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RxPG :: View topic - Practical exam for final year..how does one score well?  
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Practical exam for final year...how does one score well?
For me,practical exams and vivas has already been the scariest part of the exams....I'm sure I have lots of company in this aspect! icon_smile.gif Now that final year exams are approaching at the end of this year and practical exams form a large part of the total marks...I would like to ask all seniors and juniors to share information about books,viva strategies eveything...please contribute..

UNANSWERED: study partner


its 50% work and 50% luck .... thats what i think... it depends a lot on kind of examiner u get.


Ofcourse shardul,but maybe we could disuss the 50% work part and then start a support group to pray together for the 50% getting the good examiner part! icon_wink.gif
For starters, one of my senior friends told me to use a brand new apron for practical exam,because a neat n bright apron helps to create a favourable impression.
She also said not to stay up all night before the exam because all nighters serve no purpose except tiring you early in the exam...


shimmeringstarr21 wrote:
Ofcourse shardul,but maybe we could disuss the 50% work part and then start a support group to pray together for the 50% getting the good examiner part! icon_wink.gif
For starters, one of my senior friends told me to use a brand new apron for practical exam,because a neat n bright apron helps to create a favourable impression.
She also said not to stay up all night before the exam because all nighters serve no purpose except tiring you early in the exam...

icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif i hope i had that spirit! ... becoming more of fatalist these days... u know its realy hard to match the idiosyncracies of every examiner... so there are few basic things u can do to always land up on safer side like having clean and neat apron ( somebody call Nigel here pls.... icon_lol.gif ), going clean shaved (if you are a guy) / hairs tightly tied up in pony (if you are a girl) wearing formal clothes and polished shoes... always being thourough with history...even adding up most irrelevant things like menstrual history if u get female patient with pleural effusion... icon_rolleyes.gif (yeah some examiners are really eccentric) ... explaining to patient in vernacular language before demonstrating any tests and thanking the patient once you finish and helping him/her dress up, whishing your examiner good afternoon/ good morning... returning the smile examiner gives unless he/she is really laughing at you... (why that regularly happens with me icon_mad.gif ) icon_wink.gif well i would add up to the list if i remember any more tips

hey i'm really sorry to make light of your serious questions... but i'm not really in a mood for serious things right now icon_wink.gif


thats okay icon_smile.gif ...thanks for helping out!i'm planning to talk to seniors to try and find out more...pl help out if you can..


seniors where art thou?


practical exams & viva..
Hi shimmeringstarr21,

I agree that most of students consider practical exams more tough than theories. But I have some different experiences. To be honest, I've got very good ranks in all uni exams & those are due to marks in practicals & not in theories(Note- neither examiner nor exam expert knew me!). I don't know how I learned to excel in practicals & vivas, but at ent of final year, I can say I've learned a lot of viva skills that might help those find it difficult.

1. The first & foremost I'd like to say is about sleep. This is more important than any other would think. You got to have minimum 6 hours of sleep, if u can't afford more! Here is the simple expaination- our curriculum is so vast & our examiners have so different approaches that in practicals, compromising 2-3 of sleep hours does not contribute anything. On the other hand, sleep is essential for arrangement of what we'vw learned. With inadequate sleep, it is possible that you make silly mistakes & forget what you know even better. So, whatever the length of course you might have not read, leave upto God & sleep..

2. Dressing is important.

3. According to my one teacher, from whom I learned many viva skills, there are 3 magic words for viva- Good morning sir, Sorry sir & Thank you sir! Never forget to wish the examiner good morning/evening, for every answer you don't know about say confidently 'sorry' (you may have to say sorry 10 times in a viva, don't worry!), & however badly you may have performed in viva, always finish with 'thank you', it will add 5 marks more!

4. Try to give as many answers as you can. Try to make examiner ask as many questions as he can. It is better to say 'I don't know' immediately to a question if you think it will take a while to get answer in your mind. In practicals, you think 'Oh! I know, Iknow, but..' that will never come in your mind, you will say 'I don't know after twisting your mind in front of examiner & waste your time..

5. I have seen most students look upwards, downwards or sideways while thinking answer or while answering. This is quite wrong. Eye-contact is essential. Practise giving viva with your eyes looking into the examiner's eyes.

6. As per psychology, perception has to be changed if you want to change thinking & thus reaction. So, never think the examiner is a professor & you are a student. That creates anxiety. Think like this- the examiner is an experienced Dr, you are also a Dr, but he is asking & you are answering as per your knowledge. Always give good expressions as you talk to your friend. To be expressive is important. Flat facies don't fatch marks!

7. Never rely on expert's diagnosis. Make your own diagnosis. Always justify it with your own views.

8. For preparation for practicals, I must say- one book is mugging, two books is learning & 3 books is knowing.. we have very few cases to prepare for practicals, so always read as much as possible about our cases. see maximum referances. That will give you confidence a lot, it will create a clear picture about the case.

9. Answer only such that if examiner asks from your answer, you should know it. Don't speak rare disorders that you don't know about.

10. Try to lead viva. It's not so difficult as it seems to be. For example, you can always stop at or repeat the thing you want to be asked about. Don't give answers in words & always say something more about the topic you know more or the topic you want to be asked.

