— Adit Desai
The Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), is one of the toughest exams that a foreign medical graduate has to undertake in their five years of MBBS. It is a licentiate exam that gives these graduates the permission to practice in India as an MBBS Doctor and be considered an equivalent to a student who has finished his/her MBBS in India. The goal of the exam is to achieve more than 50 per cent marks to get the license.
There are nearly 300 questions, divided into two equal parts, conducted on the same day with a lunch break in between. The paper covers 19 subjects in total with an unequal weightage of distribution of each subject depending on the subject’s importance. Most of the questions asked will be 1-liners, like identify the image, treatment of diseases, important statistics etc.
As the exam is scheduled to be conducted on July 30, here are some tips for the last few weeks:
Cover your basics
Make sure you study your pre and para clinical subjects such as Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Microbiology etc. in the beginning as they form a strong foundation for all the other clinical subjects such as medicine, surgery etc. Understanding most important concepts, names and important dates; figures will help you understand other clinical subject.
Once you finish your pre and para clinical subjects, you can them move to clinical subjects. Finishing of Medicine, Surgery and Obgyn, which are the largest subjects out of all 19, will give you a sense of confidence and you will have won 50 per cent of the battle. Memorising important systems such as CVS, CNS, related pharmacotherapy in medicine, learning and memorising the important surgeries, sutures and equipment in surgery, learning the pathology and treatment of important Gynaecological diseases, and the important complications, treatment and signs of Obstetrics. After this, you can move onto other subjects such as ENT, Ophthal etc. Keep the minor allied subjects for the last as they can be finished in a shorter span of time.
MCQs and practice test
After finishing individual topics, solve MCQs related to that topic and understand whether you were able to grasp the information of that topic or not. Solving MCQs is equal to watching videos and understanding the concepts as it helps prepare for how questions can be asked from individual subjects and what type of questions will be asked. After finishing one subject, give at least two-three subject tests where the important topics are covered so you can be confident moving forward to another subject.
Go through questions asked in previous years’ to see what type and kind of questions were asked in the previous exams. This will mould your preparation for those particular subjects and solve these papers during your revision to gain some confidence moving to the actual exam.
Choosing the right platform
One thing to note is that how important it is to choose the right platform for studies. Things you should look for in the ideal platform:
1. Teaching faculties
2. Quality of MCQs for practice
3. Extra mentoring through whatsapp/telegram groups
Take an informed decision after reviewing multiple platforms. Don’t fall in the trap of herd mentality. Choose the platform that meets your requirements and not your friends or seniors. FMGE has a passing percentage of only 15-20 per cent which means that most of the students don’t clear it. So choose based on your requirements and the platform that provides the solution for you.
There will be very less time to revise as there are multiple subjects and the exam is every six months. So the ideal thing would be to take the exam after a year of preparation as that will give you a better chance at clearing. You will have enough time to prepare and revise and after that, you can attempt every six months if you are not able to clear it in the first try. Revision should be very focused and with a proper schedule. You have to revise only the most important topics and statistics and not go through the entire curriculum.
Your revision schedule should not be more than two months and in that you should quickly go through each subject’s important images, topics, concepts and statistics. Give more days of revision for subjects whose weightage is more in the exam (the weightage distribution is available on the internet released by the official body). It is important to attempt bigger mock tests with time limits, instead of focusing on individual subject tests. Assess your performance in detail after each test and identify your weaker subjects and give 2-3 more days for their revision.
(The writer is the co-founder of Doctutorials)