FRACGP Exam Trove
Official RACGP resources
All exam candidates should be familiar with the existence of the official Candidate Handbook, Exam Guide and the RACGP curriculum. Since the start of 2016, the RACGP has produced official exam reports, which give valuable insights into what the examiners were looking for. These reports are a must-read!
GroupsIn addition to forming your own study group and joining your RTO’s exam prep group (if available), consider participating in some of the free Facebook groups:
Run by Raja Devanathan, GP Registrars for FRACGP Prep is a group of >1400 past and present exam candidates. It is open to all FRACGP exam candidates, from any region or program. It contains case discussions, practice questions and links to useful resources. Members can also receive discounts for various exam prep resources. The group is secret, so it won’t come up if you search Facebook. To access the secret group, send a message to Raja.
GPs Down Under is a large group of >3000 GPs in a supportive environment where you can learn, keep up to date with current events and share ideas. It is well worth joining as a registrar and staying on after you pass the exams. After you have requested to join the group, you need to keep an eye out for a message from admin (check the Others or ‘Filtered Messages’ folder), as you will need to confirm your ID and medical registration as this is a closed group.
Other facebook groups to consider joining include special interest groups such as the Dermatoscopy group and the EKG Club.
Planning & What to StudyWhen making a study plan, consider the common GP presentations based on BEACH data (pp65-68). Avoid the temptation to study familiar topics and consider using a self-assessment tool to find your blindspots. ICPC2 codes also outline a list of potential topics, but this is not exhaustive.
Books and Articles
The main texts include Murtagh, Talley and O’Connor, Susan Wearne and the GPRA exam book. Current editions are generally recommended, though perhaps not essential as you need to source up to date management from current clinical guidelines, recent articles, eTG or AMH. Second hand copies of these books can sometimes be found via the FRACGP facebook page, or handed down through the practice from previous registrars. Electronic versions are handy to have because of the easy searchability and portability.
The RACGP Check program is available for all members of the RACGP, through GPlearning. These questions are good for encouraging self reflection and finding your blind spots, but the questions are not designed to replicate exam questions. You can order back issues in hard copy, but there’s little need to do this as there are several years worth online (back to 2015) and older issues than this risk being out of date anyway.
GP learning also has a range of other modules…
Blogs and Presentations About Exam Technique
Several past exam candidates / supervisors / assessors have put together their own advice on how to pass these exams, which makes for highly recommended reading. Please note that as the rules have changed over time, older advice may not still be valid. If you would like to add your own post or presentation to this list, use the feedback form and send in a link.
There are no official question banks (other than the practice exam that is released just prior to each exam round), but there are several other commercial options that are not affiliated with the college and have not been reviewed or verified by them. For the AKT, there is Dr. MCQ or MedExHub, while there is Dr. KFP or KFP Online for the KFP. If you choose to use a UK question bank (or book) as a tool to find your blindspots, you need to be vigilant about the differences between their guidelines and ours. Free practice questions are also posted on the FB group and there is a large (somewhat variable) set of flashcards on Quizlet. Avoid any question banks that have straightforward fact recall (without requiring clinical reasoning and interpretation skills) as these will never feature in the college exams. Real questions are more likely to describe problems in patient language not medical jargon (requiring interpretation) and give you tests to interpret instead of describing the findings for you. There is a lot more to writing good questions than this though!
If you have previously failed these exams or consider yourself at significant risk of doing so, you might also consider a prep course. These can offer more intensive and structured support for candidates and boost confidence, but do come at significant cost and quality may vary. The following non-RACGP providers are listed in alphabetical order only – contact the providers for details:
Addit: (2018) I am increasingly aware of concerns about poor quality (and piracy) among some online prep courses so am adding this note of caution. Everyone thinks they can write exam questions, but few do it well (as I am now discovering more and more). At bare minimum, you should make your own assessment of the quality of a course before purchasing. If you are convinced you need a prep course, be sure to check the credentials of the providers and assess their level of experience. More needs to be done to make these courses more transparent as they can be very expensive and candidates are vulnerable to exploitation!
RACGP Prep CoursesAlso contact your RTO (if applicable) regarding their own exam prep workshops and courses.
December 27, 2016
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