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Phase 1 Exams

Exams can be stressful, but we are here to help you get through them!

At the end of Phase 1, usually early June, you have 2 written papers and a practical clinical exam (formally OSCEs).

You'll hear 'high yield' used a lot - especially in the run-up to exams - for topics, facts, and concepts students typically expect to be tested on.

Remember: every exam question is matched to an , and questions are pulled from across prior years and all subjects. Thus everything is 'high yield', but also note that if there are 6 lectures on the kidney, it's likely that a future Phase 2 student should really know about them.

Try to remember that the end of year exams are there to ensure that you know enough and are safe to progress to the next stage of the course, which will see you learning in a clinical, patient-facing environment.

At the end of Phase 1, you will be assessed in the following summative exams:

  • 2 Written Exams: Hybrid Short Answer Question (SAQ) and Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) papers 
  • Clinical Assessments: Objective Structured Clinical Examination  (OSCEs)

Written Exams

You will have 2 written papers.

Total marks for both papers is 200 marks.

Both papers will contain mixture of SAQs and MCQs.



You will have 14 OSCE stations and will be assessed on a range of clinical skills, such as:

- History Taking

- Clinical Examination

- Communication

- Anatomy

Formative Exams

At the end of each block there is a formative exam including MCQs and SAQs. These formatives provide guidance on the areas you should have covered during the block and help you to establish gaps in your knowledge. The questions are written by the members of faculty who teach you, but have not been as rigorously checked as the summative exam questions are; thus some questions may be imperfect, but they do give you an understanding of how questions are set.

"Make the effort and spend the extra time understanding things fully first time round to make life easier when revising. Also, make notes based on the learning objectives, which focuses revision so much better than trying to remember every detail of every lecture." — Jenny Jackson (Phase 2)

Try to do formatives closed book if you can, as you'll get more of a sense of where your areas of weakness are. However, be aware that you absolutely can pass the summative exams even if you happen to do poorly on all the formatives. Speak to your personal tutor if you have concerns.

Revision Tips

Advice and insight on revision from other students that may be useful! Click here to find out more.


There are instances where students may find themselves in the position of needing to resit an exam. While this situation may initially evoke feelings of disappointment or frustration, it is important to not feel dishearten by it. Click here to find out more about what happens if you find yourself in this position and what support is available out there!

Top tips for getting through Phase 1 exams:
  • You cannot learn everything, so focus on learning the lecture content and mapping these against learning objectives.
  • Be kind to yourself when you can't remember or don't understand something. You're covering an enormous amount of material for a hard course and are likely have very high standards for yourself.
  • Don't neglect SocPop and VLE: these themes are mostly examined via SAQs, so there are a lot of marks to be gained. If you struggle with some of the science, you can make up a lot of ground by learning these themes really thoroughly.
  • Start your revision early as the revision period is not that long. Be organised from day one but give yourself breaks during the actual revision times as you'll burn out otherwise. Consistent effort is better than stressed cramming.