My experience at the RPS Mock Exam Event

by Alya Jassim, Pre-registration trainee 2020

The first day of the event started with an introduction to the course, outlining the important changes that we needed to be aware of, such as the updated de-regulation of medicines. The lecturer, Nadia Bukhari, was great at explaining information and giving lots of little hints and tips along the way. The pre-registration manual evidences were again put to light to ensure the topics were fully covered. We then moved on to calculations. There were quick-fire questions to get us warmed up and I liked how the calculations were categorised into 12 categories highlighting the possible questions that the exam could potentially ask, with slight variations. It made things much simpler. A reflection after each set of questions was particularly useful, as we had the opportunity to think about where we may have gone wrong in the calculation.

There were a few ice breaker sessions which opened conversations with other pre-registration trainees and proved great for networking opportunities. After the break, there was a very thorough clinical session about high risk drugs. The key points were again highlighted, and the speaker did a great job at challenging us to think at a deeper level, which gave me a very clear indication about how in-depth my revision needed to be.

After lunch we had another clinical session, however this was slightly more interactive, with a case study of a patient that had several commodities and risk factors. This was particularly useful as it allowed me to look at a case with a more holistic approach rather than look at one aspect. It gave us the opportunity to speak to other pre-registration trainees and discuss our answers. This was a very enjoyable session.

We then moved on to OTC treatments, another interactive session that I enjoyed. There were lots of example questions that could be asked in the assessment, which I used as guidance about what I should be looking out for when studying OTC medicines.

Day Two was the big day where the assessment took place. The assessment started after a very informative law and ethics lecture. The lecturer, Atif Shamim, gave lots of examples that really resonated and were very applicable to real life. I found it very helpful how the references to the MEP were highlighted on each slide.

Paper 1 was the hour-long calculations paper and then after lunch, we sat the second paper, which was the clinical paper. The feedback session was helpful, as I got to see where I was going wrong and what gaps I needed to address in my revision.

Overall, the experience I had at the event was extremely insightful. The information was well organised, the lecturers were very helpful and I found them greatly inspiring. I highly recommend the event for all pre-registration trainees, an absolute must!

If you’d like to find out more about the RPS Pre-Reg events taking place across the country, take a look at: https://www.rpharms.com/events/pre-registration-mock-exam-and-revision-course

A Reflection On The RPS Pre-Registration January 2020 Mock Exam Event

Pardis Amin-Eshghi

Your Pre-Reg year is a tough one, no question: finally putting all of your hard-earned knowledge to work in the real world. And you still have your Pre-Reg exams to pass at the end of it!

Fortunately, the RPS offers events across the country to ensure you get into practice with a minimum of sleepless nights!

These interactive sessions look at real-life examples to help you pass your exams and be ready for practice. They’re an invaluable opportunity to identify your strengths and weaknesses, highlighting key areas to focus your revision on.

At every event you’ll hear from experienced tutors with top tips, both for exams and challenging practice situations. You’ll also get to know fellow Pre-Reg pharmacists, as well as recruiters looking for their next generation of top pharmacists. We spoke to RPS member Pardis Amin-Eshghi, who told us all about her experience of the two-day event in London.

“I heard about the upcoming RPS event from my tutor, swiftly booked my place and then attended a weekend of intense, focused learning on how to pass my pre-registration exam in order to become a qualified pharmacist.

When it comes down to how to prepare, neither the tutors nor the GPhC recommend making your revision an exercise on how much one can memorise from the resource materials (and there is a lot to memorise). It’s more about how well one can apply that knowledge to the everyday scenarios found in practice, whether it be in hospital or community pharmacy.

The Pre-Reg event is split into two days.  Day 1 revolves around clinical lectures, case studies, calculations, and (my personal favourite) OTC. During the sessions, it was great to have the opportunity to bounce off ideas and then network with the other pre-reg’s. In addition to this, the calculation section (hosted by Simon Harris) involved going through all 12 types of pharmaceutical calculation questions listed in the framework – all in a succinct, step-by-step manner.

