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Stage 2 CBQ Essay paper

What are they looking for?  Criteria for shortlisting.

The entire application process is designed to select candidates suitable for GP training according to the core competencies laid out in the National Person Specification. Know the competencies, and you know what the examiners are looking for. The core competencies are:

•  Empathy and Sensitivity

•  Communication Skills

•  Clinical Knowledge and Expertise

•  Conceptual Thinking and Problem-solving

•  Professional Integrity

•  Coping with Pressure

•  Personal Organisation / Administration Skills

•  Managing Others and Team Involvement

Each one of these has several criteria, and you should be familiar with all of them. You can do this by downloading the full National Person Specification HERE.

So now that you know what they are looking for overall, how do you go about writing an answer that will allow you to show the examiner that you have these qualities?

Basic tips for writing your essay

First of all, READ the question carefully, then read it again highlighting the key words. Having decided what is being asked, you need to provide a structured answer that is easy to read and easy to mark. Break your answer into paragraphs or sections, rather than one long essay with no breaks: this is easier to follow and easier for you to write. Make sure that your spelling, punctuation and grammar are as good as possible - not only are there specific marks for this, but it can affect your overall score as it creates an impression of your overall ability. Here's a simple exercise. Read the following two paragraphs:

CANDIDATE 1  

"While worckng in a bussy, unit! I notissed that a college regul-arly turned up 'late!!! tHiS caused bad feeling am'ongst the junior's in the dipartment. Wee call'd a meeting to discus the problem'!"

CANDIDATE 2

"While working in a busy unit, I noticed that a colleague regularly turned up late. This caused bad feeling amongst the juniors in the department. We called a meeting to discuss the problem"

What is your impression of the first candidate? And the second? The content of the two is exactly the same, yet we instinctively feel that the first is a poorer candidate than the second. This is an easy way to lose marks, so avoid it.
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