ACEM Fellowship Examination

Trainees complete the Fellowship Exam during Advanced Training. The exam consists of a written component and a clinical component.

 

Eligibility & Application
Dates and Fees
Structure
Resources
ACEM Examination Bulletins
Image: clinical assessment

The Application Process

To apply for the Fellowship examination, you will need to complete and return the forms by the relevant application closing date. 

The application must reach the College by close of business on the closing date specified. An application must be made using the Application Form.

Unacceptable Applications

An application will NOT be accepted in the following circumstances:
  • If it is not received at the College by close of business on the specified closing date; or
  • If it is incomplete in any way (including hand signatures where indicated); or
  • If, at the application closing date for the examination in question, any outstanding fees of whatsoever nature have not been paid in full.

Eligibility Requirements (Written):

Candidates for the FEx (Written) must meet the following criteria:
  • They must be a registered and financial trainee of the College.
  • They must hold current registration to practice medicine in Australia or in New Zealand.
  • They must have progressed to Late Phase Advanced Training in the ACEM training program, having successfully completed the 'Early-Phase' WBA requirements, which includes completion of at least 12 months (of the 30 month minimum) of accredited ED time in Advanced Training (excluding any required remediation time).
Candidates must have met these eligibility criteria, as per official College records, by the relevant application closing date.
 

Eligibility Requirements (Clinical):

Candidates for the FEx (Clinical) must meet all of the following criteria:
  • They must be a registered and financial trainee of the College.
  • They must hold current registration to practice medicine in Australia or in New Zealand.
  • They must have completed at least 36 months of the 48 months of accredited Advanced Training time prior to the relevant examination application closing date (not including any required remediation time).
  • They must have satisfied the trainee research requirement.
  • They must have successfully completed the FEx (Written).
Candidates must met these eligibility criteria, as per official College records, by the relevant application closing date.
 

Withdrawal / Termination of candidature

Notification of withdrawal from an examination must be made to the College in writing using the withdrawal form below. Provided that written notice of withdrawal is received prior to the application closing date as specified on the application form, a refund of the examination fee may be requested. To withdraw from the Fellowship Exam, please complete the Withdrawal Form.

Late withdrawal

A candidate who withdraws from the examination after the application closing date, or who fails to present for any part of the examination, is not entitled to a refund of the examination fee.

If you would like more information about the ACEM Fellowship Examination contact the Assessment Team at Fellowship.Exam@acem.org.au

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Examination Applications Open Application Closing
Date and Withdrawal
Deadline
Examination
Date

 
Examination 
Location
Examination
Fee (AUD)
FEx
(Written)
2017.1
25 Nov 2016 20 Jan 2017 24 Feb 2017 All regions $1850
FEx
(Clinical)
2017.1A
27 Feb 2017 7 April 2017 15-20 May 2017*
 
Melbourne $2655
FEx
(Clinical)
2017.1B
27 Feb 2017 7 April 2017

17-22 Jul 2017*

3 day:18-20
6 day:17-22 
 

Melbourne $2655
FEx
(Written)
2017.2
29 May 2017 7 July 2017 18 Aug 2017 All regions $1850
FEx
(Clinical)
2017.2
21 Aug 2017 2 Oct 2017 30 Oct - 4 Nov 2017* Melbourne $2655

*Please note clinical examination dates are subject to change within these dates dependent on candidate numbers.
 

The written and clinical components of the Fellowship Exam (FEx) are designed as separate, stand-alone assessments. The FEx tests knowledge at the level expected of a junior consultant. These two assessments are summarised in the table below:

 
Fellowship Examination Component Exam format Total testing time Number of items
Written Select Choice Questions:
  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Extended Matching Questions (EMQs)
180 minutes Up to 120 questions
Short Answer Questions (SAQs) 180 minutes Up to 30 questions
Clinical Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) 180 minutes Up to 16 stations


Fellowship Examination (FEx) - Written


The FEx (Written) comprises two papers:

1. Select Choice Question (SCQ) Paper
  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) - MCQs are comprised of a clinical scenario (in the case of integrated questions), a stem (short lead-in question or phrase), and four options from which the single best answer is selected.
  • Extended Matching Questions (EMQs) - Each set of EMQs comprises a theme (e.g. a particular presentation, investigation, diagnosis, or treatment); a list of possible options (i.e. options related to the theme), and a number of stems requiring a response chosen from the list.  
The proportion of MCQs to EMQs in each paper is not fixed. The select-choice question component of the written exam will be undertaken online.

2. Short Answer Question (SAQ) Paper

The SAQ paper comprises up to 30 structured questions. Each question contains several sub-questions, which require concise, short answer responses. Some may involve completion of a table with words, phrases or numbers. Candidates should only include the most relevant/highest priority responses in their answer. There will be a maximum of 360 marks for the paper.
 
The written examination will be held on a single day and comprises 2 x 180 minute papers with a break in between. There is no designated reading time for either part of the Fellowship Exam (written).

Example Fellowship Exam (written) questions are available in the Resource tab. 
 

Fellowship Examination (FEx) Clinical

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
The OSCE consists of a set of clinical examination stations. These may include standardised patients, observation stations, clinical scenarios, communication scenarios and simulations of management of critically ill patients.

