Preparing for the MCCQE Part II
Form a Peer Study Group
Bring together a group of residents to jointly prepare for the exam.
The Albert Einsten School of Medicine suggests these 8 tips to create an effective study group. (from http://blogs.einstein.yu.edu/8-tips-for-getting-the-most-out-of-study-groups/)
1. Keep the group size manageable: a group of three or four students is the ideal size.
2. Designate a moderator to keep you on schedule. The moderator role can rotate from one meeting to the next.
3. Decide the topics you are going to discuss BEFORE meeting. All members should commit to preparing that material PRIOR to meeting. Don’t take on too much material for one session.
4. Schedule a SPECIFIC time period for your study group (e.g., 1.5 hours) before meeting; it is the moderator’s responsibility to keep to that time. This will prevent the session from dragging on—and you feeling your valuable study time has been wasted.
5. Each student should thoroughly PREPARE and identify key points and areas of confusion within the material to be covered in the group.
6. Discuss and quiz each other on the material. Treat this like an oral exam. Come into the group well prepared but be ready to identify areas that you do not understand.
7. Teach others material you understand, and learn from others who understand material better than you do. When you teach someone else material, you have to know it in much more depth, and you will find it solidifies your knowledge. You may even surprise yourself with how much you know.
8. Try to make studying enjoyable in whatever way you can. Since you will spend a lot of time studying, you need to keep things interesting. Consider crowning a session “guru” every time you meet. This is the person who has been able to ace key material and explain it well to others during the session. You might even exchange gag gifts
When working in a study group, the Albert Einstin College of Medicine also suggests you can get the most out of it individually, by setting three goals:
1. Emerge from the group with a list of what you DON’T KNOW YET (material you need to spend more time learning). This is GOLDEN information. Once you know where your weak areas lie, you can spend more time studying these topics. After the study group meets, you should develop an action plan and schedule enough time to study these topics.
2. Determine what you already know well. Often these will be the topics you will help teach others. It’s important to identify objectively what you know well so you can spend your time wisely on topics that you don’t know. Of course, you will review all the material before the exam, so don’t worry that you won’t be prepared.
3. Personalize and interact with the material. This is much more difficult to do independently, and is best done by interacting with others. What do I mean by “personalizing” the material? You are much more likely to assimilate information (make it part of your memory) when you make it your own. If you simply read the pages in a textbook over and over, you are not so likely to learn as if you take your own notes (personalizing), review your notes (personalizing), quiz yourself on the information (interacting), have others quiz you on the material (interacting), and teach or learn from others (personalizing and interacting).
Prepare using OSCEs
When preparing for the exam practice using the OSCE's used by the MCC. You can use OSCE's provided from the MCC to practice, as well as other clinical scenarios you have adapted to follow the MCC's style. Resources for practicing with peers include the Edmonton Manual and its associated OSCE Videos, the PBSGL modules from the Foundication for Medical Practice Education. These cases are generalist in nature, consistent with the generalist nature of the Part 2 exam. The modules are for purchase and can be found at https://www.fmpe.org/en/program-information/residency-practice-based-small-group-learning-program
Paying it Forward: Becoming a Peer Evaluator
Once you have successfully completed the Part 2 exam, consider helping your peers by being a peer evaluator for study groups.