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Specialty Certificate Examination support

The Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in rheumatology must be passed before you complete your training. We've pulled together some frequently asked questions and resources to support trainees.

The SCE is delivered by the Royal College of Physicians; there's plenty of information to be found on their website, but we've also collated some of the most frequently asked questions below.

You can also sign up for email alerts with the College in order to get alerts when the application period opens.

Frequently asked questions

What is the rheumatology specialty certificate examination?

This is the exam which is required to be passed in the UK prior to completion of training (CCT). 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 is 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. Examination fees for 2019 are £665 for UK applicants and £833 for international applicants.

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: