2013, Paper 1 SAQs

An overall written pass rate of 67% is reported for the May sitting of 2013, somewhat higher than previous years - making this one of the easier papers. Again, the college did not report the specific pass rate or highest mark for each question. The examiners had the following words of discouragement for the candidates:

"Twelve of the thirty questions had an overall pass rate of less than 50%. Topics covered by questions with a pass rate of less than 40% related to the role of daily interruption of sedation in ICU; Guillain Barre syndrome; clinical signs; intensive care outcome measures and regional citrate anticoagulation for CRRT. There was an apparent lack of understanding of commonly used drugs in ICU such as digoxin and nor-adrenaline.

Candidates did not pass questions for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Insufficient knowledge of the topic in question
  • Insufficient detail and/or depth of the answer
  • Poorly structured answer
  • Inadequate reference to supportive evidence
  • Failure to answer the question as asked
  • Fatal error / omission of key points (critical pass responses)
  • Omission of all or part of the question

It was noted that some answers relating to discussion or critical evaluation of a topic were not at the required level in terms of synthesis of information and depth of discussion. It also appears that candidates do not always read the questions carefully and thoroughly. Candidates who failed the written section passed an average of 11/30 questions compared with candidates scoring > 50% and gaining an invitation to the oral section, passing an average of 24/30 questions."