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FCPS Part-I in ''Medicine & Allied Specialties'' --- The Study Guidelines


FCPS Part-I in ''Medicine & Allied Specialties'' --- The Study Guidelines
by Dr. Muhammad Tauseef Omer
FCPS-II Resident Paeds., Medicine.

{in light of guidelines from my Seniors Dr Saima and Bugz Bhai,
and discussions with Dr. Arslan Baig & Dr Sohaib Anwaar-
who were My FCPS-I  Study partners}

FCPS Part-I in Medicine & Allied Specialties  is conducted thrice in a year by CPSP.
Form is submitted online. As you submit the form , you receive an email containing the filled form, challan form to be submitted in the bank, along with sample paper, and the further guidelines from CPSP regarding the paper. Also, CPSP recently started giving candidates an option if they wish to give exam on a hard paper, or on a computer in their digital setup.
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CPSP website may be visited at :
http://www.cpsp.edu.pk/
You may check their online sample examination , or have a look at fcps - I  rules and guidelines,and of course you'll need to goto website to fill the form.
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Before I discuss the books you ll need to go through, I want you to clear for yourself some Myths about this exam. You ll hear , or you may have already heard that its a ''low profile exam'',  or '' the mcqs are very vague'' , or '' the exam is just a luck stuff' ' , or ''cpsp has no standard of making mcqs and the paper'', and sooooo ooooon.I believed in these myths.
And while in exam,  I came to know that they were just, the Myths.
Oops,during the exam !
Learn it, that FCPS-I paper is a very well adjusted one. In my exam, there was not a single spelling/grammatical/formatting error. No MCQ was poor in any aspect (as people narrate that , the bad/incomprehensible mcqs you find in the mcqs prep book ''chandkians'' - the cpsp mcqs are the same, Its not so). And the arrangements made by CPSP for the examination were excellent. 
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Candidates appearing in the exam are one of these:
> who give full 6 months to preparation (from May to November) {after house job,going to a trip and starting prep later on}
> who give 2 months to their preparation (from May to July) {so that they may appear in the July exam}
> who are preparing for USMLE , but wish to secure their future in Pakistan , too by clearing FCPS-I, but cant spare time for FCPS-I exam.
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You belong to any of these, first DOWNLOAD the Course advised by CPSP for medicine and allied.
Here's the link to a zipped file containing images of the terrifying course.

I'll explain the study course/plan , first , for 6 months chilly milly candidates. And then , give guidelines for those with 2 months pressure cooker preparation time, and for the USMLE bugs.
Along with the preparation, remember to keep praying for help from Almighty Allah.

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6 Months , well goto some Trip n' Tours and then grab the books ! .......& once you have grabbed the books, then study till exam. Build up your stamina gradually for study , to 6 hours a day in first 5 months and 8+ hours in the last month.
*Start your prep with PHYSIOLOGY ( BRS Physiology + 1st Aid in the end )....
{I used to watch Kaplan video lectures of physiology first  for a system , say Respiratory system , and then read and learn from BRS physiology} {Watch kaplan physiology videos just once if you wish to, it will help}{BRS Physiology is better than KAPLAN Physiology since in kaplan physiology text is deficient and you have to jot down on book after watching the lecture}{Watching Kaplan physio lecture and reading BRS physio book is an excellent combo}
* Read ANATOMY along with other subjects' preparation .
(General Anatomy From SNELL's REVIEW)  {do mcqs given in Snells Review carefully, they come in exam}
(General Anatomy From KAPLAN ANATOMY just these regions >>Upper limb & Lower Limb & Thorax abdomen pelvis & Spine)
(Neuroanatomy from 1st AID)
(Histology from Amir Histology)  { yes that slim blue book }{many mcqs are solved if you have read that}
(Embryology from 1st AID) {enough}
* General PATHOLOGY from (BRS Pathology + 1st AID in the end) {BRS Pathology read it till CARDIO Chapter that's it}
* Special PATHOLOGY from ( 1st AID)
* BIOSTATS & ETHICS from (1st AID)
* PHARMACOLOGY (from 1st AID do both the Pharmacology chapter there, and the pharmacology given along with every Region/Chapter) 
* MICROBIOLOGY (from 1st AID)
* IMMUNOLOGY (from BRS + 1st AID)
* MCQ books you need to go through :
Whole of the " CHANDKIANS MCQS"
ASIM and SHOAIB MCQS book
&
Search google for : { FCPS November 2013 medicine and allied paper } { FCPS MARCH 2013 medicine and allied paper }  {etc } {etc} .... and then solve those papers.....

