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MRCP Study Material

How to Clear PACES Exam? Experience Based Guidelines

Today we will share here How to Clear PACES Exam? This guidelines are shared by Dr. Shiny Moon. We are thankful for sharing these Guidelines.

How to Clear PACES Exam? 

1. Take every single opportunity on every single patient to revise for PACES. Although it is extremely
important to go to the wards with colleagues for “good cases,” it can sometimes be time­ consuming when “good cases” are actually in front of your very nose at clinic/on the take/in casualty/in outpatients. Hallway discussions with colleagues about cases was very helpful as was reading up randomly on different topics.

2. spend a couple hours revising after work every day for about 4 months. Maybe that seems like a lot of time, but that’s what I needed. People will say “you only need a few weeks” etc. which may be true for some lucky few, but to be very slick you need 2­4 months. The first few weeks are needed to get a plan of action and it may not seem that much is going in. The last 10 weeks gets really focussed. Respect this exam by putting in the effort.

3. Oxford Specialty Training book (a must) ­ clinical and ethics books ­ but LONG. Start on this as soon as possible. This really helped me on “what to say” initially to the examiners once I finished examining the patient and turned to face them. Practice out loud.

4. Gold and Silver Ryder books (important but like OST). Don’t wait to read theory before starting these books. These two books can seem discouraging at first, they really are at the standard of the exam and are not out­moded. I ran out of time but flipped through it at the end.

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5. Courses: they all cost about the same, and in my opinion are all about the same, with apparently some of the same patients from what I have gathered from the course I did in London and my friends’s UK courses. I do think that you should do one course but don’t go in “just to see” as it can be very discouraging as some of the other candidates are quite good and you may get overlooked by the registrars who provide very important tips and comments on your performance. It’s good to do a mock.

6. Pastest videos: I can’t describe how important these videos are. Go through a good few of them before going to a course. They take a long time to go through so don’t wait too long to start these either. Do watch them with a critical eye as some of the examinations and reasonings can be variable. It must have been some feat for pastest to make these and I take my hat off to them.

7. Tim Hall blue book ­ good for the theory part only but it’s really all in the OST. I did not have a good vibe from this book as I think I wasted a lot of time on the theory. Yet I’ve had colleagues who swear by this book. It made me a better doctor, but no help (I think) in passing the exam!

8. 250 cases ­ own it, looked at it once

9. Your first MRCP book ­ I liked the picture of the baby on the cover, looked at it once

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10. Paces e­book ­ supposed to be very good, I never read it

11. The examiners really like to see you think and trying to work things out. It’s not just getting the diagnosis as they may not even know as they’ve just calibrated the patient just before you. If you say something like: “Mr. Brown has the following clinical signs… Although I’m not able to find a unifying diagnosis, my differential diagnosis is….. ” they really like that as it means that you can think on the spot and yet gather up the signs. If you do this then you won’t panic if you’re not sure what’s going on with the patient.

12. Nail station 5 as it’s worth so much. Be really fast in picking up the diagnosis ­ almost as a spot ­ and chatting to the patient and then mentioning their concens and impact on daily living, so the examiners hear you. Sometimes they can be actors and so don’t really give a good history so don’t miss a basic step in the examination.

13. You never feel you’ve revised enough and wish you could have another month.

14. However, it all really does “come together” in the last few days before the exam!

15. It’s a completely do­able exam. There are always distractions in life leading up to the exam (e.g. a friend’s wedding, family, difficult work rota). Ultimately, it’s how you do on the day. Don’t think that you’re not prepared enough. You probably aren’t as you can never be. Be confident and completely focussed during the exam. Do every single station to the best of your ability as you may end up passing by one point so you need everything.

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Hopefully I have passed on some tips to the rest of you. All the best to the MRCP candidates .

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