This is a structured viva with four stations each containing two questions giving a total of 8 viva questions.
Each question lasts 7 mins, with 14 mins in each station with a total duration allowing for moving between stations of 1 hour and 15 mins. There will be two examiners in each station asking the questions in turn and possibly an observer.
When I did the exam there were four booths each with a notice outside highlighting what two question topics were going to be asked at that SOE station. There was no long Vignette just topics for example 1. Tracheostomies, 2. Fungal infections in ITU. Im not sure why they tell you as there wasn't much thinking time. There was no long case like the final FRCA exam.
All questions must be attempted and each examiner will independently mark the answer to the question with a Pass (2), Borderline (1) or Fail (0). The pass mark will be determined on the day.
A pass in the SOE is valid for two years after which all components of the exam must be retaken.
Again, there is a broad area of the curriculum that can be covered and there may be some data interpretation involved in the answers with a focus on a clinical problem. There are some example questions from the FICM here and here