The MDCN examination like every other medical professional examinations, requires a long term preparation and strategic approach to pass the examination.
The problem with most candidates who don’t pass the examination is first their lack of knowledge of what the structure of the MDCN examination is.
If you want to learn more about the structure of the MDCN examination, ensure you read it from the link above.
How To Prepare For The MDCN Assessment Examination?
So have we have said, the first step to passing the MDCN examination is to know the structure of the exam.
And it’s not just to know the structure of the exam, you are to FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF with the structure of the exam.
When you familiarize yourself with the structure of the examination, you will be able to prepare systematically and be well prepared for the examination questions because you will easily identify them.
Before we start, what you need to know is that the MDCN examination is not a difficult examination. However, most candidates that fail the exam fail because they haven’t familiarized themselves well in terms of both preparations and practice of the MDCN exam.
SO ENSURE YOU FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WELL WITH THE STRUCTURE OF THE MDCN ASSESSMENT EXAMINATION IN BOTH PREPARATIONS AND PRACTICES FOR A CONSIDERABLE LONG AMOUNT OF TIME BEFORE THE EXAMINATION BEGINS.
When Is The Best Time To Prepare For The MDCN Exam?
To expose you to the truth, the best time to prepare for the MDCN examination is while you are still in medical school.
You see, candidates that pass the examination on their first attempt do so EASILY because
- they have had sufficient amount of knowledge gained from their studies in their respective medical school.
- They familiarized themselves with the structure of the MDCN examination either during medical school or when they finished medical school.
So to pass this examination while you are still in medical school, ensure you know as much stuffs as you can in all aspects of your medical school curriculum.
The medical school curriculum courses are the same globally so you don’t have the fear of not being fit to practice or to write any medical exam globally.
On the other hand, if you are done with medical school and you want to pass the MDCN examination, the very first thing you should do is to familiarize yourself with the exam.
After farmilirizing yourself with the exam structure, start your preparations and practices whether you know enough stuffs or not. If you have finished medical school, you should prepare and practice the MDCN examination in line with the examination structure (format) until you are exceedingly good at it.
If you just graduated medical school with a sufficient amount of stuffs in you I would say 3 – 6 months will be okay to prepare for the MDCN examination. That’s if you know you can still retain stuffs that will be enough in you at the spinal level within this time frame.
On the other hand, if you just graduated medical school and you know within yourself that you don’t have sufficient stuffs in your head to pass the exam, you should use at least 12 months to prepare for the examination.
There are a good number of MDCN tutorial and remedial classes to prepare for the MDCN examination in Nigeria. They have both online and physical classes. It’s best to attend the physical classes or to do both.
If you can’t attend the physical classes but only the online ones, it is in your best interest to ensure you dedicate yourself to intensive studying for that 1 year and occasionally watching MDCN Tutorial videos, especially the OSCE videos.
Materials To Prepare For The MDCN Examination
The MDCN examination like every other entrance board examinations (in this case entrance into housemanship to practice in Nigeria), is a general examination. It’s a general examination in that it covers every of your courses in medical school.
Other medical entrance board examinations are like the USLME, PLAB, NPMCN membership exams, etc.
As the MDCN examination is a general examination, that means you have to prepare for all the courses you did in medical school which include both the basic medical sciences courses and the clinical sciences courses.
The good news is that for the basic medical sciences courses which include your Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology, they will only constitute about 15-20% of the examination.
So the remaining aspect of our focus in this note will be the clinical sciences courses and how you can prepare for them.
As we have said before that the MDCN examination is a general examination, that also means that you won’t be able to prepare for each of the courses as if you are writing a specialist exam.
In other words, it will be unwise to start studying all the big textbooks for the examination. What you will need are revision textbooks where all the important knowledge you need to know have been concised in that textbook. You can use the big textbooks for references.
The big textbooks should have been used during your medical school and not now to prepare for the examination.
We recommend you get the following textbooks for each of the structure of the MDCN exams:
For Basic Medical Sciences: We do not recommend any reading textbooks since it just cover about 20% of the exam. However, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with common basic medical sciences mcqs they ask in Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry. For this, we recommend MCQs for Medical Students and Doctors by Dr. Inyang A.Ukot
For clinical sciences courses, we recommend the following textbooks and mcqs:
For Internal Medicine: The Guide Medicine
For Surgery: Udefiagbon Surgery Textbooks and Videos
For O&G: The Guide Obstetrics and Gynecology
For Pediatrics: The Guide Pediatrics
For MCQs, we recommend the following in clinical sciences:
- MCQs for Medical Students and Doctors by Dr. Inyang A.Ukot
- 1000 MCQ’s for Davidson’s Principles & Practice of Medicine
If you can’t get any of these textbooks, you should at least get these two materials given below as they cover both the basic medical sciences and clinical sciences courses.
- A Companion to Medical Students and Doctors Dr. Inyang A.Ukot
- MCQs for Medical Students and Doctors by Dr. Inyang A.Ukot
How To Prepare For The MDCN Examination Curriculum By Curriculum
Here, you will see how to prepare for the MDCN examination. Remember, we have previously said you should use between 4 months and 1 year to diligently prepare for the examination depending on how much knowledge/stuff you have and can bring to spinal level. So give yourself time to be well prepared for the exam.
The sure way to prepare for the exam, is by following the exam format.
The first format of the exam is the Day 1 exam which include 300 mcqs for 2 hours
The Mcqs is divided into basic medical sciences, medicine, surgery, and picture tests.
As we have said, the basic medical sciences just cover about 20% of the exam so we won’t focus on any reading for it. Your basic medical sciences (bms) knowledge in medical school should help you with practice for the bms mcqs during your personal study and the exam itself.
For the medicine, read:
The Guide Medicine, The Guide Obstetrics and Gynecology, and The Guide Pediatrics.
If you don’t have any of these texts, then, you should at least get A Companion to Medical Students and Doctors Dr. Inyang A.Ukot and read it.
For Surgery: Read Udefiagbon’s Surgery textbooks.
For Picture Tests, study the picture tests on Tutorial groups.
For basic medical sciences, practice the anatomy, and Physiology questions under MCQs for Medical Students and Doctors by Dr. Inyang A.Ukot.
Practice MCQs for Medical Students and Doctors by Dr. Inyang A.Ukot. If you don’t have it, but have Davidson’s mcqs, practice with Davidson’s 1000 mcqs.
You should practice the questions curriculum by curriculum until you know it well.
For instance, practice the internal medicine questions under the mcqs and master them.
Then move to the Pediatrics mcqs and master them.
Then move to the O&G mcqs and master them.
For Surgery, practice the General Surgery mc questions from MCQs for Medical Students and Doctors by Dr. Inyang A.Ukot.
For Picture tests, regularly practice the mdcn online tutorial groups picture test questions.
Ensuring you follow our steps here diligently will lead you to have a score well above 50% because you studied well by following the exam formats well before the exam.