Monday, December 2, 2013

Your question MCQ preparations

"I will sit for my RACGP MCQ exam in 2014 and have only started my preparation.  What do you suggest for me to do?"  Dr B Australia.

Hi Dr B,

I would suggest for you to consider the following:

1  Read Murtagh as the "foundation".   It will not be enough for the exam but it will serve as the main "trunk" of knowledge.  Aim to read it 2-3x before the exam.  My personal rule is to read it 3x.

2  Do CHECK MCQs…they are quite good.  You can source them from the RACGP in your state.  There are also CHECK CDs.  When I sat my exam, I did a few years worth of CHECK MCQs ???some say 3 years.  The problem with doing the older ones is that the information may be out of date so be careful here.

3  Family Physician Journal also have MCQs…do them as well as they are quite good.

4  Make contacts with other people who are sitting exams and get "past papers" to give you an idea of what the exam is like and also get use to the format of the exams.  I believe that the RACGP does have some "sample questions".  I don't know about now but in the past they do.  Please contact them for further advice.

5  Main principle is to use Murtagh Text as your "trunk" of the knowledge tree and use Check, Family Physician, lectures notes, other journals, seminars, workshops, meetings as the "branches and leaves" in the knowledge tree.  The trick is to have a broad knowledge base and add the details onto to that over time and not the other way around.  In General Practice, it is quite important to see the bigger picture as well as the details.

6  Also make connection with other people who are sitting the exams and ask what are they doing.  This is to get a general guide as to what you should do.  My general rule is get a general idea of what everybody else is doing and then, as a safety margin of error, do a bit above that.

7  Learn to time your MCQs as well.  This is very important.  If you run out of time in the MCQs, consider just fill out the rest with "Cs" or "Bs" or whatever you like.   Do not try to be fancy and pick a random answer.  When I sat my exams, there was a general concensus that "Cs" were more probable due to examiner's bias but I don't have concrete evidence for this.  Maybe you can do the research on this and share your findings with us on this forum!  Note:  I am not encouraging people to just guess in the MCQs but obviously if you have no time left, then it is just common sense to have a strategy in place.

Hope that helps....
Good luck!
Dr Vin

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