Tips for candidates to improve OSCE outcomes

Morgan Liotta

5/07/2018 3:52:01 PM

The RACGP has released its biannual report on the Objective Structured Clinical Examination, which includes recommendations and advice to assist candidates in preparing for and sitting the exam.

The RACGP provides candidates a number of resources to assist with exam preparation.
The RACGP provides candidates a number of resources to assist with exam preparation.

The RACGP Objective Structured Clinical Examination (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 outcome and follow-up.

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 most recent 2018.1 OSCE report shows an overall pass rate of 83.57% and a mean score of 68.80%, out of a total of 986 candidates who sat the exam. Pass rates by number of attempts was 85.76% for the first attempt, 76.19% for the second attempt, and 58.33% for the third attempt.
The exam reports aim to provide cadidates insights from examples in the areas in which they have underperformed. These insights are designed to serve as useful tips when preparing for and performing in an exam.

Tips for the OSCE:

  • Always read the instructions carefully – they differ from case to case, and are specific for a particular case
  • Communication should be empathic and patient-centred
  • History-taking must be underpinned by a safe diagnostic method
  • Being systematic in physical exam allows candidates to remain focused
  • Management and investigations need to be prioritised
  • Ask for the patient’s perceptions and any obstacles to your plan
Further RACGP resources

exam preparation Objective Structured Clinical Examination osce RACGP exams racgp fellowship

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