Resitting The PSA Exam: What You Need To Know

If you didn’t pass the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) on your first try, don’t worry—it happens. With the right preparation, you can nail your resit. This post will give you straightforward tips to help you get ready for your PSA resit, so you can tackle the exam with confidence and a clear plan.

Understand What to Expect

This time around, make sure you’re really clear on what each section of the PSA involves and how it’s scored. Here’s how to get prepared:

  • Check out the official PSA website: Read up on the exam structure and go through the FAQs 
  • Use PSA Prep: Access the free PSA Prep sessions available on the BPS Assessment portal, specially designed by a team of experts to address common challenges faced in the exam and provide valuable insights into the marking process (there’s one session for each section of the exam, so if you know which sections you struggled with most, focus on those sessions) 

Knowing what’s expected will boost your confidence and help you study smarter for your resit.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Good time management can make a big difference in the PSA exam, since not all questions are worth the same amount of marks. Here’s a rough idea of how you might split your time, based on the number of points each section is worth:

  • Prescribing (PWS): 48 minutes
  • Prescription Review (REV): about 19 minutes
  • Planning Management (MAN): just under 10 minutes
  • Providing Information (COM): just over 7 minutes
  • Calculation Skills (CAL): just under 10 minutes
  • Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR): just under 10 minutes
  • Drug Monitoring (TDM): just under 10 minutes
  • Data Interpretation (DAT): just over 7 minutes

Use this as a starting point, then personalise as you need to based on your strengths and weaker areas. 

Get to Know Your BNFs

Dealing with time pressure is key since it’s similar to what you’ll face in real clinical settings. Being quick with the Medicines Complete and the NICE British National Formulary (BNF) is crucial. Focus especially on the ‘treatment summaries’ section, where important details are often hidden. Knowing these resources well can save you a lot of time during the exam.

Focus on Your Weaker Areas

Practising regularly is essential. Figure out where you’re weaker and hit those areas hard:

  • Review each exam section: Pay special attention to any sections where you scored lower, and try to understand why
  • Use practice papers to improve: These mimic the real exam, letting you practise effectively and learn from mistakes
  • Group study sessions: Sometimes discussing tricky topics with peers can help clarify things you’re struggling with

The more you use these resources, the better your understanding and exam skills will become. 

Once you’ve made use of the official PSA practice papers, try the 3 bonus practice papers from BPS Assessment which have been designed to mirror the format of the PSA exam, with feedback on every question so that you can learn from your mistakes and practice until perfect! 

Ready for Your PSA Resit?

By sticking to these tips, you’ll be in great shape for your PSA resit. Stay confident; every bit of preparation helps.bMake sure you go over all the available materials and head into your resit determined and positive.

Good luck, and remember, being well-prepared is your best bet for success!