How to prepare for MRCS Part A and the Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

How to prepare for MRCS
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How to prepare for MRCS Part A and what are the best books and resources for MRCS Part A Preparation?

Sharing my preparation plan and resources so that you can prepare and crack MRCS Part A in the first attempt. I took the MRCS Part A exam during the second year of my MS General Surgery residency. I would rate the difficulty of the exam as moderate, at least it was not something that can be taken lightly. There were times in the exam hall when I was doubting myself over my responses to the questions. Quite a few questions were very tricky, so you have to be on your toes while doing preparation. Until the day of the result, I had a doubt over me cracking the exam, but the big day came as a pleasant surprise.

Below I will describe How to prepare for MRCS Part A step by step:

Step 0: Understand what is MRCS Part A Exam and Which College to choose?

Step 1: Decide the date of the exam giving yourselves enough time and a good headstart over the competition

Step 2: Choose your study resources

Step 3: Join various Facebook communities where students and seniors help each other over study resources and important information regarding the exams

Step 4: Revise what you have read

Step 5: Hold onto your nerves in the examination hall and don’t do silly mistakes

Step 0: Understand what is MRCS Part A Exam and Which College to choose?

The full form of MRCS is Member of the Royal College of Surgeons. The MRCS examination is a crucial milestone for a surgical career in the UK; it determines whether a surgical trainee possesses the correct knowledge, skills, and attributes to complete basic training and to progress to higher levels of specialist surgical training. Since MRCS is an intercollegiate exam, so after passing part A in any of the above college one can give part B in same or any of the other colleges. Degree will be awarded by the college in which Part B is given. There is no difference in value of degree awarded all are equal only difference is Edinburgh is more immigrant friendly college and England is more popular and difficult to get through. MRCS Part A exam is conducted by:

Related Books

1.RCS England
https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/education-and-exams/exams/search/intercollegiate-mrcs-part-a

2.RCS Edinburgh
https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/exams/the-mrcs-exam

3.RCS Glasgow
https://rcpsg.ac.uk/surgeons/exams/mrcs/part-a

4.RCS Ireland
https://www.rcsi.ie/gensurgerymembersexams

Step 1: Decide date of the exam giving yourselves enough time and a good headstart over the competition

  • Deciding when to give the exam is one of the important factors which will drive your success in the exam
  • It is held three times a year in January, April and September with booking closing approximately 2 months before the exam date.
  • You can follow these two routes
    • Express Preparation: Requires 6 months. Suitable for those who do not have a very tight work schedule and can take out a good relaxed 4-6 hours of time to study each day.
    • Laid Back Preparation: Requires 1 year. Suitable for those who have a very busy work schedule and cannot devote more than 2-3 hours per day of study time.
  • Once you decide about which cohort you would fall in, book a date for the exam
  • Until you don’t book a date, your brain will be in a denial about the exam preparation and you will be as lazy as a toad. So if you are really serious, book a date at the earliest.

Step 2: Choose your study resources carefully so that you can crack MRCS in First Attempt

  • What to read to crack MRCS again depends on when are you starting your preparation.
  • In case you are going the express route your resources will include more of MCQs and EMQs, and less of theory books which will be used only for reference
  • In case you choose to go the laid back route, you have a chance to work on your weak areas, strengthen your basics and mix it with a right proportion of MCQ/EMQ practice everyday
  • Below are few books which are a must for preparation of MRCS Part A

How to crack MRCS Part A and the Best books for MRCS Part A preparation (Updated)

Best Theory Books for MRCS Part A Preparation (How to Prepare for MRCS Part A)

1) MRCS Part A: Essential Revision Notes: Book 1
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

How to crack MRCS Part A and the Best books for MRCS Part A preparation (Updated)

2) MRCS Part A: Essential Revision Notes: Book 2
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

3) Basic Science for the MRCS: A revision guide for surgical trainees (MRCS Study Guides)
(Buy Now)

Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

4) Oxford Handbook of Clinical Surgery
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

