Fellowship Exam Attempts FAQs

Fellowship Exam Attempts : FAQs

Previously, candidates were permitted unlimited attempts at the Fellowship exams.

From 2019, candidates are now permitted a maximum of six attempts at the Fellowship exams, undertaken across three years.

The RACGP has never previously had a cap on the number times a candidate may attempt the exams. However, RACGP research shows that after six unsuccessful attempts at an exam, candidates become increasingly less likely to pass at all. Permitting unlimited exam attempts has serious implications for patient and community safety.

In addition, other medical colleges across Australia permit only a limited number of exam attempts, with many of them offering candidates only one or two attempts to pass. The RACGP is now more closely aligned with accepted assessment practice, while still offering candidates a number of opportunities for exam success.

All doctors who have not yet attained Fellowship, including those currently on pathways to Fellowship and those who will join a pathway to Fellowship in the future.

  • If you have already passed all three of your exam segments, this policy will not impact you.
  • If you have not attempted the exams or not yet passed any exams, you will have six attempts over 3 years (subject to extension) in which to pass the exams.
  • If you have passed one or two exams prior to 2019.1, the pass result/s will remain valid in accord with the exam candidate handbook that was in place at the time of the first pass. If an exam pass expires during the period of candidacy you will need to repeat that exam.

From 2019, previous exam fails will not be taken into account for the purposes of this policy. You will retain exam passes, but not unsuccessful attempts: all candidates will begin again from 2019 with zero fails.

You will have three years and six possible exam cycles within which to pass all three exams. All candidates will be able to suspend their candidacy for six months if they wish. However, you cannot sit exams during suspension – the six additional months does not entitle you to an additional exam cycle.

You will have multiple attempts at each exam. However, due to the prerequisite for the OSCE, if you pass the AKT and KFP by your sixth cycle, you will only have one attempt at the OSCE remaining.

Just cause and exam remediation processes will cease from 1 January 2019, and the RACGP will instead focus on providing support to candidates for exam preparation.

All candidates have the option to suspend their candidacy for six months at any time. You may choose to take this suspension immediately after becoming eligible to sit exams, so that you can give yourself more study time before undertaking any exams. You also might want to use this time after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, so that you can dedicate some time to fixing any problem areas in your exam technique or knowledge.

Additional suspension may be permitted in the event that you experience unforeseen or extenuating circumstances. You should inform the RACGP in writing if you feel that your personal circumstances require additional time off from sitting exams. However, please note that additional time will be given only on a case-by-case basis and will not be automatic.

Parental leave as permitted under the National Employment Standards is also permitted, and registrars training as part of the Australian Defence Forces will be able to take additional time in case of deployment.

Any approved leave will result in a suspension of exam candidacy. Exemption to exam expiry policy may be extended to your exam passes in the event that you need to take leave. However, this exemption will not be indefinite; you will need to return to exam attempts within a reasonable period of time or your exam results will expire and you will not be eligible for Fellowship.

The AKT and KFP remain prerequisites for sitting the OSCE.

In the event that you do not pass the KFP and/or AKT until your last semester in the exam cycle, you will be able to undertake the OSCE during the same cycle as your final KFP or AKT pass. However, there is not an automatic extension granted for passing the written exams.

This policy will not affect you if you have already passed your exams.

From 2019.1, once you begin to sit exams you will carry passes and fails with you regardless of a change in pathway.


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