OnExamination: Medical Student Years 2 and 3
Submitted by tom on 10 February 2011 - 9:22pm
Typical Subscription: £30 for 3 months
£40 for 6 months
£45 for 12 months
One of the things that impresses me about onExamination is that they offer something for everyone. For example in medical school they have three subscriptions available, depending on your stage at medical school. I reviewed their ‘Years 2-3’ section, which combines questions on physiology and clinical scenarios/conditions.
Sticking with the ‘caters for everyone’ idea, there is a fantastic range of question styles, from MCQ’s to short answers, which covers any type of exam you might have, and there is also the option to select a particular specialty to revise. You can set your own tests, and save ones you have done, which allows for revision whatever the circumstances. I would heavily advised using this feature, especially in second year when answering the clinical questions may unduly reduce both your scores and confidence. One feature that I am still debating whether it is good or not is the ‘change difficulty’ setting of the tests. On one hand this could be useful if you are in second year, and simply don’t have enough knowledge, however I can see some people keeping it set on easy, and then whilst being a nice confidence booster, the site isn’t giving you questions comparable to that of the exam, I think the use of this feature depends very heavily on what type of person you are.
The questions themselves are clear and easy to understand, with carefully selected, challenging answer options that really make you think back and work out the answers. The answers are similarly clear, however sometimes not in as much depth as you would like, and although there are some useful links to external sites, there aren’t enough of them. Another thing there isn’t enough of is pictures, as although there are some good photos clinical signs in the questions, there are none in the answers, and I find they really help understanding.
If you get tired of revision, there is a useful ‘community’ section filled with the latest medical news stories from around the world, and there are also some really nice revision tips which everyone who uses the site should read. If you decide to end the session entirely, then reviewing your scores is a really useful way of finding future topics, however there is a traffic light system, and I feel that this may be quite disconcerting for many students with exams nearing, and might send some into panic stations unnecessarily.
The main problem that most people have with onExamination is their prices, as (particularly for finals) they are a lot more expensive than their rivals. However for the middle years of medical school, if you want an online revision resource this isn’t that bad. At £45 it is dear, however this can be reduced (through companies like Almostadoctor or the BMA) to a level comparable to any question book, in which case the sheer volume of questions as well as the extra content make the website a clear winner. Another feature that would make this worth the money would be mobile access through either an App, or a dedicated mobile version, and I hope onExamination explore this option in the future.
In summary, onExamination’s revision for 2-3rd years is a good revision resource for clinical students, and provided you get a discount worth the money. If I was going to get it, I would consult my housemates, as with the number of questions available, and the ability to set up the different tests, this is perfect for a house-share!