My Experience of FCPS Part1 by Saphira Bjartskular

saphira 1

Hey folks! AlhamdoLILLAH I cleared fcps part 1 in second attempt in april. My first attempt was in February First of all, I’m an average student, studying at the very last moment just 2 days before exam and getting barely enough marks to pass “izzat c” but never been in the upper echelon of toppers. Bit nerdy, cz I love to read so I try to read topics from different sources. One thing more, I seldom posted mcqs in group cz first I liked to search fr answers myself and secondly I looked for them in search bar-its more time saving then posting. Plus answer n explanation instantly mil jati hy.

CAUTION: this post is gonna b lengthy, too extra detailed but I was asked a lot of questions regarding prep in my inbox so im trying to answer all those questions asked.
About First Aid Usmle: unlike other people, I don’t like f.a usmle. I just can’t digest that and one can pass without doing it (my friend did, I could hv too but my mistakes were neglecting mcqs n past papers). First attempt me mujy ye book parhny ka tareeqa smj nai aya tha n I used to run away from it. In second attempt someone told me tht its easier to find mcq answer in f.a cz cpsp follows it. I kept stalling But since It was my second time so I swallowed my ego and gave a read to all the systems only ONCE within 5 days (one day per system), just 1 week before paper. This books is easy to understand once you have read basic text, direct f.a p jump krny c ulta dar lgy ga as its extremely to the point and its every word is hi-yield.
NBDE: I like nbde, find it easy. I always read its side notes. Dint read whole but always opened it for reference so I skimmed through it during prep. Its ur choice either do complete nbde or f.a. I was a mixture of both. The books I studied from are typical which everyone does.
Anatomy: Head and Neck from Big Snell 5th edition. New editions (I had 8th ed ) have less material. I didn’t do chapter of back. Read clinical notes aswell. Its important. Do give a look. Everything is important in gross, u can leave origin and insertions of Muscles but do its functions. Course and tributaries of vessels and nerve is very important. Triangles of Neck, emphasize on its boundaries, give a read to contents , Brachial plexus-yes u cant leave it. Lymph drainage important. Thorax from Snell Review.
Histology: Laiq Hussain
(cell, epithelium, glands, connective tissue, cartilage bone, nervous tissue, skin) Nbde- rest of minor topics in first attempt I did laiq hussain in detail, so in second attempt I just revised it.
Embryology: Langman . I didn’t do it well in first attempt, but read more carefully in second attempt. General embryo I dint do in depth but enuf to know to cover mcqs as I had an idea by then how cpsp works. Esp neurulation, neural crest derivatives (which I forgot instantly), head n neck portion. One thing I would like to tell u guys, cpsp loves langman’s clinical correlations. Nov, feb and april me mcqs came from its boxes, one mcq was word by word copy from cns chapter of special embryo. so plz do give a look to boxes, or past ppr embryo questions from langman (if u got time n stamina) in second attempt I also did f.a embryo portion in reproduction topic read NBDE embryo as well. (found it was a revision of langman). Nbde wali read was aiwen in fun, I was bored at night, looking for mcq answer n started reading it.
Neuroanatomy: first yr c dushmani rai hy. First attempt me I delayed it till end. Planned to do Kaplan but Itna delay krlia k time khtm hogia so gave read to NBDE Neuroanatomy section. In second attempt, I also read f.a neuro section. Kaplan skipped again cz of lack of time
Physiology: BRS physio. Blood from Big guyton as I dint hv baby guyton but I dint go in detail. Only read.
whatever I highlighted in first year. Enuf to know basics. Endo I read from Kaplan in first attempt only once. Few topics I read from Nbde or while searching for mcq answers. In second attempt I read first.aid physio of all topics except cvs. Brs is bit difficult in first read and it may take 1-2 day for each unit, but once done, it will only take ur few hours in next read. So don’t worry.
Pathology: General patho from Brs. Special patho: blood 3 chapters, liver from brs in first attempt. Also I read neoplasia. In Second attempt, along with brs, I did patho from- f.a complete (left cvs, did immunity on ppr morning), Baby robbins (used to rifle through it pages before sleeping and looked up every mcq from it), general patho few topics read from Nbde too.
Microbiology: ughhh ye keeray makoray nai yaad rahy kbi b. did micro in first attempt from Nbde. Tried to do it in second attempt but couldn’t do it and left it as it is. Only micro I did was from past pprs, and looking up for answers while doing mcq books if I got confused (which was seldom, as I rattafied n followed key :p). I referred to levinson, nbde and f.a for answers.
Biochemistry: Nbde and First Aid both. I left cell cycles in first attempt, which was a big mistake as qs came in feb ppr. So in second attempt I did cell cycles from f.a.
Pharmacology: Kaplan + lippincot. Important topics must to b covered are general pharma, ans, cns, antibiotics, anesthetics.
Oral Pathology: Cawson + Soames both. It took me 5 days to do it in first attempt along with dentogist and rabia mcqs.. in second attempt I read it in one day and left dentogist mcqs in the mid
Dental Materials: McCabe. First read is hectic and took me 5-7 days but once read, u get to know wat is important and wat is crap. So for second read it only took 2 days and in second attempt I read it in one day. Did selective revision. No need to do graphs, and manipulation etc stuff. Tables are important. Dentogist mcqs did twice or thrice in first attempt, dint do in second attempt. Vijay partab must must must.
Oral histology: Orbans and Nbde. Gave it one day in both attempts. With dentogist, rabia ali mcqs
Dental Morphology: Nbde in one day with dentogist, rabia Ali mcqs.

