MRCP 1 – Study Group

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The MRCP 1 exam has a very low pass rate, especially for international medical graduates (38%, according to the most recent Royal College of Physicians exam report). The MRCP 1 Study Group is a form of Peer Learning, to help MRCP 1 candidates improve their chances of passing the exam. There is research evidence that shows Peer Learning has a higher success rate in exams than studying on your own.

What is Peer Learning?

Peer learning is an education method that helps students solidify their knowledge by teaching each other. One student tutoring another in a supervised environment can result in better learning and retention. Why? Because to teach another, one must first fully understand a concept themselves. Verbalizing a concept and sharing the information with a peer serves to reinforce the knowledge gained.

There are many forms of Peer Learning. ‘Peer Support Groups‘: sometimes referred to as private study groups, peer support groups are student-led gatherings that are generally held outside of class without teacher support. Peers might meet up to study for a test together (as in the case of MRCP 1) or complete a group project.

Peer learning is an effective way to facilitate deep learning. It also lends itself to many different approaches. The power of a classroom where students come together is that of collaborative learning. Teachers who implement peer learning strategies in their classroom may see higher levels of student performance, satisfaction, and overall engagement. This is what the MRCP 1 Study Group is intended for.

Why is Peer Learning Important?

Better Feedback: Often, students are not able to recognize the gaps in their own knowledge. But when they learn with their peers, they can see new processes for answering questions and come up with creative, collaborative solutions. Importantly, they will carry these new perspectives, as well as a willingness to seek and accept feedback, with them as they progress in their education.

Teaching Others Helps Students Learn: Nothing requires you to feel confident in your own knowledge quite like teaching what you know to someone else. As mentioned, peer learning can help students learn and solidify their own knowledge. Effective teaching requires a deeper level of knowledge on a subject.

New Perspectives for Students: If a student learns exclusively from the teacher, they may only gain one new perspective. Learning from their peers can add numerous helpful perspectives, nuances, and layers to a student’s knowledge. 

Social Interaction Makes Studying Fun: By nature, humans are social beings. We long to make connections and be part of a group. The added element of social interaction in peer learning can be exciting and enriching. Students who may be hesitant to interact with the teacher may be more willing to open up to their peers.

How can we help?

While there are many benefits to peer learning, there are also some drawbacks, including distraction and lack of respect for feedback.

Working in Groups Can Be Distracting: Learning from your peers can be exciting. However, especially for younger students, that excitement can lead to distraction. When working with their friends, some students can easily get off track, misbehave, and focus on anything but learning.

Students Might Not Respect the Feedback of Their Peers: If a teacher gives feedback, the student is more likely to listen carefully. After all, the teacher is the authority in the classroom and the resident expert on the subject being taught. On the other hand, if one’s peer gives them feedback, it’s easier to disregard it.


We facilitate the MRCP 1 Study Group, so that the doctors who are serious about their exam can study together and improve their chances of passing, without risk to personal safety (i.e. no need to share personal information with other students). Time is used efficiently, without distractions, and mutual respect is fostered (misconduct is not tolerated – such participants are removed from the MRCP 1 Study Group).

What happens during MRCP 1 Study Group sessions?

Participants take turns to bring MCQs to the group, practice them together and if anyone in the group gets it wrong then those who got it right try to explain their answer. This not only helps the person who got the question wrong to understand why they got it wrong, but also helps the person who got it right because they reinforce their learning and have to deepen their own understanding in order to explain the answer to their peers.

Those who do not have access to a question bank may give a tutorial on the subject or topic of the day. Again, this not only helps the person who is weak in their knowledge, but also helps the person who is doing the tutorial because they have to study the subject material thoroughly in order to give a tutorial to their peers.

CHE follows a structured exam preparation timetable, so that all subjects are covered before the real exam. The Study Group sessions are available via our online e-learning platform.

When are the Study Group sessions?

Every day (Monday to Friday) at the following times:

  • Study Group 1 = 15:00 – 16:00 (GMT)
  • Study Group 2 = 16:00 – 17:00 (GMT)
  • Study Group 3 = 17:00 – 18:00 (GMT)
  • Study Group 4 = 18:00 – 19:00 (GMT)


No charge – participation in the Study Group is COMPLETELY FREE

Please note: there will be a cap on the maximum number of candidates allowed per session, to preserve the quality of the learning experience.

How to register

To access the e-learning platform, you need to be a registered user. Registration is FREE but mandatory.
Please click the ‘Book This Course’ button at the top of this web page.

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