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If you are looking to apply for a training position in a hospital, then the FPAS SJT is a great way to go about doing so. However, it’s also extremely tough to pass! In this blog, we’ll give you a full breakdown of exactly what the FPAS SJT is, and how it works.
What is FPAS?
FPAS stands for Foundation Programme Application System. This is an online system used within the UK, to help final year medical students apply for training positions. The FPAS is run by the UK Foundation Programme Office. To gain a place with the Foundation Programme, you will first need to complete an application form, which is done online. In this form, you will need to answer a number of mandatory application form sections. There are 10 sections in total, in which you will need to fill in details about your personal information, qualifications, education, references and preferences.
Assuming you meet the required entry standards, you will then be eligible to sit the Situational Judgement Test.
Situational judgement is a common form of assessment. It is used by many employers these days, to ascertain whether a potential employee is the right fit for their organisation.
Situational judgement tests will evaluate your decision making, and allow potential employers to see whether your code of ethics and values match up with theirs. The majority of situational judgement tests do not have right or wrong answers, and simply come down to how an employer assesses the answers of the candidate against their own behavioural/organisational expectations. However, the FPAS SJT does have right and wrong answers, along with a specific mark scheme.
The FPAS Situational Judgement Test (FPAS SJT) will provide you with medical based scenarios. These questions will focus around testing your medical principles and ethics, and focus on qualities such professionalism, bedside manner, teamwork and your ability to cope whilst under pressure. You will not need a sustained level of clinical knowledge to complete these questions.
In order to find out what date the test will be run on, for the year that you are applying, you should speak directly to your medical school, or contact the UK Foundation Progamme themselves. They will also be able to provide you with advice on how to book your test.
FPAS SJT Questions
In total, there are 70 questions in the examination, and you will be given 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete the exam. The test is scored out of 50.00, and the majority of candidates will score between 20.01 and 50.00.
The exam is split into two sections:
Section 1. In this section, you will be provided with a medical scenario, and 5 answer options. Your job is to rank these answer options, with 1 being the most appropriate and 5 being the least appropriate. There is a total score of 20 available for each question, with each correct ranking being scored 4 points, and 3 if you score one answer lower by one (for example, if you put option A as 2, when it should have been 1). The further off you are on each option, the lower you will score. This is one of the things that makes the test so challenging. If you rank one answer option wrong, then you’ll get another one wrong too, and therefore one wrong answer can snowball and greatly impact the rest of your marks for that question. Section 1 accounts for approximately 2/3rds of the entire test.
Section 2. In this section, the questions are slightly different. Once again you will be given a medical scenario, but now you will be given 8 answer options. Your job is to choose the best 3 answers. There is a total of 12 marks per question here, with each correct answer being worth 4 marks.
How to Answer
In this section, we’ll give you some basic tips on things to consider when answering the questions, which should helpfully make your life much easier.
The central aim of the FPAS SJT is to establish whether you have the decision making skills to work within a hospital, and whether your ethics and principles are in line with what would be expected. When ranking the answers from 1-5, you’ll need to take into account a range of factors, including medical ethics, professionalism and consent. Each question will present you with different things to assess and consider, before coming to a decision. For this reason, it can be hard to establish a precise system for weighing up the value of answer options. In some questions, you might be presented with 4 awful options and just 1 good option, and you’ll then need to assess which of the bad options is ‘the least bad’. Similarly, you might be given 4 great options and 1 terrible option – again you would need to assess which of the good options is the best. Sometimes, placing the top and bottom answer is easy, but ordering the answers in the middle can prove to be quite tricky. With this in mind, here are some guidelines on how to go about breaking down difficult scenarios:
1. Is the patient safe, or will this harm them? Patient safety should always be your number one priority. If you are making a decision that will impact upon a patient, then you should make the decision with the intention of benefitting their care. If you feel that one of the answer options will harm or negatively impact the patient, then this should go (at the very least) near the bottom of your answer order. There will be a number of questions focusing around topics such as confidentiality, and respecting patient decisions.
2. Try and think about the wider implications of each decision. For example, if you have a patient thrown out by security, then how is this going to impact them, how is it going to impact the hospital, and how is it going to impact you?
3. Think about how your decision could impact the behaviour and feelings of your colleagues, if appropriate. Could this upset those around you? Could it have a negative impact on them?
It’s important that you can demonstrate good teamwork, and be a supportive outlet for your colleagues.
