MRCS Part A
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Fitting in time to revise for the MRCS Part A exam while training to be a surgeon can be quite the challenge, however the free Pastest app will help you to prep wherever and whenever you can. Download it now to access questions, mock exams, timed tests and media from your subscription even when you're offline.
5 things you need to know about the MRCS Part A exam (courtesy of Mr Simon Fleming, Orthopaedic Registrar):
Know Your Enemy
Many people feel like the volume of information required to learn for the MRCS Part A exam is overwhelming. The first step to successfully passing is to know what you need to know. The exam is modelled on the curriculum, so nothing can be asked that isn’t in there. Focus your revision on the curriculum and avoid wasting time!
Quality over Quantity
There is no point doing a million questions, while exhausted and not really concentrating. It is important to utilise all the possible revision aids available to you on Pastest, but do it in a way that every moment spent on revision is a moment spent constructively. Your revision should always prioritise quality of work over quantity.
Everyone learns differently, so it is important to have insight into how you revise best. Do you prefer a quiet room, or music? Do you prefer books or a computer screen? Do you like testing yourself first to identify gaps or revising a topic and then testing to confirm you’ve got it all down? Which leads nicely onto…
Active over Passive
There are three basic revision methods: note-taking/note-making; memorising and drafting model answers; and testing yourself or being tested.
These methods all use a varying mix of active or passive revision. Active revision is much more effective than passive revision. So you can imagine that though note taking, for example, could be quite passive, simply by organising your notes into a hierarchical structure, or turning your written notes into a diagram or chart, you’ve made it far more “active”.
Equally, more active revision techniques include discussing a topic with a friend or group of friends, having to explain something in your own words to someone who doesn’t know much about it and testing yourself.
“The Harder You Work…”
This final tip covers two points. The first is to allow enough time for a good result. Start early enough and allow time for those days where you just can’t work, or those weekends where you just need a break, to avoid burning out. It is just as important to plan when you won’t revise as when you will.
The second aspect is to test yourself. Pastest allows you to do exactly that, under exam conditions if you choose. More than one candidate has revised hard, only to be caught out by the pressure and time constraints of the exam, so don’t forget to test yourself often to make sure that, come the day of the exam, it isn’t a shock to the system.