Why to read RxPG First Aid for PLAB Part 1
Date: Wednesday, January 29 @ 00:00:00 IST
Topic: PLAB Part 1

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RxPG First Aid for the PLAB Part I Exam has been written keeping in mind the exact quantity and quality of knowledge required by any MBBS graduate to clear PLAB exam. This exam is conducted by General Medical Council (GMC) worldover. GMC has a questions bank of around 2000 questions out of which 200 questions are asked in any PLAB exam. The reason for GMC having such a small question bank is that they have a pains taking method to prepare new questions which are then tested and re-tested on SHOs and students to determine their level of difficulty. All this research consumes time and they are only able to increment their question bank by a few questions each year.

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Since around ten percent of the total question bank comes as a single question paper of PLAB exam, the frequency of repetition is one in ten, if you solve a single previous year question paper. That means out of 200 questions practiced by you, around 20 questions stand a good chance of being repeated. Most of the students, who fail PLAB Part I, do so by a whisker and it is rare to fail by a margin of 20 marks. So practicing even one previous question paper can change your fortune. This book contain five previous PLAB papers, i.e. 1000 questions. This is about half of the GMC question bank. So if you practice these five paper in advance you have a chance getting around 100 (20 × 5) repeat questions in your exam. That means you know about 50 percent of the paper in advance after doing this book. This would make not only passing but even scoring high in the PLAB Exam a cake walk. And believe us, when you will only apply for a job in UK. The score will certainly make a difference.

Features of This Book

Textbook type approach: Since passing the PLAB examination requires very specific knowledge about limited topics, we have deliberately kept the textbook type approach throughout to provide you a textbook that is specifically written for PLAB. This also elimina­tes the need to painstakingly filter bulky textbooks like Kumar and Clarke’s for your preparation. Believe us, to pass the PLAB Exam even OHCM and OHCS are not required to be read completely. This exam has a very limited range of topics. 

Intelligent format: The idea and the format of this book is based on our research conducting online at www.rxpg.com and offline at Maulana Azad Medical College. Several hundred previous students who have appeared for PLAB examination (including those who’ve failed it once), have contributed to our research and helped us evolve an intelligent and highly productive format. As per all the books of RxPG series, our format is a trademark for our success.

RxPG analysis: We have included a detailed analysis of every paper and every controversial point or question in this book. This will prove very helpful for those who want to maximize their efficiency and enhance their performance in this highly competitive exam.

Confusa: It is an integral part of almost all our explanatory answers. This helps you to understand the finer “traps” and “catches” in the question which are usually invisible to untrained minds and accounts for most of the wrong answers. By highlighting there points this book ensures that you won’t commit simple mistakes in the actual exam.

Paper-wise approach: The biggest blunder that most of the students appearing for PLAB commit is that they study for it in a subject-wise fashions, i.e. the old Indian way to study for any exam. Studying for PLAB means studying all clinical subjects together and randomly. When you will go through the themes in these previous papers, you will realise that mostly these themes don’t represent a subject but a clinical condition that overlaps through many subjects, e.g. in a single theme of acute abdomen, questions can be asked about ectopic pregnancy (Obstetrics), Renal colic (surgery, mesenteric ischaemia (medicine), vertebral column fracture (Orthopedics ) and laxatives (pharmacology). So one need to have an orientation of all the subjects for a single given prospective which is impossible if you study one subject at a time. To validate our hypothesis, we con­ducted a random case-control study amongst the students of Maulana Azad Medical College who appeared for PLAB April 2002 and July 2002 exams. It was found that students who did integrated study fared better by 5-15% marks than those who preferred the old subject-wise approach. Another significant observation was that subject based preparation gave the students a false feeling of over confidence which proved detri­mental in their scores. So RxPG strictly advise you to follow an integrated paper based approach. Subject wise approach is best left for examinations which are based upon reproducibility of facts and figures and PLAB is just not this kind of exam. (Note that even OHCM, in spite of being a book of medicine, has a big section on surgery. It is so because illness don’t confine them according to subjects and the question setters of PLAB are more concerned about you having this understanding).

Perfect simulation: RxPG has tried its best to simulate the exact PLAB exam by giving all 200 questions separately and identical answer sheets with them. This helps you to practice marking the answers with speed   and precision. This is important because of two reasons. First is that scoring in PLAB exam also depends upon your speed (Three hours are not sufficient for 200 questions). Secondarily, probably you’ve never came across the whole breath of the paper (usually these are 12-16 option boxes per question). Adjusting to this unique answer sheet takes time and practice, and examination hall is certainly not the first place to learn it. Practice marking with pencil on included answer-sheets and certainly you will be able to limit your “non-educational” mistakes in the actual paper.

Indexing: RxPG circulated a questionnaire, as a part of our offline and online research, among the students preparing PLAB. One of the question in it was “Mention the biggest short-coming of the EMQ books. They are referring to 74 percent of the students wrote “lack of index” or “lack of a table of contents where only the topics of theme are mentioned”. RxPG has thus incorporated both these features in this book and certainly this makes RxPG PLAB-years the best buy you can get for PLAB.

Orientation: This book contains total 1000 questions, but the authors have managed to explain 4000. How is it possible? Actually there is a peculiar occurrence our research team has noted while it was going through the previous papers. That is whole themes are often repeated in PLAB exams with the same set of questions, but with a different header, i.e. “Diagnosis of a disease” can change to “Management of a disease”. Since there are usually only four types of themes that are asked in PLAB exams (i.e. Diagnosis, Management, Investiga­tion, Treatment), we have included all these four points in almost every explanation. So reading the explanation to one question makes you intelligent four times.

Most authentic questions: Though we are not claiming 100% authenticity, we have put in a lot of time in compiling these papers. Basically we scanned the internet, approached those who’ve already given the papers and launched a special drive to contribute previous PLAB questions on www.rxpg.com. Since all these three were independent sources with no overlapping between them, we made one complete independent set for each exam from all three sources. Thereafter our research team compared the three sets to reach the most authentic final set of questions. This process was long and tedious, but you will realize the high level of our accuracy in reproducibility, once you’ll appear for the PLAB exam.

Online extension: To keep this book alive and interactive, we have an online section dedicated to this book.
Here you’ll find any errata or additions to this book, a forum dedicated to plab part I and a serious plab e-group. Moreover any information about plab is available on www.rxpgonline.com.

Based exclusively on textbooks for PLAB exam: RxPG had contacted some PLAB coaching institutes about how to study, and all they said is “If you want to clear PLAB, throw all your books away and read only UK text­books.” You all should note that UK adopt quite a different approach about management and treatment of many diseases, so there is lot of unlearning that has to be done (as usually we read USA textbooks like Harrison’s). It is true that by reading non-UK books you can indeed easily answer the themes based on “diagnosis”, but of late the number of such themes in PLAB exam have consistently fallen and emphasis on “investigation” and “management” has increased. For example most of us  crammed throughout our college years that ”amyl nitrite” is to be given in case of cyanide poisoning, in UK it is “Dicobalt edetate”- unheard of by most of us. So start un-learning today by following UK textbooks for even the most inconsequential fact. This book will simplify this process for you.

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