Part A Exam FAQs

  -  Part A Exam Frequestly Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question that you think should be added to the FAQs section on the website please email Rob Cooper on Rob.Cooper@westmidlands.nhs.uk

  1. Should I attempt the Part A at the same time as a one year MPH?
  2. Does the MPH cover everything needed for the Part A?
  3. Where can I get examples of past questions?
  4. Tip for Part A – past questions:
  5. Tip for Part A – enrolment
  6. Tip for Part A – Ed Jessop’s course
  7. Where can I get help with the content of the curriculum?
  8. How much revision do I need to do for the part A?
  9. Should I skip parts of the curriculum to save time?
  10. Do I really need to do timed critical appraisal practice?
  11. When do I start the Part A tutorials?
  12. Do I really need to go to all the Part A tutorials?
  13. Do I have to do the mock exam before the Part A?
  14. Where shall I stay when I go to London for the Part A?
  15. Where can I get lunch during Part A?

 

1. Should I attempt the Part A at the same time as a one year MPH?

Some trainees have been encouraged to do this, although many feel that it is impracticable because of the amount of extra work needed for Part A on top of the MPH syllabus.  Most trainees take Part A in the January after completing the MPH.  There is a reasonable expectation that you will attempt it 6 months after the MPH, and certainly by the end of year two.  It’s best to do it soon after MPH while the learning is still fresh.

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2. Does the MPH cover everything needed for the Part A?

No – you will need to do a considerable amount of extra work in addition to what is covered on the MPH.  In particular you will need to cover management and health promotion theory in much more detail than is covered by the MPH modules.

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3. Where can I get examples of past questions?

From the FPH website – it’s worth downloading all the questions, ‘answers’ and comments when preparing for Part A.

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4. Tip for Part A – past questions:

You will see that the questions are followed by key points, often with the statement ‘all or most of the following are required for a pass’.  Don’t be discouraged by these points, as many trainees who have successfully passed Part A feel that they did not cover ‘all or most’.  We recommend that you use the key points as a guide to revision, and if in doubt speak to trainees who have achieved Part A recently.

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5. Tip for Part A – enrolment

You cannot take the Part A exam as a trainee if you are not enrolled with the Faculty.  It is your responsibility to enrol, and we encourage you to do this as soon as possible to avoid missing a Part A slot through lack of enrolment.

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6. Tip for Part A – Ed Jessop’s course

Dr Ed Jessop runs a part A revision course (in Winchester and Warrington) which has had good reviews.  http://www.edmundjessop.org.uk/

The course costs around £60 and is very good value for money.  However  expenses are not available for the Ed Jessop course as the West Midlands Deanery already funds the Part A course at the University of Birmingham.  The course is very useful as a rapid revision course but you need to be quite far on in your revision when you attend (usually held 7 weeks before the actual exam).

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7. Where can I get help with the content of the curriculum?

The Health Knowledge website covers much of the Part A curriculum and has tips for passing.  You really should look at this site early in revision
http://www.healthknowledge.org.uk

It’s always worth speaking to the trainees who have passed Part A recently.   Most would be pleased to share tips and even notes if they are in a suitable form.

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8. How much revision do I need to do for the part A?

Simple answer = a lot! Most trainees will tell you that you need to do more revision than you first think.  Having a look at the Part A syllabus on the faculty website should give you an indication of the volume of study that is needed.  Most trainees spend 3-4 months revising for the exam.

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9. Should I skip parts of the curriculum to save time?

No – it’s better to know a little bit about all areas of the curriculum than a lot about some.  It’s really not good to be faced with a question you can write nothing at all about.

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10. Do I really need to do timed critical appraisal practice?

Yes.  Most successful candidates say you should do at least a couple of each of the types of study eg RCT, cohort, case control etc. under exam conditions.  Many trainees find it useful to memorise a template for the various types of study to assist with CA under pressure.

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11. When do I start the Part A tutorials?

Trainees need to attend the tutorials (usually a full day every 2nd Wed) in the term before they intend on sitting the part A, e.g. autumn term if sitting in Jan.  Jayne Parry keeps a record of when trainees are planning on sitting the part A and will email out details of the latest tutorial timetable in advance of the dates.  In the past some trainees have also attended tutorial sessions when on the MPH but you need to ask Jayne first and will need to do some work before the sessions. If you have any further questions contact jayne.parry@bham.ac.uk

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12. Do I really need to go to all the Part A tutorials?

Yes.  Predominantly because you’ll probably learn/revise something really useful.  It’s also a good opportunity to share ideas/notes/tips with other part A candidates. Finally the tutorials are funded by the Deanery, and are highly valued by all who have the opportunity to attend them. West Midlands trainees feel very lucky to have them.

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13. Do I have to do the mock exam before the Part A?

Yes it is mandatory for all trainees on the West Midlands Scheme.  It’s also really good experience and gives you enough time to adjust your revision to match weak points.  You receive extensive feedback and in many cases it boosts trainees’ confidence. 

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14. Where shall I stay when I go to London for the Part A?

Euston Square Hotel has been used by several trainees in the past, although many other options are available.  Close to Euston Station and short (10 mins) walk to exam venue.  Not too pricey, small rooms, OK breakfast, not too noisy.  We recommend booking early to keep costs low and guarantee a vacancy. 

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15. Where can I get lunch during Part A?

There’s a Pret-a-manger within 5 mins for sandwiches etc, plus a small supermarket nearby.  If dry you can sit in Regent’s Park just outside the Royal College to get some fresh air.

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