Avoiding FRACGP Exam Day Meltdown

Avoiding FRACGP Exam Day Meltdown

There’s nothing quite like that sinking sense of terror when you’re about to sit an exam you know you’re underprepared for.  While almost everybody will experience a few exam-day nerves, the trick is not to let them overwhelm you and ruin your performance.

Here are  3 simple tips and give yourself the best chance at success.

1. Be prepared

Draw up a good study plan and work through it for 3-6 months prior to the exam. Lots of good resources exist - read at this presentation from GPRA for guidance on the high-frequency presentations in General Practice to guide your plan.

When you design your study plan, be smart about where you focus:

  • Exam question topics and their frequency are based on a matrix of the 5 domains of general practice and the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) data. The BEACH data summarises the frequency and type of general practice presentations in Australia.
  • There is no point spending 3 months working through ophthalmology (2% frequency), and running out of time for respiratory (17%) or skin (10%).

2. Plan ahead

Pack your necessary equipment for your exam the night before. Plan your route to the exam and have a back-up in case of disaster (don’t let a signal failure on your train line ruin your day!).

Plan your clothing- make sure it is comfortable and appropriate. Plan a backup outfit in case something breaks when you are getting ready!

3. Practice relaxation techniques

Inevitably, something will upset your calm. Anything from a rude bus driver to a panicked fellow exam candidate.

Practice simple breathing and mindfulness techniques so that you can easily recover and deliver your best performance. My favourite app is Headspace, but try out a few and find the one you like best.

Prepare, Plan and Practice, and you might even enjoy the whole exam experience!

Exam Preparation Courses

Medcast has an exam preparation course that is designed to thoroughly prepare candidates for the KFP & AKT exam. Our course is facilitated by an expert Medical education team and has a suggested study plan that is based on the BEACH data. Click here for more information.

Dr Eleanor Carey

El is a GP and Medical Educator working in the Whitsundays region. Her special interests are paediatrics, fertility, and antenatal care diabetes.