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Making sense of the feedback

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I am an IMG and passed the CASC on third attempt. Passed 12 out of 16 stations!!! Unfortunately I have not been given the feedback form, I guess that is the practice with the College.

However discussing about the feedback openly and honestly with out indulging in ususal negative talk about the validity, bias etc etc would be the best thing to do from now while preparing for the CASC in January 2013.

As an IMG having passed just 12 out of 16 stations, I would not rate myself any better than others who have passed or not passed CASC. But what I have realised is that this is another exam which one has to pass and IMG's do pass. Some might be more luckier than others on that given day along with all the effort.

I do not for a second doubt the effort, money and family time sacrificed by IMG's. The question is how to crack this exam. Hence my sincere request to fellow IMG's who have passed the CASC to chip in with suggestions.

I also want to make a strong and sincere request to fellow IMG's who are keen to pass this exam to focus on positives and not go in to denial mode. Please accept my apologies if I sound patronising but unless one is willing to reflect on ones approach towards this exam and make sincere attempts to make sense of the feedback obviously with the help of those who have passed, I can guarantee that the results would not change.

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It is good to see candidates seeking advise from those who have passed to try and understand what they might have done or not done which has resulted in them not passing particular stations.

I do not discourage the above but unfortunately as this is a very subjective exam, it would be very very difficult to pinpoint for sure what was lacking, unless candidates try and reflect on areas of concern for individual stations.

I have passed the exam but still have failed few stations, as mentioned in my previous post, I wish I could have the feedback for the failed stations to make sense so that I can help sincere candidates wanting to pass in Jan 2013. This is not an option unfortunately.

However, I would like candidates to look at each station they have failed with feedback and areas of concern. By and large there can only be four type of stations in the CASC exam.

First- history taking where you follow the usual practice of eliciting history of presenting illness and risk along with exploring aetiological factors.

Second- mental state examination of either psychosis or mania, where you explore the delusional beliefs completely and screen for other psychopathology including risks.

Third- discussion stations, where you answer the questions asked by the carer only, nothing less or nothing more while also trying to understand the emotions behind the carers questions!!

Lastly- physical examination station, which will be straight forward with good practice.

The above is only an outline and we all know that College can always twist and change the instructions of the actors. For instance in a discussion station, the actor might start off asking questions one after the other or might not ask any questions and wait for you to start the conversation to check if you have understood the task correctly.

In the subsequent posts, I would like to discuss about the approach in general. I will be more than happy and may be others can also contribute, if the candidates seek advise after reflecting on the feedback with highlighting areas of concern for specific stations.

My exam was on the first day and so I will definetly do my best to discuss the stations from that day which I have passed. I will be keen to learn from others who have passed the stations from the same day which I have failed.

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Hi all,

I had a disastrous afternoon session, and almost all the station I failed in the afternoon had Poor management of interview/discussion feedback. This was not a concern in any of my morning stations. I was wondering if some one can help me understand why this might have happened.

Also, for those who passed the concialliatory interview in Akathesia, what did you guys do?

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Hi Igpiracha

I had a similar problem where I failed most of the single stations when I gave CASC during my first and second attempt. I did lot of reflection which definetly helped during my third attempt where I passed 7 out of 8 single stations.

I have two options here to suggest to you. Not sure which one you would prefer.

1. Give general idea about approaching single stations based on type of station or

2. For you to mention the areas of concern in each individual station where you have failed with the scenario.

I think the 2nd option would be the best for you.

Let me know and I will be more than happy to make some suggestions.

My sincere request to candidates seeking advise, please refrain from asking "what did you do". The negatives of asking that question is

1. Not many would like to spend 10-15 minutes of their time to think, recollect and then type everything about what they did in that particular station on that particular day.

2. Even if I were to do the above based on how I did the station and passed, unfortunately that would not guarantee a pass next time. The reason is this is a very subjective exam, where the scenario next time might have been tweaked including the task, actors instructions, examiner etc etc and not to mention the College view on minimum standards to pass a candidate at that time which very much depends on their hidden agenda!!! (I don't want to discuss this aspect in detail as this thread would be hijacked but just to help some naive people the factors under hidden agenda would be something like demand and supply, recruitment drive for local graduates, visa regulations for IMG's, ST4 posts, Consultant posts, Service needs, Government needs and last but not the least prejudice of the higher ups in the college).

In my humble opinion College takes most of the above factors in to consideration before setting the standards to pass the exam. This is very much like what we (IMG's) have seen happening with Plab 2 results over the years. Plab 2 pass percentage was very high up until year 2003 but then dropped drastically thereon which clearly reflects in my opinion the above factors playing role.

Once again my humble request, please do not shoot messages about discrimination etc as this is one exam we all have to pass because most of our lives revolve around this exam. I would be lying if I said my life did not revolve around this exam. I know lot of my friends who have given up on CASC either because they felt hopeless or their validity expired. By sparing some time each day on this forum, I sincerely hope I can be of some help to genuine candidates seeking help.

Edited by kris

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What is it that you did well in the 12 stations that you passed, and what is it that you did not do well in the 4 stationed that you failed?

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