Specific exam development is a key feature of the course. You are encouraged to discuss your exam development and improve your clinical/management skills as part of supervision in your placements.
Additionally, the course has specific exam preparation outlined below:
1. For the CASC
The annual Progress Test
There is an annual OSCE-style exam completed under true exam conditions, with NHS Psychiatry Consultants as examiners and professional actors used as simulated patients. Feedback is given to the trainee in the form of thorough marksheets, to be discussed with the supervisor and to help shape the PDP accordingly.
2. For the Written Papers A and B
Exams…. let’s think about how to use these reading resources for quick exam revision…
a. Background Reading Material
Paper A (Basic Sciences): The Regional Academic Day Year 1 Semester 1 presentations are all you need, but be sure to use the VLE question bank and Practice Exams to support your learning!
Paper B (Clinical/Critical Appraisal): This is a much bigger chunk of the syllabus. The expert-led sessions from the LAPs are excellent peer-reviewed material, along with the RAP presentations from Semester 2/3/4. Again, be sure to use the VLE question bank and Practice Exams to support your learning!
b. Access to MRCPsych-style questions
There is access to approximately 1,300 written paper questions during the 2-year course.
i. The LAP and the RAP
There are questions and answers in the style of the exam on all of the teaching days.
ii. Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
There are 14 sets of quizzes which coincide with 14 sections of the syllabus that cover basic sciences, clinical and critical appraisal. Each quiz has single best answer questions and extended matching items. They give instant feedback, explanation of the answer and a reference to the course so you can do some background reading to the question. They are all novel questions reviewed by a trained question writer.
There are practice mock revision papers for Paper A and Paper B (see below).
Remember to use this VLE in conjunction with the main MRCPsych website to access all the learning materials.
iii. Practice Papers
From 2017, there will be separate Paper A and Paper B on the VLE to give the trainees practice before the real thing! It has the same proportion of questions per topic as it would in the MRCPsych examinations. Overall, the written progress test lasts 3 hours and there are 200 questions with approximately 133 marks for MCQs and 66 marks for EMIs. Given that the exam is online, feedback is given to the trainees immediately so they can reflect on areas of strengths and weaknesses with their ES and TPD prior to the actual examination.