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Book reviews

SBA and MTF MCQs for the Final FRCA

European Journal of Anaesthesiology: September 2013 - Volume 30 - Issue 9 - p 581
doi: 10.1097/EJA.0b013e3283633031
  • Free

J. Nickells, B. Walton and the Writers Group

Cambridge University Press, 2012

ISBN 978-1-107-62053-7

Recommended Retail Price £18.50

The Final FRCA is the set of exams which must be passed by UK trainee anaesthetists wishing to enter higher anaesthetic training. It consists of a written exam, success in which allows you to progress to the oral exam.

Since September 2010 the multiple choice questions (MCQ) component of the Final FRCA written examination has incorporated 30 single best answer (SBA) questions and 60 multiple true / false (MTF) questions. The new SBA questions are considered a more discerning test of knowledge and a more challenging style of question compared to traditional MTF questions. It is imperative therefore that if you are planning to purchase any MCQ revision books, at least one must include SBA questions.

SBA and MTF MCQs for the Final FRCA is one of just two books currently available that incorporate both types of questions. There are a total of 120 MTF and 60 SBA questions taken from across the curriculum. The questions are set in the style of two examination papers, with the questions and ranges of knowledge tested, similar to that of real examination. This is a major selling point of the book and allows the candidate to sit two realistic mock examinations.

This book is favorably laid out as paper 1, answers to paper 1 and explanations for the answers, followed by the same format for paper 2. Each explanation comes in abbreviated and detailed forms. The short form allows you to see at a glance why a question has been answered incorrectly, while the long form provides an excellent, brief and knowledgeable discussion of the question matter. Each explanation is also referenced for further in-depth reading if required.

The only drawback of this book is the limited number of questions. However the very competitive pricing offsets this. In addition the same authors have published a larger SBA-only book and there is an extensive on-line subscription resource.

In summary, this book is an excellent revision resource for the Final FRCA MCQ exam, which is good value. It should make a wise first purchase for any candidate building toward the Final FRCA examinations.

Greg Cook

Advance Trainee in Intensive Medicine

University Hospital of South Manchester


Manchester M23 9LT


E-mail: [email protected]

Malachy Columb

Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

University Hospital of South Manchester


Manchester M23 9LT


© 2013 European Society of Anaesthesiology