Advice for the pre-reg year and the pre-reg exam

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km11
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Hey guys, I've just completed + passed the 2019 pre-reg exam at the first attempt and I just really wanted to share my experiences as I thought it may be benefit to some. The whole pre-reg year is hard and it'll take some time getting used to, but I hope what's written below helps you in preparing for this incredibly tough and exhausting year

The exam

I started to revise in November. It's early for most, but I knew that my successes (from uni etc.) came down to nothing but hard work). During the year you'll initially want to revise the whole BNF because you feel like you should know EVERYTHING. And whilst you should know everything, you don't need to know EVERYTHING i.e the side effects of a weird drug sodium oxybate or the mode of action of benperidol etc. I spent ages trying to write out the BNF, but it never stuck in. I remember even testing myself on the side effects of some stupidly named drugs and it didn't work.

In terms of calculations, I used to wake up ridiculously early and practice about 10 calculations per day. I used ONTRACK (which I highly endorse, as well as an RPS membership (with which you get a free BNF!) Don't worry if you get questions wrong though, because it's more about how you learn from the questions you got wrong. And anyway, I used to get questions wrong that I used to get right on seperate occasions etc. so it helped me knowing and remembering the methods that I used to correctly answer questions. Dilutions were a massive pain for me and most students, and even now I don't think I understand them fully)

My revision for the exam went a bit 'stop-start' over the course of a further few months. Actually I used to have the memory of a goldfish in the fact that I used to remember things and then forget them when I came home from work.

I know a lot of people say you should start revision in January/February but to be honest, you need to do what works for you. I attended a load of mock exams in the near year e.g the RPS conference (which was useful ito. revision + notes) but I completely failed both exams, because I didn't revise the stuff that was being tested.

I had a mock exams from my training provider in April and I failed it. In fact I failed most mock exams I did. For me, my target was to get 70% rather than just to pass, so my standards were high. I also looked at the feedback from last year's exam. Some say the exams were not fair and the chapter weightings weren't factored into the exam. I kept panicking and texting my friends because I thought by now I should be passing mock exams. I mean I could pass calculations, but as discussed earlier, paper 2 (a.k.a clinical/law) was my weakness.

So onto May. Once again I sat mock exams and failed them. Then came a turning point (in hindsight) as one of my friends referred me to a package known as PE (if you know you know) and so I started revising from there. Then I realised that everything I did in November and all those blank books I bought for notes etc. were a waste. P.S I'm not here to endorse PE, but it's not the sole resource to pass the exam, you need to go a bit more deeper and look at NICE guidance etc.



So then came to the last 2 weeks of the exam (which I booked off work). Literally all I did was do past papers and go through things which I didn't understand. For those wondering how I revised. I went through every DISEASE STATE and CONDITION that I was being tested on, rather than each chapter. This was a gamble, but it paid off huge for me in the exam. I was at the point where I was slacking off and not reading questions properly and still passing. That was the point where I knew I 'peaked'

So then came exam day. Mine was in Birmingham and so I had to book a hotel. On the night before - all I did was go over 10 calcs and do some quizzes. For me, it was now about confidence and mindset above everything (e.g. content). I've got to admit, the morning of the exam was tough. I think I cried when I woke up as I felt like I didn't know anything. However, when you realise you have worked so hard and spent months revising for the exam, then there really isn't a reason to be nervous.

So I sat the exam (which was weird as you had to register for each one and wait a hell of a long time before you could enter the exam room). I felt calcs was dodgy and clinical was easy (and yes easy - do not overcomplicate things and read the question carefully) and after the exam, I felt quietly optimistic. I mean you have to pass both papers to pass the exam, so I felt that If I passed calculations I passed the exam.

And then results day came (actually it was a couple of days ago at the time I wrote this) and I found out I got 27/40 on calcs (passed by 1 mark) and 92/119 on clinical (passed by 7 marks (yes, the pass mark was actually 71%!) And so I'm here, writing this as a newly qualified pharmacist. Weird to think. But 5 years’ worth of hard work was worth it.

I appreciate that there may be grammatical errors in this post so I do apologise for all those grammar nazi's out there. I don't believe I am anything through writing this, I just wanted to inspire some people who may be sitting the exam for the 2nd or 3rd time, or for those who are even wanting to know how to revise for next summer's exam. If you'd like to ask anything or to know more about the exam and how I revised, I am more than happy to answer any questions.


