RANZCR anatomy paper 1

The RANZCR anatomy paper 1 is part of the first part RANZCR examinations.

The RANZCR website contains up to date information on the format of the exam here.


This exam is in a "write short notes" style and consists of 15 questions of equal weighting. The exam length is 120 minutes (with 5 minutes perusal) and is held twice a year .

Since September 2013 the exams have taken an electronic format with the answers typed instead of hand-written as in previous years.


For most exam takers, this paper has typically been the most time-constrained of the four. There are only 8 minutes per question if the time is allocated evenly. A common technique is to limit each answer to 6 or 7 minutes; this leaves 30 or 15 minutes respectively for review at the end of the examination.

Sub-headings can be useful for ordering answers in the exam and provide a "fall-back" structure if there are difficulties in answering a question. Note that these sub-headings are a guide only and there are questions for which they will not be applicable, and your judgment is required in how to answer those questions:

  • introduction including a brief statement (i.e. one sentence) on function or clinical relevance
  • gross anatomy including general description and size (average measurements if remembered)
  • relations and/or boundaries and/or contents
  • articulations and/or attachments (e.g. ligaments/tendons/muscles)
  • special structures (e.g. joint capsules, etc)
  • blood supply - both arterial and venous
  • nerve supply
  • lymphatic drainage
  • variant anatomy

Since the examinations have moved to an e-format typing skills have become more important. Fast and accurate typing skills are worth working on because doubling the typing speed will effectively double the amount of time to answer questions.

Past papers

Past papers are available from the RANZCR website here.

The links below contain playlists with cases highlighting related gross and variant anatomy on a variety of modalities with relevant pre-reading for each past paper:

  • September 2008
  • April 2009
  • September 2009
  • April 2010
  • September 2010
  • April 2011
  • September 2011
  • April 2012
  • September 2012
  • April 2013
  • September 2013
  • March 2014
  • September 2014
  • March 2015
  • September 2015
  • April 2016
  • September 2016
  • March 2017
  • September 2017
  • March 2018
  • September 2018

Note: details correct at time of writing. Please check with RANZCR for updated details.