FCPS is the prestigious post-graduation exam to practice as a specialist doctor in Pakistan and also recognized in Middle East Countries.
Eligibility for Fcps part 1
To be eligible to take part in this post-graduation exam you must have completed your MBBS or equivalent PMDC recognized qualification with 1 year house job and PMDC registration.
STRUCTURE FCPS Part 1, IMM, Part 2
FCPS has two parts, Part 1 exam is mcq’s based exam from the basic sciences studied during MBBS, passing part 1 in-itself doesn’t confer any degree or certificate, it just an entry exam to start FCPS training, which is followed by a mid exam called IMM or intermediate module after 2 years of training and the final Part 2 exam, after another 2-3 years depending upon the chosen specialty.
Fcps Part 1 exam details
This post will only cover the details of part 1 exam and its preparation.
Fcps Part 1 exam is an mcq based exam that is held 4 times each year, but you can only attempt 3 times in a calendar year. Its a computer based exam with two parts of 100 mcq’s each. FCPS part 1 total marks are 200. Exam calendar is available on cpsp website. Application due dates are also mentioned, application process is all online, with fee of almost Rs 15000.
You can give part 1 exam according to your desired speciality and its different for each major speciality, e.g. the exam of Medicine & Allied specialities is the same but you can’t seek Surgery training unless you attempt the FCPS 1 in Surgery, Similarly the same goes for Eye, Ent, Gyne.
How to study for FCPS part 1 exam
Overall the syllabus is almost the same for all specialities, the only differences is the no of mcq’s are related to the subjects, e.g Medicine exam has more mcqs’s from Physiology, Surgery exam has more mcq’s from Anatomy so the candidate should have a firm grip on their respective subjects.
FCPS part 1 books & Syllabus
The commonly followed books are
1. FIRST AID: This is the core book and covers almost all subjects from physiology to anatomy, pharmacology, pathology and other subjects, its concise and easy to digest, make sure to have a solid grip on this book, go through at-least 3 times, you will thank me later.
2. BRS PHYSIOLOGY: Physiology should be supplemented by this book as this is a bit detailed to improve your concepts, as there a number of mcq’s from physiology.
3.Snells Review Anatomy: This is a brief anatomy review book that is a must as anatomy section is very concise in First aid.
4.BRS pathology: Only general pathology to be done from here, special pathology is more than enough in BRS, you can also review your third year microbiology for an overview otherwise microbiology is also present in First Aid.
5.Embryology: Snells embryology review book
6. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and other subjects First Aid is enough.
First of all take this exam serious, this exam needs concepts, time management, smart study, mcq’s practice and last but not the least prayers.
3-6 months of dedicated study is enough, if you strictly follow your study plan.
Start with theory and and at the end of each section practice mcqs.
Several MCQ books are available in market, take which ever you like, most popular are Rabia Ali and SK pearls. Do chapter wise mcqs of each subject after theory and mark the difficult ones for review later.
At the end when you have completed your theory and chapter-wise mcqs, daily do the most recent yearly past papers with time management and review first aid or any notes or difficult mcqs you have bookmarked. Questions do repeat in exam but since sometime now cpsp has improved its pool and now very small number is repeated that too with different stem/answers.
During the last days some books that may be helpful are Tanveer Notes & Sk pearls theory book. These books clarify some most repeated concepts, question stems that are most frequently tested in one way or another and some tricky answers that don’t have a consensus regarding the most appropriate answer.
FCPS part 1 result
The passing marks are 75 % aggregate in both papers, but each question has different weight age, the exact marking criteria is known to cpsp only. There is no negative marking. For passed candidates their is only passing letter no marks are informed, for unsuccessful candidates marks are shown.
Common Mistakes & Pitfalls:
• Not giving enough time for preparation.
• Doing study along with hectic job
• Only doing theory without mcqs or vice versa.
• Memorizing the question/answers in books without concepts (Note that the CPSP doesn’t release mcqs or answer keys, the past paper books are student recalls and answers are given according to the knowledge of the book writer, these books are filled with statement and answer mistakes hence don’t solely rely on their key use your concepts or discuss with your colleagues, teachers or online discussion groups, this is a common mistake that leads to failure in exam)
• Poor Time management due to lack of practice