Best of luck



km11
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Claremont4ever
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Good man. Welcome to pharmacy. I'm still technically 'newly qualified' as I only qualified in November last year. I'm already a branch manager in one of the big 4 chains, and I earn roughly £65,000/year. Pharmacy is a well-paid career with diversified career pathways. I would be starting a MSc in Clinical pharmacy with prescribing this year september to prepare me for the new PCN model of pharmacy in the future. You have joined the best healthcare career in the world!
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EmRoxYaSox
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Congratulations! Just wondered what the pass mark was for the calculations and the clinical papers?
Many Thanks,

Emma
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km11
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Hey, thanks!
It was :
27/40 for calculations
85/119 for clinical
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EmRoxYaSox
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Thank you!! 💕🙏🏾
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Neejesw
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Hi, just wondering what mocks you sat and what is this PE package that I can enrol into?
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methegirl11
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(Original post by km11)
Hey guys, I've just completed + passed the 2019 pre-reg exam at the first attempt and I just really wanted to share my experiences as I thought it may be benefit to some. The whole pre-reg year is hard and it'll take some time getting used to, but I hope what's written below helps you in preparing for this incredibly tough and exhausting year

The exam

I started to revise in November. It's early for most, but I knew that my successes (from uni etc.) came down to nothing but hard work). During the year you'll initially want to revise the whole BNF because you feel like you should know EVERYTHING. And whilst you should know everything, you don't need to know EVERYTHING i.e the side effects of a weird drug sodium oxybate or the mode of action of benperidol etc. I spent ages trying to write out the BNF, but it never stuck in. I remember even testing myself on the side effects of some stupidly named drugs and it didn't work.

In terms of calculations, I used to wake up ridiculously early and practice about 10 calculations per day. I used ONTRACK (which I highly endorse, as well as an RPS membership (with which you get a free BNF!) Don't worry if you get questions wrong though, because it's more about how you learn from the questions you got wrong. And anyway, I used to get questions wrong that I used to get right on seperate occasions etc. so it helped me knowing and remembering the methods that I used to correctly answer questions. Dilutions were a massive pain for me and most students, and even now I don't think I understand them fully)

My revision for the exam went a bit 'stop-start' over the course of a further few months. Actually I used to have the memory of a goldfish in the fact that I used to remember things and then forget them when I came home from work.

I know a lot of people say you should start revision in January/February but to be honest, you need to do what works for you. I attended a load of mock exams in the near year e.g the RPS conference (which was useful ito. revision + notes) but I completely failed both exams, because I didn't revise the stuff that was being tested.

I had a mock exams from my training provider in April and I failed it. In fact I failed most mock exams I did. For me, my target was to get 70% rather than just to pass, so my standards were high. I also looked at the feedback from last year's exam. Some say the exams were not fair and the chapter weightings weren't factored into the exam. I kept panicking and texting my friends because I thought by now I should be passing mock exams. I mean I could pass calculations, but as discussed earlier, paper 2 (a.k.a clinical/law) was my weakness.

So onto May. Once again I sat mock exams and failed them. Then came a turning point (in hindsight) as one of my friends referred me to a package known as PE (if you know you know) and so I started revising from there. Then I realised that everything I did in November and all those blank books I bought for notes etc. were a waste. P.S I'm not here to endorse PE, but it's not the sole resource to pass the exam, you need to go a bit more deeper and look at NICE guidance etc.



So then came to the last 2 weeks of the exam (which I booked off work). Literally all I did was do past papers and go through things which I didn't understand. For those wondering how I revised. I went through every DISEASE STATE and CONDITION that I was being tested on, rather than each chapter. This was a gamble, but it paid off huge for me in the exam. I was at the point where I was slacking off and not reading questions properly and still passing. That was the point where I knew I 'peaked'

So then came exam day. Mine was in Birmingham and so I had to book a hotel. On the night before - all I did was go over 10 calcs and do some quizzes. For me, it was now about confidence and mindset above everything (e.g. content). I've got to admit, the morning of the exam was tough. I think I cried when I woke up as I felt like I didn't know anything. However, when you realise you have worked so hard and spent months revising for the exam, then there really isn't a reason to be nervous.

