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Customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

on 13 September 2004
Many applicants acknowledge that doing "a lot" of practice questions is an important revision technique for the written part of the MRCS - indeed, some use it as their sole revision method.
Practising MCQs and EMQs has the advantage of covering a large amount of knowledge in a relatively succinct time and familiarising oneself with the technique. This may be especially important for foreign applicants who are unfamiliar with MCQ / EMQ. I suspect that the urban myth that revision questions writers have spies taking the exam is just that - a myth. Questions in the exam are copyright of the college. However, the syllabus to be covered IS finite (however it may seem during studying), so the common topics and questions will tend to come up commonly. Doing lots of questions acts as revision and reassurance that some (hopefully, enough) of the information is going in. It also highlights weak areas that need further work.
The answers to the questions are laid out at the back of the book, with a fairly comprehensive explanation which allows you to check understanding. Unfortunately, we noticed a significant number of errors in the answers, which either contradict explanations given, or the original material in the textbooks. This leads you to doubt your own knowledge and can be pretty inconvenient!
This book and its sister title (on core) are based on the old division of the exam, with systems covering: locomotor, vascular, head, neck, endocrine and paediatrics, abdomen and urinary system and renal transplant. The new, intercollegiate exam phased in this year reshuffles the syllabus a bit, but the information to learn is, in toto, the same. Those candidates sitting both the applied basic science MCQ paper and the clinical applications EMQ paper shouldn't find this too inconvenient.
I suspect that PasTest will have new editions of the texts and their corresponding practice questions books in the pipeline already. Hopefully these will also correct the errors that we noticed. In the meantime, these books are a useful tool for checking knowledge and practising technique.
PS Check out the Royal College's website for detailed information on the exams and up-to-date syllabus.
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on 15 November 2004
This book and the other MCQ books from PasTest are a must for anyone sitting the MRCS parts 1 and 2. They contain some of the same questions so if you have all of them there is some overlap which can get repetetive. They are best for showing where there are areas in need of more reading, but also give a good demo of the style of questions to expect, which is very useful for those MCQs in the exam which you don't know and have to guess at - pattern recognition based on how a question is phrased.
My only gripe - and it is quite a big gripe (hence only 3 stars) is that they are all full of errors, and I can't believe that they have actually been properly edited!! That's fine if you recognise the errors, (or you are borrowing a book from a friend who has corrected them already), but some are subtle, and easily missed. This means that those who solely rely on these books for revision are in danger of learning things wrong.
In general though, as an aid to revision, in the final stages of pre-exam preparation, they are a must.
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