Courses for MRCPsych Paper B

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Thank you so much dr moo for your helpful advise

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Thank you. This is a most useful posting.

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Dear Moomin,

thank you very much for this info.. Can u please tell which online critical appraisal course did you find helpful? So stressed about paper B and where to study from!!!:((

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Thanks for this great guidance and very useful info. 

I used the SPMM notes for paper A, and found them very useful and quite exhaustive. Has anyone got any experience of using their notes for Step B? Are there any similar such notes that you would recommend? And lastly, does anyone have them already and is willing to share? 

Thanks a a ton 

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I do agree that critical appraisal online is a great antidote for the boring statistics. I finished critical appraisal in 3 days sitting with it which I would not have an energy to do with book material.

I also bought book anyway which is more detailed but better for lullaby.

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Hi Moomin,

Thanks for the information as how to study paper B. Could you specify the name of the author for the book you mentioned  "Get Throught MRCPsych: MCQs for Paper 3"? And also you had borrowed " couple" of other books from the library- can you name them. I thought Lena's book is good as there are lots of information given. Anyway in your post you have elaborately given what to read.

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i cant remember one of the books.

if you go to the library there are normally some 'paper 3' books which is like what paper b is now.

one of them i think was this one :

the books are old now - so you need to check the syllabus really well.

there is a new book on amazon - which might be good.

by Melvyn WB Zhang and Cyrus SH Ho

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On 4/17/2016 at 16:14, Moomin said:

RE: Courses

If you would like my advise on how to get resources that are good try these.

By far my favourite is psychmentor. There is another one, however, that was excellent for paper B - BMJ One Examination.


1) PsychMentor (my favourite one)

- Cost about £45 for 6 months

- Mock Exam £15

My favourite resource.

It is an excellent resource for practice. Very good in paper A for the questions on the drugs. 

You can then 'mix' up the questions.

You can also have some motivation, as you can see how you compare to others.

It does not include everything for the exam but everything in psychmentor is quite relavent.


2) BMJ One Examination

- I got this for paper B, (it is not worth it for paper A as they have two separate one).

- But for paper B it cost £35 for 2 months

- There is about 300 questions, but they were the best questions out of all the resources

- It was the only resource that had questions on the 'medical' side of it


3) Free Book from library - Get Throught MRCPsych: MCQs for Paper 3

- Very good :) !

- I got a couple of free books from the library 

- A lot of questions in questions banks are copied from these books.

- This is why books such as this one are very good.


4) Critical Appraisal Online Course

- I would strongly recommend this course.

- Probably this is what would pass the exam - as without a very good understanding of critical appraisal you will fail as it is a large part of the exam .

- You will fail the exam if you have not learnt all about this part as it makes up a large part of the exam.

- Statistics is very boring, so although the book came with it, and I could never open it.

- However, the online course online was excellent. Very clear and simple. 

- A large part of the exam is critical appraisal - and all of the questions where asking three things

- Which type of study is described about : Cohort Study / RCT / Systematic Review / etc.

- Which type of statistical test would you use : ANOVA / ANCOVA / Mann Whitney U / Chi Squared (this type of question came up about 5 times)

- Loads of questions of economic analysis


5) Syllabus 

There is a very clear syllabus for this exam in the critical appraisal questions.

My revision after the course above was I went through it and ticked off things

Not so much for the first part, but for the paper B part it lists everything they want you to know.


6) Free youtube - Stastics Learning Centre

This is a free resource, made for school children, but I found it very good at explaining complex statistics

Very useful for MRCPsych



- Positives : The question bank is very large. It is the largest quetsion bank you can get. This time I got the mock exam (but it was again very very expensive) but this was the only resource that had critical appraisal questions like that of the exam. 

- Negatives : Cost - insultingly expensive (I mean like £1000 on SPMM in paper A and B !). The question bank is very large, but the problem there is so you can get lost in it, and it weight on sections does not really relate to the importance in the actual exam. This is why you will not pass with this alone now. I think some of my colleagues have fallen on this. Critical Appraisal part is very poorly written, this let SPMM down big time,  

I actually support the fact that the college has changed the exam so you are not just memorizing questions and passing from buying SPMM.


