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Preparing to pass

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75% of UK graduates passed the CASC, regardless of ethnicity.

Perhaps a more constructive debate in the forum should focus on what is good about the performance of UK graduates. I accept luck does play a part - strong candidates fail, weak candidates pass. That's true of all exams. However luck doesn't explain why there is a huge discrepancy between UK and non-UK graduates and why some people repeatedly fail.

It's normal to attribute one's own failure on the system rather than one's own performance. The system isn't perfect and is not well suited to testing psychiatrists. However, to pass you have to play the game.

So what are the rules of the game? That is what the debate should be about.

Remember the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate exams. In undergraduate exams they are looking at a reason to pass you. In postgraduate exams they are looking at a reason to fail you. What reasons did you give for 4 or more examiners to fail you? Yes, I know that you didn’t give them any reason to fail you but that belief isn’t going to get you anywhere fast.

Discuss!

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75% of UK graduates passed the CASC, regardless of ethnicity.

Perhaps a more constructive debate in the forum should focus on what is good about the performance of UK graduates. I accept luck does play a part - strong candidates fail, weak candidates pass. That's true of all exams. However luck doesn't explain why there is a huge discrepancy between UK and non-UK graduates and why some people repeatedly fail.

It's normal to attribute one's own failure on the system rather than one's own performance. The system isn't perfect and is not well suited to testing psychiatrists. However, to pass you have to play the game.

So what are the rules of the game? That is what the debate should be about.

Remember the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate exams. In undergraduate exams they are looking at a reason to pass you. In postgraduate exams they are looking at a reason to fail you. What reasons did you give for 4 or more examiners to fail you? Yes, I know that you didn’t give them any reason to fail you but that belief isn’t going to get you anywhere fast.

Discuss!

Webmaster, while I fully understand and accept everything that you have to say, I beg to differ on the point here that there could/might be something better in the UK graduates - other than the fact that English is their first language and they have posh 'British accents'. With due respect to the British graduates, some of the Asian examiners (first generation) look upon the British graduates and look down upon their own counterparts (Asian graduates). I have seen this in courses - how they praise the local graduates (which one can identify with the accents). This sadly seems to be an exam of accent, language and poise and dramatisation - rather than Psychiatric skills.

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75% of UK graduates passed the CASC, regardless of ethnicity.

Perhaps a more constructive debate in the forum should focus on what is good about the performance of UK graduates. I accept luck does play a part - strong candidates fail, weak candidates pass. That's true of all exams. However luck doesn't explain why there is a huge discrepancy between UK and non-UK graduates and why some people repeatedly fail.

It's normal to attribute one's own failure on the system rather than one's own performance. The system isn't perfect and is not well suited to testing psychiatrists. However, to pass you have to play the game.

So what are the rules of the game? That is what the debate should be about.

Remember the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate exams. In undergraduate exams they are looking at a reason to pass you. In postgraduate exams they are looking at a reason to fail you. What reasons did you give for 4 or more examiners to fail you? Yes, I know that you didn’t give them any reason to fail you but that belief isn’t going to get you anywhere fast.

Discuss!

Webmaster, while I fully understand and accept everything that you have to say, I beg to differ on the point here that there could/might be something better in the UK graduates - other than the fact that English is their first language and they have posh 'British accents'.  With due respect to the British graduates, some of the Asian examiners (first generation) look upon the British graduates and look down upon their own counterparts (Asian graduates). I have seen this in courses - how they praise the local graduates (which one can identify with the accents). This sadly seems to be an exam of accent, language and poise and dramatisation - rather than Psychiatric skills.

:-/ :-/ ::) ::) :-? :-? 8-) 8-) 8-) :D :D

As human beings, we have our own prejudices. Often we're very happy if we could see and hear people speaking our languages properly (be it English, Wales, Irish, Scottish, Igbo, Yoruba, Hindi, etc). For the candidates, every little helps. The role of the College as far as the CASC exam is concerned, in my opinion, is to make sure these individual prejudices do not markedly and unjustly affect the overall results.

