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How to Prepare for FCPS Part 1 Pathology?

“Visual memory is very important in this field… There is no question that some people have a better ‘eye’ than others”. – Juan Rosai

I intend to give you a flavor of what pathology is about, before we reflect on the books that need to b crammed n jammed. Pathologists are medical scientists, and we do all the lab testing for doctors in the field. I am sure we all know the “importance” of urgent CBCs, RFTs, n LFTSs needed before the Professor’s morning round and the “Tissue Diagnosis” reports before “Adjuvant Therapies”. Well yes, a pathologist is not always the stool-urine guy, you can be the bacteria doc, the biochemical doc, the tissue diagnosis doc, or the blood n beyond doc, ie, a microbiologist, a chemical pathologist, a histopathologist or a haematologist respectively. N if you think you ve a better eye than others, and are ready to break the stereotypes, pathology is certainly for you.

Course Booklet: 
The first thing you need to get is the “course booklet for pathology” provided by CPSP from their regional centre. My 1st advice is… stick to the course.

The Books:

The list is very same, as for all other specialties. You just need to focus more on a few little things.


Snells review
( limbs are not included in our course, thankfully…. But better check it from the updated course booklet. If its not there, I assure you, it wont be in the paper.)



Download Snell Clinical Anatomy

High Yield embryology

. A tiny booklet of 50 pages I think.


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Download High Yield Embryology

Aamir for Histology.

Again a tiny kaida of histology. Laiq hussain is another excellent option.

Kaplan for Neuroanatomy.


GA for General Anatomy

Focus more on basics, n try to make your concepts clear.  These books cover paper 1 well, few general things are asked in paper 1, 5-6 mcqs from gross,general n neuroanatomy,  2 3 mcqs from embryology 2 from histology . For paper 2, focus more on histology. 5 6 questions are related to general and organ  histology, in paper 2.

BRS physiology. A very explicit book… cover it all for paper 1.


Paper 2 has no questions from physiology.


BRS pathology/ Golgan Review. The choice is yours. But better stick to the course. (You are not supposed to do special / organ pathology from these books, 1st aid covers special pathology well)
Tally from the course and mark chapters on your book. General pathology, nutrition,immunology,genetics, endocrinology,acid base fluids( kidney) n last but certainly not the least, haemtology. Anemia n lymphoid series disorders are very very important.

For microbiology, first aid is enough. For some basic microbes(staph stepts, n few important gram negatives), do consult Levinson for microbiology.

Remember, you are taking your part one in pathology, so pathology is the subject you need to know thoroughly. Paper 2 is all pathology, theres no physio, no biochem, no gross anatomy, no embryology, no neuroanatomy in paper 2. Your paper 2 savior is pathology, n just pathology.


Download BRS Pathology

Biochem, Biostats, pharmacology, give em a good read from 1st aid.


My one favorite book for fcps, first aid… first aid … first aid… do it at the end, but make sure you save enough time to relish it. When you are done with the basics of anatomy ,physio n patho once, switch to first aid. For the first read, give it ample time, like…a month. The successive reads take lesser time.make sure you ve done it thrice, “atleast” before you go for your paper.

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It not jus covers the minor subjects well, but is an excellent review of physiology, pathology, n anatomy.

Focus on special pathology well.


The mcq books…. My mcq book was murad. No special preference, frankly, I dint have time for others. If your basics are strong, n you ve grasped the course well, you jus need to review em once. They are just to boost your confidence ( or shatter it 😀 ). But deal em with caution, they certainly have mistakes, incomplete question threads, irrelevant options, printing typing errors etc.  Your exam MCQ thread is simple and explicit.