The approach should be , 
Start with physiology and complete it in One and half month (as you will need time to build stamina to sit and study), Do all the mcqs of physiology given in BRS , and read anatomy along with this (you may need to think yourself what you have to learn in anatomy , do not learn origins and insertions of muscles - you wont remember them after all ! Focus on nerve supplies and muscle actions ,any special anatomy in the body like cubital fossa is important, or the femoral triangle , or the clinical related to any region, and focus on the mcqs given in the Snells Review.....Also the regions i mentioned that you should do from KAPLAN Anatomy, give them a read from there , they are written in a very easy-to-learn style)... Then after physiology , start pathology and continue doing anatomy along. Anatomy is boring. So We read it along while preparing other subjects.
I have advised that you do General Pathology from BRS and Special Pathology from 1st AID. Its because in 1st AID enough Pathology is Written. But i recommend that you do MCQs of all chapters from the BRS Pathology(general+special) , and read their explanations . 

About 1st AID, you may see , some subjects have to be done solely from 1st AID, while others like (physiology , anatomy, general anatomy ) have to be done for revision which you ll obviously do after the first read of their respective books.  And the subjects which i mentioned that you do from 1st AID only, are written so well in 1st AID that you ll learn them so quick -so good ! ( but forget them so quick -so BADD !)
Oops. So revise them again n again n again. It only takes little time to revise a thing that is prepared from 1st AID. Ideally , in a 6 months preparation at the end atleast 3 times 1st aid should have been revised.

About MCQ Books, oh well they are full of errors, bugs (bugs in formatting and bugs that eat old paper), incomplete mcq statements , and those little graphics of "a bomb" near mcqs are also found, anddd even wrong options are also selected for many mcqs. We do them because many Mcqs are repeated from there and so that we may believe in the myths regarding CPSP mcqs ! We also do them for the reason that we want some additional boredom in the preparation.
Start doing MCQ books from the day 1 of the SECOND LAST MONTH.  No matter how much syllabus you have gone through, start the mcq books from the day 1 of the SECOND LAST MONTH of Preparation. You'll be glad on the exam day.
Do 200 mcqs daily.
okay but try to do 150 mcqs daily.
ohkay they are boring but you have to do them.
Oh come on, read what ever book you wish to study and then spare One and half hour at the end of the day for mcqs but DOOO THE MCQSSSSS.

Now you ll come across many MCQs with clearly a wrong option selected , or you may have a notion that the option is wrong , follow this:
Open this PAGE on facebook FCPS prep. batch 2005-10 
Then click on that tiny tiny MAGNIFYING GLASS icon on the right side that denotes for 'Search', and type there the statement of your ambiguous mcq, search it and you ll find many discussions on it, try to get to the best answer for you, mark it and move to next mcq. Try not to discuss it in page-wasting your time.
This was the most helpful way for me to quickly get to the right answer for ambiguous mcq and i got many mcqs in my exam that i had searched from this page.

