I’m asked fairly regularly: “Where do I find past ABPI exam papers?”
A seemingly straightforward, but loaded question, fraught with misunderstanding.
Worse still, it seems some of you waste time looking for mythical unicorns…
Last week, an ABPI exam candidate got in touch:-
“I’m looking for similar questions from the exam questions to have a go at, to increase my chances of passing.”
After going back and forth on email answering her questions about what’s in my MCQ Workbooks, I pointed her to the relevant page on the ABPI Exam Toolkit™ that would give her what she needed. She could then decide which of these resources would suit her best depending on what she was revising. I also made it clear that my MCQs are different from the ABPI’s e-Learning. Not only that, they s-t-r-e-t-c-h you, since some have more than one correct answer.
Imagine my surprise then, when she responded:-
“Unfortunately what I am looking for is previous past paper exam questions. That’s it. I’ve learnt the units. Just need to be tested on the material. Thank you for your help.”
Seems she didn’t know that she wouldn’t find what she was looking for – because as I explained to her, there are no actual past exam papers available from the ABPI. Rather, what’s on offer are “mock” exam multiple choice questions – either here in the Toolkit, or in the ABPI’s eLearning.
So that was the end of our conversation. Due to this misunderstanding, she passed up the chance to test her knowledge, which is what she said she was looking for at the start of our conversation.
But, it also made me realise that this isn’t the first time I’ve had similar enquiries, where a candidate has been chasing unicorns (i.e. looking for something that doesn’t exist).
Stop chasing unicorns…the ABPI don’t provide past papers
From this, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson about remembering that those of you seeking actual “past papers” might not know that the ABPI don’t make past papers available.
For this reason, I refer to “mock exam questions” rather than past exam questions. I’ve been writing these for years, to help candidates like you prepare, basing them on the ABPI learning materials, and following the style of multiple-choice questions used in the exam.
Previously, I only used them with corporate clients who hired me. But, in the last couple of years, I’ve made them directly available for candidates in my ABPI MCQ Workbooks.
As some of you have been kind enough to tell me, they’ve proved useful.
Even so, some candidates seem to have their doubts about what’s in my Workbooks, asking me questions like this:-
“Are the MCQs in the Workbooks totally different to the ABPI’s mock exam questions, or are they just a carbon copy?”
Answer: Every MCQ in each Toolkit workbook is an original written by me, Dr Marie McKenzie-Mills, based on the ABPI learning materials. If there are any similarities, it’s purely coincidental. (Either that – or great minds think alike, as I learned at a Trainers’ meeting at the ABPI, where we were put through our paces on how to write questions. Besides, I’ve been writing MCQs for more than 20 years.)
Usually, this sets their minds at ease, along with other answers in my FAQs.
It’s been good to learn this lesson.
Note to self: clarify what candidates mean when they ask for “past papers” and the like.
Then, as chance would have it, some lovely feedback a couple of days later put everything back into perspective:-
I wanted to thank you for the units, which you supplied to me, in preparation for my ABPI exams. I passed all 4 optional units last week on my 1st attempt.
I found them so useful and they helped immensely with my learning. They are a great way to check “what you actually know” and how to apply your knowledge to the abpi questioning style.
I’m now preparing for my optional units and will be purchasing your learning materials to help me with this. They are priceless and such an aid to the textbooks.
Many thanks again.
Thank you, Kelly. You made my day.
So, if you’re ready to test your knowledge with MCQs that hit the spot, don’t waste time chasing unicorns. Grab the bull by the horns instead.
P.S. Can you share this with colleagues who’re ready to test themselves?