Being a big clinical buff, one of the highlights of the event was a clinical lecture hosted by Nadia Bukhari (who’s also the series managing editor of ‘Pharmacy Registration Assessment Questions’, a series that has been a staple in my exam practice). I was enthralled by the way the subject matter was taught, with the key take-home message being that this exam is checking our depth in knowledge. When tackling a scenario, ask yourself, e.g. “Why should a patient be on this medication?”, “Why does this medication cause this side effect?”, “What is the result of this interaction?”, “What other medications should this patient be on?” etc.

Day 2 commenced with an interactive session on Law & Ethics, with the main event being the mock paper (done under strict exam conditions, reflective of the actual day), with the questions representative of the style of questions provided by the GPhC. Once both papers were complete, they went through the answers and the rationale behind them. In the end, we got to take the paper/ resource packs home to go over again, along with our booklet of the slides used throughout the event. Overall, I found these events to be pivotal for the learning and development of any pre-reg that’s on the final hurdle to qualify as a day 1 pharmacist.”

If you’d like to take some of the pain out of your Pre-Reg and boost your chances of passing, there are RPS Pre-Reg events across the country – find out more at :https://www.rpharms.com/events/pre-registration-mock-exam-and-revision-courses

Pre reg revision course – my experience

Michelle, previous pre reg revision course attendee

by Michelle Clothier, Relief Pharmacist – Boots

When I first saw the advertisement for the RPS pre reg revision course event I was in two minds whether to go along. Half of me thought about the price and that it was far for me to travel, and the other half told me that it would be a good idea to go just to see how the exam would be laid out and get an experience of a pre-registration exam. Then a mock day came up in the city of Newcastle (close to my home) and I just knew that I had to go.

Day 1

I was really nervous the first day, particularly because I didn’t know many people there and partly because I knew my calculations were weak and I didn’t want people to notice my weakness. However, after the first day I quickly realised that I was not the only person worried about calculations and it gave me a glimmer of hope.

I arrived early and everyone was in good spirits, the check in process was quick and simple and I got my name badge and entered the hall. I sat on a table with only one other person I knew and we started working through the workbook provided. We were given the GPhC framework for the exam and lots of important learning materials including a list of the high risk drugs and everything you could ever need to know about them. Lunch was provided on both days (which was lovely and catered for everyone), and tea and coffee was flowing for everyone throughout the day. The main thing I learned on the first day was how to go about a number of calculations and I used the method I had written down to practice everyday until the exam. This is why the first day is so good! Methods are explained in detail and you are given time to write everything down so that you can use all of your notes for revision!

Day 2

This was the actual mock exam. I was tired (you don’t sleep much before the actual exam so this was perfect) and I was nervous despite it being a mock. It was clearly explained how the day was going to run and it was actually a perfect representation of how the actual exam did run. I didn’t pass the exam, but it gave me hope because I was quite close to the pass mark of 70%. As we marked our own paper I made a list of the points of which I got wrong so I could start to build my revision around them. You didn’t have to tell anyone the mark you achieved unless you wanted to.

Building up to the (real) assessment

After those two days, I used the framework given by the RPS and the points I had made to really start revising, and, despite failing the mock I passed the real thing!

I would highly recommend this mock to all pre-registration pharmacists. It is well worth the money because it is the foundation required to begin revision, it is an opportunity to mingle with other pre-regs who are all feeling as nervous as you are and you make new friends – all of who will be there with you and for you in your career in pharmacy. Don’t forget, no question is a stupid question – it is guaranteed that someone else in that room is wondering the same thing as you are.

The professionals from the RPS are there to share their knowledge and experience, ask your questions and learn as much as you can, take the resources and pass your exam. It sounds simple and perhaps cliche, but you get out what you put in and the RPS mock exam is the perfect opportunity to put in effort and get out knowledge and experience.

Honestly well worth it!

Visit the pre-reg revision courses events page to book your place today.

 

 

Pre-Registration Exam: Whatever the result, the RPS is here for you

Today, the GPhC released the results of the June 2017 registration assessment. It’s a fantastic time of year where the next batch of pharmacists are beginning their fulfilling career in such a challenging but rewarding industry.

The GPhC Chief Executive, Duncan Rudkin said, “I want to congratulate the trainees who passed this year’s registration assessment and wish them all the best for their future careers. From the first day on our register, pharmacists play an integral role in supporting the health of their patients. The registration assessment helps to make sure that candidates have – and are able to demonstrate – the knowledge and skills to meet this important responsibility.”

