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Useful revision aid for the registration assessment

Revision for the pharmacy registration assessment made easy.

The latest edition of the ‘Registration exam questions’ (published by Pharmaceutical Press, owned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society) features more than 500 open- and closed-book questions (simple, multiple, classification and statement) to help pre-registration trainees prepare for the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) registration assessment.

This book includes around 80 calculation questions. There are a good number of questions around paediatrics as well. It does not cover questions relating to summary of product characteristics, which are examinable in the 2015 registration assessment. However, the authors have published around 20 complimentary questions online

The questions cover a fair amount of the assessment syllabus and there are some challenging closed-book questions, although some questions would have benefited from being written in the style of the GPhC registration assessment. The paediatric questions familiarise preregistration trainees with the British National Formulary for Children (BNFC), especially if they do not use it in their day-to-day training. There are helpful explanations alongside the answer and the index can be used by trainees to test themselves on a particular medicine, disease or topic. It is encouraging to see questions requiring the application of knowledge, which is what the GPhC is now steering towards, rather than rote-learning style questions.

But there are some flaws. A couple of drugs have been discontinued since the book was published (e.g. Fersamal), therefore preregistration trainees will need to use an earlier edition of the BNF. Unfortunately, given the reputation of these titles, it was also surprising to notice a few ambiguous and inaccurate questions. For example, in a question regarding the cautions of using beta-blockers, ambiguous options were given, and there was a question about the use of Rifinah (rifampicin 300mg, isoniazid150mg) for pruritus, which is incorrect.

Additionally, there are a few open-book questions that require the use of ‘Medicines, ethics and practice’ but it should be noted that only the British National Formulary (BNF) and BNFC are allowed in the open-book exam.

Although there are a few inaccuracies that trainees and tutors should be aware of, overall, this book is a useful revision aid and will help trainees acquaint themselves with the BNF and BNFC in preparation for the registration assessment.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068406

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