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How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

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 Malvika Jayakanthan – a doctor who recently passed her MSRA assessment and got accepted into GP Training – share her experience of how she 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 my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

A little about me….

Hello! My name is Malvika and I’m an IMG from India. I am currently a GP trainee in Luton. I’ve worked in the NHS for over two years now rotating in Medicine, Surgery, ED and Rehabilitation medicine. 

MSRA is a competitive exam and is often under-estimated! For full details about the exam click here. It definitely requires planning and peer consultation before you start revision. Below I’ll go through some of the tips, tricks and challenges that I faced in the prep process – hopefully helping you to plan your own MSRA success pathway!

How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

Before you start….

– Make sure you are ready to dedicate a minimum couple of months. This in itself might be a challenge considering that you will have to balance work and studying. If your job involves quite a few on-calls, it may be worth trying to swap them for after the exam to maximise time for revision.

– Discussion with colleagues who have taken the exam, reading blogs from verified sources as well as doing your own research is vital before starting. Understanding resources, pitfalls, challenges and how to be wary of them before you start revision is crucial. Remember however, as much as this is useful, it is only for guidance – you need to work out what is best for you and your learning style.

– Know that resources are only blueprints or examples of materials that can be tested – they are NOT the entire syllabus. You will be subject to questions you may have never come across so it is important to understand which topics can come up in the papers. 

– Learn the different types of questions, objectives and duration of the exam. As an IMG doctor, I was familiar with the clinical questions but found the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) component challenging and an area that required more practice.

How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

Resources that I used…

In order to get a variety of questions, I did my revision with two different question banks. I then finished it with multiple Arora MSRA Mock exams in order to get used to exam conditions and timings.

Another important resource that really helped me are the MSRA flashcards which helped with last minute recollection of facts before the clinical component of the exam.

For SJT, I also did foundation practice papers that I found online in addition to the SJT questions from the question banks and mocks.

 

How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

Preparation Tips…

For the clinical component I went ‘system wise’ in the first question bank, completing all the questions in one section (eg respiratory), followed by small self tests in the second question bank to test my areas of weakness. I made my own notes and read them the very next day, helping to reinforce the content that was being tested. For details on the clinical topics watch this video

For the SJT I would only suggest practice, practice, practice! This section is very subjective and you might find that almost all the options initially appear correct. It has both ‘choosing three or more right answers’ as well as ‘ranking the best to worst actions’ when faced with an ethical challenge so you need practice with both types. Ultimately it all comes down to basics such as patient safety, confidentiality etc, which you would be applying throughout your medical career – but practicing technique to answer questions is important. For tips on handling SJT questions watch this video

How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

During the exam…

Everyone starts with the SJT part first, followed by a break and then the clinical part. It is a computer based exam and if you are not familiar with this format, mock exams at home are a great way to practise. If you do mocks, even practice the order – eg do an SJT mock immediately followed by a clinical mock.

For all MSRA mocks, videos, audios, live teaching and flashcards, see our all-in-one MSRA Ultimate Package. 

How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

My Challenges…

– Juggling revision and work was quite difficult. For this reason, starting early and having a clear timeline and plan is essential. Although this is easier said than done, trust in your abilities and try to stay positive throughout. This was my first attempt and I was told it could take a couple more attempts to get a decent score or even to pass!!! For free MSRA timelines and programmes click here.

– You might feel overwhelmed at different times during revision with intrusive thoughts, self doubt and exhaustion post work. During these times it is essential to pause, relax and restart from where you stopped.

– The SJT was very difficult for me to understand initially as I failed to grasp the concept of the questions and what was actually tested. However, with practice and focus on technique, I slowly started to improve.

– The exam is always an eye opener for first timers. You may find totally different from what you expected so being flexible and mindful during the exam is the best way to approach.

I wish you all the best in preparation and in the exam! Dr Malvika 🙂

How I Passed my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

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 my MSRA Exam and got into GP Training: Dr Malvika Jayakanthan

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!

aman

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.

aman

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