Announcing Pastest’s New MRCS Part B Subscription
The following is an interview with Michael Upchurch, Commissioning Editor at Pastest, and Lead on our MRCS Part B OSCE upgrade project.
So what's different about the new resource?
The entire subscription's approach to preparing you for the exam has changed. Candidates now 'walk' through each station, following written content in the form of a question from the examiner, or a step, and supported by media where appropriate. We now have 200 stations, and there are more to come.
The resource now reflects the coverage of the 18 stations across the various content areas in the exam.
As well as the approach, there’s also a load of great features including:
- Filterable/searchable stations – to assist you in planning your revision, and navigating through the resource
- A traffic-light system giving you a clear visual indicator as to how confident you are with your progress through each station, making it easy to revisit topics that you find more challenging
- Images provided by TeachMeAnatomy, as well as links to further reading on their site
- Access to the Harold Ellis Anatomy video series from the MRCS Part A subscription
- Detailed Station Summaries provide you with:
- A summary of what you learnt in the station
- Professionalism points
- Images from the station
- Revision Tools – including videos and links to TeachMeAnatomy
- Possible exam scenarios
- Communication tips
- Step by step guidelines on any given procedure.
- A summary of what you learnt in the station
But can an online resource REALLY prepare me for a clinical exam?
Even the most hands-on clinical exam is going to test theoretical knowledge, which we've integrated seamlessly into the station experience, with the aim of making it as close as we possibly can to the real thing.
In practise, that means that we have structured the stations to contain an appropriate amount and level of information you’d be expected to encounter within a nine-minute station. They really put you in the shoes of the candidate, especially in the way that you receive questions from the examiner within each station.
Everything that you should need to revise for the exam is in one place. That includes the new written content, the supporting videos, the links through to TeachMeAnatomy, Spot Diagnoses, and of course, the station summaries.
Why did Pastest decide to update the MRCS Part B OSCE subscription?
We've had a successful MRCS Part A subscription for a good while and receive really positive feedback about it. It was becoming clear to us that we weren’t getting the same level of praise for our Part B resource and wanted to ensure that we were providing the same quality to Part B candidates that they expect having used the Part A resource.
The thing that we hear time and again from customers is that they want to study as efficiently as possible, and this led us to question just how easy it was to access and retain the information from this resource. This then became a real opportunity to completely rebuild the resource from the ground up to more closely reflect the exam.
Why did the previous subscription need an update?
Feedback from customers was varied, though a common theme was that we were too video-focussed, and that it took time to work through the video content to access the learning points.
Others commented that we didn’t provide quite enough guidance around the types of stations that you would encounter in the real exam, in terms of both content and length.
We also felt that we could improve the navigation of the subscription which now benefits from a mobile browser-friendly interface.
How do we know it's covering the right topics?
We have aligned this resource closely with the MRCS Part B Syllabus and mark scheme (in particular the station breakdown on Page 37), with a particular emphasis on how each station is run.
We’ve also considered feedback from previous customers and exam takers, including themes that have come up in previous exams.
We’re confident that we’re providing plenty of topics to prepare for each station.
Who authored the content?
Once we settled on the key requirement of a written-based resource, we set about finding authors who were not only experts in the field, but also had recent first-hand experience of sitting the MRCS Part B OSCE.
Our writing team were very keen to be involved in creating a comprehensive Part B resource. Some have teaching experience and can even claim to have been taught by the great Harold Ellis himself! All are qualified surgeons, and most importantly, brought their recent experience of taking the Part B exam and applied it to how the stations were written.
Here’s what some of the authors have to say:
I helped to re-write the anatomy stations for the MRCS Part B overhaul which are supplemented with the excellent diagrams of TeachMeAnatomy and the unique Professor Harold Ellis videos. I also worked on a lot of the other stations, and can confidently say that you will struggle to find another resource for the MRCS part B which is as focused to exactly what you need to pass first time.
- Charlie West, Core Surgical Training Year 2 at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Charlie passed both parts of the MRCS before the end of his foundation training, and then went on to be an anatomy demonstrator at the University of Cambridge. Following this he ranked in the top 5 for core surgical training and has recently obtained his first choice job as a general surgery registrar.
During my revision I struggled to find a suitable revision tool. I strongly believe that the key to success is practice, practice, practice and wanted to help create a platform to do just that. I helped to write and review a wide spread of content for Pastest’s new MRCS B subscription. The Pastest MRCS Part B subscription includes 200 stations to practice each beginning with a scenario and going into a series of questions mirroring the exam format. The site enables you to rehearse your answers aloud preparing you appropriately for the exam day. At the end of the station you can review the key areas covered to enable you to focus on the core knowledge required for success.
- Danielle Whiting, Core Surgical Trainee
Danielle is a Core Surgical Trainee, and passed her MRCS Part B OSCE just over a year ago.
How did the partnership with TeachMeAnatomy come about?
We understood the need to link to an authoritative Anatomy resource, to ensure that we had clear and visually appealing media for our questions, and to assist users in plugging gaps in their knowledge, or revising topics that they haven’t looked at for a long time.
We approached TeachMeAnatomy, who have been incredibly supportive and shared our enthusiasm for creating a comprehensive, interactive resource – critical for exam-takers in 2018.
So what’s next?
Go and get it! We're certain that we’ve produced an awesome resource that candidates will love.
There are also plans for roleplay material to be added in the coming months, which will enable users to revise together, taking the roles of examiner, patient and candidate. Other than that, we’re continuously looking into ways in which candidates can further improve their exam technique using the resource.
Sign up now with our launch discount from £129 - (Normally £179)
In Royal College Exams on Thursday, 19th July, 2018