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
Results
Resources
ACEM Examination Bulletins
Image: clinical assessment

The Application Process

Applications for the 2018.1 Fellowship Written Examination are now closed.

Application for the 2018.1 OSCE open on Monday 19 February 2018 and will be via electronic submission only

College Regulations state that the College has complete discretion in determining these matters and  the decision of the College shall be final and binding and shall not be reviewable or subject to appeal.
 

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 FACEM training program.
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 [email protected]

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Fellowship Exam – 2018 Dates
Examination Applications open Application closing date and withdrawal deadline Eligibility deadline Examination date Examination location Examination fee (AUD)
FE2018.1 Written 1 December 2017 19 January 2018 19 January 2018 23 February 2018 Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney $2442
FE2018.1 OSCE 19 February 2018 19 March 2018 19 March 2018 14 – 19 May 2018 Melbourne
 
 
$3452
FE2018.2 Written 1 June 2018 29 June 2018 29 June 2018 3 August 2018 Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney TBC
FE2018.2 OSCE 20 August 2018 17 September 2018 17 September 2018 29 October – 3 November 2018 Melbourne
 
 
TBC
 
Fellowship Exam – 2019 Dates
Examination Applications open Application closing date and withdrawal deadline Eligibility deadline Examination date Examination location Examination fee (AUD)
FE2019.1 OSCE 3 December 2018 18 January 2019 4 February 2019 11 – 16 March 2019 Melbourne
 
 
TBC
FE2019.1 Written 25 February 2019 22 March 2019 22 March 2019 17 May 2019 Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney TBC
FE2019.2 OSCE 17 June 2019 12 July 2019 5 August 2019 9 – 14 September 2019 Melbourne
 
 
TBC
FE2019.2 Written 26 August 2019 20 September 2019 20 September 2019 15 November 2019 Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney TBC

* From 2019 the application closing date for the OSCE examination may differ from the ‘Eligibility deadline’ date when trainees must have met all of the eligibility criteria. This is to allow trainees who are close to completing their 36 months of Advanced Training time to be accredited for the final time check prior to the exam.
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) 132 minutes 12 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 twelve clinical examination stations. These may include observation stations, clinical scenarios, communication scenarios, standardised case based discussions and simulations of the management of critically ill patients.
 
The format of the examination involves candidates moving sequentially from one station to another in a timed fashion.

Stations are of 11 minutes' duration, which includes reading time. The administration of the examination may include rest stations, depending on the number of candidates.

There will normally be two examiners in each station. There may also be actors, standardised/simulated patients, nurses and other role-players present, as necessary. 

Further details about the OSCE are given in ‘Information about the Clinical Examination’ available from the Resources tab.

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: [email protected]  

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Exam results have been moved

To ensure privacy for all candidates sitting ACEM Examinations, your results are now provided directly via the ACEM Member Portal.

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 - December 2017
ACEM Exam Bulletin - August 2017
ACEM Exam Bulletin - April 2017
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.