With just over sixteen weeks to go until the RACGP written exams, planning your study should ‘be done and dusted‘.   But, if you’ve left your run a little late, we’d like to share some words of wisdom to ensure you make the most of your precious learning time.

So what's the plan?

Your study plan shouldn’t be working your way through a big pile of books, summarizing long lists of resources, or planning to read all the Check Magazines and Australian Family Physician for the last five years, and ‘Murtagh’ cover to cover three times.   If that’s all that is required to pass, why have exams in the first place?  Yes those resources are important, but you need a plan.

The RACGP exams assess the way you contextually apply your knowledge, so learning the facts alone is not enough.

So what is the solution to turning that long list of hyperlinks and stack of journals into a successful plan?

The answer is:   40:30:20:10

The 40:30:20:10 rule helps you to prioritise the importance of the topics that you are studying and to allocate your time accordingly.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Generate a topic list (Hint:  the RACGP Curriculum is a good place to start)
  2. Categorise the topics as follows:
     common and important (40% of your study time), e.g. Hypertension
    ii.  less common but important (30% of your study time), e.g. Dermatology
    iii.  common but less important (20% of your study time), e.g. Genetics
    iv.  less common and less important (10% of your study time), e.g. Custodial health      Note:   Think about how your practice context affects your categorisation.
  3. Work out how many weeks until the exam, and how much time you have to study each week.
  4. Divide up the topics (and resources) using the percentages over the number of hours and weeks.  Leave some revision time at the end. Document your plan and review it weekly to see how you are travelling.

P.S.  Don’t forget about the Domains of General Practice in each topic.

By sticking to a study plan will feel more organised and confident in the lead up to the exams and be sure you’ve covered all of the curriculum!

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