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How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

If you are a doctor preparing for your MSRA exam, this blog is a must to help you pass. We are lucky to have Dr Ibrahim Marwa – a doctor who recently passed his MSRA assessment and got accepted into Higher Training – share his experience of how he prepared and passed…

– Register for our next Free MSRA Webinar here.
– Join the Arora MSRA Telegram teaching group here.
– Start our most comprehensive MSRA Ultimate Package here.

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How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

About Me

My name is Ibrahim Marwa and I’m a public health emergency manager at the Middlesex-London Health Unit (a local public health department in Ontario, Canada). For personal and family reasons I am relocating to the UK and decided to apply to the GP training. For a full overview of how to apply for GP training click here.

I applied to the 3rd round of GP training in August 2022 to potentially start in February 2023. It is my first time applying to the training position. I studied for the Multi Speciality Recruitment assessment (MSRA) whilst also working full time and also preparing for another exam. I scored a total of 475 and managed to secure multiple offers from all over the UK.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

Before you Start MSRA Revision

MSRA is an invitation-only exam – you will not know if you will be invited to sit for the exam or not until you apply to the program and your application gets reviewed. In my case I did not start preparing (or at least seriously preparing) until I got the invitation. If I can go back in time and change one thing, I would start seriously preparing for MSRA ahead of time!

MSRA has two main components, the Clinical Decision Making (CDM) and the Situational Judgment Test (SJT). In order to pass the MSRA you need to pass both components. Because I had limited time I had to be strategic about what I needed to study (another pitfall that I would avoid if I were you). I focused more on the CDM part and spent a lot of time practicing MCQs. For a full overview of the MSRA exam click here.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

How to Prepare for MSRA

Ideally, if you have the time, I suggest you combine knowledge and practice – meaning read the materials, get to know the basics and then put your knowledge into practice. There are plenty of materials out there, but here is the material that helped me in my studies:

I registered in the MSRA Ultimate Package, which gave me access to multiple mocks, video lectures, audiobooks and flashcards. I will go through each one:

MSRA Online course lectures

The lectures are an excellent resource if you want to dig deep in the relevant topics and build your knowledge base. If you have time I’d suggest going through them thoroughly, taking notes (you can do this directly on the learning platform) and perhaps summarise them.

MSRA Mocks

Arora Ultimate Package will provide you with multiple different mocks (at the time that I purchased there were 14 full mocks – 7 for CDM and another 7 for SJT). They are a combination of all the topics covered in the MSRA. They are all timed and predetermined. I suggest you practice the mocks when you feel ready to start answering questions. For the first few sets of mocks, I suggest you finish one full mock of each section (like one full CDM) and then spend a few hours understanding the questions and adding to the notes. 

A few weeks before your exam, I suggest you take 2 mocks at a time, starting with the SJT then CDM, to put yourself in the exam situation. This will take you around 3 hours. Once you are done. Spend a few hours reviewing the materials and take notes. I did that a lot!

One thing I need to mention is that it is very important to spend some time reviewing the answers and explanations. A lot of students focus on the result of the mock and ignore reading the materials. Yes, results might give you a good indication on where you are at, but you will need to read the explanations of both your correct and incorrect answers.

MSRA Audiobooks

The audiobooks were a delight, they are quick snapshots of the required component of the exam. I used to listen to them while commuting, at the gym, while doing chores and basically at any downtime!!

One thing you will need to understand is that every word that Dr. Arora mentioned in the audiobook counts and can be a key to a question in the exam.

MSRA Flashcards

Arora Flashcards are very important as a final review when you are done reviewing the materials. I suggest you review them one by one regularly throughout your study period.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

Other MCQ Banks

One crucial component of preparing for the MSRA is to practice as many questions as possible. For me, I registered with MCQBank. Although it has a lot of questions, the format and organisation of the questions are not the best. Anyways, they are extremely helpful to practice. I completed all CDM questions and wanted to make sure to cover as many questions as possible. Again, for every question, I read the explanation and understood what the question was trying to ask!

