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The Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in rheumatology must be passed before you complete your training. Find out about what support we can offer and read our FAQs.

We're giving free member access to an online database of practice questions to help you prepare for this exam. The question bank, published by Learna Ltd, reflects what you'll see in the examination, with questions reviewed regularly.

While this resource is aimed primarily at exam candidates, any member wanting to revise their knowledge can take advantage of this. Please get in touch with our Membership team on membership@rheumatology.org.uk for your access code.

Abbvie has provided financial support to enable this member benefit, which normally has a £189 subscription fee.

Visit the question bank

What is the rheumatology specialty certificate examination?

This is the exam which must be passed in the UK prior to completion of training (CCT), delivered by the Royal College of Physicians. It tests candidates on pathophysiology, clinical diagnosis and management of rheumatological conditions.

When should it be attempted?

The SCE needs to be passed prior to progression to CCT. The pass rate is about 80%, if performed at ST4/5. According to the Rheumatology ARCP Decision Aid 2014, it needs to be attempted at ST5 level, although some people will attempt prior to this. 

It takes place once a year, usually in June. Registration is at the beginning of March to the end of May. These dates are subject to change, so please do check the MRCP website for official dates.

What's the format?

There are two examinations which take place on the same day. They are both 'best of five' multiple choice format. They take place in specific centres around the UK. 

The questions are distributed across a variety of subjects. Full information can be found in the MRCP website's blueprint document.

How can I prepare?

Study leave: Trusts are obliged to give study leave for the SCE day so long as they are given the mandatory 6-8 weeks of notice. If you have any issues with this, please speak to your training programme director.

Revision: everyone revises in different ways, but the following advice is based on feedback from previous candidates:
  • "Give yourself enough time - start early. Find somebody doing the exam at the same time as you so you have a study buddy"
  • "The most important thing revision wise is to look up the latest guidelines for BSR, EULAR and ACR, because those questions come up a lot in papers. Revise in the same way you did for MRCP"

What resources are available to me?

We recommend:

How can I access the question bank?

Access is free for all members. If you're a specialty or foundation trainee member who joined before 20 June 2020, you received a unique code via email; we can resend this if necessary.

If you joined BSR after 20 June 2020, please get in touch with the Membership team to claim your code, or if your code isn't being recognised.