According to most successful candidates, FRCR Physics preparation strategy depends on your prior knowledge of Imaging Physics. If you have just completed your MD/residency exams and have read Christensen Physics recently, then preparation gets significantly easier. However, if you have no prior understanding of Imaging Physics then you need atleast 3-4 months to adequately prepare for the FRCR Physics examination. A suitable preparation strategy is as follows:
1. FRCR physics MCQ mock books: The best way to begin with FRCR physics preparation is with the FRCR Physics mock books. We would suggest you to solve as many mock books as you possibly can. The sooner you begin your preparation, the better prepared you are. However, we recommened solving atleast 3 mock test books with minimum of 3 revisions per book. If you have practiced more mock test papers, the higher are your chances of passing the examination in the very first attempt. Be wary of mistakes in some of the mock test books, though. Always refer to standard textbooks like FARR's Physics for Medical Imaging whenever you find a certain answer to be controversial.
2. FARR's PHYSICS FOR MEDICAL IMAGING : We recommend you to read this book in a retrospective manner. Few candidates find this book extremely difficult to read. The text is seemingly complicated if you do not do adequate number of revisions. Hence, we suggest you to start your preparation with the mock books and then retrospectively read the corresponding topics from FARR physics book. But remember, each statement in this book is a potential question.
3. FRCR Physics notes: We highly recommend the FRCR Physics Notes by Sarah Abdullah as a comprehensive revision text for the first FRCR physics exam. These notes are highly organized and written in a very structural manner. It concisely explains difficult topics without compromising on details and makes imaging physics totally understandable. Revise this book during the last week before exams. Do not forget to learn the Appendix chapter at the very end of this book.
4. Back to the basics: If you have trouble understanding any of the recommended books, do not hesitate to refer to basic textbooks like Christensen's Physics of Diagnostic Radiology to understand the concepts. We have listed many online resources on the FRCR books page which you can always refer to.
5. Revise revise repeat: Revision is the key to success. As you as you delve into the extensive physics concepts, you shall realize that physics is a very volatile subject. In order to retain most of the complex concepts, you should aim to revise everything at least three times. If you are really short of time, then aim for more revisions rather than more number of books.
Also, join the FRCR Part 1 Telegram group for daily discussion & revision.
6. During the exam :
The FRCR anatomy exam is relatively less demanding than FRCR physics exam. However, you must not get complacent with the FRCR anatomy preparation. Passing this exam is easier for a post MD candidate as compared to 1st year resident. Every radiology resident begins learning imaging anatomy from the first day of residency itself. But the key to passing FRCR anatomy is to take this exam as seriously as the physics module.
1. FRCR anatomy mock: Practice as many anatomy mock tests as you can. This is the single most effective way of learning radiological anatomy. The list of best anatomy mock books can be found here . Apart from these practice books, we highly recommend our 30 subscription-based anatomy mock exams. These mock exams simulate the actual software used by RCR.
2. Imaging Atlas of human anatomy: The Best imaging Atlas we recommend is the Weir & Abrahams' Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy by Jamie Weir, Peter Abrahams. This book for retrospective learning of labelled anatomy images. If you suspect any inaccuracy in the answers given in the mock test books then this Atlas should be used to clarify.
3. Online resources: Make use of the online resources mentioned on our FRCR books page. Some of the online imaging Atlases , especially the MRI ones, are extremely useful. These provide scrollable labelled images and are very handy. Join the FRCR Part 1 Telegram group for daily discussion & revision.
4. FRCR anatomy tips: Do not forget to go through the best tips on FRCR anatomy exam listed here. This page provides detailed advice on how to formulate a precise answer and to pass in a single attempt.
The Final FRCR Part A (FRCR 2A) consists of 2 MCQ based exams in general radiology - each of three-hour duration and consisting of 120 questions. The 2 papers are held on the same exam day with a break in between. The entire examination consisting of 240 questions has randomly distributed questions from each of the 6 systems, as shown in the image below (40 questions from each system)
1. Invest in a good textbook: We have compiled a list of the recommended textbooks for the FRCR 2A examination here. Choose the book suits your study pattern and stick to it. Avoid reading multiple textbooks.
2. FRCR 2A mock books: Go through the list of recommended mock books and solve at least the first three mentioned. Avoid the ones which are not representative of the actual exam.
3. Radiographics journal articles: Radiographics has the most up-to-date collection of radiology articles for residents and practicing radiologists. Each of these articles is highly informative and provides comprehensive knowledge of the FRCR 2A examination.
4. Practice practice repeat: The importance of practising a large number of questions cannot be undermined. Examine and understand all the options given in the questions.
5. Revision: A good number of revisions is highly important for adequate preparation. Some systems like musculoskeletal and cardiovascular can be highly volatile and required regular reading.
6. During the exam:
We recommend at least 3 to 4 months of preparation for FRCR 2B. If you are a full-time practicing radiologist then at least 6 months of preparation is advocated. We have divided the preparation strategy for FRCR 2B into three segments - Rapid reporting, long cases and viva.
RAPID REPORTING: Passing the rapid reporting component requires regular practice. You have to report 30 radiographs in 35 minutes. A good score in this component shall compensate for poor performance in Long cases/Viva and also boost your confidence for the rest of the exam.Rapid reporting is the most important part of the FRCR 2B exam as passing marks is 27/30! Hence ,you should have a systematic approach. Having a predetermined checklist for reviewing various radiographs is a must. We have prepared such a checklist which you can use while preparing for the rapid reporting component of the FRCR 2B exam. Download our free FRCR 2B Rapid Reporting checklist.
1. Rapid reporting books: Get Through FRCR Part 2B: Rapid Reporting of Plain Radiographs (Sharma, Balan) and Paediatric Radiology, Rapid Reporting for FRCR Part 2B (Michael Paddock et al are highly recommended.
2. Accident & Emergency Radiology by Nigel Raby: It is an absolute essential before even attempting to try rapid reporting. We recommend including this book in the initial phase of your preparation.
3. Online practice sets: There are numerous RR sets available on the following websites: Revise Radiology, FRCR scholar, FRCR longs, FRCR tutorials, Medmantra. We recommend subscribing to at least one of these.
4. Radiopedia Rapids: Radiopedia has 7 free rapid reporting sets for the FRCR 2B exam.
5. Practice makes perfect: Do at least 2 rapid reporting sets per day 3 months before the exam. Aim for 3-4 rapid reporting sets per day during the last month. Practice as many rapid reporting sets as you can. Join the FRCR 2B essentials telegram group for daily revision.
6. During the exam:
This component comprises of 6 long cases to be completed in 75 minutes duration. Brief history along with a combination of a few imaging modalities (radiograph, CT, ultrasound, MRI) shall be provided. You have to type your answer in the following subsections that will be provided on screen:
Type all your relevant observations from the case in a brief manner. Avoid long sentences. Include the important negative findings.
Summarize your findings and provide an appropriate interpretation, with relevant reasons- for example whether the lesion is benign or malignant.
Main or Principle diagnosis:
Give the most appropriate diagnosis according to you.
Provide the differential diagnosis if there are any with supporting points for or against the differentials.
Suggest any further investigation or the appropriate management plan for the case.
This component consists of two viva stations-each of 30 minutes duration (total 60 minutes). Each station shall have 2 examiners -each of them shall question and examine you for 15 minutes. You shall be marked separately for each case. Hence there is no need to panic if you have underperformed in one case.
** You should get familiar with the FRCR 2B scoring system. The scoring system PDF can be found here.
** Watch the FRCR image-based examinations instructional video by the Royal College of Radiologists.