4. Consider your level of expertise when working as a junior doctor. Are you qualified to make this decision, or would it better to consult someone more senior? The assessors want to be able to see that you have the wisdom and foresight to understand your own limitations, and not to try and take on tasks that you aren’t prepared or ready for. Try and be pragmatic. Think about whether the action that the answer option is demanding is realistic and possible at that time.
When answering the second part of the test, you should take a similar approach. In this test, you won’t need to rank the options, but you will still need to provide the three best responses – and the above framework should help you to do this.
It’s extremely important, when taking the FPAS SJT, that you answer the questions based on established medical ethics, and the guidelines laid out by the General Medical Council (GMC). You can read all about these principles via the foundation programme page.
Along with this, you are also expected to have some knowledge of medical law, and essential criteria that you would use when making decisions, such as the mental health act and the mental capacity act. Again, the above link should provide you with sustained information about all of these factors.
Figuring out what to bring to university can be tricky. So, we’ve compiled a university stuff checklist to make things easier. This university stuff checklist is divided into the following sections: Vital documents – these are things you must bring with you, such as your admissions letter, identification, and bank details. Bringing these with you
Speed reading is the act of using set techniques (such as ‘meta guiding’) to increase one’s words read per minute (WPM). The national average reading speed is said to be around 250 WPM, which would see you get through Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird in a sluggish 396 minutes, or 6 hours and 36 minutes. And that’s if you read it all in one go! So, by practising the speed reading methods that work for you, you can realistically increase your speed to around 800 WPM whilst maintaining maximum comprehension.
This would see you finish To Kill A Mockingbird in 124 minutes, or 2 hours and 4 minutes. That’s a time saving of 4 hours and 32 minutes. This is why so many people choose to pursue the art of speed reading. As you may be aware, people take speed reading incredibly seriously. Every year around the world, competitions take place where readers reach incredible speeds, racing against their rivals. In fact, there are many people who claim to be able to read upwards of 20,000 WPM or even faster – although some studies have disputed whether it is possible to retain information when ‘reading’ at such speeds.
In any case, while people have shown the ability to maintain comprehension while reading incredibly quickly, it is surely impossible for this ability to be learned or taught. It seems people can just naturally do it. All us mere mortals are able to do is work hard to increase our speeds as much as we can! Luckily, this is definitely something you can do to achieve results, and cut time as we discussed earlier. So, let’s look at the first step that you should take when aiming to increase your reading speeds – sub-vocalisation.
The first step you should take when aiming to increase your reading speed is to reduce sub-vocalisation. Let’s start by discussing what this means! While ‘sub-vocalisation’ sounds complicated, it’s actually quite a simple concept to grasp. You’ll already be familiar with it – it’s what most people do whenever they read anything! In short, sub-vocalisation is the act of sounding out the words in your head, or ‘silently speaking’ as you read, in accordance with the way most of us were taught to read at primary school. While this logical and helps children with
comprehension, it is possible to suppress this instinct in order to increase your reading speeds.
There are a few methods you can use to reduce sub-vocalisation. The most straightforward way to do so is to practise using rapid and jerky eye movements (‘saccades’) to get through a sentence, rather than one smooth ‘tracking’ motion thatyou might currently be doing. This means that you are only actually looking at a few words in a line, and letting your peripheral vision catch the rest. Not looking at every word like this will mean that you are sub-vocalising far fewer words – only the ones you are focusing on – but are still reading and understanding everything.
Saccadic Eye Movements
Saccadic eye movements ensure that your brain does not have the time to sound out each word; you’ll have moved onto the next line before it has the chance. Of course, this reduces the amount of time it takes to finish what you’re reading! Another means of reducing sub-vocalisation is to ‘distract’ yourself while reading, by thinking about other things at the same time you are reading the text in front of you. One way to do this is by listening to ambient music that doesn’t have lyrics. It is difficult to do, but with practice you will eventually be able to train your brain to ‘listen’ to the music rather than the ‘sounds’ of sub-vocalisation, and increase your reading speed this way.
Similarly, one technique involves counting in your head while reading. Sub-vocalising numbers rather than the words you wish to read may help you as you will be forced to read without sounding the words out in your head. However, this may not work for everyone – make sure you are still taking in what you read. Experiment with this to see if it gets you results – perhaps you’d be best advised using this technique with text you only have to skim-read.
