Some of the reasons we found in the forum were variations of the same theme. Some said they got the impression that the P phr exam dates we see on the web and in training manuals are not set in stone. There’s no right or wrong answer and you can take any number of tests to get a good feel for the material. Another person mentioned that the reason her students didn’t pass the exams was because their understanding of the material was so poor. They couldn’t understand the concepts; they missed key points and didn’t pause for questions.
When we looked at the source documents for the P phr practice exams, we noticed that they had been prepared by a consulting firm. The document was designed to give a “tester” a feel for the material, so you would have no trouble answering the questions. It does contain a lot of information about how to read and write the questions and answer them properly. What we weren’t aware of, though, was that the consultant would be asking the student to answer questions from a multiple-choice format. You could do well on these exams if you knew how to phrase your answers correctly in these kinds of situations.
Now, let’s think about the real question. Is there anything wrong with the way P phr practice exams are taught today? The answer is that there are problems, but the exams aren’t being administered as poorly as some assume. In fact, in many cases, students who take them really do well. Why are they having such a hard time getting into medical school, then?
It’s important to remember that the phr portion of any exam is not supposed to be a test. Rather, it’s supposed to demonstrate how well you understand the material. If students spend much of their time memorizing the words to come up on the test, they won’t understand how to put together a good answer. This is a very different concept than memorizing the answer to a multiple-choice essay or test.
So what do you do when you notice that some of your students seem to be having difficulty answering the P phr test dates? You may want to consider adding a bit more to the test so that students have to use more than one type of word when speaking. Perhaps use the word “examinable” a few times over, so that the student has to explain what an “examination” is. Just be sure that it’s explained clearly that no one is expected to memorize what the phrase means and that all students are expected to be able to explain it.
You can also help your medical school applicants by asking them to memorize the entire P asked section. That way, the student can look at the question and know exactly what it means before even looking at the answer. Of course, this isn’t going to work as well if you are administering the exam at different times throughout the year. However, it’s certainly an option to consider for those applicants who only have time to take the exam one or two times per year.
In the end, remember that the P asked section of any HR CI Quests exam is just designed to measure how well students can answer questions. They don’t want to see whether they can write coherent sentences, so make sure you don’t include too much memorization in the answers. Instead, focus on giving the right answer for each question and giving a reasonable answer. Then, the student should have enough background information about the medical field to provide sound and accurate responses throughout the entire examination.