MRCP Part 1 & 2 Equating System

The correction system (Equating) was introduced by the royal collage of physicians (MRCP UK) several years ago for marking MRCP parts 1 and 2 to ensure that candidates receive comparable results for comparable performance from an exam to another and from year to year.

mrcp part 1 and 2 equating marking

The equating system is based on the royal collage determination of the exam difficulty ratio which is based on the percentage of difficult questions in the each exam.

The pass mark depends on the equation of the number of correct answers X difficulty ratio.

Since the pass mark is fixed in all exams (528 for Part 1 and 454 for Part 2), the only variable is the number of correct questions needed  for passing every exam as shown in the example below.


2 part 1 candidates in 2 successive years have 100/200 correct answers with an exam difficulty ratio of 4.8 for the first year and 5.3 in the second year.

The result for the first year candidate = 100 X 4.8 = 480/528 (failed) 

The result for the second year candidate = 100 X 5.5 = 550/528 (pass)

N.B. The needed correct answers for first year exam is 110 and for second year exam is 96.

Frequent FAQs about equating from our users:

What is the exam difficulty ratio for a certain exam?

The exam difficulty ratio is determined only by the royal collage of physicians (MRCP UK) and the basis of determination, the needed number of correct answers and the difficulty ratios have never been announced.

For more discussions about equating leave a comment below.

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