Whether you have simply taken a break from education, or you decided to pursue other activities, if you are looking to get back into studying, this can be a difficult task. Getting back into the swing of strict deadlines, lots of research, long-lasting lectures and endless late nights writing your essays; thus you need to fully prepare both yourself and your mind-set.
In this blog, we have listed a few top tips that we think will really help you to prepare yourselves if you are, or thinking about, getting back into studying.
If it’s been a long time since you last studied, chances are the education system maybe somewhat different to what you remember. Knowing what to expect with regards to returning to studying will really help ease you into this transition.
If you are topping up on a previous degree, it may be wise to refresh your memory with regards to what you were taught. If you are someone who is thinking of studying a brand new course, then you should do your utmost to find out as much information as you can about the course and what to expect. A useful place to start looking is the university’s website. Generally, courses will be outlined online, detailing course modules and a summary of what to expect.
It is a good idea to try and get hold of the reading list prior to commencing your course. This will allow you to begin reading up on the subject, thus preparing your mindset for what’s to come.
Prioritising your workload over social activities is no easy task, and a lot of students fail to think about this. When you arrive at university, you should have at the forefront of your mind, that you are there to learn.
Of course, we are not saying that you cannot go out and socialise with your friends. We are merely saying that you should focus your time, especially at the early staged of getting back into studying, trying to maintain a solid learning routine.
THERE WILL BE OTHERS LIKE YOU
There will be many other students in the same position as you – either they took a break to go travelling or to start work, but ultimately their aims were to return to education at some point. Chances are, you will not be the only student on campus who has taken a break from the educational system.
More so, other students may have taken a long break from education then yourself. It’s important that you try to get to know other people on a personal level. Knowing someone that has been through the same process as you will really help to calm those initial nerves.
IF YOU’RE STILL STRUGGLING?
Education is not for everyone. If you are really struggling with getting back into the swing of things, then you may need to re-evaluate your choices. Is university really for you? Am I at university for the right reasons? These are just a couple of questions that you should be asking yourself if you are struggling with returning to your studies.
There are a huge number of networks and services offered to you during your time at university. Therefore, if you are struggling to get back into learning, then you should seek some advice from the networks provided to you by the university.
Take it upon yourself to start a group with some of the people studying the same course. That way, you can make friends on the course AND help each other out! A win/win, right?
Here at How2Become, we have a whole range of educational resources to help you with your studies. Below we have included a few images of some of the books that may be beneficial to you. For more information on these guides, you can search Amazon!
The Christmas holiday season is often the toughest in the year for saving and spending money. On the one hand, you want to make sure you have enough savings to see you into the new year whilst also covering the essentials. Unfortunately, the essentials during late December include presents, Christmas trees, Christmas dinner, decorations, and much more. By the time the glorious January sales swing around, a lot of people find themselves running on empty when it comes to funds. Here, we’re going to take a look at five ways in which you can survive the Christmas holidays on a budget.
1. Write a budget. – Christmas Holidays on a Budget
This might seem obvious, but making a list of everything you need to buy and everything you want to buy can show you what’s essential and what isn’t. Keep a list of all your expenses throughout December and early January, and then cut down on costs from there. You can also do this to figure out how much you’re going to spend on each of your loved-ones this Christmas.
2. Make use of free delivery options. – Christmas Holidays on a Budget
Services like Amazon Prime can save you a lot of money on next-day delivery, but remember that there are often other options too. During the Christmas holiday period, a lot of websites offer promotions regarding shipping costs, which can save you money if you’re going to be ordering a lot of presents and other items online.
3. Be wary of internet prices. – Christmas Holidays on a Budget
While big websites tend to offer products at a lower price than their high-street competitors, this isn’t always the case. Keep an eye on prices both in-store and online, then make the decision where you want to buy from – don’t assume that online will automatically be cheaper!
4. Organise a Secret Santa with family. – Christmas Holidays on a Budget
If the rest of your family is up for it, you can save a lot of money buying everyone a gift, and instead focus on each of you buying one gift for someone else via a Secret Santa.
5. Take advantage of January sales, but be careful. – Christmas Holidays on a Budget
January is a momentous time for sales and shopping in the UK, as many online and high-street retailers clear their stock and get ready for the new year. While this is often a great way to find some amazing deals, be careful of ‘sales’ which actually aren’t great deals at all. During Black Friday 2017, consumer watchdogs issued a warning stating that some retailers were inflating prices to make deals seem much bigger than they actually were. Keep your wits about you and make sure to compare across multiple stores so that you don’t get caught out!