MCQ BOOKS: First attempt-I did chandkian medicine, dentogist for dental subjects, biochem and pharma Second attempt- did mcq books only ONCE, NO REVISION. complete chandkian, complete asim shaoib medicine, asim surgery; I was left with patho n surgery allied portion due to lack of time. Rabia ali; I gave a read to it one day. Vijay partab. Dentogist
Past Papers: barely read them just three days before ppr in First attempt Second attempt: the reason I failed was I dint do past papers. So this time I solved all the past papers by myself. Each and every question and option, I looked up in books or searched mcqs from group. It was time consuming n very hectic but very very rewarding. Cz through solving the questions, I sort of revised all the important topics/course. It took me 2-3 weeks to complete them, during those days I studied nothing else. Do write important points with the questions asked. It’s a great help during revision. Like agr ap or revision na kr sko lack of time ki wja and yei revise krlou tu kuch cushion hojaega.
First attempt: I started prep in end of october but seriously started studies in December after reading senior’s experience. Before that I was a confused mass. I didn’t join any clinic/job due to studies. I did the text thoroughly, sometimes went too deep which was unnecessary. Going in depth confuses u and u forget things. I revised course three times before paper. I started with anatomy, then physio, patho, pharma, dental subjects, neuro abd embryo in last. My First read was till 1st week of jan. Then second read in next 2 weeks. Third quick read in last week of jan before ppr.

MY MISTAKES: I didn’t do mcq books and past papers. I felt tht I cant do mcq unless I know the text, but believe me aisa kuch nai hy. U can also study text through mcqs (esp in second attempt or during second read). Agr text na b ata ho, do give a read to mcqs. Both are equally important so don’t neglect any of it. leaving some important topics when u know u are unlucky person- my embryo was weak, I left brachial plexus, I dint do CNS well. Whatever my weak topics were, they all came in ppr and I knew my result there n then that im fail.
Facebook – the discussions are very helpful and helps clear a lot of ur concepts but excess of everything is bad. I spent too much time on fb in first attempt, which I should hv been giving to my studies. My mistake was If I saw an mcq, I left my topic and opened the book for tht mcq so it broke my tempo. Plz avoid this. Do help the people but first complete ur topic then do it in ur free time or relaxing time.
Result: as expected, I failed. % was 57.47
Second attempt: decision for second attempt was tough. I was very much confused bw april or june or whether im ready for april or not, the disappointment was there as I really studied hard almost 18 hrz a day in the end of preps. but in the end I took the plunge for april, submitting my form on last day. The only reason being tht my text was perfect, but only needed to do past pprs and mcqs. Preparing for april was tough in a sense tht I dint hv recovery time. The sense of failure, lack of confidence was there. Plus there were multiple distractions. But I focused on my mistakes, limited my time on fb, turned off notifications, kept mobile on silent n face down (cz I hv attention span of a squirrel and I need an excuse not to study :p). I did past papers in march with chandkians and properly started revising text from 25th march till 14th april. During this time I revised the text system wiz like blood from brs, f.a-its physio patho pharma in one day. So like this I finished my 3 subjects in almost 6 days time (Also my detailed study in previous attempt helped me this time, my revision was quick). Both asim shoaib and rabia ali once. Doing 500 mcq daily. I used to change my schedule on daily basis cz there was too much on my plate. I did complete gross anatomy in 8 hours only once in this prep (other then looking up for solving qs) on 14th april making a total of revising gross almost 5 times since first attempt. Revised past papers on the way. My overall prep was bit haphazard, and I wasn’t confident about myself, my only satisfaction was doing past papers. Alhamdolillah the paper was easy for me in a way that I had compiled the november paper during my prep from both sources (fcpsforum and fcps dentistry blog) and had solved it by myself. So initially wat I thought to be a time-waste project, really passed me in the end.
Advice: *whenever u get stuck in an mcq, please don’t hesitate to open books, its takes bit of time but it really helps u to revise and u know the point which u may overlooked before in ur study. And explore all the options.
*One more thing, the keys are correct in 90% cases, we only doubt them cz of our lack of knowledge, but if u explore them then find its correct. Sometimes they are wrong too, but I blindly followed keys or if any doubt I dint even hesitate to open long katzung for reference purpose.
* study for fcps is different from study for prof. here u don’t hv to go deep cz answer nai likhna ppr me. DON’T STUDY FROM BIG BOOKS which u studied before. I also did big guyton in 1st yr but for fcps its too extensive which is what u don’t need. U cant revise it in a day. These review books are for a reason, so plz follow them. U can open big books ONLY FOR REFERENCE or while confirming a doubtful mcq. Otherwise stay away from them, save ur time.. revise text and do mcq ,past pprs.
* first read is always time consuming, frustrating and one always make mistakes in time management. Relax, its normal for everyone cz hm 5-6 saal baad ye basics parh rae hen. U will feel the difference urself in second read that efficiency has improved a lot. Don’t even worry about gross anatomy after first read its forgetful but do revise it atleast twice and one day before ppr so tht ratta fresh ho.
*part 1 is hardwork but more than that its luck. Sometimes everything is there but its just not ur time. ALLAH PAK k har kaam me behtri hoti hy, don’t lose hope in case of failure. Maybe it wasn’t ur time but aik din zarur aega InshaALLAH. And most important, kuch b parha hua waste nai jata, kaam zarur ata hy end me. So agr ny both parha and fail hogae tu kher hy, next attempt me km khowari krny pari gi
* learn from my mistakes, u can make new ones of ur own but u cant repeat mine. Give time to both text and mcqs/pprs., don’t focus on one thing and neglect other-please. study smart, not too deep and InshaALLAH one can clear in first attempt. Do lots of wazeefay/duaen. Leave the result on ALLAH PAK, even if it’s a failure tu bss sabar shuker Karen and keep trying.
May Allah bless u. Remember in prayers.
Saphira Bjartskular

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