How to succeed at MCQs

preparing for an MCQ exam

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A common mistake made by the MCQ novice is believing that MCQs are only a test of memory, and if you have perfect recall of everything you've been taught, you can't fail. However, although they do test your ability to recall facts, MCQs can also test your ability to interpret information and apply knowledge to both familiar and unfamiliar scenarios. Success in MCQ tests is not simply a case of memorising everything you've been taught.

So how do you prepare for an MCQ exam? We've compiled a list of tips:

Activity: Study games - allow 2 hours

Learning medicine can be fun - especially if you introduce a little friendly competition into your revision. By revising in groups, you create opportunities for discussion, which is a great way to learn.

1. Get hold of a past MCQ paper, or a book of revision questions.

2. Gather together a group of fun-loving, yet dedicated colleagues - enough to make two teams. 4 is really the minimum.

3. Decide on a prize for the winning team - a free drink is perennially popular.

4. Take turns to ask each other questions. The players from the answering team can confer because discussion is a useful learning aid.

5. If the team answer incorrectly, the questioning team must provide an explanation, as well as an answer. Use a textbook if necessary.

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