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  1. Licensing
  2. Membership
  3. Qualifications & Careers
  4. Publications & Resources
  5. Get Involved
  6. News

Exam Support Resources

Taking the exam in 2020? The support resources on these pages are intended to provide support to those intending to take the Institution's professional examination.

Coronavirus update: Following a special meeting of  the IRSE Education & Professional Development Committee  on 19 May where all available information and guidance was reviewed, the decision was taken to proceed with current plans for the IRSE professional examination  in October 2020. 

The professional exam will take place in designated centres across the world on Saturday 3 October where strict adherence to local social distancing procedures will be observed. 

If a regional restriction is still in place as the examination date nears, regrettably the exam will have to be cancelled at short notice only at that location.

For details about applying for the exam, and updates on the exam, please see our main exam webpage.

Further support and guidance can be found within IRSE exam study groups run by volunteers and the independent IRSE exam forum.  

 A number of exam study groups are available during the year, and if you are interested in forming your own group, guidance can be found here.

Study sessions and videos available

The IRSE Younger Members have put together a series of study sessions for those who are intending to sit the exam this year:

Videos of these events are available on in our dedicated IRSE Exam Study resources area on Vimeo.

Study materials

Hints and tips for exam candidates can be found here.

The material provided on the IRSE Exam pages will help candidates understand what is expected of them by providing general information about the examination, and for each of the modules, providing:

  • details of the syllabus for each module
  • copies of previous examination questions for that module from the last five years
  • a selection of sample answers for some of those questions
  • where available, the study guide
  • the suggested reading list.

Study guides are available for the majority of modules.  These provide guidance on what to learn and where to find learning materials to support that module.  They also provide suggested activities to support learning. Where no study guide is available there are reference text books that can be used, as well as papers presented to the IRSE on those topics; these are included in suggested reading lists.

The exam is changing

The changes are intended to simplify the module structure, to introduce modern assessment techniques and to encourage a much wider population of railway professionals to learn about control and communications principles and practices whilst maintaining the high status of the exam.

Please look at the exam changes page for further details, including the syllabuses of each module and also read the frequently asked questions page.