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brainbox

The 90 minute strategy

7 posts in this topic

Hi all

I was just thinking about the written exam a little more than a month away. It sounds a bit ironic that weeks and months of preparation will be tested in a frame of just 90 minutes. That translates into 5400 seconds. Our fates will be sealed.

What this calls for is a strategy to sail through this time period. The most important aspect is [highlight]time management[/highlight]. We just cannot afford to spend too much time on one question. Attempts to warm up neuronal junctions and memory recall pathways beyond half a minute for a question will be equivalent to suicide. We have 90 minutes to answer 163 questions. If we keep aside 15 minutes (for hyperventilating into paper bag, quick self CBT, revival from syncopal attack, etc,etc), we have 75 minutes for 163 questions. Simple mathematics reveal [highlight]0.46 minutes per question [/highlight](and this is not 46 seconds for heavens sake). In roughly 27 seconds, we have to perceive the question, stimulate the grey matter and send motor impulses to our dominant hand. This mail is not meant to set off a panic attack. However if it does, consider it part of implosive therapy(hope i used the right terminology).

Right, to cut a long crappy mail short, we have approximately

9 minutes per column of 19 ISQs (7 columns in the paper) hence [highlight]63[/highlight] minutes for the ISQs.

[highlight]15[/highlight] minutes for 30 EMIs.

That leaves us with [highlight]12[/highlight] minutes to go back to difficult questions, look around, wave to examiner, etc.

Suggestions and positive criticism welcome.

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cool down brainbox... it seems you are a bit 'concrete' about time management in exams.. you will have ample amount of time left if you go in a reasonable speed.. just dont keep on thinking about a particular question if you are ambiguous about the answer.. the best thing to do is to move on and come back to those ambivalent questions back.. the same applies for extended matching items as well.. i suggest you spend more time for ext matching items as it carries more marks and it often decides the final outcome.. all the best brainbox.. happy reading..!

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yes i seemed to rememberI had AMPLE time to ponder over the questions i didnt know after i answered the ones i did (via recognition). The fact that i only knew about 20% did slightly phase me at the time :lol:

.....but i passed with 'intellegent' guess work (pattern recognition on the answer sheet - does anyone else do that??? :-[) so it cant have been that bad!!

good luck sure it will be fine!! the real worry is the critical appraisal for time.

;)

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Do the ones that you can, then return to the rest. For the Part I, the EMIs were weighted similarly to mcqs, don't know if that's the case for the Part II mcqs. Time management is crucial, but more imprtant for the essays and particularly for the critical appraisal.

Some mcqs are repeated, more so in the Part I exam...a alot are posted here. Good luck! :)

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Read the EMIs first. That way your subconscious gets to work on the answers to them while you do the ISQs. Then when you actually get to them you'll save time. It's like when you get stuck on a crossword answer, then go away, and come back to it. Suddenly the answer is obvious. That's the theory anyway...

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well maybe chris but some of those EMIs were a little esoteric for my liking - it would have just heightened anxiety whilst going through more esoteric stuff in the ISQs.

but the secret is in the preparation. do lots and lots of MCQs. I mean for part i u can get away with doing the ones on here and a certain course mcqs. For part ii its just not enough. Its worth just taking mcqs from everysite u find, from all the different books etc. the more u see the more unlikely ur to be surprised (or if you are you will be better prepared to answer).

Everyone stresses about the mcq paper but in reality its the critical appraisal that people bother about on the day itself (lack of time, fogotten formulae etc).

each to his own - GOOD LUCK!! 8-)

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brainbox: imagine how well you would do if you could harness that mathematical ability and direct it towards isq-answering! ;)

Concentrate on getting through the work. You've probably done enough exams in your lifetime to know what technique to approach questions suits you best.

Good luck from one who also obsesses about the numbers!

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