remarks from the Chairman.  The films are not complete SOEs. They are excerpts designed to highlight how an examiner might assess a candidate’s response.  They should not be taken as model answers. They illustrate different aspects of performance rather than provide exact answers, so it is more the nature of the performance that you should concentrate on rather than the actual answers themselves. When watching the films you may feel that some of the borderline performances are close to a pass standard but there are errors in the candidate's performance.  You will note clear differences in the pass examples.  Candidates should remember that being in the borderline area is not a guarantee of success and you should aim for the highest standard you can achieve. More videos are available via the College's YouTube Channel.

It can't be stressed enough that preparation and practice is key to success in the oral exam. A sound knowledge and understanding of the intermediate level curriculum is required.

Over the coming months we plan to add to these films with examples of a general run through of the Final exam to improve a candidate’s familiarity with the College and the exam process generally.  You may also be interested in the Primary film series which follows a similar format.  

I hope you find them useful.

Mike Tremlett
Chairman, RCoA Final Exam

Please see the College's YouTube Channel.