Preparing for the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. As you gear up for this pivotal exam, it’s natural to feel apprehensive. However, with the right approach and mindset, you can transform stress into success! 

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through effective PSA preparation techniques that will get you confident and exam-ready.

Understanding the PSA

To begin, let’s demystify the PSA exam. Understanding its format, content, and objectives is key to your preparation. By gaining a clear understanding of what the exam entails, you’ll feel more confident as you embark on your preparation journey. The best way to do this is to watch our free ‘PSA Prep’ eLearning sessions, which help you understand the exam format, what’s expected of you, and what’s included in each of the 9 prescribing topics you’ll encounter.

Creating a Study Plan

Next, it’s time to develop a personalised study plan that works for you. Start by assessing your strengths and weaknesses, then allocate time to review each prescribing topic accordingly. Our free ‘PSA Prep’ eLearning sessions are really valuable here too; each session addresses areas of the exam commonly found difficult among candidates, such as dealing with the time pressure, calculations, the exam format and identifying the key points in clinical scenarios. 

Break your study sessions into manageable chunks, set realistic goals, and track your progress along the way. Remember to include regular breaks and downtime to prevent burnout and maintain focus.

Using Practice Resources

Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the revision resources available to you. Official PSA practice papers are a great place to start, and when you’ve used those you can also supplement your learning with our 3 bonus practice papers, which are designed to mirror the format of the PSA exam and offer clear, in-depth feedback on each question. You can take these as many times as you like too! 

You’ll also want to spend some good time with MedicinesComplete and the NICE BNF. You don’t want to lose valuable minutes in the exam trying to navigate your way around the BNF, so it’s important that you make the most of these resources ahead of time. 

Seeking Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. Collaborate with peers, form study groups, and seek guidance from mentors and educators. Does your institution offer tutoring services or review sessions? Remember, you’re not alone on this journey, and there’s strength in seeking support from others. 

Staying Positive

Finally, practising a positive mindset throughout your preparation journey can be a powerful tool in your toolkit. If you can regularly set aside some time to visualise your success on exam day and celebrate your progress so far, you will be more able to stay resilient in the face of stress and setbacks. It’s easier said than done, so take a look at free mindfulness resources to help you out! 

As the learning and assessment branch of the British Pharmacological Society, we’re committed to helping you become a confident, capable prescriber – not just so that you can pass the PSA, but so that you can excel in whatever prescribing career path that follows. 

We hope that this quick guide will help you take control of your revision, so that you can approach exam day with confidence. Good luck!

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