I have done the CASC many times. How often do we see Black college examiners? How often do we see role players/actors with foreign accents invited by the college? I remember in one of the last CASC stations an actor telling me 'I don't understand what you're saying' in a very aggressive way. I could only put it down to my accent (I may be wrong). I'm a British with a foreign accent and I can't change that! The fact of the matter is what's good for the goose is as well good for the gander.

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75% of UK graduates passed the CASC, regardless of ethnicity.

Perhaps a more constructive debate in the forum should focus on what is good about the performance of UK graduates. I accept luck does play a part - strong candidates fail, weak candidates pass. That's true of all exams. However luck doesn't explain why there is a huge discrepancy between UK and non-UK graduates and why some people repeatedly fail.

It's normal to attribute one's own failure on the system rather than one's own performance. The system isn't perfect and is not well suited to testing psychiatrists. However, to pass you have to play the game.

So what are the rules of the game? That is what the debate should be about.

Remember the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate exams. In undergraduate exams they are looking at a reason to pass you. In postgraduate exams they are looking at a reason to fail you. What reasons did you give for 4 or more examiners to fail you? Yes, I know that you didn’t give them any reason to fail you but that belief isn’t going to get you anywhere fast.

Discuss!

I hate to digress but this is my last time...so please forgive me.....what if as it happened to AA.......and others if the examiner was asleep? :lol: :lol: or you could title the thread....ways to keep the examiner awake....hahha :lol: :lol:

PS ::: SORRY

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Webmaster,

Is there any forum where we can raise our voice that this CASC exam is totally unfair for overseas doctors.I have appeard this exam two times now and passed each time 11 stations and I can tell you with confidence that I am much better than many local graduates BUT

I am failing only because the examiners are picking my accent and my

style(obviously I am like most overseas male doctors of subcontenet origin).

In old part two system atleast majority used to pass in their 2nd or third attempt at the most but now we are failing because this exam is testing our English and Style rather than how better we are in psychiatry.It is unfair to compare us with a white female doctor who can never be unempathic ,but for us we have to bring this empathy .Either we do reherse this empathy or not ,the examiners wants to fail two thirds of us.So in a circuit of 8 doctors they have to pass only three .Obviously if they get two who are local graduates or bright female than our chances are only 10% to pass exam.

How can we pass this exam if this attitude of RCP continue .

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Mother Teresa/justice: I'm not saying anyone is better or that injustices do not occur. You do however have to appreciate what you are writing.

Are you both saying that many examiners failed you solely because of your accent or the colour of your skin? Are you saying that you gave these examiners no other reason to fail you? Does your conspiracy theory explain why non-UK grads passed the Part 1 OSCE and now pass the CASC? How are people chosen to pass if it is not based on clinical skill? Is a comment about your accent or look recorded on the mark sheet to help manipulate results later? Are there secret code words or phrases? How do they chose local grads who fail? How many people are involved in this scam? How far will you go to explain your failure on the system regardless of everything else going on around you?

There is a standard to be achieved in the exam and yes, there are psychiatrists who are above that standard but fail to deliver on the exam day or have a run of bad luck across several stations. To focus your energy on how the system has failed you rather than on what you need to do to pass is going to minimise your chances of success next time as you will simply repeat the faults of yesterday. There are many negative posts in this board about the CASC results and some of the stuff written is quite frankly ludicrous and insulting to people who did pass.

The first step is to identify why you gave examiners reasons to fail you. If you cannot think of any, think again.

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NAS - I appreciate the difficult situation you find yourself in but critically read what you have posted. You have passed 11 stations but failed 5 each time. That's 5 examiners didn't think you made the grade each time, or 30%. 10 examiners in total so far, all working in unison across different station cubicles and time to make sure you failed twice. You say that you are much better than many local graduates - in what way? Have you sat through their outpatient clinics watching your colleagues interact with patients? When was the last time somebody observed you running an outpatient clinic and giving you constructive criticism? What do you mean there is something about your style which you think does you a disservice? Do you mean your history-taking and examination skills, or the way you sit on a chair? When you say you have to rehearse being empathic, what you do mean? Are you learning conversations and replies by rote? Is that psychiatry? Is it that easy to pass a postgraduate exam?

