By Marina Ayad Lambros MRPharmS, qualified July 2014
And the countdown begins…
I did my pre-registration training last year at The Imperial College NHS Trust; my year was packed with learning, new challenges and many achievements. However, I decided at the end of the year that I wanted a bit more experience within community so I am currently locuming for many large chain companies including Superdrug and several independent pharmacies. I found that having the ability to be organised and use time wisely is key if you want to succeed as a pre-registration pharmacist and as a qualified pharmacist. As a result I’ve put together some revision advice for those of you undertaking your training this year!
So, here we are with about six months left till the pre-registration exam, ‘do I really need to be thinking about this right now?’ I hear you ask. Yes, I believe that this is the perfect time to start on exam preparation and revision, particularly during the holiday break. Right now, you have time on your side and ample opportunity to organise your revision, make a start on it, and then gradually build on it over the following months. There is a lot of material to get through, which is why leaving it till the last minute isn’t really the best idea. However, always remember that each year hundreds of students pass the exam so you can too.
So, here are my tips for getting started on revision:
- Firstly, be organised, get a diary (if you haven’t got one already). Use this to plan your revision, and organise your reviews and meetings with your tutor.
- Go through the exam syllabus and break up revision into several topics. Spend some time focusing on each topic. I also found that making my own set of notes really helped as I could always refer back to them on a regular basis.
- Revise with friends; this always makes learning more fun!
- Practice doing different types of calculations
- Use the resources on the RPS website to help with revising law and ethics
- Look out for the RPS revision weekends; these get booked up really quickly so keep checking the RPS website for updates. I definitely recommend going to this event, it comprises of a day of intense revision followed by a day of mock examination which is of course very helpful.
- Sign up to ONtrack. As a member of the RPS you will get a 30-day free trial, this is a fantastic resource with hundreds of mock closed book, open book and calculation questions which are written in the same style as the questions set in the exam.
- As you get closer to exam time, get hold of mock exam papers and try to complete them under timed conditions.
Start today, stay on top of your work and then take some time to relax and enjoy being a pre-registration pharmacist.
Good luck and happy revising.
Marina Ayad Lambros MRPharmS