Frequently Asked Questions


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Do I need to start at Level 1?

No, Level 1 is a one day course only, usually for groups in hospitals, GP surgeries or commercial enterprises. It does not attract a qualification but offers a great overview of terminology which will enhance your knowledge and understanding of medical terms if you work in any administrative job within the health sector.

We  have had a lot of success running one day courses across GP practices where practices across a CCG club together to make the required number of students then split the course fees between each practice, when the course is fully attended this means a fee of £50 per student for a full day of training. We deliver these courses all over the UK. Please contact us for more information. 

Feedback from Jamie Woodhouse - Learning and Organisational Development, Wexham Park Hospital:

“The introduction to medical terminology always receives great feedback from our staff, its delivered in an easy to understand format and delegates find it very informative. It gives people who don’t have a clinical background the opportunity to expand their understanding and increases their confidence.”


How do I decide between Level 2 or Level 3?

The Level 2 course is aimed at the complete beginner to terminology and is the first of the certificated courses. Many people feel comfortable starting at this entry level. Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE in terms of difficulty and study time whereas level 3 is equivalent to an A level. Going straight in to level 3 is like completing an A level in a subject you have not studied at GCSE, a tough challenge but a possibility, only you can decide the level of commitment you are able to put in. If you are still unsure which level is best for you then click here for a copy of a level 2 paper, if you cannot answer more than 50% of the questions then level 2 is certainly the place to start. If over 50% is known then level 3 would be suitable for you. Once you have attained the Level 2 qualification, you will be able to “upgrade” to the Level 3 course at a discounted rate.
How long are the courses?

Level 2 is 12 weeks ( 6 modules) and Level 3 is 20 weeks (10 modules).  AMSPAR hold the exams 3 times per year at each level so our courses start 12 and 20 weeks before the exam dates. 
How many hours do I need to study ?

For the Level 2 the recommended study time is 6-8 hours per week. For the Level 3, the recommended study time is 8-10 hours per weeks. If upgrading the suggested study time is 6- 8 hours per week.
I’ve registered for the course, what happens now?

You will receive a message once your registration has been submitted to us, this confirms that you have a place on the course you have registered for. PLEASE MAKE NOTE OF YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD AS THESE WILL BE VITAL FOR YOU TO ACCESS OUR PORTAL SYSTEM.

You will then next hear from us a week before the course starts and later that week you will receive a message from your mentor who will contact you to introduce themselves and give you a little more information.  As a summary timeline, here is what to expect:

- The week before the course starts both Mediterm and you mentor will be in touch with more information. 

- On the Monday of the course start date you will receive an email telling you that the first module has been unlocked in the portal.  Log into the portal and study the material in your own time over the next 2 weeks (midway through this revision time, we will send you a revision guide which can be used to self test for any gaps in your revision knowledge as well as details about our excellent revision app, Quizlet). 

- Once you have had the material for 2 weeks, you will be sent an email telling you that module 2 is now unlocked in the portal, this module contains a revision test to test you on the knowledge you have acquired on the previous module. Complete this test to without referring to your course notes and then submit for marking and feedback.

- The course will continue this way over 5 modules at level 2 and 9 modules at level 3. Once all the learning is complete, you will have access the final revision module. This contains revision aids such as crosswords and clinic letters for you to decipher as well as a video clip which allows you to work through a past paper in unison with the video and to be shown the format of the exam. There are then 4 compulsory past papers for you to complete and submit to your mentor for marking and feedback. Once these are complete, there are plenty of additional past papers for extra practice which can be completed at home and self marked using the answer sheets provided.



How long do I have to be online?

You only need to log onto the internet on the first day of each module. You will then be able to download and print off the various sections of the module and keep these as hard copy to revise from.  Some people prefer to learn from printed off material and others like to revise straight from their computer screen.  Two weeks later you will need to log on again to complete the revision test (about 15 mins) and to download the next module. At both levels there are several video clips to enhance your learning which have received positive feedback from past students. You can view these as many times as you wish. In Level 3 there are soundbites accompanying many of the words so you may want to log on a few more times to hear the correct pronunciation.
How will my progress be monitored?

You will be allocated an AMSPAR qualified mentor who will be your support and guide throughout the course. Your revision tests will be marked by your mentor and you will receive feedback and advice after each test. They will monitor your progress through the modules and be in email contact with you for advice and to answer any queries you may have. You will be required to achieve a pass mark of 70% to mirror the pass mark in the exam. Should you not reach this standard your mentor will advise about possibly dropping down a lower level course or addressing your revision technique.  We have a large number of revision tips available for those of you not used to revising so there's hopefully something in there for everyone to allow you to find a technique which works for you. 
Is there any funding available?

Many hospitals use us as a training provider and either fund the course through the Education and Training Department or via departmental budgets. You also have the option to self fund. You may be able to complete the course as part of an apprenticeship scheme, please contact us for more details about the Medical Administration Apprenticeship.
How can I pay for the course?

The easiest and quickest way to pay for the course is via the Registration page on the website, choose either the NHS funded or self funded form. Once the registration details are complete, you will be directed to a payments page if you have completed the self funded option, full course payments or the first instalment can then be paid securely via our website or alternatively we can take payments over the telephone.
Can I pay in instalments?

Yes, though you will pay slightly more due to administration costs. Payments for Level 2 may be made in 3 equal instalments, the first being at the start of the course, the second after module 2 and the third payment at Module 4 when the registration and exam fees are also payable.

Payments for Level 3 are collected in 3 equal instalments, the first at the start of the course, the second after Module 3 and the third after Module 6 then the registration and exam fee are also payable.

The second and third payments will be taken automatically using the card details from your initial payment via our secure system (Worldpay), please note an additional 1.5% is added for credit card payments.


Is the exam online or a written paper?

The paper is a written paper. 58 questions at level 2, 100 questions at level 3 (some scoring one mark, some scoring two) and is taken on a set day at a set time (afternoon). The exams are held 3 times a year in February, June and November.The exam date is not moveable so you should establish you are available for the exam on commencement of the course. Click here for exam dates.
Where can I take the exam?

The exam may be taken locally at an external centre or at your place of work if you work for the NHS.

Brook St Employment agencies kindly host our AMSPAR Exams for us. They will be very happy to speak to you following your exam, should you wish to seek work as a temporary medical secretary with them ( a great way to gain experience). To find your nearest Brook St office, visit www.brookstreet.co.uk and type your postcode in the box on the left. There is always an exam at the AMSPAR offices in London and one other designated town appointed by AMSPAR.

In addition sometimes the exam may be held at your place of work (if you’re not in the NHS) providing there is someone who is willing to invigilate and adhere to City and Guilds procedures and exam policy.


Is there a charge for taking the exam?

City & Guilds exam and registration fees are fixed at £55 for Level 2 and £60 for level 3 and are included within the course fees. We collect these and pay City & Guilds in bulk when we register you and enter you for the exam.

If taking the exam at Brook St their charge is £40.  Pitman centres charge £55 plus vat totalling £66, this is payable nearer the time of the exam and we will liaise with you about this once the exam venue is established.


What are the pass marks /grades of the exam?

You must obtain a minimum of 70% at both levels to pass the exam. We also use this as our pass rate for our internal testing.

The grading brackets are as shown:


70%+ = pass

80%+ = merit

90%+ = distinction



Can I re-take the exam ?

Fees for resit (or if you had to defer your exam once we had registered you) are £60. These must be paid 2 months prior to the exam.
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