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

The MSRA SJT Paper

The SJT component also took me a significant time of my practice. I used to solve the questions from a question bank as well as using the SJT Mocks and videos from Arora, being careful to read the explanations properly. Overall, combining knowledge and practice is the key to doing well in the exam. If I would do the exam again, I would focus more on the SJT component! It is a bit tricky for me as I am not exposed to the NHS and don’t know much about the nitty gritty and the policies and procedures there. Nonetheless I scored ok, but I would definitely score more if I focused on reading, listening and practicing more SJT questions. The MSRA Ultimate Package focuses on boosting two key SJT areas: knowledge and technique.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

My Preparation Tips

Below are two key tips to prepare best for your upcoming MSRA. 

a) Start early. As mentioned above, don’t wait until you get invited to the exam to start preparing. Start preparing as soon as you decide to apply to a training that requires MSRA (or even sooner).

b) Focus on both sections of the exam – but do give a lot of consideration to the SJT section! If in doubt, think SJT, SJT, SJT!

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

A few weeks before the exam

The goal here is to develop the “muscle memory” to understand as many key points and recognize what each question is asking for. 

If you are done reviewing the materials (for me, audiobooks, lectures and MCQs), I suggest reviewing flashcards and summaries that you may have created previously. 

Ultimately the thing that helped me significantly was to do as many questions as possible and to simulate the exam environment! If the exam is 3 hours, just sit for the whole 3 hours solving questions before looking at the answers.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

During the MSRA exam

MSRA is a 3 hour exam so it can get a little tiring. It starts with the SJT paper, followed by CDM paper. You can have a short break between the 2 sections. Try to relax in the break as much as possible – and try not to over think the questions.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

My Own Challenges

I found the main challenge was starting early! I did not know if I would be invited for the exam and this impacted my study. I was working full time and was also preparing for another exam – I used to fit 4-5 hours every day (and up to 8 hours on weekends) for 3-4 weeks. It was extremely difficult, but it is all worth it!!

One last thing I want to leave you with – remember your worth. You are already a doctor, you passed the criteria to get invited for the MSRA, you have done a lot of questions and exams – and MSRA is just another one of these exams. Although the burden of the exam might be huge and significant to your training placement, please keep in mind that your worth is way more than just a score in the exam. 

Good luck my friend and I wish you all the best in your career.

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

How Arora can help me Pass MSRA

Our most popular and comprehensive MSRA Ultimate Package contains an all round and complete preparation plan for boosting your MSRA score. It contains multiple resources in one discounted bundle – 2x online video courses, Live MSRA crammer course, SJT and clinical mock exams, 2x audiobooks and 3x digital flashcard sets (clinical, pharmacology and SJT). For full contents and samples click here.

For individual MSRA resources (eg mocks, online courses etc) click here

To register for our next free MSRA webinar click here: Next Free Webinar

For our Free MSRA Countdown Programmes click here: Free MSRA Downloads

To join our MSRA Teaching Telegram group click here: MSRA Telegram

How I passed MSRA and Got Multiple Offers

MSRA Videos that will help…

Author Bio — Dr Aman Arora

Hello and welcome to Arora Medical Education! I am a Portfolio GP with a 24/7/365 passion for helping you fly through your medical exams and maximise your career. You can find out more about me here.

I’ve been fortunate to teach over 50,000 doctors globally through a combination of face-to-face, online, audio and social teaching, helping them pass exams such as MRCGP AKT and RCAMSRA and PLAB. You can find out more about my previous roles and qualifications here.

Feel free to contact me with any thoughts, questions or ideas to help you reach your potential. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Author Bio — Dr Pooja Arora

Dr Pooja Arora is a GP with a background in Medical Politics, where she passionately focuses on improving the opportunities and working conditions for junior doctors. She is proud to hold FRCGP (Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners).

You can find out more about Pooja’s previous roles and qualifications here.

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