Fantastic news coming from the UK government this week, as it has been announced that the Home Office are allocating an extra £450 million in UK police funding. In this blog, we’ll elaborate on these plans, and explain how the new police funding measures will be implemented.
Where is the police funding coming from?
Obviously, £450 million is quite a significant amount. As we know, money doesn’t grow on trees, so where exactly is it coming from?
Well, firstly, the government are planning to give police and crime commissioners the power to raise council taxes. At the moment there is a particular portion of council tax which goes towards policing. Under the new initiative, police and crime commissioners will be able to raise this by £12 per household, annually. In doing so, they would raise a whopping £270 million. Meanwhile, the government themselves will provide £130 million for key priorities such as firearms, plus an extra £50 million for counter terrorism – an extremely important area these days.
Why has the money been allocated?
Amongst constant news of police budget cuts, deteriorating standards and the difficulty of being an officer these days, this is an extremely welcome move by a government who have come under major criticism for their previous approach to the police budget. This year, the government seem to have taken a different outlook, and the move comes in the wake of Policing Minister Nick Hurd taking the time to speak to every force about the difficulties they face, and the best way to overcome them. Based on this feedback, the new budget was produced. The government acknowledged this in a statement, claiming that ‘with more victims of serious hidden crimes coming forward, there is a greater demand on policing than ever before.’ With this in mind, the government have put together a police funding budget ‘that makes sure police have the resources they need.’
Not everyone is happy
While the news has gone down well with some people, there are many people who feel that the budget is still not enough, with concerns being raised especially about the funding. The mayor of Manchester has claimed that raising council tax means that the most deprived people in the country will bear the burden of the government’s failure to fund policing. Likewise, Sadiq Khan and various others have chimed in, claiming that the budget is simply not enough and falls ‘a long way short’ of the money needed to guarantee an effective police force.
In response, the home secretary has defended the government, claiming that although taxpayers will need to invest more money, they will be doing so for a great cause, and that the work police officers do is vital. She also encouraged the police force to step up their efforts, claiming that the government is committed to meeting the challenges of modernity in policing, and that the police now needs to be prepared to do the same. Many people have questioned this statement, especially given the lack of police funding from the government in recent years…
One of the toughest things for students, especially younger ones, when moving to university is understanding the different kinds of student accommodation available to them. While many universities make the process easy for moving in to halls in first year easy, subsequent years can be more challenging to organise. Here, we’re going to take a look at some tips for ‘living in’ during university and organising student accommodation.
Living In – Student Accommodation
“Living in” is a phrase which refers to living in halls or other official university accommodation. Generally speaking, students will live in halls for the first year of university, before having the option to move into rented accommodation during subsequent years.
Your time spent living in halls is excellent because you’ll be thrown in with a group of people, giving you a chance to get to know them. They’re also usually situated on a campus or otherwise close to where your lectures are, meaning that you won’t have to travel too far on a day-to-day basis.
When it comes to the conditions of halls, it will differ depending on how much you’re paying. Universities tend to offer accommodation at a range of different price points, so that as many people as possible have a place to live that they can afford. Paying more might mean that the accommodation you live in is newer, or that you don’t need to share a bathroom with other people.
At this point, you’ve probably already picked the accommodation you’re going to live in (this is usually done before the start of the first academic year). If you aren’t in the most luxurious of halls, that’s not a problem! University accommodation is almost always at least habitable and comfortable, and many students will testify that some of the most fun is had in the cheaper halls, where there tends to be a higher density of people living.
Things to Consider – Student Accommodation
If you’re reading this before choosing your accommodation for first year, take some of the following questions into account before picking:
How long can I stay in the accommodation for? When can I first move in? When do I need to move out? Can I stay in halls during the breaks between terms, or do I need to move out temporarily?
Do I get the same room throughout the year? Will I need to change between terms? Will this mean I get split up from the people I’m currently living with?
How far is the accommodation from where my lectures will be?
What amenities does the accommodation have? Are there common rooms and/or libraries that I can use? What about music rooms and sports grounds?
What kind of storage is available in the bedrooms and kitchens?
Are the halls catered (meals prepared for by staff and eaten at set mealtimes) or self-catered (you have to cook for yourself!)?
How much does the accommodation cost?
Will I get a room to myself, or will I have to share with someone else (this is quite rare nowadays, but worth checking since some universities still have shared accommodation)?
Will I have to share a bathroom, or will I get my own?
