How to prepare for MRCOG Part 2 (Written)

If you’re looking for the best MRCOG Part 2 preparation tips, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will learn about eligibility for applying, exam style, what to read and how to prepare for your second exam. We’ve searched the internet and spoken to former candidates to create this guide for all of your MRCEM resources and guidance.

Please visit our other MRCOG guides for more information on MRCOG Part 1, Assessment of Training (AoT)​ and MRCOG Part 3.

If you are a doctor and looking for Obstetrics and Gynaecology locum or permanent opportunities, you can browse our O&G vacancies.

All you need to know about MRCOG Part 2

Am I eligible to apply for MRCOG Part 2?

If you plan to enter the UK Specialist Register when applying for MRCOG Part 2, you must have passed MRCP Part 1 within the last 7 years and have entered speciality training. MRCOG Part 2 is extremely difficult so a minimum of 2 years of experience working in Obs & Gynae with placements of at least 6 months is recommended.

Trainees not in recognised UK training programmes should be able to demonstrate that they have spent a minimum of 4 years in obstetrics and gynaecology full-time or equivalent post-registration posts in the UK or overseas before being eligible to sit the Part 2 MRCOG exam

What is the format of the exam?

MRCOG Part 2 is a two part-computer based test (CBT). There are two CBT papers. Each paper counts for the same number of marks (i.e., paper 1 counts for 50% of the mark, and paper 2 also counts for 50% of the mark). Each paper consists of two question formats:

Single best answer questions (SBAs) – worth 40% of the total mark

Extended matching questions (EMQs) – worth 60% of the total mark

Paper 1

3 hours (180 minutes)

50 SBAs, 50 EMQs

Lunch break (1 hour)

Paper 2

3 hours (180 minutes)

50 SBAs, 50 EMQs

TOP TIP – RCOG recommends spending 70 minutes on the SBA questions and 110 minutes on the EMQ questions

How much does MRCOG Part 2 cost?

At the time of writing this book, the price of the exam was as follows:

UK and Republic of Ireland£508
Band A£613
Band B£528
Band C£421

How do I register?

Eligible candidates complete an expression of interest form and will receive an email between 1 pm and 5 pm (UK time) on the day the booking application window opens with instructions on how to complete the exam booking process. The booking application window closes after approximately 6 weeks and the results are released a month later.

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Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

How can I prepare for MRCOG Part 2?

The pass rates for MRCOG Part 2 are low in comparison to other exams and you should not book this exam unless you are able to commit to revision and preparation for a substantial amount of time. To pass this exam, your level of knowledge will need to be at its peak and preparation should enable you to acquire enough general O&G knowledge to last through your career.

You will be familiar with the question format for SBAs from MRCOG Part 1 but EMQs will be new to you and offer more options to choose from. A deep understanding of the knowledge is important, so you have confidence in your choices. We have compiled a list of the best resources from former candidates, online forums and revision material.

Curriculum preparation

Part 2 MRCOG is an exam which assesses basic clinical knowledge and its application at a level of UK trainee in obstetrics & gynaecology as defined in the RCOG curriculum. Unlike parts 1 and 3, MRCOG Part 2 tests a wide variety of Capabilities in Practice (CiP) over the same 15 knowledge areas. The curriculum and knowledge requirements that underpin the knowledge are contained in the MRCOG Syllabus Curriculum 2019 document.

  • CiP 2: The doctor is able to successfully work within health organisations
  • CiP 9: The doctor is competent in recognising, assessing and managing emergencies in gynaecology and early pregnancy
  • CiP 10: The doctor is competent in recognising, assessing and managing emergencies in obstetrics
  • CiP 11: The doctor is competent in recognising, assessing and managing non-emergency gynaecology and early pregnancy care
  • CiP 12: The doctor is competent in recognising, assessing and managing non-emergency obstetrics care

It is beneficial to understand the domains tested in the paper and the percentage that each of these domains appears.

Diagnosis: This incorporates important differential diagnoses and the features of conditions presenting to Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Investigations: This incorporates investigations used for diagnosis, monitoring and prognosis

Management: This incorporates medical, surgical and non-medical management and the importance of clinical and non-clinical practitioners

Epidemiology: This includes the incidence, progression, and natural history of conditions as well as prognosis, efficacy and patient-centred approaches

The tests use both SBAs and EMQs. The SBA questions and EMQ question topics can overlap. However, SBAs are particularly useful in the assessment of aetiology, natural history and epidemiology and statistics while EMQs are particularly useful in the assessment of diagnosis, investigations and management.


