(Posted March 2023)
The PEP module final exams are coming up next week, so what better time to share some of our top PEP Exam Strategy Tips.
Manage Your Time
Whether you’re writing a Core or Elective exam, you need to manage your time well to answer all of the multiple choice questions (MCQs) and to address all of the case requireds in the time allotted.
As noted in our Understanding the Professional Education Program (PEP) resource, for Core exams, you will have 180 minutes to address 75 MCQs or 2.4 minutes per question. For the Elective exams, you will have 40 minutes to answer 15 MCQs or 2.7 minutes per question. Make sure you do not go over this time allocation. Answer the MCQs in order and once you’ve finished a question, move on!
Avoid the time trap of going back and rethinking or changing your answers since this will create unnecessary time pressure for the cases. You need to leave yourself 60 minutes to write a response to the single case on the Core exams and 200 minutes to answer the two cases on the Elective exams. For the cases, make sure that you allocate writing time to each required and stick to it as you write your response.
This is especially important not only in case writing, but also for answering MCQs. Slow down your reading and ensure you understand what the case or question is actually asking you to do.
For the MCQs , read the options carefully. Be on the lookout for words like “always”, “never”, or “must”, which are more likely to be incorrect and words like “normally” or “generally,” which are more likely to be correct.
It is easy to get sidetracked if you don’t read the required in the cases carefully and understand exactly what it is asking you to do. Similarly, it is easy to scan through the case facts and then not understand what information you have or how you can best use it. Read at a speed you can comprehend. Mark up your case(s) by highlighting numbers and underlining key case facts. Make notes in the margins so you know where things are when you come back to write the issue.
Practice under Exam Conditions
Ensure you are working under exam conditions for your final practice attempts. Resist the urge to access resources you would not have during the exam. Practice with a paper case like you will have on the exam. Stick to the suggested time for each area.