Unfortunately, we know that the exams are extremely tough and that not everyone will be celebrating today. This year, 78.2% of trainees passed the exam, which means just over 600 pre-registration trainees having unfortunately, fallen short.

Whatever the result means for you, we want you to know that the RPS is here to support you. We have a number of resources on our website, ranging from essential guides for starting your career, right through to alternative options if you have failed the exam for the third and final time.

If you didn’t pass the pre-registration assessment then don’t panic. The RPS professional support service can be contacted on support@rpharms.com or by phone on 0845 257 2570. Our friendly and knowledgeable team can offer guidance on any issues or questions you might have, and let you know what steps to take.

If you passed then follow these useful links

Essential guides for community
Essential guide for hospital
Essential guide for pharmaceutical industry
Foundation Programme
Mentoring

If you haven’t passed, these links and resources will help you prepare for the next assessment

The latest MEP
The reclassification hub
A-Z resources, which includes a range of Quick Reference Guides
Top tips for preparing for the assessment

If you failed for the third and final time, although you may not be able to register as a pharmacist, you have gained a valuable set of knowledge, skills and experience through your degree and pre-registration training. Many of these are transferrable to other roles and environments. There are many alternative opportunities available to you so do not give up on your career aspirations.

Pharmacist Support outlines some career options in their factsheet, Careers advice and options for pharmacy graduates. This covers pharmacy and non-pharmacy roles that you can consider. Think about all the options available to you and research potential roles to see if they interest you.

Once you have decided on a new career path to pursue, try to arrange work placements in this sector/environment to give you an idea of what the role may be like, and what the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks are.

Tips

  • Consider registering with recruitment agencies
  • Make use of social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter to network and make contacts
  • Highlight the skills and knowledge you have gained to enhance your CV and cover letter when applying for jobs
  • Seek advice from a careers centre or advisor

For more details and the full pass list please visit the GPhC website.

Top tips to get you through your Hospital Interviews

MichaelMichael Champion, Student, Social Media and Communications Lead of RPS East Anglia and Anticoagulation Practitioner at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, tells us the tips that got him through his Hospital pre-reg interviews.

 

Read more Top tips to get you through your Hospital Interviews

Preparing for your Hospital Pre-Reg Interviews

Aamer ImageWe spoke to Aamer Safdar, Principal Pharmacist Lead for Education and Development at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and RPS English Pharmacy Board Member about the best way you can prepare for your Hospital pre-reg interviews.  Read more Preparing for your Hospital Pre-Reg Interviews

Ask the RPS : What makes a good community pharmacist?

Hayley Berry, RPS Community Advocate and Community Pharmacist

Through not only my years of experience as a pharmacist but also through a most recent role as RPS Community Advocate, I’ve been able to recognise some of the key skills needed for a career in community.
Read more Ask the RPS : What makes a good community pharmacist?

Making the most of your opportunities for a career in community pharmacy!

Sarah murphy 2
Sarah Murphy, University of Central Lancashire, 4th year student

Throughout my time at university, I’ve made sure I stand out to potential employers through my experience within community pharmacy. Here’s a few tips on how you can do the same.
Read more Making the most of your opportunities for a career in community pharmacy!

GPhC Pre-registration assessment update

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The GPhC recently released their Pre-registration Autumn Bulletin for 2015, this contained a great deal of information regarding the recent changes to the assessment in 2016, much of it new. We’ve created a breakdown of the most important points and how they impact you, giving you plenty of time to prepare for the upcoming assessment in June. Read more GPhC Pre-registration assessment update

Ask the RPS: How to secure your summer placement in Hospital Pharmacy

This mLila Chohan - RPS piconth we ask Lila Chohan, RPS Foundation Champion and Pre-Registration trainee about her summer placements during her time at University. Lila informs us on how to secure a placement that’s right for you, and furthermore, how her summer placements helped her to determine the right career path when choosing which sector to go into for her Pre-Registration training year.
Read more Ask the RPS: How to secure your summer placement in Hospital Pharmacy