So I sat the exam (which was weird as you had to register for each one and wait a hell of a long time before you could enter the exam room). I felt calcs was dodgy and clinical was easy (and yes easy - do not overcomplicate things and read the question carefully) and after the exam, I felt quietly optimistic. I mean you have to pass both papers to pass the exam, so I felt that If I passed calculations I passed the exam.

And then results day came (actually it was a couple of days ago at the time I wrote this) and I found out I got 27/40 on calcs (passed by 1 mark) and 92/119 on clinical (passed by 7 marks (yes, the pass mark was actually 71%!) And so I'm here, writing this as a newly qualified pharmacist. Weird to think. But 5 years’ worth of hard work was worth it.

I appreciate that there may be grammatical errors in this post so I do apologise for all those grammar nazi's out there. I don't believe I am anything through writing this, I just wanted to inspire some people who may be sitting the exam for the 2nd or 3rd time, or for those who are even wanting to know how to revise for next summer's exam. If you'd like to ask anything or to know more about the exam and how I revised, I am more than happy to answer any questions.


Best of luck



km11
Please, what is the PE package? Thanks
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Aaron jin
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Hi. Firstly thanks for sharing your experience, it’s really helped me to re-evaluate my method of studying for the exam and given me hope in passing the exam. I knew for some reason that reading the whole BNF is not the way for me to pass the exam as advised by a lot of my seniors. Couple of questions though,1. What is PE and how did you get a hold of it? 2. How did you get the resources you needed? Eg. Past papers, calculation questions etc etc
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km11
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(Original post by Aaron jin)
Hi. Firstly thanks for sharing your experience, it’s really helped me to re-evaluate my method of studying for the exam and given me hope in passing the exam. I knew for some reason that reading the whole BNF is not the way for me to pass the exam as advised by a lot of my seniors. Couple of questions though,1. What is PE and how did you get a hold of it? 2. How did you get the resources you needed? Eg. Past papers, calculation questions etc etc
I've just messaged you via PM. Google it and you'll find out how to get it. Dropboxes and WhatsApp groups will be circulated and you'll find them on there
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CFC97
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thanks for the thread! where would you get the calc questions from? and how did you juggle work life and revision?
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km11
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No problem -I used ONTRACK from the RPS for calculations along with past paper questions from Dropbox folders.
It was difficult - you want to time your revision to perfection so you peak during exam time. I just knew I had to do whatever it takes to pass the exam first time, so any spare time I got whether that’d be after work or weekends I’d revise. Then from March onwards I’d step it up and work till 11/12 each night. Then the last 2 weeks before the exam I went till 2/3am because I was off work during then. But it’s important that as you get towards the exam you wean your revision down to like one past paper per day. you have to appreciate that you cannot learn every single thing needed for the exam and you’ve just got to go in with what you know. But as long as you go in with a mindset that’s positive you’ll be fine
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DNM22
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Hi there, thanks for your advice. I'm really struggling to understand how I'm meant to study for this exam. I'm currently doing me pre-reg in hospital and find that my peers in community seem to have more guidance on how to revise for the exam and what key topics we should really be focusing on. Not to mention OTC products and responding to symptoms. I was wondering if you have any advice on revising for OTC/RTS also when u said PE, did you mean Pharm Educate? Thanks.
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IridaPharma
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Can you please tell me what is the PE package? And if possible to name all the books you studied for your reg exam. Thank you
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username5298848
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Please can you help on how to get the PE resource.
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Kumasi99
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Hi, please can you help with how to get the PE resource. Thanks
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Claremont4ever
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Pharmeducate. I used it as well and smashed my prereg in September 2018. You pay the money on the website and get access to lots of resources, mock etc. I cannot recommend them enough.
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Kumasi99
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Thanks for the response
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ABueno23
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HI What is PE?
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Lolom
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Hello, can i ask you, did you pass the exam?And what do you think of taking pre reg in hospital?I am really confused which is better, a hopsital or community pharmacy in the pre reg year!
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Hamdia
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HiVery helpful post. I am planning to start my revision for summer 2021. But hell confused about how to start and what to read. I am not very good at clinical stuff. How many months of PE subscription would you recommend to be enough to go through all the available stuff?
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