Best MCQ/EMQ Books for MRCS Part A Preparation (How to Prepare for MRCS Part A)

I cannot overemphasize the importance of doing as many MCQ/EMQs as possible because our brain usually is good at recalling readymade retained information in pressure situations, as in the exam hall it is sometimes difficult to come at conclusions. So having done a few MCQ/EMQs on the topic given in the exam will increase your probability of giving a right response to the question. Below are a few books you can go through:

1) SBAs for the MRCS Part A: A Bailey & Love Revision Guide
Paperback – 25 Sep 2018
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

2) Bailey & Love Companion Guide Mcqs & Emqs In Surgery
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

3) Rush University Medical Center Review of Surgery
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation
4) MRCS Practice Papers Part A: Paper 1 SBAs
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation
5) MRCS Practice Papers Part A: Paper 2 EMQs
(Buy Now)
Best books for MRCS Part A preparation
Best MCQ/EMQ Online Resources for MRCS Part A Preparation (How to Prepare for MRCS Part A)
  1. Pastest : Over 4,300 MRCS A exam-themed questions
  2. OnExam : Over 1,700 single best answer questions, 1,300 extended matching items and 2015 Mock Test
  3. eMRCS : Over 2,000 Single Best Answer and Extended Matching questions based on themes from previous exams

Check out this video on – How to Prepare for MRCS Part A and Best books for MRCS Part A Preparation:

Step 3: Join various Facebook communities where students and seniors help each other over study resources and important information regarding the exams

Following are a few communities which can help you understand your competition, keep you motivated and help you with more guidance on the study resources:

Step 4: Revise what you have read

One month before the exam stop reading anything new and focus only on the revision. Stick to MCQ/EMQs for your revision. Try to take a glance of all of them atleast once.

Step 5: Hold onto your nerves in the examination hall and don’t do silly mistakes

On the D-Day…
  • Stay composed
  • Read questions carefully
  • Mark the options as you attempt questions
  • Keep a track of time, remember you have less than a minute to attempt each question. Time is one of the important factor which will determine your success.
  • Avoid silly mistakes
  • Keep your senses working
  • Don’t get nervous
  • Take good breakfast, stay energized and well hydrated

If you have studied well, you will definitely clear the exam.

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Frequently Asked Questions about MRCS Exam preparation

1) What is the best time for appearing in MRCS Part A for Indian doctors?

For MRCS Part A, the best time to prepare and appear in exam in my view is 2nd year, because you have had a good practical exposure to most clinical situations which are asked in the exams by then. This will make reading theory and attempting questions more interesting.

2) Can I appear in MRCS Part A after successfully completing my pg entrance exams?

However if you think you have enough time available after your pg entrance exams, and you think you are comfortable with basic knowledge of  supespecialties like urology, vascular surgery, orthopaedics, neurosurgery etc, you can go ahead with MRCS Part A.

3) What is the best time for appearing in MRCS Part B exams for Indian doctors?

For MRCS Part B, the best time to prepare is 3rd year, you are very strong clinically by then and you will be able to prepare with minimum effort. Your probability to pass the exam will also be higher. In addition to it, it will also help in preparation of final year general surgery clinicals.

4) After doing MRCS part A, how much time we have to pass MRCS part B? 

After passing part A, you are required to pass Part B of the examination within seven years. Otherwise successful MRCS Part A result will be considered as expired.

5) Is MRCS Exam mandatory for doing FRCS?

There can be a direct entry to FRCS too but for experienced surgeons only and that too after satisfying a lot of other criteria. But MRCS makes it easier to get GMC registration, Royal college sponsorship, fellowships and jobs in the UK.

6) Can I start my preparation for MRCS immediately after finishing my housejob?

You can start your preparation for MRCS Part A immediately after finishing your housejob but it is always better to have some basic surgical experience before you appear for MRCS Part B.

7) Is MRCS Degree of any use in India?

