Gurpal

April 2015 MRCPsych Paper B - Feedback

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@Tired...any tips or suggestions about revision?

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@Tired...any tips or suggestions about revision?

Hi just a couple of things:

I usually give myself 3 months per exam for studying and have used SPMM notes for all the written papers.

Everyone studies in different ways, but for me my iPad is a crucial piece of equipment..the SPMM notes can be opened up in an Adobe PDF file and you can highlight sections, underline them, etc. I find this way much easier than using printouts, particularly as study materials are lengthy and if you're like me you might find it difficult to read through a 20 page document without needing ten breaks! The iPad made this reading a lot more bearable for me.

Given the change in the format of the exam this year, I am not sure what the best course would be to use now, but in the past SPMM was quite a bog standard course which if read well and mock exams reviewed, you'd have felt quite confident on the exam day.

Saying that, the recent Paper B was a killer. Bizarre collection of questions, vague answers, and a lengthy statistics section. SPMM stats notes were difficult for me to follow so I purchased two books, The Doctors Guide to Critical Appraisal (which is written by Dr Gurpal Gossall who runs this website) and Medical Statistics Made Easy which were both very helpful and easy to understand.

I've always started off studying the harder subjects and left the easier ones to the end. If you can tackle the harder subjects you feel a lot less stressed leading upto the exam.

Questions...and lots of them. This is the key really. Read the explanations don't just click on the answer and move on. SPMM mock exams have usually proven highly useful, but perhaps less so for Paper B.

I wish I had known about PsychClub in the past...having looked through the exam paper forums a lot of questions were posted up by candidates which made their way into the papers. So id recommend anyone sitting a paper to look through the relevant chat group. I appreciate the answers are not posted up, but you can do your own reading around the topic.

Lastly, when it comes to the exam itself, no amount of sleep will stop you from being anxious..and to a degree some anxiety is a good thing as it will see you through the exam. Don't Hang around too long on one question, if you don't know the answer come back to it at the end of the exam. I never once changed my answers, because I knew that my gut feeling was usually the right one, and thankfully for us the papers are no longer negatively marked. Not saying that I got lots of questions right, am just saying that had I changed my answers I would probably have got that question wrong.

I hope this helps, everyone is different with their exam and study technique...this is just the way I did it. Hope it helps and all the best :)

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I have just passed paper B (yay!) and am now going to sit paper A in December.

For paper B, I did 3 months intensive SPMM online course and a couple of stats books.

The PassMark book is the best IMHO and most readable but SPMM is also good for the PDF resources. I would write down the main half dozen or so statistical equations and main facts on an A4 sheet and learn them backwards. Then when you get in the hall, the first thing to do is to write them all on the front cover of the exam paper. This helped loads as by the time the stats questions came up my head was a bit fuzzy! Overall the stats were fairly basic but there were a few hard questions that needed you to know the equation 'route' as it did not lead you in step by step as the SPMM MCQs often do.

SPMM was amazingly useful with loads (>50% I would say - Some on the psychclub website disagree with this) of questions that came up again (perhaps with a small tweak). Some were carbon-copies of the questions on SPMM. The SPMM MCQs were the most useful part and I went through them 3 times and read through the PDFs 2 times. I would say the MCQs were the best learning aid and would focus on these more (even with significant retest improvement accounted for). It gives a different perspective on the learning process. A lot of the info I copied onto my phone and use day to day now also to check and refresh myself and was a good learning aid of you are thinking of a question and can't remember the answer.

Hope this is of some help

Regards

Dave

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Oh yeah forgot to add: I also made FLASHCARDS using a free flashcard app on the iPhone/iPad. Very helpful indeed. Bit of bedtime reading, quick bites of Info usually sink in last thing at night.

For the Stats calculations, write them on a piece of paper and stick this on your fridge, or wherever you'll see it on regular basis. Again very helpful, and as DrDave says above, as soon as the exam starts write the formulas down on the inside of the paper booklet.

Can't agree with SPMM for Paper B however, sorry :( but others have found it very useful.

Edited by Tired

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I passed by 1% only. Got 62.3% and pass mark 61.3%.

College def removed the hard questions. No way did I get that mark on the paper B on the day. I got lucky there for sure.

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Thanks a million to tired and drDave!!!! Amazing post. 

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SPMM online mock + SPMM question booklet (given on attending their taught course) are the two most essential tools. As Dr.Dave said, more than 50% of the questions could be answered correctly with the above two sets. Almost half of the 50% were exact replica with same words.

 

For reference follow oxford handbook, maudsley guidelines, Gurpal's statistics book.

 

Skype discussion group of 3-5. 

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I studied exclusively from MRCPsych Mentor and felt that around 50percent questions were from MRCPsych Mentor. I joined MRCPsych mentor because it was very cheap than the other course.

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I don't want to spend £300 for the course, then comes exam fees and travelling expenses. Cost more than £700 for one exam and if you fail. It really hurts related to money and efforts

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My suggestion is we shud always try to post as many as recalled question in the blog so that everyone can get an idea of recent exams and benefitted without additional cost. For October paper1, You can mail me at subodhsoam001@gmail.com. April PaperB questions, I have posted in the blog previously.

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Dr David

Which one is the pass mark book?

Has anyone passed using psychmentor? I did spmm online course only possible I should of done more

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I did pass with mrcpsychmentor, however I did obtain some Birmingham notes from friends and also revised using the mcq book by lena palaniyappan.

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Dr David

Which one is the pass mark book?

Has anyone passed using psychmentor? I did spmm online course only possible I should of done more

psychmentor is far too easy-- not as helpful as spmm (sorry psychomentor!).  Although it is much cheaper.

spmm should be sufficent.

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I have to disagree re mrcpsychmentor. I did it all too. But not many repeat questions from it. Its a good course as an add on to spmm (or Birmingham) but not enough on its own. It has lots of questions but not much detail in answers compared to spmm. You won't pass with mrcpsychmentor alone.... Unless you are a genius.

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Emily34, apologies, the PassTest book! By Gosall.

I read the Lawrie Critical Appraisal one also and while more comprehensive, was a harder read, sufficient info in the other if time-strapped.

Regards

Dave

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I had also spent time with SPMM doing a small quantitative survey and Andy Fields book on stats was a great help with this if you need a practical guide. A lot easier to remember stats if you have needed them to work out a practical problem!

d

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Hi guys I passed paperB.got 64.8%incredible.coz I had already planned how I will again revise for paperB.I got result today.yippe!

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Hi Dr Dave.

Many congratulations on passing the exam. U have mentioned that u went thru the Pass Mar book. Unfortunately I could not find it on amazon or the library .could u please suggest the exact book with the authors name so that I can order it.many thanks

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Hi Dr Dave.

Many congratulations on passing the exam. U have mentioned that u went thru the Pass Mar book. Unfortunately I could not find it on amazon or the library .could u please suggest the exact book with the authors name so that I can order it.many thanks

"the PassTest book! By Gosall" Dr.Dave has mentioned the name of the book in post 315.

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Thanks for the correct name of the gosal book. I do have and and read it but did not find it help though we read A-Z

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hi all

I am sending you pdf file of about 150 questions from APRIL 2015 EXAM which were collected by me. hope you all will like it.

I have tried to keep the options of the questions almost same like they were in the real exam.

All the best for the for Oct exam

Great job :)

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Thanks Oana,

All the best for your Oct exam

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Thanks Oana,

All the best for your Oct exam

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