MRCS Part A Experience by Dr Sana Riaz

MRCS Preparation Plan
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Posting below another success story and Preparation guidance for MRCS part A by Dr Sana Riaz which was shared by her on Facebook group “MRCS” . We are sharing this post to World Surgery Forum, so that the readers here can benefit from her experience and preparation guidance.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mrcs.info/permalink/2755627827861869/

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I passed MRCS Part A Jan 2020 attempt in first attempt with 80% marks yesterday, I wanted to share my experience as it might help someone.

As for my background, I am a fresh graduate and got my GMC Registration last month, via PLAB pathway. I wasn’t planning on applying for jobs in the NHS right away due to some personal circumstances, so I decided to utilize this time period by going for MRCS, as I plan on pursuing surgical training later.

Application :

Application process for MRCS is pretty straight forward. You can apply through either one of the four Royal College of Surgeons.  It doesn’t make any difference which college you choose, I went for RCS England, but it is a bit more expensive as compared to the others.

Once you make account on RCS website and apply for upcoming exam, you have to send a verified copy of your degree to RCS by post within a few days. There are three options for verification :

*British Council:   I went to British Council Office Islamabad, but they told me that it is a complicated procedure and would take at least 2 weeks.

*Any person holding Full GMC Registration can do it too, but I didn’t know anyone personally who could do it.

*Third option is the easiest and I would recommend you to go for it. Go to The Notary Public in your area ( I went to Lawyers’ Chambers in F-8 Markaz in Islamabad) with your original degree and a copy and they will do it within 5 minutes for Rs 150/-.

And after verification, dispatch the documents to RCS via post. (DHL delivers the documents within 5 days)

Preparation:

I can never prepare from multiple sources, and the biggest difficulty I faced when starting preparation was that everyone was recommending at least 6-7 different sources for preparation.

I have narrowed them down to these four, they are the best and the most widely used:

EMRCS : It is the most important one and the closest to the actual exam. There are around 2800 MCQs in it.

Pastest: Keep it as your second source of study. It has around 2300 MCQs.

Basic Sciences for the MRCS by Andrew T Raftery.

Oxford Handbook of clinical medicine (Only Surgery portion).

The way I prepared was that I would do one topic e.g. Cardiovascular Physiology from Raftery E-Book, and then solve MCQs from both EMRCS and Pastest of the same topic. In this way you can prepare effectively.

For surgery part, do the topic from OHCM ,and then related MCQs from EMRCS and Patest.
I subscribed to both EMRCS and Pastest, and they are  worth it in my opinion. You will be booking the exam for 550£, so 120£ for these resources is understandable. The good thing is that you can reset the questions and start from scratch again. Only 7 attempts are allowed for Part A, so make sure you are well-prepared before you appear in the exam.

PDF versions of these question banks are also available in various groups.

Anatomy videos by Prof. Harold Ellis that come with the Pastest subscription are THE BEST. Make sure to open  pastest on laptop. ( I used the mobile app throughout and came to know about the videos only 2 weeks before the exam 🤦 )

Last but definitely not the least, do Fawzia Sheet (300 most high yield MCQs). I can’t stress it enough how vital those are.

Preparation Time:

I prepared in 2 months, but please give yourself atleast 3-4 months to do all the questions atleast 4 times. Remember, revision is the key.

For me,It was the best decision to take this right after PLAB, as the PLAB knowledge helps you immensely, and it is easier to focus solely on preparation as compared to taking the exam later while doing a job in the NHS.

Best of luck for your exam.

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Check out the links below for more information on MRCS Preparation:

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DOING MRCS
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2017/07/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-MRCS.html

A DISCUSSION ON MRCS EXAM ELIGIBILITY
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2017/01/a-discussion-on-mrcs-exam-eligibility.html

HOW TO CRACK MRCS PART A AND THE BEST BOOKS FOR MRCS PART A PREPARATION
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2016/04/how-to-crack-mrcs-part-and-best-books.html

MRCS PART B PREPARATION FREE VIDEOS
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2016/12/mrcs-part-b-preparation-free-videos.html

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MRCS EXAM PREPARATION
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2016/10/frequently-asked-questions-for-mrcs.html

PASTEST VS EMRCS VS ONEEXAM FOR PREPARATION OF MRCS PART A EXAM
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2017/01/pastest-vs-emrcs-vs-oneexam-for.html

OPPORTUNITIES AFTER MRCS
https://worldsurgeryforum.net/2017/09/opportunities-after-mrcs.html

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MRCS Part A Experience by Dr Sana Riaz

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