11. Don't reply in third person. For example, don't say, 'pneumonia is treated by..' but say instead, 'I would like to treat pneumonia by..'

12. Have this point fixed in mind- examiner does not know everything & in our field, no one can bet if you say confidently. Whatever you say, say confidently. (I had an incidence when I replied totally wrong, the sir agreed, & my next friend replied correct, sir told him he was wrong as his forestudent-myself- said different!)

13. Have some topics always well-prepared, they can be asked in any subject, anywhere, like anaemia, jaundice, hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis, fever etc..

14. Lastly, faith is essential. I agree that practicals are 50-50. But we can improve our viva skills & get good marks..


I dont know how to thank you enough Parin for your enlightening post!I had hoped that some senior would help out..thanks for replying.Please keep adding if you remember anything more like commonly asked cases ,books for practicals and so on....


thanks & more..
Thanks, as I was afraid it would be too lone or borring..

So, here are the books for practicals I had referred in final year:


1. P.J. Mehta- clinical medicaine
2. P.J. Mehta- symptomatology
3. Hutchinsin- when any controversy, always follow this book
4. G.G. Oza- pink & yellow (cases & cilical medicine respectively)
5. Physical diagnosis by Vakil Golwala
6. Mcleod's
7. Alagoppan


1. S. Das- clinical surgery
2. prepare theories regarding all cases
3. R.D.B.'s clinical case presentation
4. T.N. Patel
5. prepare anatomy well
6. senior's material
7. DK notes on surgery


1. Chheda
2. Maherbansingh

However, I must say, once you got primary understanding, it is theory which will be useful. I am still repeating, your practical marks are more for your presentation than for knowledge..


Thanks.Please keep posting!


Bedside clinics in surgery
by Makhan Lal Saha is really a good book.It covers cases with enough theory.


C dude first of all in vivas ,all girls have an upper hand over guys coz even if they smile they pass.....icon_wink.gif just kidding .....

prax are the most imp part of prax is spontaneous answers but wise ones n ur ability to guide the viva according to ur knowledge ....n direct it towards the topics that u know properly .CONFIDENCE plays a major role u hav 2 b confident about what u now n answer it coz even examiners have their preferences in answers ,wwhat they r seeking for ?
be polite n HOW u handle the patient is the most important part ,coz every examiner wud like the students to deal with the patients professionally....i feel if u attend ur clinics regularly n hav attended good amount of case discussions then u shudent hav any prob cracking the prax...

have good rapport with the internal examiners ,ask doubts n help from them that ways they remember u.

as far as the books r concerned i read for prax frm these books

I had the DR.GHANASHYAM VAIDYA cassete clinics audio tapes and VCD's for SURG ,GYOB n MED
It is amazing and almost every exam cases r discussed extensively i n the clininc tapes
in the vcd's all the clinical examination part is done extremely well

PAEDS (coz thats my fav subject )

Clinical Das
Manipal textbook of surgery by Dr.Shenoy
Dr.Bhattacharya's Cinical cases in surg n ortho

P.J Mehta
Vakil Golwalla
Haresh Doshi's Clinical Cases & Clinical examination & diagnosis (these r 2 different books )
Ajit Virkud

Remember ur dressing sense ,clean white apron ,cardinal rules of examining the patient ,eliciting sign's and most importantly ur presentaion are the key points to crack the prax . Of course luck also makes a lot of difference .

Also try to get to know what type of questions any examiners are fond of .many examiners have fixed favourite topics which they ask time and again try to gather such info from friends .

SEE all the instruments in ur hospital n describe it to ur friends .do the tables --i.e ecg, xray ,instruments etc in groups ..that way su remember easily n job is done fast .take pics on ur mobile cam or digi's n revise them in the PL .

DO the CASES very properly coz that wil decide ur fate in the exam coz if ur cases go smoothly u r 100% pass icon_wink.gif

Do the cases
Remember practicals is the most important part of final yr .it is make or break ,do or die situation for all .
Final advice ___DO UR BASICS PROPERLY ,coz if u screw up in basics then u hav to wait for 6 months .



Thanks a lot,for this enlightening thread!

Aim USMLE Jobs

hw 2 score well in practicals.
hi! i m sumeet 4rm bhopal.

i also knows some intrusting ways 2 score more but may be this would aplly 2 all of us but at lest majority may gain benifits.here r mine observations tat can help u -

1-right way of dressings n attitude like doctors.

2-should know hw to examine n wat 2 examine i.e. should know hw 2 examine all the symptoms n systems of body.

3-percussion,palpitation, oscultation etc must b known throughly

4-must know hw 2 use sthetho.

5- d imp part all i fear is hw 2 give viva before examiner,wat will he going 2 ask etc, all the examiners r book worms they repeat their questions unless u acts oversmartly.

my name starts wit 's' hence i got plenty of time to ask my friends tat have got similar disease or patient 2 examine about wat r the questions were asked n thus abt 60-70% questions r known 2 me.

i cant say abt starting roll no. but definetely the rest will take advantage of it.poor 'A' name starters!!

Cunningham's Manual of Practical Anatomy
Completely redesigned in an attractive new format, this popular three-volume manual provides students and practitioners with a comprehensive guide to human anatomy and a dissection guide recognized throughout the world.
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