Theory exams - how to apply on our online booking system

You will need to apply for each theory exam on our online booking system and during the set application period for that exam. We explain below how to use this booking system.
Last modified
28 February 2024

For more information about the three theory exams, including eligibility, fees, syllabus, how to apply and how to prepare, go to our Theory examinations page.

Before you start

Before you can apply for an exam, you must be registered for an exam account. Do this at least 10 days before the application window. See how to register

You can only apply during the application period, which is usually one week or longer. The application period always opens at 09:30 GMT (local time in the UK) on the first day and closes at 16:00 GMT on the last day. See dates and locations

You can use the online booking system from any up to date browser, such as Chrome, Edge or Safari (Internet Explorer is not supported). We suggest you use a desktop or laptop computer, and not a mobile device.

Log in to the exam booking system and start your application

  • Log in to your RCPCH online account.
  • On My Account, go to the Exams panel, and click on link to apply. This opens the exams boking system.
  • First you'll see your exam dashboard. This displays your qualification progress - which exams you need to sit, and whether you have sat and passed each. It also displays the exams you can apply for, ie when the application period is open for your next exam(s).
  • Click on Bookings > Available bookings to see the exam options you are eligible for and select the exam.
  • Select the method of delivery (test centre or online delivery) and then the location in which you wish to sit your exam. Not all candidates are eligible for online delivery - see the online invigilation eligibility criteria on our How you sit your exam page.

Complete your application

  • Read all the information on the form carefully and any links to rules and regulations.
  • Complete all fields as fully as possible. (If you have a reasonable adjustment, see next section.)
  • Once you have completed all forms and declarations and are happy with your application, click to pay via debit card or credit card.
  • Your place is reserved for 10 minutes while you complete your application and payment. After 30 minutes your draft application will be removed and you will need to re-start your application.
  • When you have completed your application, you will receive a confirmation email. Review the details to ensure they are correct.
  • We will publish the admissions document on your ePortfolio account, with full details for your test centre or online invigilation, four to six weeks before the exam day.

When and how to request a reasonable adjustment

RCPCH is committed to providing supportive and fair opportunity to exam candidates. All candidates are entitled to request a reasonable adjustment to their examination, and RCPCH will consider all requests providing the appropriate supporting evidence is submitted.

It is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that the College is informed of any requirement for adjustment/s to be made for any part of exam at the earliest opportunity.

Reasonable adjustment requests must be made at the time of booking. If you require a reasonable adjustment, such as additional time:

  • Select the Reasonable box on the application form.
  • Upload any supporting evidence - this should state the exact details of your reasonable adjustment.

See the reasonable adjustment policy

If you need to withdraw from your exam

You can withdraw from your booked exam in the exam booking system. The following explains when you can do this and whether you can get a refund.

During an application window
  • You will be entitled to a 100% refund. You do not need to give a reason or evidence.
  • We will process your refund. This this may happen during or after the application window.
  • The fee and refund are administered in UK sterling (£). As this is subject to currency fluctuations, you may not get back the exact amount you had paid.
  • You may not be able to rebook for the same theory exam after you withdraw. You can only make another booking once we confirm the withdrawal. We aim to process withdrawals during application windows to allow candidates to rebook however, we strongly recommend that candidates double-check before making payment as it may not be possible to process payments and withdrawals in time for candidates to rebook.
After an application window and before the exam
  • You will normally get no refund.
  • If you believe you have exceptional circumstances for a partial refund, you can add evidence to your withdrawal request in the online booking system. This evidence must be in English (or an attested translation) and clearly refer to you as the candidate.
  • Our decisions on any refund are final.
  • The fee and refund are administered in UK sterling (£), and so is subject to currency fluctuations.
  • We do not provide refunds to candidates who are unable to travel or get a visa for travel for upcoming diets. It is your responsibility as the candidate to plan your travel, and to account for any potential issues with travel.
After the exam takes place
  • If for any reason you are not able to sit your exam, you have up to two weeks to request a withdrawal after the exam day.
  • For candidates in the UK training programme, you must withdraw within two weeks of the exam date to avoid the attempt counting towards the GMC’s 6-attempt rule, which is explained in Regulations and rules.
  • You will normally get no refund. If you believe you have exceptional circumstances for a refund, submit your evidence via the exams booking system.
  • Any evidence submitted must be in English (or an attested translation) and clearly refer to the candidate.
  • The fee and any refund are administered in UK sterling (£). As this is subject to currency fluctuations, you may not get back the exact amount you had paid.

How to withdraw

  1. Log in to your RCPCH online account.
  2. On My Account, go to the Exams panel, and click on link to Register or book for exams.
  3. In My Recent Bookings, select the exam you wish to cancel by clicking View.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the application form and click on Request Withdrawal.
  5. Follow the instructions on screen to withdraw.

Applied for your exam?

Your admissions document is available on your RCPCH ePortfolio account about 4-6 weeks before your booked exam. This document has the information you need to sit your exam. You will need to bring a hard copy of a valid form of ID to the exam.

More about how to prepare for your exam day