The Nitty Gritty of the AMC CAT MCQ Exam

The Nitty Gritty of the AMC CAT MCQ Exam

One of the biggest hurdles for any IMG doctor who wants to move to Australia and practise medicine here is the Australian Medical Council (AMC) Exams. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the AMC CAT MCQ Exam.

What is the AMC CAT MCQ Exam?
The AMC Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT) Multiple-Choice Question (MCQ) Exam is sometimes called AMC Part 1. It’s the first of two exams administered by the AMC to assess whether an IMG doctor has the knowledge and skills to safely practise medicine in Australia to the standard expected of newly qualified Australian medical graduates who are about to start their internships.  

How is it structured?
This 3.5-hour computer-administered exam consists of 150 A-type multiple-choice questions. 130 of the questions are assessed and the remaining 20 questions are pilot (unassessed) questions. The computer will select the difficulty of the next question based on whether your answer to the current question was correct. For example, if I answer Question A correctly, then Question B will be more difficult but if I answer Question B incorrectly, then Question C will be easier.

What will the questions be about?
The clinician tasks are divided between data gathering (up to 23.5% of scored items), data interpretation and synthesis (up to 29% of scored items), and management (up to 35% of scored items). These questions will comprise of the following patient groups:

  • Adult health – medicine (30% of scored items)
  • Adult health – surgery (20% of scored items)
  • Women’s health (12.5% of scored items)
  • Children’s health (12.5% of scored items)
  • Mental health (12.5% of scored items)
  • Population health and ethics (12.5% of scored items)

How will I be scored?
You will receive an Ability Score out of 500 based on how difficult the questions were and how many you answered correctly. For example, A and B both answered 100 questions correctly however the questions B answered were more difficult than the ones that A answered, so B has a higher Ability Score than A.

To pass, you need an Ability Score of 250/500.

What can I do once I pass it?
Once you've passed AMC Part 1, you will be eligible for Limited Registration with the Medical Board of Australia and can practise medicine under the supervision of a specialist General Practitioner in an accredited Australian training practice.

For more information on the AMC CAT MCQ Exam, check out the Examination Specifications Booklet published by the AMC!