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Summer can be a particularly stressful time of year for junior doctors, with a hectic exam schedule to think about on top of an already sizable workload.
With MRCP 1 & 2, PLAB, MRCOG and MRCPCH exam sittings all around the corner, our editors have put together some top tips to help you through.
MRCP Part 1: My Top exam tip would be to never assume any information which has not been provided. Try not to apply your local practices or guidelines to the question and rather be guided by NICE.
Remember that the questions are single best answer, which means that more than one answer may be correct. Take the time to pick the one which is ‘most correct’. Doing lots of practice questions will help with this. If stuck between two answers go with you gut instinct and first thought, it's generally correct most of the time! - Dr Joel McCay
MRCP Part 2: Use your knowledge of epidemiology to help work out the MOST likely cause or diagnosis. Always consider why information has been included in questions - are these clues to help you? In the week leading up to the examination, make sure you prioritise good sleep quality. - Dr Jonathan Sunkersing
Attempt to complete as many questions as possible before the exam and learn something new from each one. It’s also very important to stay positive! - Dr Elora Mukherjee
PLAB: It is only by practising questions that you get a good idea of what you need to know. Read up on conditions you are less familiar with after you have tried a question and force yourself to study topics that are out of your comfort zone. Practice as many questions as you can, work against the clock and focus on your weakest subjects. - Dr Seema Biswas
MRCOG Exams: Start thinking about your revision early and make a timetable to attack it in manageable bites. Read all published national guidelines and know them inside out. Read and underline the important parts of each question and relate the natural history of disease and treatment to its basic pathophysiology to work out the answers to questions logically and calmly.
You may never feel 100% prepared for an exam so in the week leading up to the exam just remember common things are common and know them well. Set out your outfit the night before and don’t forget your stethoscope.
For clinical exams don’t forget to introduce yourself and use hand gel, this gives you an extra minute to orientate yourself before getting started. In OSCEs give yourself 30 seconds to suss out your scenario and look for clues; if there’s a blood pressure cuff for example you may need to use it. - Dr Shree Datta
MRCPCH Child Health exams: Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the very rare and obscure conditions. The exams are written by clinical paediatricians who want you to be able to safely look after children with common conditions and know when to ask for help with the deteriorating/sick/rare conditions. Make sure you look at the practice papers early to help guide your revision. - Dr Claire Wood