How to pass the MSRA exam

What is the MSRA exam? 

 The Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment 

 Computer based exam πŸ–₯  

 Taken in Pearson Vue test centre (UK/international) within the MSRA exam window πŸŒŽ 

 For postgraduate medical training entry in the following specialities πŸŽ“: 

πŸ‘‰ General Practice 

πŸ‘‰ Community and sexual reproductive health  

πŸ‘‰ Radiology  

πŸ‘‰ Neurosurgery 

πŸ‘‰ Psychiatry 

πŸ‘‰ Obstetrics and gynaecology 

πŸ‘‰ Ophthalmology 


What does the exam entail? 

  1. Professional dilemmas paper: 50 situational judgement test questions in 95 minutes β± 
  2. Clinical problem-solving paper: 97 clinical questions in 75 minutes β±  

 All questions are multiple choice 

 There is a 5-minute break between the 2 papers  

 175 minutes in total β± 


How can I prepare for the MSRA exam? 

 Allocate as much time as possible to preparing for the MSRA exam, the more practise you do, the better your score will be πŸ“…  

 A combination of reviewing the content and doing practice questions is key❗ 

 See our guide to studying to and procrastination to learn some great tips to help you prepare 

πŸ‘‰ For example, a retrospective revision timetable will be useful for keeping track of time spent on each topic and your comprehension of them πŸ“Š  

 Use our FREE MSRA Question Bank to test yourself β— 

πŸ‘‰ It comes with a really useful score tracker feature to help you keep track of the areas you need the most help with πŸ“Š  

πŸ‘‰ You will also be given helpful feedback to help you learn why an answer is right/wrong (be sure to read this feedback and don’t just move on after answering a question) πŸ“„  

 MSRA question books can be hired from libraries and provide more questions for you to practise πŸ“š  

 This Pearson VUE demo test will be useful to make yourself familiar and comfortable with the test format πŸ‘  

 Timed MSRA practice papers are useful for getting realistic practise, in exam-style conditions, and highlight areas of weakness β±  


Professional Dilemmas paper: 

 This paper assesses the decisions you make in challenging situations, which may arise when working as a doctor 

 You need a general understanding of clinical care, but it is testing your behaviour rather than factual recall, and so practice questions are vital β— 

 It is divided into 2 parts: 

  1. Ranking: putting actions in order of their appropriateness in response to the situation described 
  2. Multiple choice questions: selecting the 3 most appropriate actions from 8 given, in response to the situation described (your answers must work together, not contradict one another, nor be the same as another option, but less appropriate) 


Clinical problem-solving paper: 

 Assesses your ability to apply clinical knowledge in the context of clinical practice 

 Do NOT attempt to β€˜cram’ for this πŸ˜°  

 Practice questions are important for consolidating your knowledge πŸ§   

 It is divided into 2 types of questions: 

  1. Extended matching questions: selecting the most appropriate action from a set for a series of situations 
  2. Single best answers: selecting the most appropriate action from a set for single situation 



 Each correct answer is awarded 1 mark, and there is no negative marking βœ…  

 You should attempt to answer every question therefore β—  

 Your overall mark will be available within your Oriel account shortly after the test window closes πŸ’» 

 The MSRA score you need depends on the specialty  

 For most specialties, your score will be used when shortlisting for interviews  

 Your score contributes to your overall ranking 


Key tips: 

 Allocate plenty of time to preparing for the MSRA exam β±  

 Practice questions are the most valuable preparatory tool β—  

 Answer ALL questions, even if you have to guess  πŸ–₯ 

 Make sure you read the questions correctly πŸ€“  

 Don't rush as you will make more mistakes this way πŸ€š


  1. MSRA is for post-graduate medical training entry in a range of specialisms 
  2. involves a professional dilemma and a clinical problem solving paper
  3. See our guide to studying to and procrastination to learn some great tips to help you prepare 
  4. Use our FREE MSRA Question Bank to test yourself 
  5. There is no negative marking so you should attempt ALL questions
  6. The score required for entry varies by specialty

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