SBAs and MCQs for the Final FRCA R. Tandon (ed.) Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012 ISBN 978-0199661336, 312 pp. Price £34.99 (Kindle £24.93)



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Errata Volume 68, Issue 5, 548, Article first published online: 10 April 2013

  • I am the creator and editor of conquest FRCA MCQ and Anaesthesia CPD iPhone applications.

Writing a good multiple choice or single best answer question is difficult. Both require a clear, balanced question without accidentally giving the game away, whilst the information provided in a SBA must be comprehensive enough to inform the candidate's analysis but short enough to remain acceptable for the format.

I feel the authors of this book have done a good job with both, but most notably with the SBAs. Where other texts have fallen, with their SBAs either too hard, too easy or just non-existent, this book excels: the questions have been skilfully crafted and edited by somebody well versed in the art.

The breadth of the book is generally good. It covers most of the syllabus with the now standard 450 questions (made up of 240 MCQs and 210 SBAs). One criticism here would be that physics seems to be relatively ignored.

The content of the book is good, with the answers' explanations deserving special praise: they are concise, relevant and almost universally referenced. There are a few mistakes; more frequently these are editorial but the occasional factual mistake creeps in as well. Mistakes such as these are present in every book and I feel should not be judged too harshly; they are certainly insufficient to make you lose faith with the book's integrity. Anyway, whilst studying for my FRCA, I viewed finding the errors as an alternative way to revise.

So the crux of this review is this: when I did my final FRCA would I have found this book useful? Definitely. So with that in mind, it gets recommended.