Hydromancer
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Recently I have come across a lot of friends/acquaintances with a stellar academic record at med school who have not done well at the SJT. I've been thinking about what way is best to prepare for this exam? I have heard people say that you definitely need to prepare, although the medical school pushes the "you cannot prepare for this" story...just wondering what people here think.
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trektor
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I haven't looked into this myself and haven't asked many people but two of my friends in final year said to do loads of prep. They used books and practice questions
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Hydromancer
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(Original post by trektor)
I haven't looked into this myself and haven't asked many people but two of my friends in final year said to do loads of prep. They used books and practice questions
Yeah but people who did this seemed to think that using different book confused them as they were contradictory and it was best to just practice official questions and read the GMC's Good Medical Practice etc.
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Cei
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The revision courses are a joke. They're run by F1/F2s and the like who have sat the SJT, who then come up with a "system" by which they think you can get a good score - ignoring the fact that they've sat it once and don't have any further data points. It's basically a way for them to make money and possibly look good on CVs. There is no system to the SJT, except for doing the legwork yourself.

Do the sample papers, read the GMC's guidance. At a push, the Oxford Handbook for SJT is reasonable for additional questions but I wouldn't consider it to be gospel. I used these three things and got an above average SJT score, but I know people who went on courses and did badly.
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Medicine Man
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I went on a fair few courses - 1 paid, and 3 free ones. The one I thought helped me most was a free one (that even gave us free pizza for lunch...). Hmmm.

Honestly, I didn't get much out of them bar how to generally approach the exam in terms of timing/strategy etc. Loads of people in the year above me advised me not to go on them (one who actually got like 47 the previous year said to go on as many as possible but I'll ignore that for the sake of this argument :ninja:), but at that time, I was more concerned about ensuring I ended up in my top choice deanery to listen. I really wish I had listened.

I'll give three examples (one of which is my own experience):
Friend 1: Paid for 1 course (which I encouraged him to do :s). Paid for online question banks (passmedicine) and books. Gets the highest score out of three friends (42.something).
Friend 2: No courses attended. Paid for online question banks (passmedicine) and books. Above average SJT (40.something).
Friend 3: Attended both paid and free courses. Paid for online question banks (passmedicine) and one book. Above average SJT (40.something).

The average was like 38.something this year.

We all sorta got the same-ish scores (not really but you get the point) and thankfully we all got into our top choice deaneries with decent jobs/hospitals, but one of us had a much lighter wallet at the end of it...
:p:

Final year is already an expensive year with elective(?), graduation etc. - no need to make it even more so!

EDIT: I was probably being too harsh on the courses I attended. They were OK. I did learn some things from them that I may not have picked up on later, but I wouldn't say it was a worthwhile financial investment.
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dooodles
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Don't pay for the courses, they won't help you anymore than a book will.

The best book I found was get ahead: SJT, IMO it had questions most like the real thing and a good little blurb at the start detailing some important points.

To be honest I think the best way to prepare is to spend time on the wards, immersing yourself in the clinical environment and observing how to behave and how doctors work. I think this is why less "book smart" people often do better I.e. They've spent more time just being on the wards and less time at a desk.

I think it is pretty much predetermined just by how good you will be at judging it (I and what I've just said about clinical stuff). I think a bit of practice from a book helps also just to get you used to it, but don't go crazy as there is such thing as over preparing. Definitely do the official practice papers, twice. You can read the GMC good medical practice but to be honest it's all common sense after 4/5 years of medical school and it's all stuff you should really be on top of by now. Also getting a good nights sleep the night before and staying relaxed is important too!

I got just under 44, and only did questions from that book in the month up to the exam. I'm also one of those people who works on the ward a lot and I really think that helped.
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Fission_Mailed
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I'd caution against doing too much prep work or using any kind of complicated system to approach the exam. The SJT is very time pressured; you need to be prepared for the kinds of questions that they can ask, and the way that they want you to answer them (i.e. be a model F1 rather than a real one, never lie, and always always always put patient safety first) without over thinking. In my view, this can be achieved through reading Good Medical Practice, doing the official practice papers and maybe leafing idly through somebody else's book of questions in your downtime.

