Whether you’re just starting to plan your study, have already commenced and need some guidance, or have been unsuccessful and need some redirection, there are there are a multitude of factors to consider when preparing for exams. However, there are some key aspects which can influence your success. Some of these include:
- How you learn – Aural learners often have more difficulty with the AKT due to the amount of information you are required to read.
- Where you work – GPs working in non-mainstream General Practice often have more difficulty contextualising information.
- What sort of patients you see – if you have a narrow patient demographic profile it can be harder to learn knowledge application.
- How long you’ve been practising – the longer we practice for the larger the amount of ‘illness scripts’ and clinical biases we collect making pattern recognition more common.
- How you learnt medicine – if you learned medicine in a didactic manner, being tested in a ‘socratic’ method (as in Australia) can be difficult.
- Your study habits and techniques – you may be studying the wrong content, or studying in an inefficient or ineffective way.
- Personal confidence – whether you’re sitting exams for the first time, or reattempting, it is a nerve-racking experience that can knock your confidence!
There are also factors which influence your performance in each of the three exams individually. If you’d like some more information on these, then reading this blog can be helfpul: What’s the (Education) Diagnosis Doc? How Changing your Study approach can Maximise your Exam Success.
If you’ve been unsuccessful in exams, it’s really important to work out why – Read Difficulty Navigating RACGP exams? How to make a ‘Plan B’.
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RESOURCES AND PRODUCTS
If you're not quite sure how to approach assessment preparation or you have had an unsuccessful attempt then an Assessment in Medicine (AIM) Consultation can help to work out what went wrong, and can guide your future preparation. An AIM Consultation involves a comprehensive review of your learning history, practice and patient demographic, learning style, exam attempt history, and exam approaches, combined with a one-hour Skype consultation with Medical Education Consultant to produce a detailed recommendation for future exam preparation.
The Education Atlas Course is a list of the resources that you are useful when preparing, as well as key information about the RACGP Curriculum and approaching exams. It links to a Study Group Forum to assist you in finding study partners.
The Education Atlas Course is available via a FREE BRONZE subscription.
The Clinical Reasoning Compass Course assists with clinical reasoning and to assess your learning. It contains information explaining clinical reasoning approaches and 30 RACGP curriculum-based short-answer/KFP style questions with detailed clinical reasoning approaches and answers. The timed quizzes and broad coverage of topics will help you identify learning areas which you may have overlooked so that you can brush-up on those areas before the exam.
The Clinical Reasoning Compass Course is available via a GP Study System SILVER Subscription.
The GP Study System contains all the resources that you will need for exam preparation. It contains 30 Topic Areas, mapped to the RACGP curriculum, with key areas to focus on, activities to explore the curriculum domains, and links to all of the evidence-based resources required for study including AFP/AJGP, Check, How to Treat and important Guidelines. It can be accessed as a course, or individual topic pages, and can be opened directed from the MAP App.
The Medical Assessment Preparation App can create a 24 week, RACGP curriculum and research-based study plan, individualised for your personal, practice and patient demographic profile, and integrating your confidence against 30 topics areas of the RACGP Curriculum. The MAP App outlines areas to focus on and direct links to the RACGP Curriculum topics and the GP Study System. It is available through itunes and Googleplay. If you would like to access a generic study plan, this can be done through the GP Study System.
The Clinical Reasoning Intensive Course is a six-week program of practice exam questions, with a weekly one hour Skype session with a Medical Education Consultant. This course is useful if you have at least three months before you are sitting exams and you have previously been unsuccessful.
Enrolment in this course is only offered after an Assessment in Medicine Consultation to define the likely cause for difficulty passing the exam, and offer recommendations as to the best plan for future study.
The Professional Enrichment Program is available to help build your confidence. The Professional Enrichment Program is a course delivered over Skype for six weeks by a professional counsellor, to improve your confidence in the lead-up to exams, and to equip you with additional skills to manage stress both within yourself, and for your patients. There are quite a few performance and confidence coaches available that work specifically with doctors. Please contact us for recommendations.
The Professional Enrichment Program cost is quoted on application.