'How I Passed the FRCR 2B exam' with Amreen Shakur
December 15th, 2022
An Interview with FRCR 2B registrar Dr Amreen Shakur
This is a transcript of an online interview with Dr Amreen Shakur who passed the FRCR 2B exam on her first attempt in October 2022. She used the Revise Radiology platform for her revision and explains what her preparation was like. The transcript has been edited for clarity.
Q. How many months did you need to prepare for the exam?
I started preparation in May, for the September exam. I started relatively early as I knew I wouldn’t be able to ‘cram’ due to having two young children.
Q. Could you tell us a bit about how you prepared for the FRCR? How much time did you spend on revision? What was your 2B preparation like?
I tried to prioritise rapids revision as I was advised that this is the crucial component to pass, in order to pass the exam overall. I tried to do at least one rapids packet a day at the beginning of my revision, and gradually increased to 2-3 packets as the exam got closer. With the longs, I initially went through the cases less formally, to ensure I was able to see as many of the cases as possible (there are lots!). Closer to the exam, I did the long cases under timed exam conditions and used the marking scheme to identify where I was losing marks. I went on some 2B preparation courses, both online as well as in person. I also was fortunate enough to have VIVA sessions with consultants at the hospital where I train.
Q. What resources and materials did you use for revision?
I used some other resources as well as the Revise Radiology material. I used a website called FRCR Longs for longs preparation which has an excellent set of cases. For rapids, I used quite a few different packets, including those from FRCR Scholar, FRCR Longs, FRCR Tutorials and RadExams which all vary in difficulty of cases. I also did a couple of the ‘red-dot’ courses online close to the exam which I found very helpful to gain strategies for the rapids. I went on the Edinburgh 2B course which was an excellent course, especially for VIVA preparation.
Q. What suggestions do you have to help us improve our subscriptions and courses?
I am aware the rapid reporting packets are now different from when I used them, however, I would have suggested that the second half of the rapid sets are not of the same quality as the first half. I found that there was a lot of repetition of the same kind of image or same view. I did find in the exam that there were a couple of X-rays showing usual pathology but on an unfamiliar view, so perhaps incorporating more of these would be more representative of the exam.
I started with the All-Inclusive course, and there was a change in the Monthly Online Vivas halfway through, where instead of one candidate solely doing a 15-minute hot-seat, the candidates would just see one case each. Although this hybrid model allows more candidates to participate, ultimately the 15-minute hotseats are much more representative of the exam and in my opinion provide more useful preparation. The hardest thing about the VIVA is developing resilience and being able to reset yourself when you come across a challenging case, which the 15 min VIVAS better prepare you for, so I would advocate more of these in the course.
Q. Why would you recommend Revise Radiology to someone sitting the 2B exam?
There are many courses/resources available for the individual components, but Revise Radiology is the only one that I came across that is comprehensive and puts enough emphasis on all the elements of the FRCR 2B exam. I found the monthly vivas helpful, especially at the beginning of preparation when this seems the most daunting aspect of the exam - it is helpful to be able to observe candidates when perhaps you do not have the confidence to take the hot-seat. The platform for the rapids and longs is also very similar to the exam itself which undoubtedly can help with overall time management and speed during the exam.
Amreen Shakur was on the All-Inclusive Subscription which is the old name for the current FRCR 2B Combined Subscription and has attended our Summer Ultimate Course as well as the South West FRCR Course in 2022.