Information about FRCEM Primary exam Best info in 2021

If you are looking to gather all information about FRCEM primary, read this blog post.

The FRCEM Primary examination is the first exam towards fellowship from Royal college of emergency medicine (RCEM – UK). You’ll learn about eligibility, exam pattern, what to read, number of attempts allowed, how to prepare, how to apply etc information about FRCEM Primary exam.

Table of Contents

Read about the full FRCEM Journey


  • Hold a medical qualification approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for the purposes of registration.
  • If you are registered or anticipate being registered with the GMC then your personal data, including your examination results, will be passed to the GMC.
  • Candidates registered with the Irish Medical Council (IMC) or an international medical council are required to upload a copy of their current medical registration document at the time of application.

Number of attempts

Candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts. Previous attempts at the MRCEM Part A ( Before August 2016) do not count towards the number of available attempts. In exceptional circumstances candidates may apply for approval for an additional attempts (approval at the discretion of the Dean, whose decision is final).

If you have cleared MRCEM Part A prior to August 2012, you are required to pass the FRCEM Primary examination in order to sit further FRCEM examinations.

In case the college changes the exam pattern, you’ll be given 24 months of validity for current ‘pass’ status.

Exam pattern

The FRCEM Primary examination will consist of a 3 hour, multiple choice question (MCQ) paper of 180, single best answer questions (SBAQ).

Subject-wise marks allocation (Total 180 Questions)

Anatomy – 60

Upper limb
Lower limb
Head and Neck
CNS + Cranial Nerve Lesions

Pathology 9

Inflammatory responses
Immune responses
Wound healing

Physiology 60

Basic celluar
Renal physiology

Evidence Based
Medicine 6

Study methodology
Principles of critical appraisal

Pharmacology 27

Fluids / electrolytes
Immunology /vaccines

Microbiology 18

Principles of microbiology
Pathogen groups

Pass mark and Results

The standard set using the Angoff Method (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.

Results will be available on the candidates Dashboard on RCEM website.

Previous pass mark for FRCEM Primary.

See official RCEM exam reports here

The official reports will publish the details of pass mark and other overall statistics. Here is the pass mark (cut off ) for FRCEM Primary in last exam dates.

  • 97.5 Dec 2016 (No Qs removed. Anat 60, Physio 60, Pharma 27, Micro 18, Path 9, EBM 6)
  • 97 in Jun 2017 (No Qs removed. Anat 60, Physio 60, Pharma 27, Micro 18, Path 9, EBM 6)
  • 97 in Dec 2017 (16 Qs removed. Anat 54, Physio 53, Pharma 25, Micro 17, Path 9, EBM 6)
  • 93 in Jun 2018 (14 Qs removed. Anat 60, Physio 54, Pharma 24, Micro 15, Path 8, EBM 5)
  • 93.65 in Dec 2018 (15 Qs removed, Anat 56, Physio 54, Pharma 26, Micro 16, Path 8, EBM 5)
  • 98.4 in Jun 2019
  • 97 in Dec 2019

Ready to apply?

Read How to apply for FRCEM primary exam

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