When Duncan approached me for help with his exam resits, he was feeling demotivated, demoralised, and overwhelmed:
“…with a young family, other commitments, as well as my full-time job, I’m finding it difficult to carve out any more study time”.
He’d never failed an exam before. His resits were in four weeks.
“What about your moments of downtime?” I asked him.
“Like when you’re: waiting before a sales call; walking the dog; in the car, or anywhere else you could reasonably be listening to the equivalent of crib notes?”
“Yeah. I’ve done all that. I recorded my specialist topics word for word from the learning manuals. But, nothing’s going in. I can’t seem to absorb any of it.”
“Ah. I see.” Clearly, Duncan was feeling time pressured. Like other candidates before him, he didn’t lack commitment, but I suspected he perhaps wasn’t making the best use of his time.
Recording chapters from his manual would have taken time and effort, especially doing it word-for-word.
This meant he hadn’t processed the topics in those chapters, because he hadn’t made the concepts his own. Putting them into his own words – and summarising – would’ve been a good start. But, because he felt time pressured, he decided to skip doing this.
Chances are, when it comes to preparing for your ABPI exam, you’ve been left to get on with it by your company. Perhaps you’ve been told (mistakenly):
“… It’s really easy. It’s just some multiple choice questions. Just read the manual. You’ll be fine.“
So, of course, you registered for the exam, bought the manuals, then realised you need more time to prepare. Lots more time. And maybe some help. But, you’re on your own. Remember?
Because you’ve no choice, you’ve gone for it. Frustratingly, you keep missing a pass, by just a few marks.
You know what? You’re not alone.
Yours is an increasingly common experience.
More and more exam candidates are being hired for their sales skills, often with a proven track record in another industry. Coupled to this, you’re told that the exam is easy…that “…there’s nothing to it…just some MCQs.”
Or, perhaps you’re a marketeer taking the exam for professional development. Maybe you have a science degree.
Either way, you’re struggling. On top of the day to day challenges of the job itself, finding time to study can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve no background in science.
This leads me to those 9 things your boss needs to know.
Over past few months, I’ve been asked about whetherABPI Exam Toolkit™ resources are suitable for those who’ve bought the version 8 ABPI learning materials.
Although I’m still working from vs 7, I recently confirmed with Amira Burshan, Education Officer at the ABPI that the main differences between vs 7 and vs 8 are: –
incorporation of the NHS and PV materials (instead of in a separate document/brochure);
minor changes re: layout, and typos;
changes for technical clarity following medical review (e.g. updated disease treatment information);
overall chapter headings/titles – essentially the same.
In essence, other than making things clearer, what’s being tested in the ABPI exam isn’t changing, at least not until next year when vs 8 will be fully adopted.
Even then, if you’ve read the independent report on the Exam published in February, you’ll appreciate that rather than changing content drastically, the ABPI are focussed on changing how content in their learning materials is tested:
Mnemonics (the ‘m’ is silent) are useful rhymes or memorable phrases, or even just a series of letters, ideas, or associations that assist in remembering something. The trick is for the mnemonic itself to be something memorable that helps you with recall. For example, the ABPI learning materials provide you with MRS GREN (2.1.1 Life processes) as a way to remember the 7 functions performed by all living things, and demonstrated by all living cells:- Continue reading “8 reasons mnemonics make the endocrine system memorable”