Final examination changes from 2021.1

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of the final examination has led to recent reviews to help improve flexibility for trainees sitting exams whilst maintaining the quality and integrity of the exams.

The current regulations require the examination to be sat as a whole (written component, medical and anaesthesia viva components). The Final Examination Subcommittee (FESC) has undertaken a thorough review of this requirement in light of challenges faced by trainees impacted by the pandemic. As a result, changes to the regulations have been approved relating to the written component of the final examination and its relationship to the anaesthesia viva.

As of the 2021.1 sitting, candidates who have a minimum score of 50 per cent in each of the multiple-choice (MCQ) and short-answer question (SAQ) components but fail the anaesthesia viva component may carry forward the written score to the subsequent sitting and re-sit only the medical and anaesthesia viva components.

FESC recognises that poor performance in the viva components of the exam may reflect issues unrelated to a candidate’s knowledge or skillset. A limited decoupling over a short period for candidates who demonstrate knowledge above the minimum required level may assist with ameliorating the impact of factors relating to exam performance that are not related to clinical performance or knowledge. This would benefit trainee welfare.

These changes are reflected in the training handbook which can be found here.

Special consideration for deferral of anaesthesia viva to subsequent exam sitting
The Final Examination Subcommittee will also allow candidates who have special circumstances including, but not limited, to illness, injury, issues associated with pregnancy and childbirth or other family-related matters to submit a special consideration request that will allow the carrying forward of the MCQ and SAQ scores for the subsequent sitting of the anaesthesia viva.

Candidates must submit such requests in writing at the earliest opportunity and these will be reviewed by a panel consisting of the chair of the Primary Examination Subcommittee, the chair of the Final Examination Subcommittee and ANZCA’s immediate past president.

This information can be found in the regulation 37

The decision to implement the above changes from 2021 onwards is to ensure a flexible, fair exam that maintains standards and is in keeping with community expectations.

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Last updated 10:01 25.03.2021