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2 Months for prep ?
Then grab (BRS Physiology) for PHYSIOLOGY and read it carefully since you have little time ! You may not find time for another read of it.
Along with physiology , start doing MCQs Preparation from "chandkians", finish it and start the next book ASIM and SHOAIB FCPS MCQs. As you'll  be reading physiology along , so doing 100mcqs a day are well enough. Your main approach should be to get maximum concept of Physiology and do maximum mcqs from the books.
Give a read to General Pathology from (BRS PATHOLOGY). -One careful read- & ofcourse you ll be doing mcq book along.
Properly learn from 1st AID > (Embryology and Immunology)
From KAPLAN anatomy do these > (upper limb, lower limb, thorax, abdomen , pelvis, back) {It hardly takes 2-3 hour for every region to be prepared }
From Snell's Review , just do the mcqs.
Hey "2 Months Preparator"... for your course i have skipped mentioning (special pathology, pharmacology, histology, neuroanatomy,microbiology) ....because you wont have enough time to prepare these ! But if you find time, then i suggest that you do them from 1st Aid... specially the Pharmacology.
Your approach should be to do maximum mcqs from books and prepare physiology as good as you can.
Build up your study stamina to 10+ hours a day.
{{And give a look to the part i have written for 6 Months preparator, there's useful information for using the MCQ books and using 1st aid}}
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USMLE BUG ?
Almost done with STEP 1 prep and No time to spare for fcps-I prep ?
Then grab Chandkians mcqs and do it. The whole book,remember.
About how to solve mcqs , read the part of a 6 Months preparator... 
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To Self-Evaluate Your preparation at any time, grab the chandkians mcqs book , solve 20 mcqs.Your 16 out of 20 mcqs should be correct. And if you are scoring this much, its + + + PLUS+ + +  that you ll pass the exam. Reason is , by much questioning from seniors who had given FCPS part -1  and cleared it, we made an estimate that out of 200 mcqs that come in exam, anyone who has cleared 155+ mcqs is never failed. I had had around 161 mcqs correct in my exam (according to my evaluation after the exam) {evaluation by discussion with friends and facebooking at the above mentioned group}.
To add another + to self evaluation, goto CPSP website and give online sample exam !
MCQs get repeated from that exam too.
Too many mcqs will be repeated in the exam. And they are usually those ambiguous mcqs i talked about.
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Revision ? Its not necessary at all. You know too much already by the end of prep. HAH-That was a joke. Certainly you ll have good knowledge in the end, but there are few things that you need to revise in the last week before exam,
EMBRYOLOGY , IMMUNOLOGY , Anatomy from KAPLAN (just those regions that i mentioned),
Tables of BRS PHYSIOLOGY(ah boring-headachy tables-atleast do cardio and neuro tables), and if you still find time then do tables of BRS Pathology (general patho ofcourse) , and if you still find time then , cough-----, then Pharmacology of each chapter from 1st AID.
On the day before the exam, just give a good read to Embryology and immunology in an hour or 2. And THAT IS IT.
Pack it all up.
Eat karahi gosht,
Relax the whole day, DO NOT STUDY ANYTHING. YOU KNOW EVERYTHING. And what ever will come in the exam you ll do it,& you had already done maximum for it. The last day before exam is your day to Relax and be prepared for what's yours the next day, a realization of what you had 'learnt' to dream for in your 5 Years at KEMU, your very motto, ALTAPETE.

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Reach EXAM Center early. {45 minutes before the exam begins}
During the exam, take breaks to goto restroom . Its important.
Mark the very tuffy tuffy mcqs,and  do all those that you know in the first go.
And as you mark the mcq tick on the question paper the best option you feel to be the right one.
Take breaks to drink water.
Bring candies with you to relish in the moments of bad bad mcqs.
During the lunch break avoid eating too much .{You ll turn sleepy if you eat a lot} {And after the exam you ll wish you had eaten all that was served there}{Its yum food that CPSP arranges for you}
{Menu is :
Biryani
Pulao
Chiken Qorma
Vegetable
Mutton Salan
Firni
Pudding/Custard} 


&
when you are post-exam., just continue that one thing  you were doing when you were pre-exam,
Praying a lot for yourself and for your fellows.

&
finally, dear Kemcolian  I Wish you all the best.
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For F.C.P.S Prep in Radiology....
refer to the link below

http://www.kemunited.com/2014/10/fcps-i-preparation-for-radiology.html
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Comments

  1. Tauseef bhai, this is an amazing guide! We really needed a comprehensive guide and material for FCPS. Thanks for taking the time out and writing this. This covers every thing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you very much, i find it very informative, thanks again for the effort

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done tauseef both on writing such a comprehensive article and on getting through your fcps 1 exam! Allah be with you brother :) by the by I am going to be a beneficiary too! JazakAllah

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome :p
    Kaisa rha exam... !

    & We miss you a lot here at kemu/mayo.

    ReplyDelete
  5. never took the exam :p busy being a wife and the mother to a v cute baby boy right now :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi ! Congratulations on passing your exam. I plan on giving part 1 in July InshAllah. I hope i do well. I'm already scared :(

    ReplyDelete
  7. You've skipped mentioning Head n Neck region in Anatomy. Aren't we supposed to do it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. No. Head and neck is covered in Neuroanatomy that i advised you do from First Aid.
    Details of head and neck are not needed in medicine and allied fcps.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your detailed review is very very helpful for new graduates... Kindly tell whr does the difference lies in candidates pursuing part 1 in surgery & allied... Jazakallah

    ReplyDelete

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