Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria(MDCN) Assessment Exam: Helpful Tips

I have come up with a three-part post that will be beneficial to people preparing for the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria(MDCN) assessment exam. The first part is on what to do before the exam. The second part is on what to do on the exam day and common mistake that you should avoid. The last part is what to do after the exam while waiting for the result and after the result comes out. I hope you find these posts helpful, best of luck. 

If you are preparing for the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria(MDCN) assessment exam here are a few things that I believe will help you: 

If you must join a tutorial, join a good one. 

In your tutorial, be active but do not always be the first to talk. Remember there’s a lot you do not know that others know and if you are the one who’s always talking, you may never learn anything new. Know when to talk and when to listen. 

Join a study group, join as many study groups as possible. Everyone in my study group passed, we went to the library in the morning and had discussions on WhatsApp at night. I was in five study groups and they were very active. 

Create a personal study time. A tutorial will help, having a study group will also help but they aren’t enough. Study on your own also, this way, you will have time to reflect and work on areas you aren’t good at.

Start studying on time, do not wait till a month to the exam. There’s so much you have to read and cramming may not really be the best option in this case. 

Use a month or two to read everything, every lecture presentation, every textbook, every article. Then repeat the materials the subsequent month. Do not make the mistake of reading a new book a month or a few weeks before your exam. Repetition is the mother of memory. 

Pray like you do not know how to study and study like you do not know how to pray. I remember how exhausted I used to feel after my lectures. There were people who knew more, said more and acted like they had already passed, having to be in the same lecture hall with such people was intimidating, I would come back home overwhelmed, exhausted but motivated. Prayers kept me going. When I couldn’t read, I prayed. 

Master your practicals: examination, clerking, counseling, etc. Do them every day. Practice on your pillow, friends, family members, and fellow doctors. If you do not have someone who’s also writing the exam in your house, get someone. Invite a friend over, move to a friend’s house, meet up somewhere. Just make sure that a month to the exam, you have someone who’s also writing the exam within a two-mile radius. The benefit of practicing on fellow candidates is that they can easily point out your mistakes because they know what you are doing.

Picture test questions and lab results interpretation should not be ignored, study them as many times as possible, at least twice a week. Bear in mind that different medical centers have their own reference values, if possible, try to get that of the center in which the exam will be written.

Learn and memorize system review, it is very important. You may be asked to list the systems that are likely affected in a patient with some complains and then lists ten or more complains that may be present. 

I have to point this out because a lot of us made this mistake. The gastrointestinal tract(GIT) is NOT a system, it is part of the digestive system. The digestive system consists of the GIT and the accessory organs of digestion(the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, and the gallbladder).

Multiple choice questions shouldn’t be pushed aside, study them, they are also very important. In my opinion, the best way to study MCQs is to answer a couple of questions on a topic after you finish reading the topic. There are social media groups that are very helpful, they post MCQs regularly, endeavor to join such groups. 

Side note: pay no attention to those that will try to discourage or make you feel you do not deserve success. Take their advice if it is good but do not let them break you. Preparing for this exam can be overwhelming, but there is nothing you can not do. Look at how far you have come, you should be proud. All the best…

I will be updating this post from time to time if I do remember anything more, so always check for updates.