On the day of my theory exam

What to expect on the day of your exam - your test centre, timetable for the day, what to bring and what happens during the exam.

On this page:

Finding your test centre

Approximately four weeks before your exam you will receive your exam admissions document. This will include the exact address of your test centre, as well as the registration time.

We suggest that you check the test centre address in Google Maps and look at 'street view'  to see what the building looks like from outside to make it easier to find on the day.

Please make sure that you plan your journey in advance, and arrive before the registration time. 

If you arrive at the test centre after the exam has started but within the first 30 minutes of the exam, you will still be permitted to sit the exam but you will not be given any additional time. If you arrive after the first 30 minutes of the exam have passed you will not be permitted to sit the exam.

Timetable of the day

You will need to arrive at the test centre at the registration time as stated in your admissions document. You will be asked to enter the exam room 10 minutes before the start of the exam.

Each exam is 2.5 hours long, unless you have been allocated a longer time period for additional requirements made on your online application. See exam start and end times.

If you are sitting both Foundation of Practice (FOP) and Theory and Science (TAS) on the same day, or if you are sitting the Applied Knowledge in Paediatrics (AKP), you will have a break between the two parts.

If you are only sitting the FOP or TAS, you will be able to leave after your exam, unless we have told you otherwise before your exam.

Due to the timings of the exams in overseas test centres, it is sometime necessary to quarantine candidates to avoid collusion with other test centres. 

What to bring

You will need to bring one of the following forms of ID:

  • valid passport with photograph and signature
  • expired passport with photo and signature - no more than 6 months expired
  • valid driving license with photograph and signature
  • national identity card with photograph and signature

Only original documents will be accepted. Photographs, scanned copies, photocopies and digital copies will not be accepted and if you present your ID via these forms you will not ne permitted to sit the exam. 

You will not be permitted to take the exam without the correct ID strictly under any circumstances.  If for any reason you are refused entry due to this reason, you are also not eligible for any refund of the exam fees.

Before you enter the exam room the invigilator will check your ID.

You will not be able to take anything into the exam room except for a bottle of water. If you require anything else to be taken into the exam room, please contact the College as soon as possible so that we can review your request.

If you arrive at the test centre with any personal belongings these will be locked away during your exam and you will be able to collect them once your exam has finished. The College and the test centre take no legal responsibility for any loss or damage caused to personal belongings stored in the test centre.

What will happen during the exam

Soon after your ID has been checked you will be asked to enter the exam room by an invigilator and shown to a computer terminal where you will sit your exam.

The invigilator will then provide you with a keycode that you will enter into the testing software. This will bring up your name, date of birth and RCPCH number.

You will tick a box and click to confirm if the details are correct. This is how the College will know that this is your exam and your answer.

If you have sat a sample paper you will be familar with the functionality of the software. The software is very intuitive and you will be able to navigate your way through the exam. If you have any questions or concerns during the exam, please raise you hand and an invigilator will come to your assistance.

To submit your exam for marking you will need to click 'Finish'. The invigilator will advise you whether you can leave once you have finished your exam. Due to the size of some test centres, you may need to wait for the exam finish time before you can leave. Please listen carefully to the invigilator instructions as they are read out on the day.

Please report to the invigilator at the test centre with any exam related issues or concerns.