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Hellooo Friend!

Hema Here!

Give me bigggggggg Hi 5!

Hope you are preparing well for your CSA.

Please take some rest in between and enjoy life with your near and dear ones!

Here I am sharing the information you need to pass your CSA written by londongp training.



Guide to CSA Exam format


For 3 hours

Only 13 consultations with 2 minute breaks in between

One 15 minute break half way through.


Consultations may be surgery, telephone or home visit

Candidates sit in their own consultation room unless home visit

Patients and examiners come to you

All patients are trained role players

Some consultations involve parents consulting about their babies/Children.


All 13 case histories are in a folder on your desk at the beginning

Notes made on patient histories will not be marked.

Physical examinations

Some physical examinations may be required

More invasive/ time consuming examination results will be offered on request.


Blank prescriptions are supplied – they will be marked if written.

You may also tell the examiner/ patient what you would prescribe. This will

also count towards your mark.

Equipment and ID required

You need to remember your own equipment:

– Stethoscope

– Peak flow meter and mouth pieces

– Ophthalmoscope

– Auroscope

– Patella hammer

– Tape measure


– ID required:

– 2 pieces of ID

– 1 piece must have photograph and signature

– Bring marriage certificates if appropriate

 Equipment provided

Some information is provided such as:

– growth charts

– obstetrics wheels.

Essential information can be found attached below about what to bring,

directions to site, question formats, marking systems etc.

Please also check the RCGP site for exam updates before applying.


NLA Tower, Croydon, CR9 6DS   Map



At least 3-4 times per year – currently 5 times per year:






How to apply

Please note that you need to apply 2 months before the exam date.

You can use this link: CSA application



ST3 candidates

At least 6 months’ experience in general practice. 


How to study

See lots of patients – CSA cases are based on real GP cases

Use COTs (videos) and consider performance against performance criteria

Have shared surgeries with your trainer

Form a study group and role play cases

Assess your own clinical outcomes


Common physical examinations


In an exam situation, only certain physical examinations can be feasibly tested;

Be familiar with these and become slick at performing them.

For the main systems, the emphasis is on targeted, relevant examinations.


MSKShoulder, elbow, wrist, hands, back, neck, knees, ankles, feet.


ENT: Ears (demonstrate correct technique), throat


EyesPupils, fundoscopy (demonstrate correct technique), fields, acuity


CNSTargeted aspects eg. Cerebellum, facial movements, Rinne’s and Weber’s tests


PNS: Tests for radial, ulnar, median nerve lesions. May need to demonstrate reflexes


CVSAssess for cardiac failure/ fluid status, BP, pulses




Most other examinations cannot easily be performed without taking the patient to the examination couch.

This may be expected in the exam but usually a sheet of paper with exam results will be given if a candidate explains which examinations they would like to do.

Be specific in telling the patient which examinations you would do and why.

You need to be sure the examiner knows what you are thinking.


Interpretation of results

Become familiar with common results:

– Blood tests

– Radiology



Common examination findings eg: tinnel’s test positive/ straight leg raise 30 degrees etc.

– Dexa results


Technique tips:

Concentrate on the patient

Watch the time.

Split the consultation into data gathering then management to ensure enough time for both.

Summarize after data gathering.

Always develop a management plan

Try to share development of plan with the patient

Explain to the patient why you have chosen your management plan

Clarify the plan so the examiner knows the patient has understood


Make sure the examiner knows why you are doing examinations/ tests.

If you really don’t know – you can tell the patient you will refer to a source for advice/ clarification but don’t just say you have to ask your trainer.

Do what is correct and what you would normally do.

Remember that role players will often give cues more clearly than real patients.

Be alert to these.

Check you have read all the patient information – there may be 2 pages

Do not insist if a patient declines an examination.



There are now many books to help you revise for the CSA including:

More books and courses will be reviewed soon but always check the RCGP website for pilots/ CSA taster courses which are inexpensive ways to experience as closely as possible what the exam will be like, as well as travelling to the NLA tower.


Hope you find this article useful.

To Your Success,

Hema xoxo.



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