Most stations will be of ten minutes' duration, which includes reading time. Where appropriate, there may be ‘double length’ stations allowing assessment of more complex competencies such as a simulated resuscitation station or sequential management aspects of the same clinical scenario. The administration of the test may include rest stations, depending on the number of candidates.

There will be either one or two examiners in each station, to mark and observe, appropriate to the case. There may also be actors, simulated patients, nurses and other role-players present, as necessary. 

The format of the OSCEs involves candidates moving sequentially from one station to another in a timed fashion.

Video and written examples of OSCE stations are available in the Resources tab.
 

Standard Setting of ACEM Examinations

Standard setting is the process used to determine a passing score for an examination that requires a pass/fail decision. High stakes examinations, such as those conducted at the AMC and specialist medical colleges including ACEM, use a method known as criterion-referenced standard setting. This method involves setting the passing score to an absolute standard that denotes the required/acceptable level of competence or performance that needs to be demonstrated in order to pass a particular question or station, and then ultimately the examination, when all questions or stations are combined. 


Fellowship Examination Written Standard Setting 

The examination passing score for each written examination is set using formal standard setting processes by a panel of FACEMs. This is to ensure the passing score reflects any small variations of difficulty between different questions in each SCQ/SAQ paper.

For the Fellowship Written examination, ACEM has selected the modified Angoff method as the standard setting method. In this method, a panel of FACEMs make independent judgements of the expected performance of a ‘just at standard’ candidate for each question. These judgements are then combined to calculate a passing score for each paper.

Candidates are required to ‘pass’ both the SCQ and SAQ paper, as determined by this standard setting process, to pass the examination.
 

Fellowship Examination Clinical Standard Setting 

The passing score for the OSCE is determined after the examination, by the borderline regression method, which uses the domain and global scores awarded to all candidates by the examiners, in the calculation. This results in a single passing score for the examination as a whole. Candidates are not required to pass a certain number of stations to pass the examination.
 

Candidate Feedback

Examination questions are not published, however, a detailed examination report is released after each examination and is made available on the website to all trainees and FACEMs. This report should be used when revising for the examination and in study groups with other trainees and sessions with DEMTs in preparation for the examination. Candidates who are unsuccessful in the examination will receive an individual report on their performance.


Contact the Assessment Team at: Fellowship.Exam@acem.org.au  

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Resources to Help You Prepare

In addition to the above resources, the following links will redirect you to other pages on the ACEM website:

FEx (Written) Example Questions:

  • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Extended Matching Questions (EMQs)
  • Short Answer Questions (SAQs

OSCE Example Videos:

ACEM Assessors and trainees can watch the three videos below to prepare for the FEx (Clinical) format from 2015. Two example OSCE scenarios are provided – ECG and Acute Asthma Management –and you can use these to familiarise yourself with ACEM OSCEs.

How to review each video scenario
1.       Read 'Instructions given to the candidate'
2.       Watch video example
3.       Read 'Examiner assessment criteria'
4.       Compare your ratings with your colleagues.

OSCE SCENARIO – ECG
For this scenario examples of two levels of performance are provided for the same OSCE.

OSCE Example 1 – ECG SCENARIO
This is the first example of an ECG scenario. In the 'instructions to candidates' you will find more information about this scenario including the clinical context. Read the instructions, watch the video, and compare your ratings with your colleagues. 

1. Instructions to candidate (PDF)
2. ECG Video example 1 

3. Examiner Assessment Criteria (PDF)
4. How did your colleagues rate this scenario? What feedback did they provide the candidate?


OSCE Example 2 – ECG SCENARIO
This is the second example of an ECG scenario showing a different performance to Example 1. In the “instructions to candidates” you can view the information about this scenario given to the candidate, including the clinical context. Read the instructions, watch the video, and compare your ratings with your colleagues. 

1. Instructions to candidate (PDF)
2. ECG Video example 2

3. Examiner Assessment Criteria (PDF)
4. How did your colleagues rate this scenario? What feedback did they provide the candidate?

OSCE – ASTHMA MANAGEMENT SCENARIO
This scenario is about asthma management. In the “instructions to candidates” you can see the information about this scenario given to the candidate, including the clinical context. Read the instructions, watch the video, and compare your ratings with your colleagues. 

1. Instructions to candidate (PDF)
2. Asthma Management Video
 

3. Examiner Assessment Criteria (PDF)
4. How did your colleagues rate this scenario? What feedback did they provide the candidate?

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ACEM Examination Bulletins

ACEM Exam Bulletin - Feb 2017
ACEM Exam Bulletin - Aug 2016
ACEM Exam Bulletin - May 2016

Change to the number of exam attempts

Commencing from the beginning of the 2018 training year, the number of attempts at each examination required to be passed as part of the ACEM Specialist Training Program will be limited to three (3).

 

That is, as a trainee, you will have a maximum of three attempts at each examination:

  • the Primary Written Examination
  • the Primary Viva Examination
  • the Fellowship Written Examination
  • the Fellowship Clinical Examination (OSCE). 

This means that if you don't pass an examination within the three attempts available, you will be recommended for removal from the training program. 

 

Attempts made at any of the four examinations that have not resulted in the examination in question being passed prior to the 2018 training year will not count towards the allowed three attempts. 

Please note that the current training time limits still apply. Provisional training must be completed within five (5) years and all training requirements must be completed within 12 years from the time of registration as a trainee.