Registration exam (NZREX)

When do applications reopen for NZREX?


The Medical Council intends to accept applications to sit NZREX Clinical from 9am on 6 April 2021. Applications are to be sent by email only to If your application is received before 9am on 6 April 2021 (NZT) it will be returned to you and not processed. Your application will be processed in the order that it was received by us. Please note that we do not keep a waiting list for NZREX candidates.


It is important that your application is complete, which means that you meet all the prerequisite requirements to sit the examination and have paid the application fee. Council is not considering extending validity of pre-requisite examinations.


You will only be allocated a place on NZREX Clinical if your application is complete and you have paid the application fee. If you have submitted a complete application form and paid the application fee of $766.19 (GST inclusive), we will then contact you by email to confirm the process for payment of the examination fee.


Please note that, due to cancelled examinations in 2020, there are only limited positions available for the 19 June 2021 examination. As soon as these are filled, we will allocate candidates to the next exam on 6 November 2021.


Please note this situation may change depending on New Zealand's COVID-19 status .


Before you apply, please note the current New Zealand border restrictions which limit access for non-New Zealand permanent residents and citizens.


Important note regarding employment opportunities

Before you apply to sit NZREX Clinical, please note the following:

  • Even if you pass the exam and are an experienced doctor, it is likely to be difficult for you to secure a postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) training role with a District Health Board (DHB) in New Zealand. The number of PGY1 roles is limited and priority is given to graduates from New Zealand and Australian medical schools.
  • Securing a PGY1 role with a DHB is your only pathway to registration as a doctor in New Zealand. This is regardless of your previous experience.
  • This means it might take you a long time to gain employment as a doctor in New Zealand. There is a possiblity that you will not obtain a PGY1 role within the 5 years that your NZREX pass is valid.

Please refer to this link which provides data on the numbers of NZREX graduates that gain registration in New Zealand. Please note that this data does not provide information about when (in the 1-5 year timeframe of a valid NZREX pass) the doctor gained employment in New Zealand.

Every doctor in New Zealand must be registered to practise medicine. If you are not eligible for registration under any other pathway, you must sit and pass NZREX Clinical, our registration examination.

About NZREX Clinical

All doctors wanting to practise in New Zealand must be registered by us first. By passing the NZREX Clinical, we know you meet the required standard to be registered to practise in New Zealand. A pass in the NZREX Clinical is valid for 5 years from the date of your examination.

To find out if you need to sit the NZREX Clinical as part of your pathway to gaining registration in New Zealand, use our Registration self assessment tool.

Are you eligible?

You can apply to sit the NZREX Clinical if you:

You can sit the NZREX Clinical as many times as you like, but you must meet our eligibility requirements each time you apply.

We recommend you complete a minimum of 12-months postgraduate experience as a doctor in your own country before applying to sit the NZREX Clinical. This is not a requirement, but the experience will help you be better prepared to sit our examination.

Structure and content of NZREX Clinical

We use the 'Objective Structured Clinical Examination' (OSCE) format, which will test both your clinical skills and medical knowledge. You will rotate through 16 stations during the 3-hour exam. All stations are weighted equally.

You'll be examined on your:

  • history-taking
  • clinical examination
  • investigating
  • management
  • clinical reasoning

The examiners will assess your communication skills and professionalism. You may also be required to undertake a focused history, or present a preferred diagnosis, management plan, and investigations.

Please refer to the sample questions below to see the marking scheme we use.

How to prepare for NZREX Clinical

The NZREX Clinical handbook has detailed information about the examination, take some time to read and understand it.

Our sample questions and reading list will help with your examination preparation.

You may be able to do a ‘clinical observership’ in a hospital to familiarise yourself with the New Zealand health system. These are organised by District Health Boards.

How to apply to sit the exam

You must apply in writing, using the correct application form for your circumstances; you'll see these forms below.

Council only accepts certified copies of original documents. Please do not submit any original documents with your application.

If you’re paying the fee by cheque or bank draft you must include the full payment in New Zealand dollars with your application form. If you are paying with a credit card we will explain how to pay online once we’ve received and processed your application.

You must send your application to us by post or courier – we do not accept applications sent by email.
Once you are sure you meet the application criteria, please send your completed application to us at:

Professional Standards Coordinator (Examinations)
Medical Council of New Zealand
PO Box 10509
The Terrace
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

Once we receive your application, we'll send you an email within 5 working days, telling you we have it. It may take us up to 20 working days to process your application. If it's missing something, we may return it to you, or we may need more time to process it. Once it's processed, we will email you to tell you what the next steps are.

Application forms

The form(s) you need to complete depend on your particular circumstances.

If you are applying to sit the NZREX Clinical for the first time, please complete forms NZREX1 and NZREX3.

Repeat candidates please complete only the NZREX4.

Location of the exam

The NZREX Clinical is held in Auckland, New Zealand.

