Preparing for the BCPS exam can be an overwhelming task. Having the good fortune of passing two of them, I get quite a few questions about how to set up a BCPS study schedule. Or, how much time do I need to spend preparing for the BCPS exam? I’ve created a study schedule based upon time you have to prepare for the exam. This is similar to what I did when taking the BCPS exam. You can get the free downloadable BCPS study schedule at the end of this post, but I wanted to share some insight on how to use this tool. I also cannot stress the importance of reviewing the BPS content outline.
You must take this study schedule with a grain of salt. For example, if you spend a good chunk of your time in an anticoagulation clinic or a diabetes education center, you probably will not need to study those areas as much as infectious disease. With our BCPS study schedule tool, this should allow you to figure out what works with your life and work calendar. For example, I did not spend a lot of time on geriatrics and topics like dementia as I had just taken and passed BCGP a year or two prior.
Another consideration is how many hours over a 1-6 month period will you have to study. I have given you a sample in the free PDF of someone who might be able to spend 100 hours studying. If you only have 50 hours to study, obviously you can split the time in half that I have allotted for each topic.
The free BCPS study schedule will allow you to dictate how many hours you would like to dedicate to each topic area. I am a little bit more of a task oriented person. Because of this, I added a column on the study schedule to allow you to write down areas that you need to spend additional time on.
What topics to start on? I would strongly encourage you to start and end with statistics. If you feel comfortable with that, I would encourage you to move on to regulatory. If there are topics that you should “overstudy”, it should be those. We have covered both topics pretty extensively in our practice exams, statistics study guide, PDF’s, and webinars which are all included in our Meded101.com BCPS All Access Pass. We have a 6 month or 1 year (best value) options.
As far as the clinical content goes, I encourage BCPS exam participants to think big with small topics and think small with big topics. What do I mean by this? With a topic like diabetes, you need to know small details and lots of side effects, drug interactions, contraindications about the medications. With a smaller, less common topic like hyperparathyroidism, I would focus more on having a basic understanding of what it is and know major medications that can help manage it or affect it. How this relates to setting up your calendar, is that I would spend more time on a topic like diabetes (again, you need to factor in the amount of time based upon your area(s) of expertise as well).
One item I did not allot time for in the free downloadable BCPS study schedule was practice exams/practice questions. I would strongly encourage you to take (at a minimum) one practice exam and time how long it takes you. Whether that’s through our website or somewhere else, you have to understand how long it is going to take you to get through 175 questions. This will help you from panicking when you are taking the actual BCPS exam and get stuck on a few questions (which will absolutely happen). You get just over 4 hours to take the 175 question BCPS exam, so that is the approximate timeframe that I would target for taking a practice exam.
I hope the Free BCPS Study Schedule is helpful for you in setting up your calendar to assess how much time you should set aside for each topic. You can Download the Free Schedule Here: BCPS Study Schedule
Best wishes on preparing for the challenging BCPS exam, with historically low pass rates, it isn’t easy, but it is doable! If you are looking for more information on study material, the following links is where you can find info on our 6 month or 1 year (best value) BCPS All Access Pass options.