OSCE report: Tips for candidates to improve outcomes

Morgan Liotta

10/07/2019 10:29:34 AM

The RACGP has released the first of its biannual Objective Structured Clinical Examination reports for the year.

The RACGP releases two OSCE reports each year to assist candidates.

The 2019.1 Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) report provides recommendations and advice to assist candidates in preparing for and sitting the exam.
The OSCE comprises 14 clinical patient presentations – either eight minutes or 19 minutes in duration, with three-minute rest periods. Candidates can expect to complete the OSCE in approximately four hours.  
The eight-minute station of the exam requires candidates to focus on certain aspects of a consultation, rather than an entire consultation. This may include physical examinations or practical procedures.
The 19-minute station requires candidates to focus on and manage entire consultations, including follow-up and outcome.

The RACGP releases reports following each OSCE, detailing statistics of pass rates, mean and standard deviation of the entire cohort who sat the exam, and potential areas for improvement.
The 2019.1 OSCE report shows an overall pass rate of 85.6% and a mean score of 70.5%, out of a total of 997 candidates who sat the exam. Pass rates by number of attempts was 88.8% for the first attempt, 69.7% for the second, and 75.9% for the third.
The aim of the exam reports is to provide candidates with insights from examples of areas where they have underperformed, serving as useful tips when preparing for and sitting an exam.
Tips for the OSCE:

  • Always read the instructions carefully – they are different from case to case and are specific for any particular case
  • Communication should be empathic and patient-centred
  • History-taking must be underpinned by a safe diagnostic method
  • Be systematic in physical exam – this allows candidates to be focused, yet avoid omissions
  • Prioritise management and investigations
  • Ask for the patient’s perceptions and obstacles to a plan
This advice may also support candidates who are preparing for other RACGP exams – the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Key Feature Problem (KFP).
Further RACGP resources

exam preparation Objective Structured Clinical Examination OSCE RACGP exams

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