How We Create Our Prescribing Practice Papers

Assessments play a crucial role in evaluating your knowledge and skills, especially in the medical field. At BPS Assessment, we understand the importance of creating high-quality assessments, which accurately assess the ability to prescribe medication safely and effectively. In this blog, we’ll take you behind the scenes, giving you a glimpse of how our team of experts crafts our assessments so that you have the best prescribing resources available. 

Utilising Drug Bank Resources

The first step in crafting our assessments is to tap into the valuable resources available on the BPS Assessment platform, the Drug Bank. This comprehensive database provides our assessment writers with a wealth of information on medications, drug interactions, dosages, and more. Using the Drug Bank, our UK prescribing experts can create questions that accurately reflect the real-world scenarios you may encounter in your clinical practice.

Adhering to the PSA Blueprint

Each assessment question is created to adhere to the UK Prescribing Safety Assessment blueprint. This blueprint outlines the specific competencies and knowledge areas that are expected of foundation doctors and assesses 8 key areas. 

Our team ensures that every question we create closely adheres to these guidelines, covering a wide range of topics related to safe and effective prescribing; from prescription writing to drug monitoring and calculations. Each area is represented by an individual question item style in our assessments, highlighted in the graphic below: 

This alignment guarantees that your trainees are being assessed on the skills and knowledge that matter most in their future healthcare practice.

Peer Review for Quality Assurance

Quality is of paramount importance in assessment creation, which is why every question undergoes a rigorous peer review process. After our experts draft a question, it is carefully reviewed by a panel of experienced peers. This panel includes seasoned healthcare professionals and educators who possess a deep understanding of the PSA and its objectives. They assess each question for accuracy, relevance, and adherence to the PSA blueprint.

Author Revision and Finalisation

Based on the feedback from the peer review panel, the original author of the question revises it as necessary. This may involve refining the wording, adjusting the mark scheme, and enhancing the explanation of answers to ensure clarity. The goal is to create questions that are fair, challenging, and reflective of real-world prescribing scenarios.

By the time a question is finalised, it has undergone multiple iterations and revisions, guaranteeing that it meets the highest standards of quality and aligns perfectly with the PSA’s objectives.                           

Behind every successful assessment at BPS Assessment is a well-defined process that combines the expertise of UK prescribing experts, adherence to the PSA blueprint, and rigorous peer review. We take pride in our commitment to providing you with assessments that accurately assess prescribing skills, ensuring that candidates are well-prepared for the challenges of real-world clinical practice.

When you sit down to prepare for your Prescribing exams, you can trust that the questions you encounter in our practice papers have been carefully crafted to reflect the complexities of safe and effective prescribing. Our dedication to quality and excellence ensures that you are equipped with the best tools to succeed in your exams and your medical career. 

What You Need to Know Before Sitting the PSA: More FAQs

Preparing for the PSA (Prescribing Safety Assessment) can be a crucial step in your professional journey and is essential in order to progress to FY2, so it’s natural to have questions. Let’s address some frequently asked questions to ensure you’re well-informed before the big day.

1. How many times can you sit the PSA exam?

Candidates are allowed a maximum of three attempts to sit the PSA, so thoughtful planning and preparation are critical to ensure you succeed on your first attempt. Make sure to take full advantage of practice papers, eLearning and any other resources that are available to you. 

2. What are the dates for the PSA?

PSA exams are typically held multiple times throughout the year. This year’s sitting are taking place on the following days: 

Friday 2 February 2024

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Tuesday 23 April 2024  

Friday 31 May 2024

3. What’s the structure of the exam?

The PSA consists of 8 different sections, which evaluate the core skills involved in the safe and effective prescribing of medication. Make sure to be familiar with each section’s format, time constraints, and content areas. PSA Prep offers a thorough explanation of each of the 8 sections, so it’s important to familiarise yourself.

4. How are the questions scored? 

Each exam question has a set score detailed in our blog PSA Sections Explained The assessment encompasses a range of question formats, including prescription writing,  multiple-choice questions, and calculations, each carrying specific weightage. The scoring methodology considers not only factual accuracy but also your ability to apply knowledge in clinical scenarios.

5. How do I prepare for the PSA?

Effective preparation is the key to success. Make sure to set aside enough time to prepare properly before sitting the exam. Make use of your PSA account by utilising official practice papers and connect with other candidates by joining study groups to share insights and tips. Check out our other blog posts on how to best prepare for the PSA;

How to prepare for the PSA

Prepare for the PSA with our free resources

The 12 PSA resources of Christmas

6. When will I get my login?

Once you have been registered for the PSA, you’ll receive your login credentials. Make sure to keep an eye on your registered email address and that you set a password that is secure and memorable. If you encounter any issues, reach out to the PSA support team promptly to ensure a smooth experience on exam day.

Thorough preparation and understanding the logistics of the PSA are vital for success. Stay informed, manage your time wisely, and approach the exam with confidence. Best of luck on your PSA journey!