Comments from examiners have shown trends in the way candidates perform some tasks and the following information may be useful to you.
Examiners say that candidates do not always listen carefully to what the patient has to say. Instead, they tend to ask a series of questions rather than really listening to the patient and responding appropriately.
It is important to help patients to be able to express themselves. Some candidates seem to produce set phrases which are meant to show empathy and understanding, but fail to demonstrate these qualities by their responses and attitude.
These comments apply not only to communication stations, such as breaking bad news or explaining treatment, but also to other stations. In history-taking, for example, communication skills are vital in eliciting the information you need, in giving information to the patient, who may be frightened or distressed, and in checking the patient understands what you are telling them.
Examiners have noticed that candidates have particular difficulty with psychiatric stations. Being able to assess suicidal risk, for example, is a very important skill in the UK.
When reflecting on your performance, do not think only about your technique. In the practical stations, it is also important to consider preparation, and the safety of the patient and others.
When doing clinical examinations it is important to go through all the steps properly. Examiners have observed that some candidates display evidence of rote learning. with no real understanding of what the patient is presenting.
In emergency management, examiners have noticed that candidates do not always know the correct protocols. It is necessary not only to be familiar with these to pass these stations but also to know how to perform them effectively.
I hope these comments will help you in preparing for the OSCE.