If you are preparing for MRCGP International this blog is for you! What is covered? MRCGP UK vs MRCGP International Global Exam Centres Curriculum Eligibility Criteria Assessment Format Our MRCGP International Resources Resource Feedback On a Final Note… MRCGP UK vs MRCGP International MRCGP UK consists of three components – AKT (Applied Knowledge Test), CSA …
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 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…
To register for our next free MSRA webinar click here: Next Free Webinar
For our Free MSRA Countdown Programmes click here: Free MSRA Downloads
A little about me….
Hello! My name is Malvika and I’m an IMG from India. I am currently an A&E SHO in Surrey and I’ve worked in the NHS for over a year now rotating in Medicine, Surgery and Rehabilitation medicine. I recently took the MSRA exam – scoring 455 – and got an offer to soon start GP training in Luton.
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!
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.
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 10 full mock exams by Dr.Arora in order to get used to exam conditions and timings.
Another important resource that really helped me are the 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.
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.
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.
– 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 🙂
To register for our next free MSRA webinar click here: Next Free Webinar.
For our Free MSRA Countdown Programmes click here: Free MSRA Downloads
MSRA Videos that will help…
– 3 trends I see in those who don’t score well in MSRA, and how to beat them
– Why a Dual Preparation plan is important to pass MSRA
– MSRA SJT paper: How to make it simple
– MSRA Clinical paper: what will I be tested on?
About Dr Aman and Dr Pooja
Dr Aman Arora is a GP who is now 100% committed to transforming medical education, helping doctors across the globe to ace their exams and enhance their careers. He is proud to hold FRCGP (Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners). Previous roles include:
- GP Training Programme Director
- NHS GP Appraiser
- GMC PLAB 2 Examiner
- GP Recruitment Examiner
- GP Recruitment Question-writer
- HEWM IMG Board Member
- HEWM Advanced MRCGP AKT Trainer
Dr Pooja Arora is a GP with a background in Medical Politics, passionately focusing on improving the opportunities and working conditions for junior doctors. Previous roles include:
- Vice Chair Birmingham LMC
- BMA Council Member
- BMA General Practitioners Committee elected representative
- BMA Sessional GP Committee elected representative
- BMA National Deputy Policy lead for working at scale
- HEE GP Ambassador
- HEE GP Stage 3 Assessor
- RCGP Midland Faculty AiT representative
* Blogs written on our website are not for professional, financial or medical advice. Please seek appropriate professional, legal or financial advice where appropriate *
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