Part 1

The written test consists of

Paper 1: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) (2 hours) 

Paper 2 : Extending Matching Item Questions (EMQs) (2.5 hours)

Both are sat on the same day and are computer-based tests held at local driving test centres throughout the UK and Ireland.

Part 2

Section 2 is the clinical component of the examination that takes place over two days.

From January 2015, the clinicals take the format of one general surgical clinical viva and one nominated subspecialist interest clinical viva (eg breast, colorectal, endocrine, oesophago-gastric, transplant, or vascular surgery).

There is one long case (20 minutes) and two short cases (10 minutes each) in both stations.

The orals are scenario-/patient-based structured interviews consisting of 4 30-minute vivas.

The four themed stations are emergency surgery/trauma/critical care, general surgical principles, subspecialist interest surgery and finally an academic viva (critique of an academic paper) alongside questions on applied anatomy, physiology and pathology.


Success in Section 2 promotes the candidate to the fellowship of their nominated college.