If you fail the CASC, after the anger and frustration has died down, the first step has to be to identify what went wrong. If it's bad luck, hey, try again, you'll pass. If it's a deficiency of skill, sort it out. If your supervisor tells you there is nothing wrong with you, find someone else who can tell you the truth, however harsh it may seem. Then at least you have a chance of improving and passing the CASC.

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The above replies are meant to be read in a constructive light. The negative energy on this board needs to be channelled into something more positive.

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The above replies are meant to be read in a constructive light. The negative energy on this board needs to be channelled into something more positive.

Dear WM

Couldn't agree with you more.......mere bile won't get anyone anywhere...maybe I should just pass all 16 to minimize my chances of failing

I have no reservations about taking positive action for the future....but I would disagree with your putting inconsistencies in this exam down to bad luck....as this exam purports to be uniform.

I would also disagree that the exam is supposed to find reasons to fail you...in fact the PB article on the casc from last month says the exam is to find competence not excellence.But I do know in reality that examiners do look for reasons to fail you.

I also concede some of the examinations structure shows excellence, its just that the process depends on people who aren't...

Yes, some of the posts are ludicrous but most of that could have been prevented if the college was more transparent....like actually having a curriculum.

Anyway this forum is meant for discussion on how to pass.......I agree that it should......maybe boards that may distract should be deleted...and the forum stick to exam advice?

Anyway why should I care? I just want to, and will pass the exam ...so tata

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[highlight]The above replies are meant to be read in a constructive light. The negative energy on this board needs to be channelled into something more positive.

[/highlight]

How to do that is the question????   How I wish there was video recording, at least we could prove that we are not worse than our friends and colleagues who have been successful. Most of us have been channeling our energies towards a positive achievement for the last one year since we passed paper 3 in 2008 but it doesnt seem to be happening and I speak on behalf of my fellow CASCERs that we feel lost and helpless and angry. But I suppose it is a matter of our word against the obvious disgrace of our failure in this exam. A judgement seems to have been passed that because we have failed the fault must necessarily lie with us and there is no way of proving otherwise. Speaking for myself, I will accept I am rubbish only and only if I am shown objective evidence that what I have done in the exam is rubbish compared to what someone else has done. It is not a question of conspiracy, racism, accent, appearance or dress sense. It is just a question of suitability of this format of exam for psychiatry at this level. It is a question of its unpredictability and test retest and interrater reliability. May be some of the people who have passed will fail if tested again or by different examiners. As Dorian has pointed out in some other thread, it is perfect for testing procedural skills but it is too restrictive for psychiatry. I am sure things will change a few years down the line when the demand supply equation changes.

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Hawkeye - I'm not a fan of this new exam structure and I think there are fundamental flaws. You're right about the curriculum - it doesn't make revising for the written exams easy. One could argue (and I think quite rightly) that at the time of taking CASC, a candidate should be able to competently deal with (not necessarily solve) any clinical scenario, so a curriculum is not needed. The CASC set-up isn't realistic and the assessment is partly subjective but it's the only thing the College is offering at the moment, so it's take it or leave it. The old long case, for all its flaws and inconsistencies, at least allowed candidates time to assess, formulate and manage cases. Maybe a halfway house solution of a simulated patient in a complicated long case with an oral viva with two examiners is one way forward. Whatever the solution, workplace-based assessments should reassessed, as they take too much time and have made trainees take their eyes off the ball, introducing a checklist mentality to training and giving them a false sense of assurance with regard to their clinical skills. WBPAs replaced the Part 1 OSCE but I rarely see anyone failing a WBPA.

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Eeyore - Video recording would be great but it's not on offer at the moment. Failing the exam isn't a disgrace - no-one's saying you can't do your job. It's unlikely that you are 'rubbish' (at least that's what I hope!) if you've got this far. More likely it's one or two small things that sway the examiner's decision towards not passing you. Not all stations will give you the opportunity to demonstrate these flaws, so you'll pass some, fail some. There's no reason to lose hope either, as you will pass this exam. My point is that you need to take positive steps to prepare for the next sitting. Accept that you have failed for a reason, even if you don't agree there is a reason for your failure. Go out and seek this shortcoming that you cannot identify. Expect to find it and you will. Don't be taken in by anyone who says there is nothing you can improve.

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Dear WM

I respect your take on the situation.I'm not worried about the what the exam tests.....only the about the way it's conducted.

