9 things about the ABPI exam your boss needs to know

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.

Sound familiar?

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.

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What’s the difference between versions 7 and 8 of the ABPI Exam learning materials?

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[1], you’ll appreciate that rather than changing content drastically, the ABPI are focussed on changing how content in their learning materials is tested:

Continue reading “What’s the difference between versions 7 and 8 of the ABPI Exam learning materials?”

8 reasons mnemonics make the endocrine system memorable

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”

ABPI Exam Unit 1 NHS Structure & Function: Happy 70th Birthday to you

The NHS is 70 today.

 

NHS at 70
Newspaper announcement introducing the NHS in 1948

 

You’d have to be hiding under a rock to have missed the headlines about the 70th birthday celebrations for the NHS.

Whatever you think of this British institution, it’s 70 today. No surprise that’s it’s a bit creaky then, is it?

What does this big birthday mean for you, as an ABPI exam candidate?

I’m not going to go into the politics of how it’s organised or managed. Let’s just say that aside from the challenges the NHS faces, you’re challenged to keep up with its constant changes. For both the NHS and you, it’s a work in progress.

But, you must keep up, so you’re able to tackle the MCQs about the NHS in your exam. Hopefully, if you’re taking it later this month, you’ve also been sent the most recent version of the ABPI’s handout of NHS Structure & Function.

Since the ABPI stopped updating their site for trainers, I’ve had to rely on Toolkit users to let me know when a new version appears. So, thank you to those who gave me the heads up, alerting me to the need for an  update of my MCQs.

I’m glad to say that after a flurry of emails back and forth, the ABPI sent me their most recent version of the handout yesterday. Fingers crossed that they’ll get back on track in the near future with keeping trainers in the loop.

While the NHS birthday celebrations are in full swing – here’s my announcement:-

Happily, just in time for the NHS’ 70th birthday, I’ve updated the MCQs in my Unit 1 to 4 MCQ Workbook.

(What a happy coincidence, huh? Couldn’t have planned it, if I’d tried.)

If you’re taking the exam later this month, don’t despair if you recently received your updated pdf from the ABPI. I know some of you are panicking because you’re tired, overworked and feeling like you may as well throw out your notes because there isn’t enough time to learn anything new.

First, take a deep breath. Think about what you’ve done so far. Take a step back. Then, throw that overwhelm monster off the cliff.

Done it?

Good.

So what’s changed in the NHS since the last bunch of notes from the ABPI?

Continue reading “ABPI Exam Unit 1 NHS Structure & Function: Happy 70th Birthday to you”

ABPI Exam: 2-minute lesson on the sodium-potassium pump

Got this great question about the sodium pump in Unit 4.4 Pharmacology from one of my tutees: –

So, we know that the sodium pump actively moves potassium ions into the cell, and sodium ions out of the cell. If every transporter moves ions only one way, how come the sodium pump moves potassium in, and moves sodium out? Does it happen at the same time?

This fabulous question nicely illustrates how – Continue reading “ABPI Exam: 2-minute lesson on the sodium-potassium pump”