If you find yourself in the situation where you didn’t pass the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) on your first attempt, don’t worry! Many candidates face the same challenge, and there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success during your resit.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of our top tips for preparing yourself for your PSA resit:

Understand the exam requirements

To tackle the PSA exam effectively, it’s crucial to know what’s expected of you in each section. Read up about the PSA questions and the blueprint used to structure the exam. Visit the official PSA website and view the FAQs.

Go one step further and access the free PSA Prep sessions available on the BPS Assessment portal, specially designed by a team of experts. These sessions address common challenges faced in the exam and provide valuable insights into the marking process. By understanding the expectations for each of the eight question styles, you’ll gain the confidence needed to approach the PSA questions during your resit.

Familiarise yourself with the question weightings

Knowing the weightings of different questions allows you to manage your time efficiently during the exam. You don’t want to spend too much time on low-weighted questions and neglect those that carry more marks. Here’s an approximate breakdown of time allocation for each section of the exam:

Prescribing (PWS) – 80 marks = 48 minutes
Prescription Review (REV) – 32 marks = 19 minutes 12 seconds
Planning Management (MAN) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Providing Information (COM) – 12 marks = 7 minutes 12 seconds
Calculation Skills (CAL) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Drug Monitoring (TDM) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Data Interpretation (DAT) – 12 marks = 7 minutes 12 seconds

While this is a starting point, remember to allow time for breaks and unforeseen challenges. For a more comprehensive understanding, consider watching the free PSA Prep sessions, where each section is thoroughly explained.

Get proficient with both BNFs

Time pressure is a factor that many candidates struggle with during the exam, but this time pressure helps by simulating real-life clinical situations. Making sure you’re familiar with the Medicines Complete and the NICE British National Formulary (BNF) will ensure you can use them efficiently during the exam. Pay special attention to the ‘treatment summaries’ section of the BNF, which may contain critical information that’s not immediately apparent, such as where to find specific topics. Being proficient with these resources can save you precious exam time.

Identify weak areas and revisit them

Practice is key to improving exam technique. Identify your weak spots and work on them diligently. Take advantage of all the free resources available to you including practice papers and eLearning resources.

Check out the free resources available on the BPS Assessment portal, including the PSA Prep. Each resource has been written by a team of experts and mirrors the format of the PSA exam, allowing you to learn from mistakes and understand optimal approaches. Remember, practice makes perfect

Ready for Your PSA Resit?

By following these four steps, you’ll be well-prepared for your PSA resit. Don’t lose confidence; you’ve got this!

Take a closer look at the resources available to you and approach your resit with determination and a positive mindset. Good luck!

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