All about MRCEM Intermediate SBA exam – 2024 new guidance

Table of contents

Once you have cleared MRCEM primary (previously MRCEM Part A or FRCEM primary), the next step is MRCEM intermediate exam. Let’s get to know more about it.


A candidate will be eligible to enter the MRCEM Intermediate SBA examination provided they fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Registration – Hold a medical qualification approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of registration. (If you were allowed to take the Primary exam, that means you have the necessary qualification).
  2. Foundation year – Completed the UK foundation programme or equivalent. (FY1 is house surgeonship / internship. FY2 is next year of training post)
  3. Primary – Passed the FRCEM Primary or MRCEM Part A after 1st August 2012 or MRCEM Primary SBA (2021).
    DREEM trainee and has been granted exemption from the FRCEM Primary,
    MRCEM Part A or MRCEM Primary as a result of obtaining MRCS or MRCSI after 1 January 2012

2024 MRCEM Intermediate exam schedule

ExaminationExam DatesCentresApplication DatesResults Date
MRCEM SBA12 Sep 2024Pearson VUE12 – 19 Jun 202423 Mar 2024
Updated 21 May 2024 – Please check official RCEM page for accurate info. If it says Pearson Vue, it’ll be conducted in UK and internationally.

Exam fee

As on 21 May 2024, the RCEM page lists the MRCEM Intermediate SBA fee as – £369

Number of attempts

Candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts. Previous attempts at the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ taken after August 2016 will be counted. In exceptional circumstances candidates may apply for approval for an additional attempts (approval at the discretion of the Dean, whose decision is final).

In case the college changes the exam pattern or decides to void previous PASS status, you’ll be given 24 months of validity for current ‘pass’ status.

Exam structure

The MRCEM Intermediate SBA examination consists of a multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper of 180, single best answer questions (SBAQ).

The examination is delivered as two, two-hour examination papers each containing 90 questions. The two papers are
delivered on the same day with a one-hour break.

RCEM delivers its written examinations electronically via computer-based testing company, Pearson VUE.


The 180 marks have been divided into the following sub categories. So, concentrate on high yield topics to clear the exam.

Curriculum CategorySyllabus categories/highlighted descriptorsMarks
SLO 1 Complex
stable patient
SLO1 Key capabilities
SLO1 Descriptors
Allergy | Cardiology
Dermatology | Ear, nose and throat
Elderly care / frailty | Endocrinology
Environmental emergencies
Gastroenterology and hepatology
Haematology | Infectious diseases
Maxillofacial / dental | Mental Health
Musculoskeletal (non-traumatic)
Nephrology | Neurology
Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Oncological Emergencies
Ophthalmology | Pain & sedation
Pharmacology and poisoning
Respiratory | Sexual health
Surgical emergencies
Urology | Vascular
SLO3 Resuscitate
ACCS LO8 organ failure
(Excluding major trauma)
SLO3 Key capabilities
SLO3 Descriptors
Palliative and end of life care
including other clinical presentations
SLO4 injured patient
SLO4 Key capabilities
SLO4 Descriptors
Pain and sedation
Major trauma
including other clinical presentations
SLO5 Key capabilities
SLO5 Descriptors
All clinical syllabus categories as applicable to PEM, and additional PEM specific categories:
Neonatal emergencies
Safeguarding and psychosocial emergencies in children
SLO6 Procedural skills
ACCS LO7 basic
anaesthetic care
SLO6 Key capabilities
SLO6 Descriptors
ACCS LO7 key capabilities
ACCS LO7 Descriptors
Advanced airway management
Chest drain
External pacing
Fracture/ dislocation manipulation
Lumbar puncture
Pain and sedation
Vascular access in emergency- IO, femoral vein
Wound management
SLO7 Complex or
challenging situations
SLO7 Key capabilities
SLO7 Descriptors
Legislation and legal framework 10
Organ/tissue donation
Information governance
Evidence and guidelines
MRCEM Intermediate marks division table

Sample questions

RCEM has provided some sample questions to help you familiarize with the new MRCEM Intermediate SBA exam pattern

Scoring and results

The MRCEM Intermediate SBA is standard set using a modified Angoff Method. One standard error of measurement (SEM) will be added to the cut score identified using the Angoff method to calculate the required final pass mark for the examination. (What is angoff method? It uses a group of experts to judge how difficult each question is in an exam to determine the cut-off score). Some questions may be deleted later on.

The results will be published on a pre-advised day by 17:00 (GMT), approximately five weeks later.

Previous pass mark for September 2021 batch is 109
February 2022 batch – 106 (17 Qs removed)


How to check RCEM results?

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