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FRCR 2B Rapid reporting (‘rapids’)

30 plain radiographs in 35 minutes

It sounds tough and it is!

Passing this component requires a lot of practice and a systematic approach to radiograph interpretation.  The idea is that this reflects a normal day to day A&E or GP reporting session.  Cases are a mixture of facial, chest, abdominal, pelvic, spinal and limb radiographs (including OPG and other more specialised views).  Roughly half of cases are normal and half are abnormal, however the ratio of normal to abnormal varies between sittings.  There is one mark per image, so a maximum of 30 marks.

What is the scoring system?

The rapid reporting component of the exam is marked out of 8.  Scores from the two viva components, long cases and rapids are combined to give a total score out of 32.  The overall pass mark is 24 and candidates must obtain a mark of 6 or above in a minimum of two components to pass.


Marks are allocated as follows depending on the type of image:

Image typeCandidate responseMark
Normal imageCorrectly classified+2
 Incorrectly classified (appropriate false positive)+1
 No answer given0
Abnormal imageCorrectly classified and correctly identified+2
 Correctly classified but incorrectly identified0
 Incorrectly classified (false negative)0
 No answer given0

(Source: Final Examination for the Fellowship in Clinical Radiology (Part B) Scoring System. Published by: The Royal College of Radiologists)


Following the marking each candidate will have a score between 0-60.  An overall rapid reporting mark (out of 8) is then awarded using the table below:

Total marksOverall mark

(Source: Final Examination for the Fellowship in Clinical Radiology (Part B) Scoring System. Published by: The Royal College of Radiologists)

Top tips for the 2B rapid reporting

  1. Report the films as you would in day-to-day practice

    • The exam is an odd situation where you will be reporting radiographs without clinical details.  This makes things more difficult and can easily lead to overcalling.  If it looks ‘a bit funny’, but not a definite fracture or abnormality, don’t call it!  If you’re not sure, don’t call it.  Common anatomical variants should be reported as ‘normal’.  Minor age-related changes are ‘normal’.  The exam is designed that if you spot the fracture or abnormality, it will be definite.  Remember the ‘Gerald de Lacey approach’ (if you have not heard of this, we strongly advise that you attend at least one of the FRCR 2B rapid reporting courses at Northwick Park).
  2. Develop ‘review areas’ for each body part

    • It is important to have a systematic approach to reviewing radiographs and by the time you attempt the ‘Rapids’ you should have developed a mental list of ‘review areas’ for each body part.  This is absolutely essential if you want to pass this exam.  Radiology Cafe has produced a list of review areas for you to download, print and practise with, which you can find here:
    • Radiology Cafe Rapids Checklist.pdf

      Radiology Cafe Rapids Checklist.pdf  

      Download this PDF document by clicking the file name or the PDF icon


  3. Practise, practise, practise

    • The more radiographs you look at, the better you will become.  We recommend doing lots of mock exams (i.e. sets of 30 radiographs with roughly half abnormal).  Often these are referred to as ‘packets’ or ‘sets’.  Ask consultants in your department for old ‘packets’ and mock exams.  There are also some excellent websites with mock rapid reporting exams available online.  Radiology Cafe has produced a Rapid Reporting Blank Answer Sheet for you to download, print and use when practising rapids, which you can find here:
    • Rapid Reporting Blank Answer Sheet.pdf

      Rapid Reporting Blank Answer Sheet.pdf  

      Download this PDF document by clicking the file name or the PDF icon


  4. Practice on the RCR examination demo site

    • The RCR have developed their own software for the examination and you should practise using this software on their demo website prior to the exam.  You will require a PIN number to access the rapid reporting examination demo.  Unlike in previous exams, you will NOT have the opportunity to practice immediately prior to the start of the examination at venues, so practising on this demonstration site is essential to help you become familiar with the exam format!  Here are the links:
    • RCR exam demonstration site
    • Rapid reporting exam PIN access number
  5. Do not give a differential diagnosis

    • Simply give the correct answer ;)
  6. Just one abnormality per radiograph

    • It is generally accepted that each abnormal radiograph will show only one significant diagnosable abnormality.
  7. Use our up-to-date list of all UK FRCR 2B courses, recommended books and online resources

  8. Watch this short instructional video from the RCR

    • This short instructional video from the Royal College of Radiologists demonstrates how to select, view and move through examination cases in the rapid reporting exam using the image viewing software.  Alternative link to the short instructional video.

What are the best online resources?

   Online mock exams

   Other resources

The rapid reporting component is one of three parts of the Final FRCR (Part B) exam.  Information on the two other components can be found below:


If you have anything you would like to add to this page or know of any useful tips/resources for future exam candidates, then please contact us and we will consider adding to this page!