Crunch time

fracgp exam Jul 20, 2017

Hi, it's Tom Rolley here for GraduateMedicine, it's Saturday afternoon, and coming to you from my home office. Just thought I'd drop in, we're really one week out from crunch time for many of you.

That actually this time, most likely, next week you will be done with the AKT, and the day before, on Friday, you would have got through the KFP for many.

So just thought I'd look at, hey, how can this last week serve you? 'Cause I think there's a couple of dangers that the breadth of the content that you're expected to be across can be daunting, and it can lead to a feeling that you have not done enough. That you haven't covered the material, because there's always more.

But that can lead to some unusual behaviours in the last week, such as skipping your sleep or taking too much caffeine or panicking about unusual topics that aren't actually in your plan for the materials that you're expected to cover. Now most likely you're in revision mode, you should not be in my judgment looking at new material, so you're going through revision. But as that feeling of "Oh my goodness, have I done enough?" if it comes up and it leads to you starting to have three or four hours' sleep per night, and trying to study and thinking that extra two, three, four hours of study instead of sleep will actually serve you, that's one of the dangers that comes from feeling like you have not done enough.

So. What can you do? What we really want, or what I really want for you, is that you transition in this last week to a position of confidence, so that you can know that you have done everything possible and that you're performing your highest, because you actually don't let, say, self-sabotaging behaviours come up. So, a couple of opportunities for you.

One is to take some time this weekend to review how far you have come. Now that either could be from when you first decided to sit these exams, or it could be if you're coming off a failure from the last set of exams. At that point when you said, "Okay, yes, I'm going to sit again," and going back to that place, all the way, whether that's three months, six months, 12 months ago, however long it's been, and thinking about who you were all of the hours, all of the study, all of the learning, all of the patience that you have done to get you to this moment now, one week out from the exams.

And the purpose for that is to remind yourself of how much work you have done.

It'll be extremely unlikely that when you decided to sit the exams, if you'd taken the exams next day, that who you were at that point could actually pass them. But having done all of this work, all of this study, that you are in an excellent position to pass these exams. And by reviewing all of that work, not actually going in and actually studying each part, but just thinking about all of the hours that you've poured in, and reflecting on that, and using that as a story to say, "Yes, I have done the work."

And what that's going to mean is that in this next week, you don't have to have a crazy feeling of pressure coming onto you. You know that all of that work has led into this place, right now, and that you can actually continue with that steady progression towards Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Friday and Saturday being the exams, Thursday probably, my usual recommendation is to take it pretty easy on Thursday.

It's very hard to cram for General Practice exams. So that you are actually looking after yourself. Yes, you're doing the work, but you're not cutting into your sleep, you're still looking after yourself, with good food, good water, maybe exercise and meditation practices if you have been doing those already. So that all of those things, all of that work that you've done, actually can come through in the exam, and you can pass this because you have looked after yourself in this last week.

All right, so that's all I've got for you today. The homework, once again, one review, what you've done. Hours in, what you've learned. It's a big picture viewpoint of where you have come from, to where you are now, and then what does this last week look like for you so that you arrive on Friday morning for the KFP or Saturday morning if you're just sitting the AKT, in the best possible shape that you can be, so that all of this work comes through and you can get through your exams.

All right, thanks for joining me on this video training, I hope you got a lot out of it, and if you are sitting I want to wish you the very best luck for this last week, and into your exams so you get your fellowship. All right, look forward to seeing you again on another video, and this is Tom Rolley for GraduateMedicine.


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