When applying for university accommodation, you should be able to find answers to all of these questions in various materials on the university website. If you aren’t sure about details regarding accommodation, try and get in contact with the university. They’ll be able to shed some additional light on the pros and cons of the different accommodation that they offer.
To all you puzzle enthusiasts… welcome to our blog for Brain Training Puzzles and Games for Kids. This blog will provide you with four puzzles which have been taken from our exciting new puzzle book!
Click on the image below to pre-order your copy of Brain Training Puzzles.
BRAIN GAME 1
The number of each square in the pyramid is the sum of the two squares directly under it. Can you complete the number pyramid?
BRAIN GAME 2
Complete this 6×6 sudoku by placing a number from 1 to 6 in every square.
• No number is to appear more than once in each row or column;
• No number is to appear more than once in each 3×2 grid.
BRAIN GAME 3
Are you smart enough to climb these word ladders.? Each ladder has a word positioned at the top and bottom. Work out the empty spaces between them. For each step, change just one letter to make a new word.
To get from LEG to BAT…
LEG → LET → BET→ BAT
BRAIN GAME 4
Solve the sudoku by placing the numbers 1 to 9 once into every row, column and 3×3 grids.
Finding ways to save money as a student might seem difficult. However, there are plenty of options available. While students often have the reputation of being skint because they’ve spent all of their money on alcohol and ready meals, there are a number of ways in which you can save as much money at university so that you can spend it on the things you really want and really need. Here, we’re going to be taking a look at some money-saving tips for university.
Student Discounts – Ways to Save Money as a Student
Lots of high-street shops offer discounts to students, provided that they’ve signed up to discount websites or apps. For this, you usually need to log into the website using your university email address. Then, you’ll be able to access student discount clothes for tech products, clothes, and much more. The discounts aren’t always that substantial (usually 10 per cent maximum), but this can make a significant difference over time.
Students receive discounts in a wide range of stores. Search online to find out which ones offer some kind of student deal, and which ones don’t, before making a purchase. Additionally, some independent shops in student-heavy towns and cities might offer some kind of discount. If in doubt, just ask.
On top of this, students can often get reduced (or even free!) access to places of interest throughout the UK, as well as in EU countries throughout Europe. So long as you have some kind of student ID with you (usually supplied by the university once you’ve started your first year), you should be able to get into many historical sites and other points of interest around Europe for a reduced price – or possibly for free.
Shop Around – Ways to Save Money as a Student
Whether it’s food, clothes, study materials, or anything else, try to look in a number of different places for the best price. When it comes to supermarkets, try to keep an eye out for deals and special offers. For example, if dried pasta is on sale in one, it might be worth buying a few bags if you know you’re going to eat it all. Hopefully, the town or campus where you’re studying will have a number of different supermarkets and shops to choose from, so that you have the greatest chance of finding a deal.
In addition to looking for deals yourself, it might be worth seeing if there’s a network of people at the university who also keep an eye out for goods going cheap. If not, try and communicate with your friends and house-mates so that you’re all taking advantages of good deals that you’ve stumbled upon.
Finally, you don’t necessarily need to buy every single book that’s relevant to your course. Many of them can be found in the library, so take a look there before making a purchase. However, you probably want to buy the primary sources – the books that you’ll be reading almost every day, and referencing often. University books can be incredibly expensive, so try to find them second hand in order to save yourself some money. Some universities have networks for graduating students to sell their books to those in the lower years, so keep an eye out for the books you need through those channels. In turn, you’ll be able to sell all of your old books once you graduate, since you won’t need them anymore!
Student Rail Cards – Ways to Save Money as a Student
If you’re between the ages of 16 and 25, you’re eligible for a 16-25 student rail card. These are sometimes free when opening student bank accounts, so keep an eye out for those offers if you need a new bank account for university.
If you aren’t looking to open a student bank account, you can still get a 16-25 rail card. These can be purchased directly from National Rail. This card will save you 33% on train fares, which can make a huge difference if you plan on using the train to travel home from university (and vice versa) between terms. While you do have to buy the rail card, it usually pays for itself within a few shorter trips. These rail cards usually have to be renewed every year.
If you’re not within the age range of 16 to 25, don’t panic! There are also plans to introduce a 26-30 rail card which will presumably offer the same savings. There are other savings and deals which can be used at any age range.
Conclusion – Ways to Save Money as a Student
You should now have a good idea about ways to save money as a student. If you want more university advice, check out How to Get a First.