Tips on Boosting Your Score for the GP Recruitment Stage 2 Exams (GP ST Entry Exams)

Dr David L. Smith

General Practice remains one of the most popular specialties & I found this a daunting prospect when I applied last year. However, the application process is probably the fairest of all the specialties & the Stage 2 exams are no exception. If you’re anything like me, during FY1 I’d avoided the peer pressure to start preparing for professional exams, as I hadn’t had a break from learning since GCSEs. So when I started revising for the Stage 2 exams I felt a little out of practice & I didn’t really know where to start.

The most important thing is to make a start; a couple of months should be plenty of time if you use it effectively. Junior doctors are used to exams so you’ll probably have your own method of preparing for them by now. However, given the huge potential scope of clinical questions & the unique nature of the Professional Dilemmas paper, I reckon doing lots of practice questions is essential. I subscribed to the Emedica online revision service on the advice of a colleague. Their questions cover the whole curriculum & the standard is very similar to the actual exam. This allowed me to discover my weaknesses & focus my learning on those areas. In addition, there’s a knack to answering MCQs intelligently & the information given with the answers helped me get back into that mindset.

The Professional Dilemmas paper was mentally exhausting, so get a good night’s sleep the day before & avoid last minute cramming. Make sure you work out in advance where the test centre is & how you’re going to get there; mine had limited parking so I was almost caught out. Remember to bring along any documents they ask you for & to read the rubric before starting. The main challenge with both papers is to complete them in the time provided, so keep an eye on the clock & don’t spend too long overthinking an answer you’re not sure about. It’s better to make a guess, move on to the next question & come back to the difficult ones at the end if you have time.

Good luck with your application!

Dr David L. Smith completed Foundation Training in Mersey Deanery. He scored Band 4 in both papers of the GP Entry Stage 2 exams in 2010, and secured his first choice GP rotation. He is currently working as a GPST1 in Mersey Deanery.



© 2005 - 2010