A useful part of the MRCPsych residential revision course at the University of Surrey in Guildford is the mock clinical examination. One of the peculiarities of the mock examination for the Membership course which I attended was that all examinees interviewed patients in one large hall. I found it intriguing to observe the note-taking techniques of my equally nervous colleagues. It seemed to me that there was little organisation in the way candidates wrote down the information acquired from their interviews. Most people left the hall clutching a jumble of disjointed sheets of paper to start a scrambled five minutes of hasty preparation before presenting the case. Much of this precious time was then spent attempting to decipher and organise their notes, when clearly it would have been better employed in thinking and trying to anticipate likely questions.
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