Here are some tips for your FRACP exam preparation:
The hard thing about this exam is finding the time to study while working a busy full time job with nights and overtime.
So bring little bits of study to work with you and try and do at least 1 or 2 hrs of study at work every day.
Useful things you can do during your “free time” at work:
1. Watch the 40 mins college lectures.
2.Get into a study group, meet regularly and prepare your study group answers.
3.Read topics that are relevant to your patient’s case.
4.Do online MCQs.
5.Attend your Hospital Teaching, journal clubs & Grand Rounds. You will learn at least 1 thing every time you attend and you never know if that might just pop up in the exam.
So how do you eat an elephant?…The answer is “One bite at a time”. Build up your study hours as you go. Don’t do too much too early or else you’ll burn out and don’t start too late either because otherwise you’ll “miss the boat”.
Remember to space out your study over the course of the year so that you have better retention of the study material.
Take as much study leave as you possibly can.
That being said, here is the list of study resources chosen specifically for the FRACP written exam preparation:
RACP College Lectures (College Learning Series)
As of 2018, the college have introduced a new learning material called the RACP College Learning Series (CLS) which is an interactive online educational resource to support Basic Trainees across Australia and New Zealand. To subscribe to these series, you will need to go to the official RACP website and register.
These college lectures are invaluable as it provides you with a basic framework for your revision and gives you an idea of what areas of medicine that the college expects you to know and therefore would have a very high yield of coming up in the exam. So you need to study around these topics. The CLS is currently supplemented by the previous PEP lecture series which can be obtained on the college’s website.
Make sure you study ALL of them and add on your own study notes as you go along.
A hard copy of the MKSAP is available on our online bookstore or a digital version can be obtained on their official website.
MKSAP MCQs are not the best practice for the RACP written exams as the questions are relatively easier than the real exam but they are a good starting point.
MKSAP has questions broken down by subtopics so it is possible to study something like scleroderma and then go and do the MKSAP MCQs on scleroderma.
However, be aware that for certain topics such as choice of antibiotics in infectious diseases, the American guidelines are completely different to the Australian guidelines and so these are less useful.
UpToDate is an excellent study resource for your revision but the information available is vast, so you have to be selective.
Use it to study certain specific topics in question that you would find difficult to find the answers anywhere else.
Australian Therapeutic Guidelines
The Australian Therapeutic Guidelines put out pocket books on most subjects that can be ordered through this website: http://www.tg.org.au/
There is a mini version of this guideline that you can purchase and have it on your mobile devices.
These guidelines compliment the material that you’ve read from MKSAP or UptoDate on therapeutics as it ensures that your revision is in line with the current Australasian guidelines.
Also look at the Key references taken to set up these guidelines as there could be a lot of potential questions that could come up from these articles.
Recommended Medical Journals
Here Are The Top Journal Articles You Should Read:
1. The New England Journal of Medicine.
2. The Lancet.
3.Internal Medicine Journal.
4.The British Medical Journal.
5.Medical Journal of Australia.
6.New Zealand Medical Journal.
8.Annals of Internal Medicine.
In general, you should focus on reading review articles and clinical practice articles.
There is a rumour that the college uses journal articles from the last 2 years or so before the exam to generate questions. So keep a look out!!