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In Person Practical Exam

Cillian Moore, 1st Year Physiotherapy

What does this form of assessment look like for you/in your discipline? 

In person assessments are a key aspect of our Clinical Anatomy module which we have for the entire academic year. The assessment takes place individually with an examiner and a model. In the exam we must identify and perform a series of procedures on the model. There are two exams totalling 100% of the final grade for the module.

How do you prepare for this type of assessment?

First we learn the anatomy of the muscles and tissues behind each of the necessary movements. We

discover why we carry out the tests and their clinical importance. This step takes a lot of learning as we must know the ins and outs of each movement and why it is tested. It is helpful to use other resources such as Anatomy textbooks and flashcards at this stage. We run through how to do the movements in clinical class where we then have the chance to practice on one another. It is very important to make sure to understand the information at this stage so it is easier to learn later on. After learning the material, I practice the routine of each movement with a model. Either at home or in class. We organised a couple of mock exams towards the later stage of the term to familiarise ourselves with the exam itself.

Your experience of this type of assessment? 

These assessments are a key aspect of physio as we must be able to demonstrate effective knowledge of muscle tests and movements in our future careers. It is also very important to get into the practice of handling a patient with care and consideration. This is also marked during this exam. Personally, I found the practical assessment a nice change from the wrote learning of our Anatomy and Physiology modules which are very content heavy.

Key advice you'd give to someone doing this type of assessment? 

Practice: the most effective way to study this module is to find a model and go through what will we be asked in the exam. That way you get in good routines of how to handle the patient efficiently.

  • In class: be sure to make use of your in class time with the tutor and ask questions while your there to make sure you understand the material.
  • Mock Exams: a great way to practice with other classmates before the exam
  • Timing: during the exam you have fifteen minutes which is more than enough so slow down and take your time. You can also ask for questions to be repeated at the end if you wish.

What are the tools you use to complete this type of assessment? 

  • A friend or family member: essential for practicing before the exam
  • Flashcards: for writing out the main points of the difficult material
  • Folder: to compile class notes and hand outs
  • Anatomy textbooks: I used Netters anatomy but Greys is also very good
  • Zoom: during lockdown myself and a few friends would organise a zoom call to run through bits and pieces that we found difficult. Turned out to be quite helpful


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