MRCS has only academic value in India and showing off a foreign degree on your CV to your employers and to your patients. Maybe it can help you initially in your career in converting your job interviews easily. . It shows that your standard of knowledge matches the international standards. That is the reason many specialists resort to naming the institution or University from which they obtained the MRCS/ FRCS in brackets after the degree. MRCS is a very standardized examination with emphasis on basic sciences. MRCS can authenticate minimum proficiency in the basic principles of General Surgery.

However, there is no significant difference in the packages between MRCS qualified and non-qualified doctors. In the Middle Eastern and other countries, doctors with MRCS are preferred and given higher seniority and packages.

8) What are the changes in the pattern of MRCS Part A exam?

MRCS A exam earlier used a mixture of single best answer multiple choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching MCQs (EMQs) in Paper 2. From September 2018, only single best answer MCQs are being asked in the paper.

9) What is the syllabus of MRCS?

Please check out this document to know the syllabus of MRCS.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BZrOZpLmnC_0ctAtVULJ09ZHZs2DoJtt/view?usp=sharing
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How to prepare for MRCS Part A and the Best books for MRCS Part A preparation

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Best Surgery Books

BEST BOOKS FOR MRCS PART A

  1. MRCS Part A: Essential Revision Notes: Book 1
  2. MRCS Part A: Essential Revision Notes: Book 2
  3. MRCS Practice Papers Part A: Paper 1 SBAs
  4. MRCS Practice Papers Part A: Paper 2 EMQs
  5. Rush University Medical Center Review of Surgery
  6. Bailey & Love Companion Guide Mcqs & Emqs In Surgery
  7. SBA MCQs and EMQs for the MRCS Part A Pack: 2
  8. Basic Science for the MRCS: A revision guide for surgical trainees
  9. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Surgery
  10. Get Through MRCS Part A: SBAs
  11. Mrcs Module 2016 Question With Explanations For Mrcs The Best Question Series
  12. EMQs and Data Interpretation Questions in Surgery

BEST BOOKS FOR MRCS PART B

  1. DrExam Part B MRCS OSCE Revision Guide: Book 1
  2. DrExam Part B MRCS OSCE Revision Guide: Book 2
  3. OSCEs for the MRCS Part B: A Bailey & Love Revision Guide
  4. Succeeding in the MRCS Part B Exam: Essential revision notes for the OSCE format
  5. Get Through MRCS: Anatomy 2E
  6. Clinical Anatomy: Applied Anatomy for Students and Junior Doctors by Harold Ellis
  7. Essential Radiological Anatomy for the MRCS
  8. Surgical Critical Care: For the MRCS OSCE by Mazyar Kanani and Simon Lammy
  9. Surgical Critical Care Vivas by Mazyar Kanani
  10. Mcminn’s Color Atlas of Human Anatomy
  11. Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy

 

BEST MCQ BOOKS FOR GENERAL SURGERY

  1. Surgery Essence By Pritesh Singh
  2. Surgery Sixer for NBE by Rajamahendran 4th ed (2019)
  3. Bailey & Love Companion Guide Mcqs & Emqs In Surgery
  4. Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery ABSITE and Board Review
  5. Surgery PreTest Self-Assessment and Review, 13th ed
  6. SURGERY COMPLETE – 2019
  7. Surgery For PGMEE 13th Edition – 2019 by Amit Ashish

BEST TEXTBOOKS FOR GENERAL SURGERY

  1. Bailey & Love’s Short Practice of Surgery, 27th Edition
  2. Sabiston’s Textbook of Surgery
  3. Schwartz’s Principles Of Surgery
  4. SRB’S Manual Of Surgery

BEST BOOKS FOR OPERATIVE SURGERY

  1. Operative Techniques in Surgery by Michael W. Mulholland et al
  2. Chassin’s Operative Strategy in General Surgery
  3. Farquharson’s Textbook of Operative General Surgery, 10th Edition

"To be great, a surgeon must have a fierce determination to be the leader in his field. He must have a driving ego, a hunger beyond money. He must have a passion for perfectionism. — Donald B. Effler"

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