Of all of the membership exams we have researched, Part 2 MRCOG has the longest recommended preparation time. Consistent advice suggests allowing 9-12 months otherwise it becomes almost impossible to cover the depth and breadth of the syllabus.

In the first month, you should get an idea of your starting knowledge through some mock SBA exams. You will need to identify your preparation material. The next few months will be mapping the entire curriculum, identifying your strengths and weaknesses and creating your study plan to maintain your strengths and improve your weaknesses. The bulk of your preparation time will be learning and consolidating your learning. Have a dedicated book to enter all your new learning, add to it, and revisit it. Find a study partner who is sitting on the same diet as you and teach your learnings to one another.

Your final months will focus on revision and practice only. You won’t be reading any new material but revising everything you’ve learned over the last 6-9 months. This could be revisiting your own notes, SBA and EMQ question banks and previous papers. Questions are sometimes repeated so the more questions you can get through the better. Some former candidates completed around 1500 questions.

Most UK specialist trainees will enter for MRCOG in their ST4 year, after completing their first year as a registrar at ST3. It is a requirement of the RCOG training matrix to have completed Part 2 and Part 3 of MRCOG by the end of ST5 and trainees will be unable to start ST6 or ATSMs without their exam.

RCOG membership

There is no single textbook for the MRCOG Part 2 and book-based learning is not enough for this exam. Questions will be based on the latest evidence as described in the most recent guidelines. With an RCOG membership, you’ll be able to access unique O&G publications with the very latest field research, book training courses and find expert support for your career development.

For trainees appointed to a type 1 StR post in the UK, it’s mandatory to subscribe to the Trainees’ Register. Annual renewal of the subscription fees is mandatory until you’ve passed the Part 3 MRCOG, at which point you’ll be eligible for the full membership benefits.

For trainees appointed to FTSTA posts (fixed-term speciality training appointments), subscribing to the Trainees’ Register is highly recommended but not mandatory.

International trainees and international exam candidates are not eligible to join the Trainees’ Register, but it is strongly recommended that you become an RCOG Associate. With an RCOG membership, you get a 20% discount on all Cambridge University Press Academic books. Cambridge University Press to develop new resources for the College. All members can browse the 30,000+ titles available.

Green-top Guidelines

Green-top Guidelines are a practical resource for all exam candidates. The Part 2 MRCOG Committee, which is responsible for setting the exam questions, uses the Green-top Guidelines as a reference point when writing the papers, so revising the guidelines will help you understand what the exam questions require of you.

Review the Green-top Guidelines

NICE guidelines

The NICE guidelines tend to be vast and time-consuming but deal with many practical aspects that you will not find elsewhere. Some topics are essential for Part 2 MRCOG and cannot be avoided. The guidelines include flow charts and tablets which you will need to use in SBA and EMQ when you are asked about the next plan or management in a scenario. You will need to keep yourself updated with new versions, changes and new topics which come up.

Review the NICE guidelines which have been published, in consultation and development


RCOG eLearning (previously StratOG) contains 97 core knowledge e-tutorials to help you gain the knowledge you need for the Part 2 MRCOG exam. Registered Trainees receive free access to RCOG eLearning core tutorials as part of their Trainees’ Register fee. It is a practical idea to allocate enough time in your revision to study the core knowledge e-tutorials. This exam is known for being difficult so understanding the knowledge and guidelines behind the syllabus rather than relying on question banks is imperative if you want to pass this exam on your first try.

Question Banks

Practice SBAs in both obstetrics and gynaecology to help you prepare for the Part 2 MRCOG. RCOG have created practice questions where answers and comments for each question are provided.

Top tips for revision

  • If you use books as your resources for revision you need to be cautious of when they were printed as the answers may have changed as new guidelines are coming in
  • A lot of statistics and percentages are in the exam which can be difficult to remember. Make a small notebook just for numbers- incidences, success rates, sensitivity etc.

At Pulse, we’re passionate about the quality of our people and proud of the services we provide. You can find more information about MRCOG Part 1, MRCOG Part 3 and AoT or for any other information or guidance, register today with Pulse. Our team are here to help doctors find great work opportunities in the UK.

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