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Examination Content


The PS Examination (MCQ) is designed to evaluate the extent of the candidate's knowledge and clinical judgement in the areas in which a psychiatrist should demonstrate a high level of competence. Expertise in the broad domain of psychiatry and the diagnosis and treatment of common and rare conditions that have important consequences for patients will be assessed.

The examination content is consistent with a pre-established blueprint. The blueprint is developed through the collaboration between the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), the American Board of Medical Specialties, Singapore (ABMS-S), and the Singapore Ministry of Health, and was modified to ensure that the content and relative percentages reflect the practice of psychiatry in Singapore. The blueprint will be reviewed and revised annually to ensure that it is current.

The majority of questions are based on patient presentations occurring in settings that reflect current medical practice. Questions requiring simple recall of medical facts are in the minority; the majority of questions require integration of information from several sources, prioritisation of alternatives, and/or utilisation of clinical judgement in reaching a correct conclusion.

The examination covers two major domains: basic concepts in psychiatry (Part A), and neurology and neuroscience concepts that are necessary for the competent and safe practice of psychiatry (Part B). The passing standard will be based on the total score, which is the only criterion for passage. The standard is not norm-referenced; there is no predefined passing rate for any group of candidates. The passing standard will be determined by content experts using well-established, criterion-referenced psychometric methods.

The content areas covered and their relative proportions on the examination are as follows:

Table 1 : Examination Content for Psychiatry MCQ Examination

Part A: Basic Concepts in Psychiatry


I. Development through the life cycle


II. Behavioural and social sciences


III. Epidemiology and public policy


IV. Diagnostic procedures


V. Clinical aspects of psychiatric disorders


VI. Treatment of psychiatric disorders


VII. Special topics


Part B: Neurology and Neurosciences


I. Neural development through the life cycle


II. Basic neurosciences


III. Diagnostic procedures


IV. Clinical aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders


V. Treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders


VI. Diagnostic and clinical evaluation of neurologic disorders/syndromes


V. Management and treatment of neurologic disorders



The PS Examination (MCQ) has adapted its examination specifications and content to conform to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) classifications and diagnostic criteria.