I just got back home yesterday evening after appearing for the MRCS part-2 exam (wat is better known nowadays as the IMRCS clinical-problem-solving paper), at a London centre...and the paper went off really well. And all those scary stories i used to hear about the 2nd paper being a very lengthy one & difficult to complete on time, well, at least they didnt seem to be realistic yesterday...and i say this all the more, cos i aint particularly a very fast-exam-paper-completer, and have on most occasions struggled to complete exam papers in time, wen others seem to hav it easy.
I guess this debate on whether an exam paper is lengthy or not, all boils down to how well one is prepared. If one knows the answer the moment he finishes reading the question, then automatically the total time taken in marking in the answer, and completing that paper, goes down drastically. Thats i guess what happened with me yesterday.
Now i'm not saying that the paper was exceptionally easy or anything, and that all you future candidates should take it easy. There were a whole lot of those tricky EMQ's, and some very clinical based questions, answers to which would be hard to find in most basic text books, and its only if you hav actually carried out the procedure, or witnesssed the procedure happening, would you be in a good position to answer those particular questions with certainity (but again, the MRCS-2 is an an exam kept in mind for those who have supposedly started their surgical training, and so will hav/should hav witnesed many a procedure...right?). But overall, my preparation was decent, and it wasnt before question number-54, did i have to start "searching & banging myself in my mind" for the right answer. So you can look at it from 2 angles....either the first 53 questions were "easy", or my preparation was good enough to know the answers to the first 53 questions, the instant i read them. Well, watever way you wanna look at it...the resulting scenario was great for me.
After question number 80, right till the final few questions in the 160-180 range, things didnt turn out to be "as easy" as the beginning part of the paper, and i had to do quite a bit of thinking/supposing/imagining/guessing, to come up with the "right" answers...but i had the luxury to do that, since i had completed the first 53 questions in a mere 35 minutes! And after all, we all know that most of the question content of the medical exams we appear in, are topics which we have come across and read, somewhere or the other at some point of time...and its just that we cant remember/recollect them, under examination conditions. And so its all about being able to "remember" the answer, ASAP. So again it boils down to the time factor. If you hav time on your hand for the difficult questions (and the best way to do that is to get off the blocks fast...really fast, i.e answer the easy questions first...and get that headstart), you can then exercise and stretch your mind, and try recalling all that you had studied once upon a time...and then figure out the best answer. But another important thing i MUST point out...no matter how many books you read, and how much you know...you MUST do as many sample questions, and mock tests as possible, especially if you want that perfect orientation, and be comfy with the time management part of this 3 hour exam...which is such an important part of it all. Besides, doing the mock exams will invariably make you come across some questions which you'll realize you never knew the answers too....and so mock exams add to your preparation too. In fact, know some people who have even passed such similar exams, by doing an over-dose of mock exams only!
Anyway, me feeling really upbeat about my performance, and in case anyone wants any suggestions, advice, or simply wants to talk to me about the whole experience, regarding my preparation, the syllabus, the books i read, the time i devoted, wat i expected, and wat was unexpected, etc, etc, etc in these IMRCS part-2 exams.....please feel free to ask. Those of you out there who know me already, know that i wont be around here for long, as my direction in life will be taking a change soon. I mean to say...i wont be around in the MRCS section of RxPG for long...though you'll always find me on RxPG, whatever i do, and wherever i am. So if you wanna ask me anything....ask me NOW.
As for me, this MRCS-2 exam will always be close to my heart, and special...forever...cos in all probability...this is maybe one of the last medical exams i've given...and the last i'll ever be giving...in a long, long time to come, and the icing-on-the-cake was that, i performed really well.
Bye for now, take care, keep smiling, and despite all those piles of books and exams ahead of you...dont lose your focus, and dont forget to live your life to the fullest, and enjoy it to the maximum. You wont get a 2nd chance to live a 2nd life, so give it your best, and experience the best!!!
(PS: Any questions you wanna ask me...refer to the MRCS forums, where you'll find this same write-up of mines)