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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Tips for Newcastle University MBBS Year 3, 4 and 5 WriSkE Examination

LAST UPDATED: 13 September 2023

For Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 of the MBBS course at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) and Newcastle University UK, there are Written Skills (WriSkE) examinations. I scored 73.7% (Green) for the Year 4 WriSkE in 2018, 74.7% (Green) for the Year 5 WriSkE in 2019 and 90.8% (Green) for the Year 5 WriSkE in 2020. I was a teaching fellow at NUMed.

Here, I would like to share some tips on passing the WriSkE exam. These tips are intended for all NUMed and Newcastle University UK MBBS students who are taking the Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 WriSkE exam in the 2023/2024 academic year.

I am writing the tips based on how I revised for the exam previously. However, different individuals may have different learning styles, so you should just take this as a guide.

First, you have to start your revision no less than 2 months before the WriSkE exam. If possible, you should revise every day. To pass the exam, you should aim for a score of at least 68%.

If you do not understand any topic when doing revision, ask a lecturer or a friend for further clarification. Personally, I do not find group study helpful for the WriSkE exam.

The subjects covered in the WriSkE exam are as follows:
Year 3 WriSkE 1 - EoCP and MACS
Year 3 WriSkE 2 - EoCP, MACS, MH, CH and RH
Year 4 WriSkE 1 - CDM and ACE
Year 4 WriSkE 2 - CDM and ACE
Year 5 WriSkE - RH, CH, MH, PC, GMP, EoCP, MACS, CDM and ACE

The clinical stationeries that may appear in the WriSkE exam are as follows:
- Medical record paper
- Early Warning Score observation chart
- Paediatric Early Warning Score observation chart
- Neurological observations chart
- Peak flow recording chart
- Nutritional assessment form
- Blood test request form
- Blood transfusion request form
- Radiology request form
- Drug prescription cardex
- Fluid prescription form
- Infusion prescription form
- Insulin prescription chart
- FP10 prescription form
- Discharge summary
- Death certificate
- Cremation form
- Incident reporting form
- Adverse drug reaction reporting form (yellow card)

It is important for you to be very familiar with every one of the clinical stationeries. You need to know how to fill them up and what are the information needed. A copy of each clinical stationery is available on the Medical Learning Environment (MLE).

You must be familiar with the paper copy of the BNF. Ensure that you are able to find any information you need in it quickly. For all questions with a paediatric setting, you should use the BNFc instead of the standard BNF.

The most important revision resource for the WriSkE exam is the materials used during the WriSkE sessions at university and other relevant materials provided by the lecturers. They contain useful notes as well as practice questions with sample answers. Go through all those materials and make sure you understand the reasoning behind every answer. Consider doing some of the questions before checking the answers.

Having good clinical knowledge is also important for the WriSkE exam. It reduces the need to refer to the BNF during the WriSkE, which saves time. In addition, not all information is available in the BNF. Fluid management, opioid pain management and insulin management are important topics. Questions on these topics are common in the WriSkE, which many find difficult. As you are revising for the WriSkE in Year 3 and 4, you should also be revising for the SBA exam, since the WriSkE and SBA are held around the same time.

During the WriSkE exam, you will have an average of 10 minutes to answer each question, which is not a plenty amount of time. You should pay attention to the time during the WriSkE exam to ensure that you do not spend too long on each question.

All your answers should be written in black ink only. Do not use any other colours, including blue ink. With the exception of medical record papers, you should write your answers in capital letters. Capital letters are not needed for medical record papers. When answering each question, you must fill up the patient details correctly if they have not yet been filled up. Do not get the patient details wrong.

All the best in your revision! I hope you will be able to do well in the exam.

Tips for the SBA can be found here:

Tips for the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) can be found here:

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