Specialty Certificate Examination
The MRCP Specialty Certificate Examination is now necessary to acheive CCT (except for for pre-2007 ‘old-style’ SpRs) and is generally taken towards the end of ST training. It is held annually and consists of two 3-hour papers taken on the same day, each comprising 100 best-of-5 MCQs. Official information and the date of the next sitting are on the MRCP(UK) website. To be eligible to take the exam, MRCP(UK) state on their UK candidates must have successful completion of all parts of the MRCP(UK) and/or been appointed to a substantive ST programme and awarded a National Training Number. Eligibility criteria may change, however, so please check the website or email SCE.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries. The cost of the exam is a little over £800. It is worth checking with your trust or your bosses to see if you can claim some money towards it from your study allowance.
In theory, knowledge for the exam is meant to be acquired during your clinical training through your inpatient and outpatient work, grand rounds and training days. All the ‘major’ neurology topics are covered: epilepsy, movement disorders, headache, cognitive, demyelination, neuromuscular, stroke, infectious diseases, neuroanatomy/localisation, neurogenetics, plus some extras. Don’t forget the exam includes interpretation of neuroimaging (CT, MRI) and neurophysiology (EEG, NCS/EMG).
Anecdotally, people have used the following to aid revision:
- Practical Neurology journal, especially the ‘Bare Essentials’ series
- Clinical Neurology, 3rd Edition edited by Fowler and Scadding
- Neurology: A Queen Square Textbook. Clarke, Howard, Rossor, Shorvon
- Aids to the Examination of the Peripheral Nervous System
The US Board Examinations are pitched at a fairly similar level, and some have found revision aids for this exam helpful too, such as Comprehensive Review in Clinical Neurology: A Multiple Choice Question Book for the Wards and Boards. There are also exam-practice websites for the US Board Examinations, which again you may find helpful, although they're all by subscription.
Sample questions and Curriculum
The JRCPTB 2013 Neurology curriculum outlines the major curricular items, while MRCP(UK) have also provided some sample questions and a breakdown of the examination in terms of the proportion of the questions relating to each curricular item.