Once you have a confirmed place on an exam, you are responsible for arranging your own transportation and accommodation. It's a good idea to wait for your confirmation email before making travel arrangements.

Examination dates

Examinations are open for applications up to 12 months in advance. Please note that examinations tend to fill well in advance of the closing dates, so don't delay in getting your application in. Exam and application closing dates are below.


31 October 2020


27 March 2021


19 June 2021

Council is intending to reopen applications in early 2021 for candidates to apply to sit NZREX. We are not accepting applications for this date and there is no waiting list.

Please note that this situation may change if New Zealand moves from its current Level One COVID-19 status .

Before you apply, please note the current New Zealand border restrictions which limit access for non-New Zealand permanent residents and citizens.


You can only apply for an examination that has positions available. If there are too many applications for an examination date, we will let you know by email and offer you the next available examination date.

If possible, we will offer you a place on the waitlist for an earlier exam. This means that if a candidate withdraws from the exam and you are next on the waitlist, we will offer you the space.

We compile waitlists in the order we receive complete applications, so the earlier we receive your application, the higher your place on a waitlist. A waitlist place is at our discretion; we do not provide updates on your status on the waitlist, even if you ask. We will only contact you regarding the waitlist to offer you a place on the exam, and this can happen at any time before it takes place.

It's very unlikely, but in the event there are insufficient candidates, we reserve the right to cancel an examination. We will write to let you know if this happens.

Fees for NZREX Clinical

Please see our fees list for the current NZREX Clinical application fee, and the NZREX Clinical examination fee.

Exam marking and results

The average pass rate over the last 5 years is 60% although this fluctuates.

Marking for the NZREX Clinical is done electronically. Markers enter candidate marks on a tablet, which then calculates the results. The system supplier, MaxInity, is based in the United Kingdom and is highly-regarded, in delivering objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) electronically.

Your results

We will email your results to you within 10 working days after you sit the NZREX Clinical. We cannot give results over the telephone.

Your result will show whether you achieved, or did not achieve, the required standard.

If you have concerns about the examination process, your results, or you feel you have been disadvantaged due to a temporary impairment, please read our policy and refer to the NZREX Clinical Handbook.

Exam feedback

If you pass, we don't provide feedback to you. If your result is that you did not achieve the required standard, we'll give you some feedback to indicate the areas you need to improve for next time. This feedback will show you how you ranked overall against other candidates who sat the same exam as you.

If you think that your exam results do not accurately reflect your performance in the examination, you may ask to have your results recounted.

Please note that any recount looks only at whether your marks were correctly transcribed - there is no reassessment or alteration of the marks given to you by an examiner at an individual station.

Applications for a recount must:

    • be in writing, no more than 10 working days after you have your feedback
    • include specific reasons for requesting the recount, based on the feedback we gave you
    • be on an NZREX7 form.

Re-applying to sit NZREX Clinical

You cannot apply to re-sit NZREX Clinical until you have received your feedback.

Withdrawing from the exam

You can withdraw from the exam in certain circumstances, whether you receive a refund depends on when you withdraw, see our policy below.

Applications for withdrawals must be made using our application to withdraw from an examination form.

Changing your exam date

If you have been accepted to sit NZREX Clinical and you can no longer do so on your confirmed date, you may be able to transfer to a later exam.

There are a few things to note if you need to do this.

  1. You can only transfer to a future exam if you continue to meet the application criteria for that exam.
  2. You can only apply to transfer into an exam with positions available.
  3. You must give us at least 6 weeks’ notice (before your scheduled exam).
  4. There is an administration fee.
  5. Your application must be made using our 'NZREX 6 - Examination date change' form.

Getting registered after sitting NZREX Clinical

If you pass NZREX Clinical, we'll send you information on how to register as a doctor in New Zealand.

Please be aware that passing the exam doesn't guarantee you employment. You can see statistics around NZREX Clinical pass rates and subsequent registration are below.

You'll need a job offer

Doctors who have sat and passed NZREX Clinical will need to seek employment at an accredited training provider (DHB) prior to applying for registration.

Once you receive a job offer you can apply for registration in the provisional general scope of practice. You will need to participate in the intern training programme your employer provides, and meet the prevocational medical training requirements set by us.

Prevocational medical training applies to graduates of New Zealand and Australian-accredited medical schools and doctors who have sat and passed the NZREX Clinical (interns).

Interns must work at a Council-accredited training provider (DHB) in accredited clinical attachments under the supervision of a prevocational educational supervisor. This is a 2-year intern training programme with specific requirements for postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and postgraduate year 2 (PGY2).

Although the intern training programme is for 2 years, you can apply for registration in the General scope of practice once you have met the requirements (usually after 1 year).

Further information and policies

Our NZREX Clinical handbook has more information about this examination. You may also wish to learn more about our policy for NZREX Clinical, scopes of practice, and how to register.