I have no faith in the college.....but I know I will do better next time.

What is separate from this and the fact that it is separate should not be forgotten, is the fact that there irregularities in the way the exam is conducted

I don't attribute that to bad luck.......just as I don't say bad luck to a patient who has a side-effect.They should be accountable for their mistakes as simple as that....

WM ...you know where I stand, that won't change....what will, is that I will pass the exam...but that doesn't change the fact that the college has got it wrong

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The failures are to make you a perfect psychiatrist even if you are failed wrongly. With each attempt you perform better and better and even better than those who passed their exams in the first attempt. More the attempts, more you prepare for each attempt and more perfect you are.

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Mother Teresa/justice: I'm not saying anyone is better or that injustices do not occur. You do however have to appreciate what you are writing.

Are you both saying that many examiners failed you solely because of your accent or the colour of your skin? Are you saying that you gave these examiners no other reason to fail you? Does your conspiracy theory explain why non-UK grads passed the Part 1 OSCE and now pass the CASC? How are people chosen to pass if it is not based on clinical skill? Is a comment about your accent or look recorded on the mark sheet to help manipulate results later? Are there secret code words or phrases? How do they chose local grads who fail? How many people are involved in this scam? How far will you go to explain your failure on the system regardless of everything else going on around you?

There is a standard to be achieved in the exam and yes, there are psychiatrists who are above that standard but fail to deliver on the exam day or have a run of bad luck across several stations. To focus your energy on how the system has failed you rather than on what you need to do to pass is going to minimise your chances of success next time as you will simply repeat the faults of yesterday. There are many negative posts in this board about the CASC results and some of the stuff written is quite frankly ludicrous and insulting to people who did pass.

The first step is to identify why you gave examiners reasons to fail you. If you cannot think of any, think again.

The above replies are meant to be read in a constructive light. The negative energy on this board needs to be channelled into something more positive.

8-) 8-) :-? :-? ::) ::) :-X :-X

I thank Webmaster for his helpful comments. He's invested a lot of time too in his reply. Going by the contents of his post, it appears he's somewhat angry and frustrated with the opinions and views of some of the members! I'm very sorry if I've offended anyone. But aren't members meant to share their experiences, distress, hope, sadness, disappointments, etc here?

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Posting on the forum is an excellent way of letting off steam but it's also stopping some people from moving forward. The next CASC is not that far away and now is the time to start your preparations. The focus should be on how to improve one's skills rather than how to bring the College down. Failing is an incredibly frustrating experience but the number of times you have to take the exam bears no relationship to how fantastic a psychiatrist you will be in years to come. Don't become bitter and twisted. Stay positive.

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Dear All,

at the end of the day its an exam and some should pass and some should fail. I know its very hard to accept self responsibility for the failure as it makes you feel usselss but i don't think its a fair to project our short fall on the the system. I don't think RCPsych examiners are stupid, they do know what they are doing and most of them can see through the facts.

If somebody can pass 10/11 stations means they are good but not good enough to pass.

I know it sounds ridiculous but sooner we accept and move on, better it will be for us or else history will always repeat and we will all be here again in on this thread in december blaming the college.

I think though this exam is not 100% ideal but it does have very good capabilities to differentiate between candidates who are good enough and not good enough.

I feel those who have passed definitely are different and they do have an edge in their approach. One of my colleagues and good friend of mine took CASC second time and passed all 16 stations, if all the examiners are biased how would you explain this !!

So i think its time for all of us to get our acts together and to stop reassurance seeking from others.

People can say all the good things about you but very less people point out your stupidity which is why we fail in similar circumstances in a very predictable way.

I personally think my reason for failure was to completely rely on those people who told all good things about me and my reluctance to seek criticisms from others.

