For many years, my focus has been on preparing educational resources for the Part 1 MRCOG examination. During this time I accumulated a lot of experience in writing Single Best Answer (SBA) questions and I was the lead author of the RCOG book ‘SBAs for the Part 1 MRCOG’ in 2012.
SBA questions first appeared in the Part 2 MRCOG examination in March 2015. At that time, there were almost no resources for preparing for this new type of assessment.
Encouraged by my trainees, I decided to run a 1-day intensive course in Birmingham in February 2015, specifically to practise Part 2 SBAs.
I wrote 200 SBAs based on RCOG Green-top guidelines, TOG articles and NICE guidelines.
Although I had participated in the initial RCOG workshops on SBA writing as a facilitator, I had no knowledge of the questions that had entered the question bank.
From a personal perspective it was hugely beneficial to read so many guidelines and articles to prepare questions. My own knowledge of Obstetrics & Gynaecology has certainly improved.
My initial course in February 2015 was oversubscribed, which reflected the anxiety and lack of resources to prepare for Part 2 SBAs.
I was encouraged by the great feedback, and candidates also suggested including EMQs.
EMQs were new to me – I had never written them before, nor sat an exam that included them – but I like a challenge!
My subsequent course ran over 2 days, and another course is planned for January 2016.
The best feedback I received was that the quality of questions on my courses was good and was very similar to the actual exam.
Certainly when I have reviewed questions from other sources, it is clear that the authors have tried to adapt True-False MCQs. This does not work. Proper SBAs are completely different from MCQs.
I generally follow up courses with 10 new questions sent out to delegates each week. This led to the idea of developing an online resource that contained all the questions that I have used. Candidates can then log in to do a mock paper which will be different every time. The website will select 50 questions randomly from the question bank. There will be some repetitions, but these will become less frequent as the question bank is expanded.
I’m always grateful for constructive feedback. I hope you find this resource useful in your exam preparation.
Andrew Sizer is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust with a special interest in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery. He is the Clinical Director for Gynaecology and the Lead Medical Appraiser for the Trust. He is also Senior Lecturer at Keele University School of Medicine where he is Lead tutor for the undergraduate Women’s Health module and Electives Tutor at the Shropshire campus. In the West Midlands Deanery (Health Education West Midlands) he is the Lead for Intermediate training (ST3-5).
Currently, he is Chairman of the Part 1 MRCOG exam sub-committee with overall responsibility for setting the examination. However, he has no involvement with the Part 2 MRCOG written papers. Prior to this appointment, he was Convenor for Part 1 MRCOG Revision courses at the RCOG, both London based and International.
He is an examiner for the Part 2 MRCOG Oral examination. He is co-author of the RCOG book ‘SBAs for the Part 1 MRCOG’ and currently has a book in press with colleagues entitled ‘Part 2 MRCOG: Single Best Answer Questions’ He is very passionate about medical education and is always looking for new ways to help doctors prepare for the MRCOG examination whilst maximising their knowledge of Obstetrics & Gynaecology along the way.
In November 2015, Mr Sizer was one of 3 consultants nominated for 'Trainer of the Year' by West Midlands trainees