Fundamentally though, I think the whole thing is probably a bit random. I did fairly well (42.56 afaik) using the strategy above, so naturally I think it was a good one. Maybe I'm wrong, and I would have done better following a course. Or maybe I would have got the exact same score no matter what. Who knows?
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Blatant Troll
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I don't buy the book smart vs ward smart argument, having seen scores go every which way. Self quoting here, but uni have done some rudimentary research into the SJT, and found - amongst other things - that Year 1 performed similarly on a pilot to Year 6 (having spent zero time on the wards). There was also no correlation between performance in a pilot and the real thing, and no correlation between performance in the real thing and uni exams (which seem to have been a reasonable yardstick for 'ward readiness' for years...). I'm with FM - fundamentally I think it's just a random ass exam.

coi: GMC guidance, no books + 1 free course. score a bit lower than average
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Hydromancer
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Thanks everyone. Most of your advice is in line with what I've heard...Although I've seen some people excel with it, others were pretty badly hit...as blatant troll and fm say a bit random. Hopefully I can get an AFP job and limit the SJT equation.
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Dexa
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Just do the official practice paper and hope for the best, don't waste your time with anything else.
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seaholme
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I did the official paper (and read all of the frankly useless and vague GMC guidance several times) but nothing else, and I got an average score. Amongst my friends there was zero correlation between score achieved versus effort put in. I know somebody who got high 40s and did absolutely no preparation beyond the official paper, and people who did tonnes of courses and got below average scores. It's fairly random.

IMO trying for the AFP can be a smart idea, I wish I'd considered it a little more rather than just dismissing it, although there are of course other factors besides just the SJT to take into consideration, like your interests/motivations and what you want to get out of FY1/FY2. You still have your whole career to pursue academic medicine.

Although having said that, provided you don't bomb the SJT and do at least averagely, if your academic scores were good then you can still get your first choice deanery/job because your overall score should still be pulled up a bit. Bomb the SJT however... you end up so far down the list of everything you wanted
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ColinReynolds
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Half the trouble is everyone always says don't go on the courses and yet almost everyone does, even those who say they don't! They probably are a money spinner and arguably not necessary but I at least found the one run by F1s/2s was useful with the practise test. I think it's more a personal thing and wouldn't advise one way or the other, just do what you feel is best for you!
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JOO93
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Hello,

I'll be starting my 5th year of medical school in September and I've set myself the ambitious target of passing my finals with distinction, both the written and the OSCE.

Any recommendations on MCQ medical finals books/resources?

I also want to attain an above average SJT score. From reading this thread it appears the SJT books available are a small component of the total work that needs to be done to get an above average SJT score.

Which SJT question book/resource would you recommend purchasing? I'm leaning towards The Situational Judgement Test for the Foundation Years Programme, any reviews on this book would be most welcome.
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FFCrusader
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(Original post by Medicine Man)
I went on a fair few courses - 1 paid, and 3 free ones. The one I thought helped me most was a free one (that even gave us free pizza for lunch...). Hmmm.

Honestly, I didn't get much out of them bar how to generally approach the exam in terms of timing/strategy etc. Loads of people in the year above me advised me not to go on them (one who actually got like 47 the previous year said to go on as many as possible but I'll ignore that for the sake of this argument :ninja:), but at that time, I was more concerned about ensuring I ended up in my top choice deanery to listen. I really wish I had listened.

I'll give three examples (one of which is my own experience):
Friend 1: Paid for 1 course (which I encouraged him to do :s). Paid for online question banks (passmedicine) and books. Gets the highest score out of three friends (42.something).
Friend 2: No courses attended. Paid for online question banks (passmedicine) and books. Above average SJT (40.something).
Friend 3: Attended both paid and free courses. Paid for online question banks (passmedicine) and one book. Above average SJT (40.something).

The average was like 38.something this year.

We all sorta got the same-ish scores (not really but you get the point) and thankfully we all got into our top choice deaneries with decent jobs/hospitals, but one of us had a much lighter wallet at the end of it...
:p:

Final year is already an expensive year with elective(?), graduation etc. - no need to make it even more so!

EDIT: I was probably being too harsh on the courses I attended. They were OK. I did learn some things from them that I may not have picked up on later, but I wouldn't say it was a worthwhile financial investment.
:teeth:
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FFCrusader
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I should probably be more useful in my answers :p:

SJTs...it's up to you really. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable and confident in the exam. Remember that courses aren't necessarily teaching you the same way of teaching as the real exam. The best practice by far is the paper from the official website - you can do this now and then not do it until the last week until the exam and see if you've improved? If not you can learn a lot from just redoing it in that last week!
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Medicine Man
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(Original post by FFCrusader)
:teeth:
:rofl: :ninja:
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Rachp1112
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#17
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Hi - people who have gone on the course, can anyone tell me if the sjtpreeration course is okay or should I look into another one? I've heard the MDU one is also good? Any advise would be great. Thanks
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