SAQ: Introduction

Format of the SAQ examination

  • 20 questions for 3 hours
  • 1st question normally quite hard.
  • If you are struggling with the first Q, go to the next one and come back to that Q later.
  • The last few questions are easier.

How to approach different type of question

Questions asking to list causes

  • Look at the mark
  • 4 marks mean 4 causes
  • List using categories and example: neoplasm, congenital, endocrine, infection, trauma, iatrogenic, embolic and metabolism.

Questions about guidelines. Do not panic if you do not know the  particular guideline.

  • Just think what makes sense
  • Example; chaperone while doing PV exam, and ask for security guard while dealing with an aggressive patient.

Questions with pictures

  • Read the question before looking at the pictures.
  • Try to guess the diagnosis/ answer
  • Try to guess the pic before seeing it
  • Sometimes the picture quality is bad!

Skin rash- Always comes up in the exam. Top 5 skin conditions:

  1. Toxic shock syndromes
  2. Erythema nodosum
  3. Scabies
  4. Herpes simplex
  5. Keratoderma blennorrhagica


SAQ: Tips

Read questions properly. Check nothing hidden in the data book!

Do not repeat answer in the same stem. You will not get marks!

Do not write outside the line. Write within the space provided.

Answer all the questions. There is no negative marking, so do not leave anything blank!

Describe left or right when describing an x-ray. Do not use abbreviation such as NOF

RCEM normally tends to stereotype people with occupation

  • They normally put occupation for a reason
  • Scuba divers tend to get pneumothorax or bends

Give answer from ED perspective

  • Treatment for impacted stone?
  • Treatment means anything that make patient feel better
  • So anything including analgesia, antiemetic, referral to urology for further management

Avoid contentious answers.  For example, ‘list 4 drugs in the management of meningococcal septicemia’. (Check SIGN website for management for meningitis).

  1. Dex
  2. Oxygen
  3. Cefotaxime
  4. Noradrenaline
  5. Fluid? It is debatable whether this is a drug