The FCPS-I exam, in all the specialties tests knowledge in the basic sciences. It consists of 2 papers, each of 3 hrs. duration which take place same day simultaneously. The exam focuses on those sections of basic sciences that are relevant to its specialty. For example the FCPS-I exam for Gynecology and Obstetrics will focus more on the Pelvis and Perineum in its questions of gross anatomy while the FCPS-I exam for ENT will focus on Head and Neck in its anatomy questions. Similarly, the FCPS-I contains questions from the other basic sciences (besides anatomy) that are relevant to its own field besides containing general questions relevant to all specialties.
There is no negative marking in this exam of 100 questions - however the pass rate is low, ranging from 8-30%. This is because the passing margin is set quite high at approximately 80%, which means a candidate cannot afford to get more than 15-20 questions wrong.
Specialty Related subject: Although clinical sciences are not included in the FCPS-I exam, reading a specialty related book would help integrate the relevant basic sciences information. For example, reading an ENT book for FCPS-I ENT exam would most definitely be of some benefit.
The FCPS-I exam is held 3 times a year in written (conventional method) and 6 times Computer based testing (online examination system) . The dates for the exams are not the same every year, but approximately in the time-periods mentioned below.
In order to take the FCPS exam, the application form must reach CPSP two months before the exam date itself. So if a candidate wants to give the exam in February/March, the exam application must be in the CPSP offices in November / December. With the application form candidate must submit his House Job Experience Certificate and PMDC full registration. Those who have not finished theirs house job and do not have elevated their provisional registration to a full registration are not eligible to sit in the examination, so you may lose a chance to avail FCPS Part I attempt, if your house job session is delayed.
This means that the candidate cannot appear in the February/March FCPS-I exam and he has to wait for 5 months till the June/July attempt. CPSP has made another provision that if you have passed your FCPS in later time and you were working in a teaching hospital in a capacity of a PG student, that training will be counted towards your FCPS requirement up to maximum of one year, provided you are working under Registered CPSP Supervisor.
It is suggested that to save time, candidates must plan their FCPS part I according to their house job completion & eligibility to appear in the exam, and they must apply for some PG / MO post under CPSP supervisor, so that the time before the examination is utilized in the best possible way.