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robbas

How I passed part 2  - 1 of 3

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I feel it may be beneficial to give my experiences of doing the Part 2 and what I believe worked for me. Maybe others could also contribute. Its not exhaustive and it’s not a fools proof method so I accept no liability if people use at least some of my thoughts and put them into practice. I also don’t want to appear arrogant, as I am aware as much as anyone that there is a lot of luck involved in passing (and I was in shock when my name came up) but I do believe there are certain things one can do to at least give oneself a better chance of getting through this painful procedure.

WRITTEN - start around 4 months prior to exam, working slowly up to a crescendo around 3 weeks before.

ISQ/EMIs – practice,practice,practice

· First of all go to or get hold of the latest Manchester Course notes and learn them! This helps in two ways. Firstly, it helps practice recent past questions with correct answers. Secondly, the notes are excellent, up to date material, that covers a lot of potential ISQs. Particularly the studies mentioned do get referred to in the exam ISQs.

· Use this site religiously, practicing as many past questions as possible and sharing ideas with others in the same boat – also use the questions on the site to discuss in your own study groups

· Text books are ok for references but no more as not up to date– stick to the Manchester Notes

· &nbsp:lol:on’t forget about psychology, especially social psychology (like social power etc.) as this seems to come up recently

· &nbsp:lol:on’t use old MCQ books - I don’t think there’s any mileage in practicing questions that are out of date, have different format and just won’t come up – it just panics you for no reason!

· Remember there are questions, particular Basic Sciences, which you can’t answer and seem ridiculous- don’t get upset, you have a 50% chance of getting it right!

ESSAY

· What I say may be a little controversial but I believe it helped me!

· First of all, AGAIN learn the all the Manchester Course notes – it will give you all the information to certainly be able to write about something that will come up - it also gives you the main references you can use

· Forget the idea of reading past APT/BJP (unless for pleasure)– you will need to read the last 10 years to have a chance of reading an article that a question is based upon

· Practice essay plans using a structure you’re happy with – for instance I just used the old biopsychosocial model and it works! The essay plan is the most important bit as it is the essay in shorthand

· I think its only worth writing full essays if you’ve never done it before or forgotten how to write one – I had practice at school, med school and on the Leeds MedSci course so knew something about writing the essay

Continued on next post

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essay continued...

·      When in the exam, take a deep breath and then pick the essay you think is easiest to recall some basic information about - then for the first 15mins write you’re essay plan – its amazing how you can find facts somewhere in your brain on something by sticking to the structure

·      Remember to leave time for conclusion (I rushed it in last 5 minutes-  not a good idea)

·      Don’t get obsessed with references – I did about 3or 4  - just remember the famous ones e.g. Leff, Brown etc.

CRITICAL APPRAISAL

·      Get hold of the “Making sense of Critical Appraisal” book by Olajide Ajetunmobi. It covers all the stats you need to know and written in easy to understand way. Read it thoroughly at least twice.

·      Also get hold of the new yellow college book (Critical Reviews In Psychiatry by  T Brown&G Wilkinson Feb 2005) with past questions & answers – very useful for practising and seeing the type of questions that are asked

·      In the exam it’s a race against time – be prepared! Only answer questions at first that you can answer quickly and miss those you need to think longer about, leaving those til the end. I missed lots of questions out and still somehow passed.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to pass the written then….

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CLINICAL – I didn’t start properly practicing until written result and felt a month was sufficient but if you’re very anxious about the idea of the clinical start earlier with practice!

LONG CASE

· We’ve all taken lots of histories before – in the exam the difference is you need to do everything in an hour.

· Practice taking histories in an hour.

· Present at least 2 or 3 to consultants to practice presenting it in 10 mins as 10 mins goes very quickly!

· In the exam, spend the first 5mins, writing all the different headings for the history (e.g. presenting complaint, drug history, forensic history etc.) on separate pieces of paper keeping it one sided

· Also before you start, at the end of the paper, draw some tables for investigations, aetiology and management with the usual headings of predisposing/precipitating/maintaining or short/long-term – leave it blank and fill the bits in as you hear the history

· Remember to ask the patient their diagnosis and remember that there is standard investigations and management for most patients with a particular diagnosis – the Manchester Course/Superego Clinical course provide good notes for investigations and management of the main disorders

· Leave 10mins at end to gather your thoughts and think of first sentence

· The superego clinical course is good practice for observed interview but its same as an OSCE

· In the management bit, good to mention things like CPA, relapse signature if have chance

PMPs

·      Practice as many as you can

·      Between a few of you get hold of as many books/old questions as you can – although some books have different format, it doesn’t matter as practising as many scenarios as possible is the key.

·      Go on one of the courses – I recommend either Manchester Course or Superego – it is expensive but it may help you prevent paying another fortune to the Royal College for a re-sit!

·      Keep as calm as possible – never argue with an examiner but if you can try and back up something you’ve said if examiner isn’t convinced – such as NICE guidelines reference

·      Try and keep to a structure such as biopsychosocial and short/long-term etc. but be prepared for the examiner to throw you off balance by loading you with a million questions (it happened to me – just try & stay calm and answer what they ask)

Right, that’s it for now. Again, this is just what worked for me and may give you some ideas. I just think that I if you ending up spending time revising stuff that’s very unlikely to come up, it’s a terrible waste of time.

Good luck!

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I also believe that reading the history to the patient in the clinical long case (before he/she is taken out of the room) is helpful as you would be able to correct any misinformation you might have. 8)

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Thanx for providing this valuable information, my spirits are high now for autumn exam ;).

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thnx robbas .. for sharing your thouhts...

i am not sure if the same cap will fit my head but still two heads are better than one... ANY DAY! :lol:

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that was quite clearly said robbas.

may be things are not the same for everyone but i know people can workout which is the style thats good for them and will adapt. but yes,your guidelines will definitely be helpful.

paying more attention to what i wasn't good at helped me- critical appraisal.extra work in that does help.

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That was an excellent account Robbas!

That's more or less what I found useful.

Just a small addition which I found quite useful. I read all the editorials, discussions, debates and review articles in the past year from BJP and Psych Bulletin. You might be lucky to catch one of the three essays from these topics. In Spring 05 one of the essays was exactly what was debated in the BJP (unified somatization syndrome). It doesn't take much time to read. You can read one article a day when you taking a break from ISQ/EMI preparation or doing critical appraisal!

Good luck to everybody!

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Nice ones , Robbas and Psyche.

Well done and well written!

Thanks for tips.

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Thanks a lot for the advice!

I'll let you know nest autum

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thanx for your advice

i am eligible for part 2 in march 06.what do u advise me to study now ? any idea about this pre-preparartion course at birmingham for people writing their exam in mar 06?

nam

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I haven`t passed part 2 yet, but i have never failed the essay paper or even come close to doing so. I use the technique of 'brain storming'. Use the first 5minutes to choose your best question. The next 10-15 minutes for the actual brain storming. This involes writing down on the 1st page of your answer sheet all the points that comes to mind that you believe are related to your chosen question.Not in any particular order. One point leads to another and another and it just goes on and on . In no time you will have a page full of points.

With all these points staring at you, you will have some good options as to how you want to present the essay. The phenomenon of 'dry up' is well taken care of as well. You can then spend 10 minutes or less in the essay plan. If you are a fast writer you will write your essay in 45 minutes.

Essentially you will need to practice brain storming before hand with some past eesay questions from the college. You will be surprised to find how much you knew about a question you had thought was a no go area for you.

Now can somebody brainstorm on any college essay questions please.

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Onome, that is good advice and something I also did and I'd add to the advice I've already given

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