preclinical exams


New Member
is the preperation medics do for their exams similar (to some extent) as A level exams? I mean revision lessons/tutorials + going through past papers (+mark schemes!!) etc ?

or is it all DIY ?

M Clayton

Moderator type bloke
It would definitely appear to vary between medical schools, but I don't think you're likely to find a med school that has anything like the structured revision that some students encounter at A Level.

At Durham, past papers weren't available and there was no timetabled revision. Christmas exams took place the first week back after the Christmas holidays and Summer exams were approx 6 weeks after the Easter break. There was teaching in the intervening period and no reading/revision week before the start of exams. We had the weekend to "revise".

I think this emphasis the need to keep up with the learning as you go along - medicine isn't a subject you can cram the night before the exam.


New Member
We definitely don't have structured revision sessions in Cardiff possibly with the exception of an anatomy session arranged so that we can ask our demonstrators any questions. As for the other subjects in the course, its pretty much DIY. They tend to publish example questions but are often reluctant to give us past papers (in case they are too lazy to write new ones!).

In year 1 we had a decent amount of time off to revise but in year 2 (and from what I understand, years 3, 4 and 5) we had to learn as we went along due to a sheer lack of revision time.

Hope that helps


New Member
oh dear, not looking good is it...

we too have zilch in terms of revision (except for spot tests) and there are never any past papers avaliable. I have also found that even i fyou revise based off a "sylabuss" it will do you little good! I always end up relying 90% on what i have picked up throughout the year, even when i do loads of revision! but we pretty much all seem to get through eventually so dont dispair too much. In answer to your original question... no its nothing like a-levels, they are a piece of p!ss in comparison!


New Member
i have my exam friday at bristol, here the is hardly any if no structured revision/no exam leave (easter and christmas is for this because they are evil) and there is an immense amount of work to be learned. I have found it like learning 3 a levels in 1 term alone. Please dont leave it until 3 weeks wont be able to do it. At the start of the year they sed emphasis was on continual learning....boy were they right! This has kicked my arse into shape.


New Member
a bit late to be replying to this, but only just found it! i've found that revising for the end of year first year exams is like revising for 10 A levels. i've found the level of information not too hard (but harder than A level) but the quantity is just immense! as far as resources go at birmingham there are some past papers available (one for each module) however they are pretty old (2002) but still useful. there are also MCQs on the web, but these are not very long. throught the term we have little tests on anatomy, which encourage you (well a few people) to get the anatomy learned so it's not so much in the summer and we have formative assessments (ones that don't count) so that we can see the layout of the written exams. the annoying thing is that we don't get any feedback on your answers, just a mark. we get no mark schemes and no real revision sessions


New Member

kittykat025, you say that the first year of a medical degree is like revising for 10 a levels :(
but does anyone know how this compares to other degrees besides Medicine, because i am considering to study Medicine, but want to know how much more intense it is compared to the other degrees, because if for example the other degrees were like revsing for 8 a levels, then that would be fine.


New Member
Hi there,

I dont think it is that helpful to think of medicine or other degrees in terms of "number of a-level equivalents" because university work is a very different ball game.

Having intercalated I have experienced both medic and "normal uni" exams. I can say hand on heart that they too are completely different. For most subjects exams are essay based and involve going into increadible detail on each subject. From basic principles down to what is going on in the published work right now. Medicine however tends to be remembering lots and lots of information, and applying it in different ways to answer multiple choice or short answer questions.

I personally found BSc exams "harder" than medical exams, but that is probably because i hadn't had the experience of doing them for the previous two years like my peers. But id bet if you shoved a BSc student straight on a medical course they would find it hard to adapt too.

So basically, they are both tough, but very different styles of learning and examination.


New Member
Plzzzz Urgent

hey everybody that can help me(i wish)
i have exams in january . they are sceicen modular 4 gcse and i do not have past papers. im doin WJEC but they dont have any past papers so plz plz plz if u have can u plz send it 2 me on this address:

thank u very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!