Blog entry by Rcgp Learning
What are the questions going to be like? What are the areas I need to focus on? Do I need to focus on breadth of knowledge or detail or both? These are just a few of the questions I usually contemplate when preparing for an exam… and ones I felt I was able to answer prior to sitting my Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), thanks to RCGP’s latest learning resource – GP SelfTest.
Training to be a GP – an expert generalist – is challenging. The curriculum is broad and the need to cover this is reflected in the wide clinician experiences that we come across in our speciality training years. The need for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and self-assessment therefore is ever more important.
With this in mind, the RCGP have developed GP SelfTest – a tool for AiTs and qualified GPs’ post Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) to help identify and assess areas of learning. Having used the tool initially to help prepare for the AKT exam, I have come to appreciate its use not just as a revision aid but also to ensure that I can continually pinpoint and focus my learning long term.
The questions are usefully presented in a number of different ways. I started with the Curriculum-wide Learning Needs Assessment. This was particularly useful in taking that all important but scary first step into starting revision! This was a random selection of 100 questions that after answering, gives a breakdown of results by curriculum area and compares to results from peers. It usefully links to associated eLearning courses, EKUs and podcasts for each category in the RCGP curriculum.
There are also the options to filter a set of questions to a particular topic, have a “lucky dip” of a set number of questions or to sit a timed or untimed AKT Mock exam. Being able to focus on a topic/curriculum helps consolidate knowledge after a particular clinical rotation or learning experience such as paediatric rotation or dermatology clinic. Not only does it help ensure that knowledge learnt from a clinical setting is relevant to the GP curriculum but it can also help those wanting to develop areas of expertise.
There is a choice between a six months or 12 months subscription and you can get further information on GP SelfTest here: www.rcgp.org.uk/GPSelfTest. GP SelfTest is continuously being developed and the question bank being added to, so now is a great time to sign up and ensure you are prepared in being that expert generalist!
Rasitha Perera is a GPST2 doctor based in the Chesterfield training programme. He is the current Vice Chair of the RCGP AiT Committee and Committee Lead for the Learn work-stream.