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.
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:
The single most difficult question I’m often asked about the ABPI exam by candidates is: –
How long will it take me to study?
Truth is – I can’t answer that directly for them. Or, for you.
Instead, when we get into it, I turn the question around by asking: how much time do you have available? Then, we can have a conversation about next steps in study planning.
We all know that when it comes to answering – “how much time do you have?”- you need to work backwards. If you’ve already enrolled for your exam, what’s the deadline? Working back from that cut off point tells you exactly how much time you’ve got to prepare for the exam. This is my least favoured option when planning, but in the real world, it’s the most common situation exam candidates find themselves in.
If you haven’t yet signed up for your exam, you’re forward planning.