Book Review - The new DRCOG examination

The format of the DRCOG may have changed but a good set of sample questions is still essential for revision, by Dr Katrina Ford.

This recently published study guide for the new DRCOG (Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) exam is a slim paperback of three full sample exam papers.

The authors are all GPs with only three years post-membership experience, but all with an interest in women's health.

The book is intended as a revision aid, allowing the candidate to complete practice examinations and giving a broad overview of the syllabus.

Since 2006, the entry requirements for the DRCOG examination have been changed, and applicants are not required to have any specific training in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Examination format
The first part includes a useful introduction, explaining the application and the format of the exam. There are two 90-minute papers, sat on the same day with a 15 minute break.

Paper one consists of 30 extended matching questions and 18 single best answer questions while paper two comprises 200 of the more familiar multiple choice questions.

A table showing the scoring system and weighting of the questions is useful in marking the sample papers.

The authors have helpfully provided a subject index allowing the reader to find questions on particular topics, and there is also a guide to the syllabus with references to the RCOG site as well as other resources, both online and print.

The layout of the book is reader friendly. I thought the majority of the questions were well written and unambiguous but the layout of the answer section was brief, uncomprehensive and less useful.

I frequently felt that only part of the question was answered and the explanation was not full enough, particularly with respect to why some answers were incorrect.

One thing not explained is what the pass mark for the examination is, or whether it is variable, based on a distribution curve of candidates' marks.

In summary, this is a useful addition to a candidate's revision material, but alone it is not enough. It is an excellent overview of the exam and the sample papers give the reader a good idea of what to expect.

I would recommend it as a book to be borrowed from the library or shared between study partners, rather than something for each candidate to purchase.

  • Dr Ford is a GP in Worcestershire

Book giveaway
GP and Radcliffe are giving away five copies of The New DRCOG Examination by Dr Aalia Khan, Dr Ramsey Jabbour and Dr Almas Rehman worth £24.99 each.

For a chance to win a copy visit www.healthcarerepublic.com/competitions

If you are unlucky in the book draw you can order a copy at a discounted price from www.healthcarerepublic.com/bookstore

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