  • Stick to the course booklet.
  • Plan n divide your course according to your time limits
  • Set reachable goals for every single day.
  • Slow n steady wins the race. The rabbit is time, n this rabbit doesn’t sleep! You need to b steady.
  • Make sure you have atleast two weeks before the BIG DAY, for revising the stuff u think u keep  forgetting.
  • For the last three days… well… u cannot cram all these books, no one can. In fact, no one should. Its an MCQ exam, the answer is right there, in front of you. You’ve to pick that one word. Its not the LEQ SEQ exam. So while studying, make sure your concepts are clear.  It’s a game of nerves, and a test of your core knowledge. Don’t panic. Relax more, eat well, sleep well, n shift to a proper routine of early to bed and early to rise.
  • Sleep Well before the exam day. It’s a tiring 5 hours torment, divided in 2hourly segments, by a one hour interval in the middle. N you need fresh active neurons for paper 2, don’t you?
  • Do take your roll number card, n a handful of chocolates with you.
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Pray a lot, stay confident, n remember

“Who could intercede in His presence without His permission?
He knows what appears in front of and behind His creatures.
Nor can they encompass any knowledge of Him except what he wills” — ayat al Kursi.


  1. There are very limited reviews for pathology fcps part 1. And it’s safe to say, almost no past papers available. So here’s me sharing my experience. I decided to do combined studies with my close friend who was giving attempt in surgery. We ended our hj in Dec’18, and had planned to take a break of 20 days in January and go for attempt in April.
    After much relaxation, we began going through all the sources and jotting down the important books, FB groups, study plans. Here’s the list we prepared:
    1) Join fcps prep batch 2005-2010 on FB,
    2) Buy these books (SK pearls all volumes, tanveer notes, Rabia Ali, first aid 2019, Asim and shoaib for surgery and medicine allied, Chandkins).
    3) Study from the following list
    Physio: BRS + guyton & najeeb videos for complex topics
    Antomy: snell review+netters atlas for reference, neuroanatomy: aftab merchant + najeeb videos for neurophysio, embryo: first aid, langman for reference, histo: skpearls
    Microbio & Immunology: first aid
    Patho: pathoma and videos, first aid esp for special patho, BRS and goljan patho for reference
    Biochem: first aid
    Pharma: general from Lippincott + first aid for systemic
    Biostats+ ethics: first aid
    4) Ideal plan would have been to do rabia ali handy points and questions each time we complete a topic, (this is VERY VERY helpful as you get the hang of solving questions and also get to know most repeated questions from every topic, cpsp answer key for controversial questions. Keep errata by your side each time solving questions)
    5) Devote last 1 month exclusively for solving pastpapers either medicine or surgery as pathology is not availabale, go through all the sessions and try memorizing points from tanveers notes. Learn all the handy points of Sk pearls.

    Coming to the reality of it we weren’t able to keep up , we also realized we had spent a lot of money on buying books when really sk pearls all volumes, rabia ali and tanveers notes could have suffice. We did physio the longest (we gave sincere effort in understanding concepts) but we couldn’t remember most of it afterwards. Last 23 days were really crammed up, we could have done rabia ali simultaneously, doing everything in the end was a bad decision, we only managed to complete 1,2,3 and 12 sessions of tanveer notes and that too only one read. We also read sk pearls volume 1 only once. REMEMBER ALL OF THESE STUDY MATERIALS REQUIRE REPEATED REVISIONS, ONE READ IS NOT SUFFICIENT!!

    I was really nervous regarding the paper pattern of pathology P2.
    WHAT CAME IN THE PAPER??? Histology, neoplasia, microbio and immuno, general patho , acid base disorders (a lot of it), repeated questions of ethics, transfusion and blood products related questions, blood disorders, little bit of chemical patho, gen anat, physio and pharma.
    Overall I felt my paper2 was better than paper1. But surely I was going to flunk!! I knew I didn’t prepare well, didn’t really do much revision, although I had ample time, didn’t solve a good quantity of pastpapers. A Tip: just doing text books won’t help, you need to do pastpapers a lot, tanveers notes , because eventually you tend to understand the language of questions and also isolate the repeated ones. It was a miracle I passed, only because of prayers and I felt, no matter how little I studied but it was a sincere effort.

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