MRCP (UK) Part 1 exam – a closer look for overseas medicine doctors

  • November 05, 2021

In this article we will explore the MRCP Part 1 exam in more detail,including advice on eligibility, dates, centres, preparation and fees. 

Designed to help you prepare and sit the exams, we consider the following MRCP topics: 

What is MRCP (UK) Part 1 exam? 

Part 1 is the entry-level examination accessible to doctors with a minimum of 12 months' postgraduate experience in medical employment. It covers a broad range of topics appropriate to physicians at the beginning of postgraduate training.

Part 1 is the first component of a sequence of assessments intended to match the progression of trainees undertaking the Core Medical Training programme in the UK, adding unique information and building on previous assessments

Am I eligible to sit MRCP (UK) Part 1 exam?

Trainees from any country in the world can sit the MRCP Part 1 Examination providing that they meet the eligibility requirements. 

As an overseas candidate you are eligible to sit MRCP Part 1 if you have a GMC recognised Primary Medical Qualification and a minimum 12 months postgraduate experience in medical employment.

What is the examination content & format?

At IMG Connect we advise that understanding the examination format is a great foundation for exam preparation. We have summarised the Royal College’s guidance on the Part 1 Examination format below: 

The exam consists of two papers, sat over the course of one day in an examination hall.

Each paper is 3 hours in duration and contains 100 multiple choice questions in ‘best of five’ format.

From the five options provided, one answer is correct. The other four are plausible however you will only score a point from the correct answer. There are no negative marks and questions do not include imagery. 

MRCP (UK) Part 1 is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of the clinical sciences relevant to medical practice and of common or important disorders to a level appropriate for entry to specialist training. 

Candidates will be tested on a wide range of common and important disorders in General Medicine as set out in the JRCPTB Specialty Training Curriculum for Core Medical Training and the composition of the papers is as below:


Number of questions *



Clinical haematology and oncology


Clinical Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology


Clinical sciences **






Geriatric medicine




Infectious diseases and GUM










Respiratory Medicine






*This should be taken as an indication of the likely numbers of questions – the actual number may vary

** The clinical sciences components comprises the following:


Number of questions *

Cell, molecular and membrane biology 


Clinical anatomy


Clinical biochemistry and metabolism 


Clinical physiology






Statistics, epidemiology and evidence-based medicine


A detailed explanation of the marking system adopted for the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination can be viewed in the MRCP(UK) Regulations.

Where can I take the MRCP Part 1 exam?

MRCP (UK) Part 1 can be taken in the UK and overseas as below: 


UK Test Centres

Overseas Test Centres

MRCP Part 1




Bahrain (Manama)

Bangladesh (Dhaka)

Egypt (Cairo)

Ghana (Accra)

Hong Kong

Iceland (Reykjavic)

India (Chennai, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi)

Iraq (Baghdad)

Jordan (Amman)

Kenya (Nairobi)

Kuwait (Kuwait City)

Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)



Nepal (Kathmandu)


Oman (Muscat)

Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore)

Qatar (Doha)

Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Riyadh)


Sri Lanka

Sudan (Khartoum)

United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)

United States of America (New Jersey)

West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad)

Zimbabwe (Harare)

When is the exam sat and when can I apply?

It is important to note that you must apply for each MRCP exam during the specified application period. Applications made outside of the designated period will not be accepted.

Exam dates and their application periods can be found here

How much does the exam cost?

UK applications cost £419

International applications cost £594*

Please note, the application process and fees applicable for Hong Kong and Singapore centres differ. Applications should be made directly to the administration team for this centre.

How do I apply?

Applications for all exams are made online via My MRCP(UK) account. You will simply need to create an account and submit evidence of your primary medical qualification, then make a payment online to confirm your application.

The application video from the Royal College can be found below:

Part 1 application video

The Royal College of Physicians recommends making the first attempt at Part 1 within 1-2 years of your graduation.

How can I prepare for the MRCP Part 1 exam? 

With lots of resources available online, we have discussed with IMGs the best place to start looking for materials relating to the exams. Most IMGs recommended starting with the Royal College, who have created useful resources to help you to prepare for the exams. See below: 


Applicants are tested on a range of common and important disorders in General Medicine as set out in the Joint Royal Colleges Specialty Training Curriculum for Core Medical Training.

We recommend getting to know the curriculum as early as possible, using it as a road map for your study plan. 

MRCP (UK) mock exams:

We suggest registering for the MRCP mock exams here. These will provide you with the most accurate and relevant mock questions to prepare you for the real thing.

Sample questions: Test your knowledge using example questions from the current exam syllabus provided by the Royal College, see below:

Part 1 sample questions

For a useful overview of how to prepare for exams, including advice on study groups, online community support, best use of online resources & Royal College materials and courses - take a look at our blog: IMG Connects Top Tips for exam preparation 

Passed? What next?

If you are completing the papers in order, the next step will be to apply for Paper B. For more information take a look at our blog we will explore MRCP (UK) Paper B and everything that you need to know about how to sit the exam, including syllabus, dates, results, fees and preparation. 

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