ACEM Primary Exam Study Guide

Key topics in a level of detail that is humanly possible to handle

ER Exam is the brainchild of Dr Srigala Nagarajan  and Dr Rajan Kailainathan . We have both done our ACEM Primary exams in year 2015 and 2014 respectively. We both had the luxury to experience the ACEM revised curriculum and were able to sit the new combined viva.

During the 2 years we studied we thought we had accumulated both exam technique as well as an enormous wealth of knowledge around the ACEM primary exam curriculum, which we felt should not go to waste.

We decided to make a website with the goal of producing a structured way to study and pass the ACEM primary exam. We have come across plenty of information about the Viva part of the exam already on the net. But the challenge of studying for the ACEM MCQ is often underestimated. Studying for the MCQs is time-consuming, it can be confusing to know the depth of knowledge required, and it is easy to get bogged down in details and struggle to cover the breadth of knowledge required. The books prescribed for this studying are vast and will take lengthy time to finish reading if anyone likes to read them from cover to cover. We thought there should be a structured way approach this to try to get through this hurdle in a time effective way.

One of the most helpful structures that we have found useful is the primary exam schedule designed by Dr Tim Harraway from the Gold Coast Hospital Emergency Department. This schedule was initially designed in 2001 and revised in 2009. Many ED Registrars have used this resource to aid their exam preparation.

We would also like to thanks Dr. Gavin Ng for composing the Primary Exam Pharmacopeia in this site. Gavin is an Advance Trainee for ACEM and have completed his Primary exam in 2015. has used the above schedule as a tool combined with the revised ACEM Curriculum structure to come up with the contents which make up our web-based study guide for the ACEM Primary exam. Almost all the contents are derived from the prescribed text such as:

·      Atlas of Human Anatomy – Frank H. Netter, M.D 6th Edition

·      Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology, 24th Edition

·      Respiratory Physiology by John B. West

·      Katzungs Basic & Clinical Pharmacology -12th Edition

·      Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease 9th Edition

Our contents aim to cover the key topics in a level of detail that is humanly possible to handle. The structured guide of 22 weeks is to help candidates cover the required core topics in a timely, steady and achievable way. We believe this information is adequate to cover the core curriculum prescribed but we encourage you to read widely to supplement your knowledge. This site is not a substitute to the prescribed textbooks by the ACEM.

This site is launched in 2015 in view to help the candidates for the 2016.1 onwards.

The contents on this site have no affiliation to the Australian College of Emergency Medicine or to our training Hospitals where we work. We hold no responsibility if there are MCQs or Viva topics at the exams outside this website.

There are plenty of study tips on the net about how to pass this exam, but we give you some simple tips that always worked for us.

  • Prospective studying strategy take long time such as studying a book from cover to cover and then approaching the question. Instead use the Retrospective study strategy – Study the questions and try to guage what is expected and read the contents in this website or books to understand the contents.
  • If you want to pass any exams don’t study hard but Study Smart.
  • Have Approachable Goals for each week.


Please provide constructive feedback to improve the website contents through the
feedback link provided on the right-hand side or
by sending an email to

Thank you for using ER and we wish you all the best.


Dr Srigala Nagarajan. MBBS, B.MedSci, (U.Melb)
Dr Rajan Kailainathan. MBBS (Hons), B.Med.Sci (UTAS)
Is there something that needs to be revised? Let us know by through this feed back form.

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