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[highlight]Posting on the forum is an excellent way of letting off steam but it's also stopping some people from moving forward. [/highlight]The next CASC is not that far away and now is the time to start your preparations. The focus should be on how to improve one's skills rather than how to bring the College down. Failing is an incredibly frustrating experience but the number of times you have to take the exam bears no relationship to how fantastic a psychiatrist you will be in years to come. Don't become bitter and twisted. Stay positive.
Eeyore - Video recording would be great but it's not on offer at the moment. Failing the exam isn't a disgrace - no-one's saying you can't do your job. It's unlikely that you are 'rubbish' (at least that's what I hope!) if you've got this far. [highlight]More likely it's one or two small things that sway the examiner's decision towards not passing you. [/highlight]Not all stations will give you the opportunity to demonstrate these flaws, so you'll pass some, fail some. There's no reason to lose hope either, as you will pass this exam. My point is that you need to take positive steps to prepare for the next sitting. Accept that you have failed for a reason, even if you don't agree there is a reason for your failure. Go out and seek this shortcoming that you cannot identify. Expect to find it and you will. Don't be taken in by anyone who says there is nothing you can improve.

Dear WM,

I agree with you we have had ample opportunity to let off steam and now we should be focussing on the next exam. This is my last post on this subject and I am not going to go on and on and on because you are right it seems to be stopping me moving forward.

But before I do that I must ask what are these minor things and how much do these minor things matter ???? My point is there can only be one way or at best only a couple ways of treating say a ruptured appendix or hypoglycemia or hyperkalemia etc etc. But we are not reading ECGs or interpreting blood results or looking at Pathology specimens so a reasonable amount of variability in our interactions should be acceptable provided there are no blatant errors of either omission or commission, this was very well served by the old long case. But I suppose the argument is academic, as you said this is the format of the exam for the forseeable future and I have to and will pass this exam. I have to thank you for your enlightening comments and wishing best of luck to all fellow CASCERS and myself. :)

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So you mean that one does not improve at all with the no. of attempts. People who take a lot of attempts are just duffers, that means. My experience is just opposite to it. In my MBBS, I failed the surgery ward test twice and passed in the 3rd attempt when I was in 3rd year. That helped me to get good marks in surgery in the real final professional exam as failure improved my knowledge and clinical examination in surgery at that time during a period of 3 years. I personally know some of the passers in the first attempt and made serious clinical mistakes despte having MRCPsych with their name. Again my emphasis is on 'some' and not all. There are many many people who pass in the first attempt and are excellent psychiatrists and there are 'some' people who pass their exams in 4th or 5th attempt and still may not be good clinicians. The problem is that after passing the exam in 4th or 5th attempt they come back to their original habits. If you attempt again and again you do improve in your knowledge and skills. The secret for the success in future is to keep those skills intact during the rest of your life and career.

Our assistant professor of medicine who used to displace his anger on us and insult us during his teachings did his MRCP in 9th attempt. I remember that he was the most competent and knowledgeable physician in the hospital and I do say that the no. of attempts had some role in his competence.

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Posting on the forum is an excellent way of letting off steam but it's also stopping some people from moving forward. The next CASC is not that far away and now is the time to start your preparations. The focus should be on how to improve one's skills rather than how to bring the College down. Failing is an incredibly frustrating experience but the number of times you have to take the exam bears no relationship to how fantastic a psychiatrist you will be in years to come. Don't become bitter and twisted. Stay positive.

well said! there are too much negative posts going on and some of the members have no other business than writing negative stuff. one should look for next exam with positivity and we are here to help each other how to pass

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for anybody looking for a bit of pep up talk -this ones about achieving childhood dreams

by raundy pausch

and the most interesting quote-

Brick walls are there for a reason. The brickwalls are not there to keep us out. Brickwalls are there to show us how badly we want something. Because the brickwalls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.

Brickwalls lets us show our dedication. &nbsp:lol:on’t bail; the best of the gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap ;)

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Posting on the forum is an excellent way of letting off steam but it's also stopping some people from moving forward. The next CASC is not that far away and now is the time to start your preparations. The focus should be on how to improve one's skills rather than how to bring the College down. Failing is an incredibly frustrating experience but the number of times you have to take the exam bears no relationship to how fantastic a psychiatrist you will be in years to come. Don't become bitter and twisted. Stay positive.

well said! there are too much negative posts going on and some of the members have no other business than writing negative stuff. one should look for next exam with positivity and we are here to help each other how to pass

hush, I see no reason to allow your words to carry any weight .

In addition I do agree with the WM that one needs to concentrate on the exam, but that does not preclude one from doing what they think is right.That is if anything-- positive.

bye

Hawk

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