Birmingham Course

I could not comment on this one, but I think that it is a good alternative now to SPMM if you need some 'revision notes' to revise from. I did not find birmingham very useful last time as a question bank, but spmm is so expensive. I do not know, perhaps neither is a good option, they do not make my list of good resources above.



Best of Five MCQs for MRCPsych Paper 3: By Lena Palaiyappan- Questions are very badly written, not at all related to the exam, resources have moved on since then

MRCPsych Paper Series - Buy Askok Patel - I got one of these books on amazon, very poorly written, again questions are not related to the exam


I have tried to write some good advice, particularly for the international doctors as it is a shame that you are having to spend all your earnings on these resources that that are not necessary to pass. 

I would recommend this combination to (psychmentor / onexamination paper B / critical apprisal online course + free paper 3 books from library as I have mentioned). 

I would like to thank this website , excellent, I found the exam itself was ok but I have revised a lot. It was not easy, there was pushed for a time and many questions you were impossible questions you will never know (I think there was silly questions like "what is the incident of dysthmia - 4%, 8%, 12%, 16%, 20%") you have to really careful with the time.

Please do not give up if you have a bad attempt, you probably overelied on SPMM, and hope the above will help you all in future.



Can I ask what about Paper A ? which is the best resource?

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I did not buy SPMM video's. I would not think it is very useful.

I have heard there is a stat's course in Cambridge that has been useful. I have not attended it but it is recommended.


"Cambridge MRCPsych Critical Review Course

Designed for MRCPsych Paper B

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September 2017

Dr. Paul Wilkinson, University Lecturer and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the University of Cambridge, will deliver this weekend course. He has been running a crash course for the MRCPsych Critical Appraisal exams since 2003.  Due to a recent increase in demand, this course will continue to run twice per year.

This course will thoroughly prepare candidates for the epidemiology, statistics and research methodology components of the MRCPsych Paper B.  The RCPsych curriculum for Critical Review will be used as a basis for what is taught.  The course will teach General Research Methodology and all specific research types e.g. RCTs, health economics, aetiology, qualitative research etc.  After each mini topic there will be MCQ/ EMQ practice and discussion.  The course will cover all statistical tests that are likely to come up in the exam, e.g. Mann-Whitney, multiple regression, and discuss how to interpret them and answer questions on them.  The statistics will be scattered through the day, presented together with the relevant study design, to keep it in small doses!  Teaching will include essential calculations e.g. NNT, sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratio.  Candidates will have plenty of opportunities to practise these calculations.  The course will conclude with MCQs and EMIQs that test knowledge across study designs e.g. Which is the best statistical test to use in a specific situation?  What type of bias would occur in this situation?  Which is the most appropriate study design?  And finally there will be some practice on the sets of questions that accompany an excerpt from a real research paper.

We shall use a bank of more than 300 questions including MCQs and EMIQs from recent exams, the pilot exams, questions adapted from the old-style exam and questions written by the Cambridge team.  Full paper handouts will be given of questions; answers and explanations; and slides used to teach theoretical material.  Some questions will be sent to candidates before the course, so they can try them in advance if they so wish.

Fee: £300  (£240 for internal Cambridge MRCPsych course candidates)"



For Paper A:


Syllabus is quite useful for paper A.

- I would use either SPMM OR Birmingham, I think SPMM has probably taken over (don't buy both - many questions are the same) 

- MRCPsych Mentor (I love you !) :)



I did Paper A in 2015 and Paper B in 2016, I understand that the membership exams are changing format so I'm not up to speed as if they have changed these other exams.


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Hi Dr.Moomin and all of my friends,

I am planning for Paper b in April and Paper A in June 2018. I am having 8 years post M.D. experience .So, Paper A syllabus could be tough for me .I think paper B is more of clinical knowledge and paper A for theoretical. I am preparing from SPMM notes and My concern is about 2 months availability of time for paper A. I belong to India where we see 40 to50 pts a day. so my clinical aspect is somewhat better than theoretical. I want your expert advice that whether I should do paper A first or Paper B. If I follow this sequence I can get sufficient time for both. Pls guide me.

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