My experience with joint FRCR2b- Singapore exams
The whole journey of passing my final FRCR exams has been incredible, full of ups and downs. But if one is focused, remains positive and keeps persisting, it is absolutely doable.
I prepared for 3 -4 months out of which 6 weeks was intensive prep. I had taken leave and was off work for 4 weeks before exams and I would suggest the same.
I started with attending a contact course in the beginning and it was really beneficial to me as it opened my eyes into how the viva is going to be. Thence I focused myself on viva practice and speaking. Whatever cases I came across in books and practical work, I used to present the cases and images to myself and then check my answer.
One thing people tend to ignore is the importance of intensive practice for Rapids. Most of the candidates who don’t make it is because of sidelining RR preparation in favour of more viva prep. For RR, I did around 120 sets out of which I did FRCR scholar twice. Doing frcr scholar is a must and the closest to the exam standard. Accident and emergency - a survival guide is an excellent book. And one must read through it as they practice attempting RR.
For long cases, the books are enough plus the cases that one sees in daily practice is invaluable to the exam prep. Multiple scroll sets are usually given in the long cases. Oncology cases also come. Pet/CT images could be provided.
It’s better that one presents to colleague /seniors. I was fortunate enough to have a study partner and we constantly motivated and encouraged each other in times of doubt.
There is a wealth of material available online for exam prep. I subscribed to the online courses and they were extremely helpful. I would really recommend Dr Amdad’s 2 day viva course. It was instrumental in making me more confident and concentrate on the “management aspect” of the case presentation. He holds many free webinars that is open to all free of cost. I propose that all candidates must make use of this invaluable online training programmes.
Books I read -
- Top 3 differentials by T O’Brien
- Rapid Review of Radiology by Shahid Hussain
- Viva cases by Paul S. Sidhu
- Radiopaedia playlists
- Chest x Ray survival guide by De Lacey. Excellent book for chest radiographs. Paeds radiographs also included.
- For people who have time till their exam , I recommend doing nuclear medicine from eintegrity. Or see cases on radiopaedia.
Courses I attended-
- Ian B Turmbull course - Chennai
- Radicon- Dubai - was excellent as I got to practice on Practique software
- Online 2 day viva course by Dr Amdad (highly recommended)
- For RR, subscribed to revise radiology and Frcr scholar. There are long cases packets also in revise radiology, though the subscription is a bit expensive.
For viva practice , try attending all free webinars online. And read and see a lot o cases and Images. They stick in mind. Reading through theory in the end is not beneficial .. if one sees a lot o cases, one gets trained in picking up findings.
Exam experience -
I was Allowed to scroll only once, or maybe twice. Refrain from scrolling the sequence up and down in confusion.
Lots of radiographs were also asked!!! And one can not afford to falter in Classic and stat cases.
For me, having a good night’s sleep made the difference. I was well rested. And confident.
All in all, if one perseveres, and concentrate on viva as well as Rapids prep, one is usually well prepared. Any tough cases, or unseen cases, one must not lose confidence and start presenting in a systematic manner. The examiner will usually prompt or help out.
I thank my mentor Dr Amdad for helping me in my prep and increasing my level of confidence manyfold. He is a true mentor, wellwisher and extremely dedicated.
I wish all the best to the future candidates.
Dr Aparajita Singh. Candidate in the May 2019 SINGAPORE FRCR EXAM.
Dr. Amdad . 1st let my thank you for your efforts; really appreciated
I want to share my exam experience with you and our colleagues ..
Background: I'm practising radiology since 9 years (5 years at university hospital, 4 years at private center)
I started my preparation 7 months before the exams; last 1.5 month I dedicated all my time for the study.
I attended two courses ( 2 months before the exam)
Rapids. I think this part of the exam is the most important and most effort-effective because there is a great chance to get full mark which will give a great support if you didn't do well in Viva or long cases
I started by a daily set during the 1st month and incrased tempo till 8 sets before the exam. I used all the available online websites. I recorded all my mistake in a folders and revised it before the exam and made my personal review areas and scheme according to my results and mistakes.
A&E survival guide is a MUST READ.
In practice .. must reach to 28/29 by beginning of last month before exam.
I made a small discussion group with 5 of my colleagues to daily discuss our mistakes and search on good reference for the answers to avoid re-mistakes.
I started daily practicing on 2-3 cases with a colleague and reached 10 cases before the exam.
-4 Viva books ( 100 cases book was really helpful)
-Radiopedia: write frcr at the search bar and select cases then you will find cases playlist which simulate the exam session
The group here and on telegram were useful specially the voice recording activities, I started all the important records and revised them before the exam
Viva mainly depend in practising and your attitude during the exam session, not on your knowledge.
Top 3 differential book
Rapid review book
Long case practicing using the same exam duration is important because you need to train yourself to organize and write your thoughts in short time, during my exam I finished my cases 5 mins before the end of exam
I encourage you to organize a weekly exam using exactly the exam time frame to train your brain
1 hour 45 minutes; start with 1 hour 15 min for long cases and then half hour for rapid set with no rest inbetween.
So to summarise:
1. Put most of your efforts in RR training; it is the only section you can get 8 marks and the only section where each mistake costs you alot.
2. Then do alot of Viva sessions; either with a colleague doing the exam or through online viva courses
3. Long cases; don't worry.. if you are practising radiology then you will do fine, you just need to concentrate on DD and management sections
4. More courses is always advised.
5. Actively engage in the discussion on whatapp and telegram groups by voice recording.
6. Form your personal whatapp group with colleagues who will attend the next exam; and each one of you should study a topic a summarize it using a voice record
And it's important to send a msg before the voice record contains the address of the voice record to be easy to find it again if you needed to revise them using search tool.
DR SUMERA ADIL. FRCR 2B CANDIDATE FOR APRIL UK FRCR EXAM 2019