The First FRCR examination consists of 2 modules - FRCR Anatomy and FRCR Physics. Just preparing well for the exams is not enough, if you fail to utilize your knowledge and the best resources during the actual exam. We have seen good students fail the FRCR Anatomy exam due to their overconfidence or not knowing how the answers are graded by the RCR examiners. While others have passed with flying colours with lesser preparation than their peers, only because they had the knowledge about how to formulate precise answers. Here, we discuss the 'Top 10 tips for the FRCR Anatomy exam' that shall help you pass this exam in your very first attempt:
1. Always read the question carefully: Questions such as “Which nerve supplies the structure?” shall be intermixed with the usual “Named the arrowed structure.” If you do not read the questions carefully you shall lose easy marks.
2. Mention the side: You will lose 50% marks if you do not include the SIDE in your answer. Most of the radiographs will have the side marked. Always try to mention the side if it is rather obvious from the image. However, if the side is not marked or not obvious, you can just write the name of the structure. You should make it a habit of starting your answer with the side of the structure – RIGHT or LEFT.
3. Manage your time: Monitor your time effectively during the exam. You will be given 90 minutes to answer 100 questions. So, type fast and type accurately. Do not waste your time on a single question if you do not know the answer. You can flag it and review it later.
4. See the arrow carefully: Few candidates often fail to see the TIP of the arrow carefully during the exam. Do not be in a haste and erroneously mark the structure at the tail of the arrow rather than at the tip.
5. No marks for abbreviations: No marks are given by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) for using abbreviated words for your answer. For example, if you answer ‘Left CCA’ for ‘Left Common Carotid Artery’, you shall be given zero marks. So, always remember to type in complete words instead of short-forms.
6. Be precise: Different marks are given for vague and precise answers as described below:
If you just answer, ‘LATERAL VENTRICLE’ for the above image, you get only 1 mark.
A precise answer for this question would be ‘FRONTAL HORN OF LEFT LATERAL VENTRICLE’.
7. Structured answers: We recommend using a '3-part structured answer' format for every FRCR Anatomy question:
SIDE – PART OF THE STRUCTURE – ACTUAL STRUCTURE
The precise answer to this question would be : OLECRANON PROCESS OF - RIGHT - ULNA.
8. Attempt all questions: There is no negative marking in FRCR Anatomy examination. So, we suggest you to attempt all the questions. Even a smart guess might fetch you some valuable marks.
9. Variant anatomy: The exam will have few normal anatomical variants which you should be well versed with. We recommend you to learn to identify the commonly asked normal anatomical variants here.
10. Is it a Vein or an Artery: Certain structures share the same name; for example – Common femoral vein and Common femoral artery. In such instances do not forget to write what the structure actually is – a vein, artery, nerve, bone or muscle.