Guest Blog Post by Dr. Bilal A. Jadoon: “Guidance about FRCEM Intermediate – SAQ”

This is a guest post by Dr. Bilal A. Jadoon – Emergency Medicine Trainee, Ireland (email:

Hi fellow,
This would be my first ever writing in the form of a blog and I hope it would be informative for all the ED fellows appearing in the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ exam. Before I move forward, you need to know the eligibility for this part of the exam, which you can see in detail on the RCEM website in detail but the least requirement is successful FRCEM primary exam and work experience in the Emergency department as you will need a supervisor to give approval for this exam.
​Before every exam, you need to know the content that is going to come up in the exam, which is available on the RCEM website with the name of blueprints (link given below). As you go through the curriculum you will notice that the exam not only test your knowledge about the diseases diagnosis and management but also tests your theory for the practical procedures and the various rotations (especially paediatrics and anaesthetics) stuff. It also incorporates the very less commonly read topics like infection control, medical ethics and medico-legal aspects etc too, which is the most difficult and extensive part of the exam. The paper is 60 SAQs with all questions atleast 2 parts and most will have 3 parts with marks written in front of each part/question. The available time is 3 hours and this exam is time critical.
​Most of the questions which come up are your routine ED patients presentation, however to cover up the course and get successful in exam, you would have to read/ listen to the following material.
1. MRCEM B revision notes by Victoria stacy
2. FRCEM intermediate SAQ paper book (recently available)
3. FRCEM Intermediate SAQ by Moussa Issa
4. Bromely webinars videos
5. Frcem exam prep online course/SAQs
6. NICE guidelines (relevant and latest ones)
I have no idea about the FRCEM intermediate SAQ books as, they were not available by the time I was appearing in the exam, but I would say they would be worth reading as one of them is the newer version of victoria stacy book.
As the course is extensive and difficult to cover ED calls, you will have to cover the major portions of the blueprints and give less time to parts like common competencies and anesthetics etc, because if you cover up the major portion of the course you will certainly pass the exam.
Preparing for exam is always different for everyone and my suggestion would be to start preparing atleast 3-6 months before the exam and do study on daily basis or otherwise whatever suits you.
Last 2-3 days before exam, just get relax and if you can revise well and good, if you can’t, don’t worry and don’t panic. You will always think that you have forgotten everything but in reality you remember most of the stuff. Reach the examination city 1 day before and have plenty of sleep 8-10hrs on the night before the exam.
During examination, timing is the most important and essential component, which is you didn’t manage properly, you will end up in a disaster for sure. Try not to spend more than 3 mins on each question. Write a single word to a single line answer at max. Those questions which are time demanding due to any reason, just skip them and mark them for later, if you get a chance to do them. You should aim for reach all 60 questions, even if you have to skip a few because they are time consuming as you will end up doing max questions and attain max question.
I hope this benefits all you and best of luck for those appearing in the exam.
Please do let me know about the short comings or any suggestions/corrections in this writing and that would help me write better stuff in the future.

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