'How I Passed the FRCR Part 1 Exam' with Ceren Tanritanir
April 24th, 2023
This is a transcript of an interview with Dr Ceren Tan, a research assistant at St. Thomas's Hospital. She recently sat the FRCR Part 1 examination after using the Revise Radiology Part 1 Physics Subscription for her revision and passed on her first attempt. She explains her experience preparing for and sitting the exam.
Q. How were you feeling before you sat your FRCR Part 1 exam? And, how do you feel now, after having passed the exam?
I was very prepared, to be honest, because I started studying three and a half months before the exam. I wasn't employed full-time, so I had a lot of time to study for the exam. I was a little nervous, so I did lots of MCQs. I covered both Farrs' and Radiology Cafe.
By the time I sat the exam, I wasn't nervous because I had studied a lot. I wasn’t overconfident, but I had studied so much, so I was confident.
When I got the result, I felt amazing, of course. I wanted my score to be a little bit higher. I scored about 82 % or so which was quite good. So I was very happy. At that instant, I began checking for available seats for the 2A exam.
Q. What did your day look like a week before the exam? How about a day before the exam?
10 days before the exam, I felt like I was behind in comparison to where I wanted to be. I wanted to finish the three MCQs, and I wasn't done with any of them. I also wanted to do the MCQs once more, read Radiology Cafe once more, and this and that.
I started to worry I wouldn't be able to do that in 10 days. I had a little bit of a breakdown. So I took two days off and then I was back on track again.
I'm a research assistant at St. Thomas's Hospital and prepared for the exam with my colleagues. I attended a few preparation courses one week before and I did well there. So, I started to feel a little confident.
The day before the exam, I didn't study at all. A few days before the exam, there was a big earthquake in Turkey. And some of my friends were there. That influenced my preparation. I couldn't focus anymore and I wasn't able to study.
Q. How were you feeling walking into the examination room? And how did you feel after the exam?
I went to see the exam room in London a day before the exam. I saw that there was a little park in front of it for me to walk a little bit and read all my notes. So, I went there 45 minutes before the exam, had a little walk and did some breathing and thinking. Then I read my notes for a bit and went to the exam waiting area.
Q. What was your emotional state like through the revision process when you sat the exam? And how was it after you sat the exam?
It is a very difficult exam and it interrupts your career development. If you cannot pass the exam, you can’t move to a higher level and you can’t sit the FRCR. It blocks your career development. A lot of your colleagues also sit the exam and pass. So, if you don’t pass, your seniors think you're not doing well. It's a very expensive exam. You have to invest a lot of time as well as money in subscriptions and books and so on. It would be a horror story if I didn't pass it.
I was very, very nervous. So I gave everything to be able to pass that exam. I bought subscriptions, sat on courses, and did MCQs. I was very hard-working, and that gave me lots of confidence and motivation to achieve my goal. If you prepare well, you can also be confident and that will make you happy too.
Q. Can you share how Revise Radiology helped you prepare for the Physics component of the exam?
Revise Radiology was always very helpful. I heard about them from a colleague. I bought the subscription and the website was being updated, so I couldn't figure it out. I wrote to Becky and she set up a call for the next day in the morning. She gave me instructions on what I could and could not use. She also gave me some information on how to start studying with other Part 1 students. Starting with Revise Radiology took a while. I was busy covering the information I had from Farrs' and Radiology Cafe, MCQ books and Oxford books.
I never thought the videos would be nice and thought it would be a waste of time. I finally watched Joanna's videos about 2 months before the exam. I instantly got addicted to them because they were good and covered both Farr's and Radiology Cafe. That is what people need. Farr's is fundamental, Radiology Cafe is up-to-date and Joanna’s videos are a summary of both of them. It's difficult to find the overlap because there are some clashes and people don't know what to follow. In her videos, Joanna addresses these clashes. It clears up a lot of confusion for students who are following both of them.
After watching about three videos I had a bunch of questions. I contacted Joanna on Telegram. She was very helpful and motivating and always answered my questions. After watching her videos, we had a video call for about an hour and there she addressed my questions.
I was reluctant to use the Revise Radiology MCQs because they were new and nobody spoke about them. But I realised they were up-to-date, new, validated, and the explanations were amazing. It helped me recover from the loss of content I already had in my head and gain confidence.
Q. Were there any features of Revise Radiology that were helpful in preparing for the exam?
In her videos, Joanna shared her notes and it was helpful to follow her notes and take screenshots. If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, you can also follow the notes. She was also making videos consisting only of questions, which I also recommend.
Q. Is there anything you wish you had done differently in preparing for the Physics component of the exam? What advice would you give future candidates using Revise Radiology?
There was a lot of confusion about what to study when to start studying, where to study, and so on. So, I started very early, and my note-taking was not organised enough. I took the notes on my computer and didn’t categorise them based on the topic. That gave me a lot of trouble one month before the exam. I had covered a lot of content and remembered most of them, but I could not double-check or go through the notes again.
I recommend the candidates make their notes categorised by topic. It would also help to categorise by the website that the content is from. It cost me a lot of time and I would have definitely done it differently.
I would definitely recommend starting with Joanna’s videos and the MCQs earlier. Watch the videos and then do the MCQs right away because there was a big gap between the MCQs and videos for me. I had forgotten the videos and then I had to go back and check them.