Write2Pass™ – Individual coaching for RANZCP written examination candidates (essay paper)

What is Write2Pass®?

Write2Pass® is a bespoke offering from CPD Formulations Pty Ltd, who has been coaching and mentoring psychiatry registrars since 2007. 

 Write2Pass ® offers the candidate a series of CEQ’s and MEQ’s which are marked by Dr Helen Schultz, who has extensive experience in writing and marking papers. She is also a published author and a psychiatrist for over 10 years. She only sets original topics, no past papers, and remains up to date with the scoring keys and and changes to the written and clinical examinations since she was a registrar in 2003. 

A bundle of CEQ’s and MEQ’s (total of 10) is $500 + GST and offers individual feedback with mark ups of essays. 

Contact Helen at helen@drhelenschultz.com for further details

Update 21 June 2020

Written essay exam date announced by RANZCP – Wednesday 21 October 2020

It’s been quite a while since I posted, and I believe, like everybody else, I have COVID-fatigue with secondary productivity fatigue.

Who could have envisaged the year we are experiencing and the disruption to training pathways?

I am keeping up with the essay candidates who have enrolled, and have experienced a large number of enquiries now the written exam date has been announced for Wednesday 22 October 2020. The pass rate of 43% has been published for the March 2020 writtens, and has led to more anxiety and concern about passing.

I will be contacting all those who have enquired and get started, as well as pick up where some candidates left off. There is more demand for MEQ’s now, and a new set will take a while to write, so to be fair, the next cohort will commence on Monday 3 August, 2020. 

I will continue to offer a range of MEQs and CEQs, all original, and in a ratio that suits. 

If you have already enrolled and paid, essays will be marked and returned, with new essays to come. 

Feedback from the March 2020 Exam;

I have been speaking to examiners who still believe that candidates are failing because they are over complicating the answers. Just as in the OSCE’s write what you do every day. Don’t miss the basics.

From marking essays myself I have noticed some pitfalls;

The CEQ

  • Marking to ‘guess’ the scoring criteria rather than answering the question
  • Trailing off in the essay. Stick to one point per paragraph
  • Keep it succinct in the CEQ – use the approach
    • this is what I want to say (introduction) 
    • this is what I say (body – remembering to use different points of view)
    • and this is what I said (conclusion that ties back to the quote)
  • Don’t spend too much time on the plan – there are zero points awarded for the plan. 

The MEQ

  • Read the question. If it says ‘list’ then just list. There are no points for elaborating or discussing if you are not asked to. 
  • Write what you would do every day in the order you would do it, so the examiner can see you know what is important and that you can prioritise
  • You do have to keep repeating because different examiners mark different parts of the MEQ. This is tricky when told not to repeat!! With practice you can do it.
  • If you really can’t understand an MEQ, move on and don’t get stuck on it. I’m referring to the C&A question on the last paper that threw everybody. 
  • Please stick to time and watch your handwriting. Write on every second line. If you don’t get it down you get zero marks. If it can’t be read you get zero marks. 
A great place to start when preparing for the critical essay question

The CEQ – Still relevant?

There has been much controversy as to whether the RANZCP CEQ essay is still the best way to assess candidates. I believe the problem is not the essay but that our candidates are not prepared to be experts of the art and science of our profession and it’s history. So many influencers and their effects on the progress or demise of our profession, so many historical achievements and disasters make our current profession what it is today. Being able to take a classic quote and use sophistication to relate to the practice of psychiatry today remains one of our talents and skills we must not lose.

This is my favourite book when coaching registrars, even to gain an appreciation of the timeline and key players of what is such a rich and vital component of medicine.

The last CEQ (RANZCP March 2020)

In essay form, critically discuss this quotation from different points of view and provide your conclusion.

To a psychiatrist – Poem “To you, I am a brief moment, A problem, if not solved, then put aside. My anguish is interesting to you, But cannot touch you…” Reference: Lawrence R (2019) To a psychiatrist – Poem. British Journal of Psychiatry 214(6):317. doi:10.1192/bjp.2019.94.

I recently set a CEQ from the classic novel “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath. I remember studying it as part of a literature study group back in 2003. To me, the quote I set resonates strongly with the one chosen by the RANZCP this year.

“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream” 1963.

The candidates I coached struggled somewhat, but by attempting and receiving feedback, were able to focus on the intricacies of the what psychiatrists observe while they treat patients, and what the patient feels that may not be expressed or appreciated. This resonates to our past, when patients where treated in asylums, to today when we now have consumer advocates, lived experienced ambassadors, and ask patients what they want when planning treatment goals.

Testimonials for Write2Pass

“The essay prep was brilliant as it helped improve writing style, develop new ways of thinking about a variety of different and topics relevant to contemporary psychiatry. In my opinion it was the best feedback out of all the other available essay courses due to the level of detail given in the feedback.” – Successful exam candidate, RANZCP written exams, August 2019.

” The exam course really helped me with the CEQ part on how to focus on the quote , your feedback helped me recognise what parts to bring in the essay and how to avoid repeating myself again. I felt your feedback in terms of various topics you have helped me generate various further ideas which helped me in exam.Whilst the MEQs were really good and evidence based looking in to college MEQs recently I feel they are more focussed around issues of supervision , governance , RCAs , ethical problems , would love to have questions/MEQs in the course around these topics” – Exam candidate, RANZCP written exams, August 2019 .