Membership CAI MCQ

The Membership of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (MCAI) MCQ is an internationally recognised high stakes assessment of anaesthetists in training knowledge. The MCAI MCQ is a national test of knowledge as laid out in the MCAI syllabus agreed with the Medical Council of Ireland. The examination is embedded in the curriculum and anaesthetists in training may not progress to the OSCE/SOE components of the MCAI without success in this examination.

Key Dates


Trial Exam Dates Exam Times Exam application closing date
2 June 2021 Trial Membership CAI MTF 09:00 – 10:00 03 May 2021
2 June 2021 Trial Membership CAI SBA 11:00 – 12:00 03 May 2021
1 September 2021 Trial Membership CAI MTF 09:00 – 10:00 30 July 2021
1 September 2021 Trial Membership CAI SBA 11:00 – 12:00 30 July 2021

Autumn examinations will proceed as per timetable below.

Application Opening Date Application Closing Date Exam Date Venue
20 Nov 2020 17 Dec 2020 20 Jan 2021 Online
9 Apr 2021 3 May 2021 9 Jun 2021 Online
29 June 2021 30 Jul 2021 08 Sep 2021 Online

Apply for Examination

Step 1:

Check if you are eligible to sit exam. You must be a registered medical practitioner, with a primary medical qualification acceptable to the Irish Medical Council, and have been employed as an anaesthetist for 6 months, prior to exam date.  Please read the full Examinations Regulations.(pdf)

Step 2:

Download reference template for your Head of Department to sign.

Step 3:

Apply online from 9 April 2021

Prepare for Examination

Reading Materials Here we have compiled a number of resources trainees have found useful for the MCAI. We hope this helps a little with your initial preparation for exams:

  • Principles of Physiology for the Anaesthetist. Peter Kam and Ian Power. CRC Press
  • Physics in Anaesthesia’. Ben Middleton.  Scion Publishing.  **Strongly recommended**
  • Pharmacology for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care – Peck, Hill **Essential**
  • Basic Physics and Measurement – Kenny
  • Essentials of Anaesthetic Equipment – Al-Shaikh **Essential**
  • Respiratory Physiology – West
  • Dr Podcast Scripts for the Primary FRCA – Leslie, Johnson
  • Q Base Anaesthesia Series – for MCQs

Websites Question Banks

Examinations Contact:  Mark O’Rourke,

FAQ’s / Application Process

1.Your bank card details 2.Your digital passport-sized photo (jpg) 3. A signed Head of Department Declaration (pdf)

If you are applying for your first exam with the college you can put the number Zero in the college ID field when applying, if you are approved onto the exam the college will send you an ID. If you have already been assigned an ID, please use this to apply for the exam.

If you cannot have your head of department sign the letter please make sure your college tutor or your Human Resources department can verify that you have been employed as an anaesthetist for 6 months. The letter will also need to be officially stamped by your department.

If you’re applying from Ireland you must be registered with the Irish Medical Council. Candidates applying from outside Ireland must submit their own national medical council registration number.

No. You must be registered with the Irish Medical Council to work in Ireland. The CAI cannot help with this process. The IMC can be contacted at

You do not need to be in a training post. You must be employed as an anaesthetist for 6 months prior to your exam application.