Other practical study tips

How far in advance do I need to prepare for the exams?

My advice is to start at least 6 months in advance, especially if you intend to do two or more of the exams and if you are also working full time. If you leave it until later you may find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of material there is and this may cause you to panic and further reduce your studying effectiveness.

How should I start studying?

A good place to start is by going through the past papers. In addition to the ones which are in my tutorials you can buy more from the PPB. Use the questions to prompt you to study related topics, rather than only focussing on the question that has been asked.

For example, the question may be "What is the mechanism of action of statins?" After answering this question, continue asking yourself more questions prompted by this question, such as 'what are statins used for?' 'what other related drug classes are there?' 'Are there any drug interactions?' and then research the answers for those.

Read through the BNF, or AMH, or equivalent.

For the law exams the materials you need to cover are well defined, go through the ordinances and my legislation notes.

Remember these are just prompts to get you started, ideally take it further if you have time and want to ensure higher marks.

Start small to begin with, this is to warm your brain up and get you into the mind set. Study a little every day, and as you get more absorbed this will lead you to study more and more, until in the end you will no longer require prompting and will automatically know what needs to be done and will want to study more.

It is normal to not feel 100% prepared on the day, but as long as you have been studying and preparing diligently and can answer most of the past paper questions there is a good chance you will be fine.

Study schedule

Drawing up a study schedule is important because this instructs your mind and gives structure to your studying. The act of planning and preparing is also calming and will give you control and confidence.

Test yourself

Testing yourself is the one of the best ways of making you remember information. Ways you can test yourself is by asking yourself questions, doing past papers, and doing MCQs. There are MCQs on the FB group, and you can also find more pharmacy MCQs on Google.

Use diagrams and images

You can use images, diagrams, charts, flow diagrams, get these from the internet, or draw your own. Your brain remembers images better than plain text.

Take care of yourself

Remember to also take regular breaks, eat well, and take physical exercise

You can also search around on the internet for other study tips, that will also help get you in the mind set, and give you further ideas which may suit you, for example study groups may also be helpful.

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