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The MRCEM Intermediate SBA is a theoretical exam assessing understanding of the full range of conditions and presentation that may be encountered in the ED. Candidates should familiarise themselves with the Year 1-3 SLOs in preparation for sitting the examination.

For more details regarding the MRCEM Primary like who can sit the exam, where the exam takes place and how it is marked and when the results are given visit the RCEM Exam pages.


The MRCEM Intermediate SBA examination consists of 180 SBA questions presented across two papers each lasting two hours. An hours break is provided in the middle of the exam.

Click on the hyperlink syllabus areas to access RCEMLearning learning content for that syllabus area.

Curriculum Category Syllabus Questions
SLO1 Complex stable patient Allergy Cardiology Dermatology Ear, nose and throat Elderly care / frailty Endocrinology Environmental emergencies Gastroenterology and hepatologyHaematology Infectious diseases Maxillofacial / dental Mental Health Musculoskeletal (non-traumatic) Nephrology Neurology Obstetrics & Gynaecology Oncological Emergencies Ophthalmology Pain & sedation Pharmacology and poisoning Respiratory Sexual health Surgical emergencies Urology Vascular 60
SLO3ResuscitateACCS lo8 organ failure Resuscitation Palliative and end of life care Trauma including other clinical presentations 40
SLO4Injured patient Pain and sedation Major trauma Including other clinical presentations 30
SLO5 Peadiatric Emergency Medicine All clinical syllabus categories as applicable to PEM, and additional PEM specific categories: neonatal emergencies Safeguarding and psychosocial emergencies in children 25
SLO6 Procedural skills (ACCS)ACCS lo7 basic anaesthetic care Sedation Advanced airway management Wound management Lumbar puncture External pacing POCUS Chest drain Vascular access in emergency- IO, femoral vein Fracture/dislocation manipulation 10
SLO7Complex or challenging situations Medicolegal Legislation Organ/tissue donation Information governance Safeguarding Evidence and guidelines 15
Total 180

RCEMLearning Exam Support

You can revise for the SBA exam with our SBA modules, we have two types:

SBA Revise – These SBA modules contain 10 SBA questions from across the curriculum and you will be provided feedback on each question as you work your way through the module.

SBA Questions – There are a wide range of different SBA topics that we have on RCEMLearning. Each SBA is focused on a different EM curriculum topic.

SBA Explained – We have a large number of videos from RCEM examiners explaining a wide range of SBA exam topics and components. These are to assist you in understanding aspects of the SBA exam.

Getting Ready for the exam

Preparing for the MRCEM Intermediate SBA (Short Answer Question) exam requires a focused and strategic approach. Here are some steps to help you prepare effectively:

Understand the Exam Format:

Familiarise yourself with the structure and format of the MRCEM Intermediate SBA exam. This will help you understand the types of questions and the time constraints youll face during the exam.

Review the Exam Syllabus:

Carefully go through the exam syllabus to identify the key topics and areas that will be tested. Ensure that you have a solid understanding of the core subjects, including emergency medicine, clinical skills, critical care, resuscitation, and trauma management.

Study Resource Selection:

Select high-quality study resources that are specifically designed for the MRCEM Intermediate SBA exam. These may include textbooks, online courses, question banks, and practice papers. Ensure that the resources are up to date and cover the relevant exam topics.

Practice SBA Questions:

SBA questions require concise and accurate answers. Regularly practice solving SBA questions to familiarise yourself with the format and improve your ability to provide focused responses. Use available question banks and practice papers to simulate the exam environment.

Time Management:

Time management is crucial during the MRCEM Intermediate SBA exam. Practice answering questions within the allocated time to enhance your speed and efficiency. Identify any time-consuming question types and develop strategies to tackle them effectively.

Analyse Your Performance:

Review your practice exam results and identify areas of strength and weakness. Focus on improving weaker areas by revisiting related topics and practicing more questions in those areas. Analyse your mistakes and learn from them to avoid similar errors in the actual exam.

Utilise Online Resources:

Online platforms can be valuable for SBA exam preparation. Look for websites that offer SBA practice questions, sample answers, and explanations. Participate in online forums and discussion groups to interact with other candidates, exchange knowledge, and gain insights.

Develop Effective Study Strategies:

Experiment with different study techniques to find what works best for you. Some effective strategies may include creating summary notes, using mnemonics to remember key information, and forming study groups to discuss and explain concepts.

Time for Revision:

Allocate dedicated time for revision to consolidate your knowledge. Review your notes, textbooks, and practice questions regularly. Focus on understanding the underlying concepts and reinforcing your understanding of key topics.

Stay Calm and Confident:

Prior to the exam, maintain a calm and positive mindset. Build your confidence by regularly practicing SBA questions and reinforcing your knowledge. Take care of your physical and mental well-being, and ensure you get adequate rest and relaxation.

Remember, the MRCEM Intermediate SBA exam requires a combination of knowledge, critical thinking, and time management skills. By following these steps and staying dedicated to your preparation, you can increase your chances of success.

Best of luck!

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