Guidelines For Passing FCPS Part 1 in First Attempt, Which Books To Read, How Much Time is Required, Which Two Things Are Most Important And My Experience of Passing FCPS Part One in First Attempt in Medicine and Allied
The Study Guidelines
FCPS Part-I in Medicine & Allied
by Dr. Muhammad Usman Javed
FCPS-II Resident Internal Medicine, Cardiology.
When i was studying for FCPS part 1, i read a lot of articles about which books to study and how to ace the exam in my first attempt and Alhamdullilah it helped me a lot so i decided to share my experience for the benefit of other students. My housejob ended in April 2014 & i was unable to sit in june attempt as two month gap was necessary as per CPSP rules so i decided to take November attempt. There were solid six months for my preparation and i did not study basic subjects at all during my housejob so i had to start from beginning.
Time required for preparation varies from person to person. Candidates appearing in the exam are one of these three categories:
1. Those who give full 6 months to preparation (after house job,going to a trip and starting prep later on as i did)
2. Those who give 2 months to their preparation (due to short time...Jobs and Marriages are two big reasons for failure to give proper time)
3. Those who are preparing for USMLE , but wish to secure their future in Pakistan , too by clearing FCPS-I, but cant spare time for FCPS-I exam.
On an average time for prep varies from 2 to 6 months. There is no hard n fast rule. The target should be that you are able to give two to three readings to your selected books and be able to attempt 60-70% MCQ books questions correctly, in the first go.
Brief Account Of Books To Study For FCPS Part 1:
The two most important things are USMLE First Aid & Practicing MCQs. Have a look on syllabus provided by CPSP before starting your preapration, if you dont have, dowload it from medarcade.com. This syllabus is just to give an idea of important topics and it is difficult to follow as its extremely confusing so don't worry about it.
1.MCQ Books & Past Papers:
Despite the fact there are lot of mistakes in mcq books but still these are really must and therefore should be thoroughly read and hence memorized. This cant be overemphsized. These include Asim & Shoaib, MS Murad, Azeem Sheikh, Chandkian, QBOOK by Kaplan plus any other source you can avail to read past papers. This is of utmost significance and is the master key to unlock the examination. See, for the questions actually repeated in the exam, there is no room of mistake and thus these should be definitely attempted correctly. You should be able to read atleast three mcq books plus three latest past papers. I collected lot of mcqs during my exam preparation which i shared on my site medarcade.com and i also added lot of past FCPS papers here. (For example: Click Here to read FCPS Past paper Medicine & Allied held in june 2014 , Click Here for FCPS part 1 Past paper February 2014 OR Follow Blog for latest stuff). Online exams at CPSP website are also very imporatnt as some questions are also repeated from these practice questions. I also studied mcqs given at the end of Ganong Physiology and there was a big wave of happiness when i got three mcqs word by word in my exam from ganong.
Gross Anatomy- Snell Review book (if you want to be more sure on the exam, use RJ Last). Its a great book especially for medicine people who don't want to give much time to anatomy
Embryology - High Yield (Very important subject, should be revised a day before the examination)
NeuroAnatomy - I did from "High Yield Neuroanatomy". Kaplan's anatomy is also a good option, select according to yoiur taste. (Snell’s Neuroanatomy is a better choice for reference if you have enough time)
Histology - I did from Amir histology. Kaplan's anatomy is also good and if you have time do give one read to it.(sometimes only two questions from Histology but always remember that every question counts!)
wherever you study it from anatomy remains the same, it’s all about learning the minutest details of things in anatomy as long as you wish to score good in anatomy portion of the exam.
BRS or Kaplan: depending upon the time you have. There is a major chunk of questions from physiology alone and thus there is definite need to master the same. I read BRS physiology and used Ganong physiology for some topics and reference.
Goljan or BRS: For general patho goljan is very good book. You must solve all questions given in both Goljan & BRS. For microbiology & immunology all what is given in first aid for USMLE step 1 is fairly enough.Dont give so much time to special pathology as it is well covered in USMLE First Aid...so just concentrate on general pathology.
Its roughly under 5% of the total i.e. less than ten questions in total out of 200, but as every question actually counts, so never ignore this subject. USMLE First AID is enough for it
6. Misc. Biochemistry, Bio statistics, Behavioral Sciences etc:
Less than 5% of the total. No need to put extra efforts into these, just follow the stuff given in First Aid.
7. After everything mentioned above, FIRST AID for USMLE STEP 1 is mandatory to read as many times as possible: at least twice.
One day before the Exam:
Relax the whole day, don't study anything. You know everything. And what ever will come in the exam you ll do it,& you had already done maximum for it. The last day before exam is your day to Relax and pray a lot.
I am a firm believer of the fact that you must put your maximum to pass this exam. Never pay any heed to people telling u that they passed without studying at all etc. This statement with due apology is nothing but an exaggeration. So do your best and remember me also in your prayers.
GOOD LUCK :-)
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