Anaesthesia exams

In order to qualify as a specialist anaesthetist and become eligible for ANZCA fellowship, trainees need to successfully complete two exams.

Each exam consists of written and viva components. Some specialist international medical graduates may need to sit certain components of the exam.

Trainees should familiarise themselves with the format, minimum marks, and eligibility requirements for each of these important exams.
 

Primary exam

The primary exam (PEx) is taken during basic training and assesses a trainee's knowledge and understanding of applied physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, measurement, equipment, quality and safety through a combination written and viva components. Success in the primary exam is necessary to progress to advanced training.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes in the ANZCA Training Program curriculum guide the range of content that may be assessed. Trainees are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter and show their ability to integrate relevant information so that it is applicable to the practice of clinical anaesthesia.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to sit the PEx, trainees must:

  • Be registered as a trainee with the college.
  • Have completed all requirements for introductory training and commenced basic training at the time of the written exam.
  • Been in clinical anaesthesia time or other clinical time within the previous 52 weeks.
  • Paid all outstanding training fees and the primary exam application fee.

Format

The PEx consists of the following three sections, completed in two parts. 

 

Section

Format

Duration

 % total marks

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)

150 questions.

150 minutes

Pass/fail

Short-answer questions (SAQs)

15 questions 

150 minutes

50%

Viva voce

3 vivas

20 minutes each with a two-minute reading time (66 minutes in total)

50%

 
Additional information regarding the exam components on the day of the exam is available on Networks

Requirements for passing the primary exam

Trainees will be invited to attend the viva section of the primary exam if they pass the multiple-choice question section and score 40 per cent or higher in the short-answer question section.

To be successful at the exam, trainees must obtain a mark of at least 50 per cent in the sum of the short-answer (50 per cent) and viva (50 per cent) sections. If a trainee fails to attend the written exam (no show) after enrolling for the primary exam, it will be counted as an unsuccessful attempt at the primary exam.

Candidates who have failed to achieve the standard in the written components of the exam are considered unsuccessful and this will count as an unsuccessful attempt at the primary exam. 

Primary exam reports

We've made all past primary exam (PEx) reports available to help you prepare for your final exam.

Dates and venues

Primary viva exam dates for 2020.1 and 2020.2

Dates

Location

Exam Candidates 

12-14 October 2020

NZ – Auckland

2020.1 and 2020.2 

12-16 October 2020

NSW & ACT - Sydney

2020.1 and 2020.2 (TBC*)

9-13 November 2020

QLD & SA – Brisbane

2020.1 and 2020.2 (TBC*)

25-27 November 2020

VIC – Melbourne

2020.1 and 2020.2 

December 2020 (dates TBC)

Tas/WA

2020.1 and 2020.2 (TBC*)

*2020.2 candidates will be notified of the viva dates in mid-September when the viva invitations are extended.

**last updated: 28 August 2020

Final exam

The final exam is taken during advanced training and is the final formal assessment of competence and knowledge. Trainees must successfully complete the final exam as part of the training program requirements.

Learning outcomes

The purpose of this exam is to determine whether trainees can integrate knowledge, judgement and skills to address realistic anaesthetic scenarios. The curriculum guides the range of content that may be assessed. As this is the final exam, responses should demonstrate a consistent level of prioritisation, judgement, integration and decision making.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to sit the final exam, trainees must have:

  • Completed introductory training and basic training.
  • 26 weeks full-time equivalent (FTE) of approved vocational training in advanced training.
  • At least 88 weeks FTE clinical anaesthesia time as part of approved vocational training.
  • Been in clinical anaesthesia time or other clinical time within the previous 52 weeks.
  • Paid all outstanding training fees and the final exam application fee (paid in full).

Format

The final exam consists of four sections, completed in two parts.  
 

Section

Format

Duration

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)

150 questions

150 minutes

Short-answer questions (SAQs)

15 Questions

150 minutes

Medical vivas

2 vivas

18 minutes each

Anaesthesia vivas

8 vivas

15 minutes each

 

The SAQ and the MCQ papers are held on a Friday, in the morning and afternoon respectively, with the medical vivas on the following day.

Requirements for passing the final exam

Candidates will be invited to attend the second part (the anaesthetic vivas) if they get:

  1. A mark of at least 40 per cent in the multiple choice exam (MCQ) and
  2. A mark of at least 40 per cent in the short answer exam (SAQ) and
  3. A pass in at least one section of the multiple choice, short answer and medical viva.

We'll confirm eligibility to attend the anaesthesia viva approximately three weeks before.

Candidates must achieve:

  • A mark of at least 50 per cent overall.
  • A pass in the anaesthetic viva section.
  • A pass in at least one other section of the exam.
 

Candidates who do not achieve the above criteria will be counted as an unsuccessful attempt of the final exam.

Final exam reports

We've made all past final exam (FEx) reports available to help you prepare for your final exam.

Dates and Venues

First sitting

Second sitting

Closing date

6 January 2020

29 June 2020

Written and medical

13 March 2020
(medical cancelled)

28 August 2020
(medical cancelled)

Written and medical venues

Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Victoria (multiple venues and regionally)

New Zealand:  Wellington

Viva examination

20-21 November 2020
(venues TBC)

2021 (dates and venues TBC)

No penalty fee will be charged to candidates who withdraws from 2020 exams.

*last updated: 25 August 2020

Information for SIMG candidates

Specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) who are required to sit the final exam - regardless of when they were assessed - will no longer need to sit the written components; only the medical and anaesthesia viva sections.

To be eligible to sit the SIMG exam, candidates must have:

  • A satisfactory CPA report covering at least three months. 
  • The most recent CPA report must be satisfactory and within 12 months of the date of sitting the exam
  • Paid all outstanding college fees and the final exam application fee (paid in full).


Candidates will need the following scores to pass the exam:

  • A pass in the anaesthesia viva section and
  • An overall score of 30 marks or more.

SIMG candidates assessed after 1 December 2018 will be allowed up to five attempts at the exam. SIMGs assessed before 1 December 2018 will continue to be allowed seven attempts.

COVID-19 - FAQs on anaesthesia exams for 2020

Find the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the 2020 primary and final exams here

Find out more

Conditions of entry for exams

Important information for all candidates participating in ANZCA and FPM exams, including our conditions of application and entry.

Find out more

Anaesthesia trainee toolkit

Access all the resources, documents, and forms you need to meet your training requirements at the click of a button.

Find out more

Training & Exams Resource Hub

This hub has been designed for trainees and educators participating in the ANZCA, FPM and DHM training programs to identify suitable training and education resources, and includes online access to the Primary Exam Reading List.

Find out more


 
Last updated 12:17 16.09.2020