Saturday, 7 May 2022

MRCPsychmentor for MRCPsych Examinations

MRCPsychmentor for MRCPsych Examinations

The Good

MRCPsychmentor is one of the more popular resources that MRCPsych aspirants use during preparation. It comprises approximately 2000 questions for the MRCPsych Paper A, which costs £45 for 4-month access and £55 for 6-month access. Similarly, they offer a nearly equal number of questions for the MRCPsych Paper B at a similar price. In addition, the MRCPsychmentor offers mock examinations for written papers at no additional charge. The authors of MRCPsychmentor make some bold claims: 

  • We are committed to assisting you in passing the MRCPsych exams. MRCPsychmentor offers a thorough online revision course for the MRCPsych written papers.
  • MRCPsychmentor is much more than a question bank. It employs a sophisticated database to display only the best questions on the website. In addition, the database compares your performance to that of other users, highlighting your strengths and flaws and aiding you in concentrating on your revision.
  • Passing the MRCPsych examinations involves recognising similar themes and topics. We recognise this and base our questions on prior test questions and the college curriculum. Our MCQs and EMIs follow the same format as those on the real MRCPsych examination ('best answer 1 of 5' approach).
  • We understand that contextual learning is the most effective. As a result, lengthy annotations accompany each question (backed by the most recent evidence) to ensure that you comprehend the response and can recall the inquiry in the future.
  • To make sure you pass the examination the first time, you must get practice working under examination conditions. We offer you this experience by using an unlimited number of timed tests (for no extra charge).
  • Our team at MRCPsychmentor understands that your time is precious. Because of this, we offer you a revision course that makes every second of your revision count.

"

MRCPychmentor homepage - online learning for the MRCPsych exams

The Bad


However, compared to the SPMM Course, the number of questions in this bank is meagre. The majority of the questions are in the outdated single-line format that tests the recall of facts. Similarly, unlike their claims of almost 50% repetition, the RCPsych and most educational testing agencies are now conscious of repeated questions and demand real—lifelike original scenarios each time they test the candidate's ability to apply their knowledge. 


MRCPsychmentor is one of the oldest resources for MRCPsych preparation. Because of this, it fails to follow the current guidelines for making best-choice questions. For example, many questions are in the negative format, eg, which one of the following is NOT. Many questions contain the typical lead-in, asking which one is true or false. The current guidelines for writing MCQs forbid such negative lead-in questions, true-false questions, etc. Similarly, the RCPsych guidelines for authors of MCQs have prohibited abbreviations in the stems, unlike the convention in the MRCPsychmentor question bank. 


Furthermore, the RCPsych has delineated the rules for enlisting distracters/options to prevent candidates from guessing the answer; the MRCPsych question bank has not followed several of these rules, pushing it farther away from the future examinations.  


An examiner would only enlist an irregular, awkward choice because it can not be avoided, ie, the correct answer, thus making it easy to guess. 



See the free RCPsych Module on "Question Writing for the MRCPsych" at their eLearning hub to familiarise yourself with the modern rules of writing questions. This will help you understand what you can expect on your test.

eLearning Hub (rcpsych.ac.uk)


The most concerning matter with the question bank is that a substantial number of questions and answers are based on outdated statistics, facts, and guidelines. Unfortunately, when answering questions, it does not cite exact sources, as in other scientific writings, making it difficult to confirm. For example, compare the following answer with the official CDC statistics. 


Question on Suicide rate among the elderly




Disparities in Suicide | CDC


Moreover, the RCPsych uses a method of score calculation that does not depend on how many questions one gets right or wrong. The statistical method they use, "Angoff Analysis," is a sophisticated technique that rates candidates only on questions that truly correlate with higher scores. Of thumb,  questions which are too difficult or too easy do not correlate well with high scores, and thus, the method does not include such items in the scoring. To learn more about Angoff-Analysis, check out: 

A fair exam (rcpsych.ac.uk)


Finally, unlike what the website owners claim, a considerable number of candidates think that going through MRCPsychmentor is a waste of time if you have already covered the SPMM Course or have decided to go through it. 


To know the general perception about the importance of the MRCPsychmentor, Join the Psychiatry Training UK group on Facebook, search for MRCPsychmentor (or MRCPsych mentor) in the group, and read the comments of those who have been through the process. 


Psychiatry Training in UK | Facebook


The Punchline

Still, MRCPsychmentor is one of the most popular practice resources that give test-takers an idea of they test what topics and which areas on the actual examination. The biggest portion of the question bank and its answers are not outdated, and even if the question format differs from the RCPsych, the practice and the comparative scores make candidates aware of where they are standing. Importantly, they have priced their question bank pretty low, within the range of everyone's pocket. Yet, some candidates never subscribe to the SPMM Course for its hefty price; people claim to have succeeded in the College exams solely on the shoulders of the MRCPsychmentor.   




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