For PS21 the college gave us one week study break before the exam, but depends on your last postings if the faculty in charge conducts the end posting exam earlier, you can get extra one week of study break. For the P2S1 exam there are 2 components, theory part which comprises the 120 MCQ questions and 5 Modified Essay Questions, and for the clinical part it comprises 10 OSCE stations and 1 long case.
Day 1, we sat for the MEQ papers which cover 5 subjects, Medicine, Surgery, OBG, Pediatric, and Community Medicine. For each subject there are 5 parts and the format is, they will project the questions using PowerPoint slide on the white screen in the hall and you have to answer the questions within the time limit of 5-7 minutes. When the time is up, the slide will change automatically and you have to put your answer paper for that part in a box and use a new paper for the second part of the question, in other words you cannot change your answer once the slide has changed.
Day 2, we had the 120 MCQ questions. We have to sit for a period of 2 hours answering 120 MCQ questions that cover all subjects from medicine, surgery, OBG, pediatric, orthopedic, psychiatry, ENT, ophthalmology and also community medicine, not to mention we were not allowed to go out from the hall during that 2 hours period. It was mentally and physically exhausting.
Day 3, first day of the clinical part of the exam. We start with OSCE stations. For OSCE usually it comprises either active station or passive station or it can be a combination of both active and passive. For active station, you have to perform a clinical examination skill to a patient or mannequin, and for the passive station you have to write the answer on the paper. They can give you an X-ray, ECG, a picture, partogram or even a video and you have to write down your findings and answer few questions related to the item being given. During the OSCE we probably didn’t do well in one of the stations and it is important for us not to be carried away with that and continue fresh for the next station. That is why we have to be mentally prepared for that.
The last day was our long case. Before the day of exam, I believe most of us cannot sleep well that night. So many things to cover for the long case, so many things to memorize, you will feel anxious, nauseated, palpitation and everything that will make you feel uncomfortable. At one time, I said this to myself “that’s enough, I have do my part and now I leave everything to Allah.” I went into my room took wudhu, pray for 2 rakaats and pull myself to bed and hope when I woke up the next day, I’ll be in a positive mind and attitude. Alhamdulillah, I got a pediatric case even though I was not confident enough with the case, but the patient and his mother was very cooperative providing me with all the information that I need. When I presented the case, I tried to do it as calm as possible like I was presenting a case during our regular day, and personally I think that is the key to present a good long case for exam. I did learnt a lot from this exam, and will continue to learn more and do well in the future.