Recommended Study Tools

The Royal College has created the below recommended tools for all candidates who are embarking upon sitting their specialty examinations. The Royal College feels that the below list of highly recommended tools should be completed in order for a candidate to have the best chance of success at the examination. These tools are for candidates who are sitting the exam for their first attempt or if they are sitting the exam for a subsequent attempt.

The Royal College highly recommends that candidates work with an individual who has successfully completed their Royal College exams and is currently practicing within their specialty. We also recommend that this individual act as a supervisor to help with your preparation for the exam.

Direct Observation of patient encounter at a facility
Clinical Supervision/Assessment

  • Observation in the O.R
  • Observation in clinic visits
  • Observation of leading healthcare teams
  • Case discussions of patients seen
  • Review of medical charts
  • Hospital and Chart review
  • Review any adverse cases
  • Chart stimulated recall
  • Review of clinic patients
  • Random cases deemed worthy of discussion should be discussed. This will enable the supervisor to assess the candidate‚Äôs management strategies and clinical skills. Operating Room assessment (if applicable)

Oral Examination and Case discussions
There should be case discussions in person with colleagues or superiors. These discussions should be in line with the Oral Examination style by the mentor or supervisor. These can be cases or topics that the candidate will bring forward or deemed as difficult or worthy of discussion or topics prepared by a supervisor.

Study Plan
A reading plan should be discussed with the candidate and their supervisor. This will focus on core materials that will prepare the candidate to write the exams. This would be akin to what every resident would do in preparation for Royal College Exams. Keeping track of what topics have been covered will be helpful so that missed topics can be suggested to the candidate. This can also include watching videos, participating in online learning and specific courses you will take.
It is also highly recommended that candidates in anticipation of writing their exams block off time prior to the exam so that this time will be used as protected time for the final preparation for the exam. During that time the candidate is suggested to be relieved of all clinical duties.

Educational Program
These are highly recommended to participate in

  • Participation in academic half days and academic rounds is highly recommended
  • Participation in formal exam preparatory courses (one/year minimum)
  • Participation in grand rounds
  • Participation in MOC

OSCE Practice Sessions
A suggested part of this preparation is for candidates to join in the OSCE practice sessions that are given to the senior residents of their specialty. We understand there can be barriers around this but would encourage you to find something similar to participate in.