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Exams Guidance

This page contains general candidate guidance in relation to applying for surgical and dental exams administered by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). 

Exam dates

  • Candidates will be examined on one day within the dates given. Requests for specific dates will not be taken. All dates and fees shown in the dental and surgical sections are provisional and subject to review at any time.

Surgical exam dates disclaimer

  • In the event of candidate numbers being too great to facilitate the completion of the exams within the specified time period, the Royal Colleges of UK and Ireland, with prior agreement from the Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations, reserve the right to make alternative arrangements and extend the time announced for the exams within reasonable limits.

Candidate eligibility

  • Copies of the regulations governing the exams and the relevant application forms for individual exams may be obtained from the Examinations and Assessment Department or downloaded from either the dental orsurgical sections.
  • Visa support letters will only be issued after the closing date for an exam, and when the application has been checked and the candidate is eligible. Requests for a visa support letter must be made in writing.


  • Applications for admission to any exam must reach the Examinations and Assessment Department no later than 5pm on the exam's closing date.
  • Completed application forms must be accompanied by the fee and by such certification as is required by the regulations. Applications must in no circumstances be delayed, even if some certificates may not be available by the required date. Outstanding certificates must be forwarded within seven days of the closing date.
  • Instructions for attendance at exams are not dispatched until about 14-10 days before the start of the exam.

Learning disabilities guidelines

  • Candidate guidance
  • Candidates applying for extra exam time or any other extra allowances need to supply a full educational psychologist’s report with their exam application form. For the purpose of these exams, the minimum age at which a candidate should have had their educational assessment completed is 16. We will also accept an educational assessment that has taken place within 26 months of the actual exam.
  • All candidates applying for extra allowances should apply to sit their exams in London.

Candidates must submit this report with their exam application form. Candidates applying online should send the original copy of their educational psychologist’s report to the Examinations Department within one week of applying. Reports sent at a later date will not be considered. All reports will be returned at the candidate’s request.

Proof of identity

  • Please be aware that candidates must bring proof of identity to each exam. Proof of identity must be an official document, such as a current passport or driver’s license which includes his/her name, signature and a photograph. Candidates who do not bring the required documents to the exam will have his/her results withheld until proof of identity has been provided.

Exam fees

  • A candidate who withdraws entry prior to the applications deadline will receive a refund minus an administration charge. This is currently 20% of the fee and is subject to revision at any time.
  • Refunds for candidates who withdraw after the closing date will only be given for medical or compassionate reasons with supporting evidence.
  • MRCS fee concessions are available for refugee surgeons. Find out more.

Exam withdrawals

  • A candidate who withdraws his/her entry or is absent for an exam and wishes to sit on a later occasion is required to submit a further application form and fee by the appropriate closing date. Applications are not carried forward from one examination to another.

Contact the Exams Department



For general exam queries please callĀ 020 7405 3474

Our main switchboard is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

The ORE helpdesk is openĀ 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4pm, Monday to Friday.

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