How to prepare for JCAT examination – A comprehensive guide

 A Comprehensive Guide in spite of Induction into MDS and Preparation of FCPS-1

~ the agency of Dr. Saad Hameed


(Dental Section,

Punjab Medical College,Faisalabad. 

Session 2008-2012).

In the christen of Allah, the most gracious, the greatest number merciful.


All praises against the Almighty Allah who is the controller of our each single breath. The purpose of memorandum down my personal experience of scoring the highest position all over Pakistan in in the beginning ever JCAT is to give a comprehensive guidance to all the candidates high-reaching for this exam. This exam would subsist conducted once a year from very lately onwards for the inductions in July.

I am indebted to Allah for granting me of that kind a success and enabling me to inscribe something for the upcoming dentists. My junior colleague and brother Haris Ghole, a extremely brilliant young dentist himself,  is the body who actually forced me to plough~ my experience.

This exam was conducted notwithstanding the first time in May 2016 jointly by the KEMU, UHS and FJMU, Lahore; in the same state, there was much ambiguity regarding the exam format. However, my combination and God’s granted success in FCPS-1 in Dentistry in the try of May 2016 helped me wholly in securing the top slot.

After the Almighty, I am in truth thankful to my mother, my teachers, my brothers, my friends , my patients, and my well-wishers concerning their support and prayers. Prayers be possible to do miracles as they have effected in my case. The prayers brought me loudly from the failures which I was facing before I got  those brace consecutive triumphs. Request the pious the masses around you to pray for you! I bear requested such personalities around me and I’m with less than their debt now. Such a handsome debt it is!

Now, future to the pattern or format of JCAT. It was divided into couple portions:


100 MCQs .
Total time allowed was 3 hours.
Each MCQ was of 2 marks .
100*2=200 marks .

0.5 line was deducted for each wrong rejoin.
Passing percentage was  50% i.e. 100 marks.  The negative marking was the might cause of failure in the written exam, in the same manner with only 16 out of 194 candidates were ingenious to qualify for the next halting-place i.e. Video Projected Clinical Exam (VPCE). The MCQs were derived from many subjects as follows:

1. Basic Sciences – 50 mcqs
Anatomy – 15 mcqs
Physiology & Biochemistry – 15 mcqs
Pathology – 10 mcqs
Pharmacology – 10 mcqs

2. Clinical  Sciences – 50 mcqs
Clinical portion consisted of a inter~ of MCQs from the basics of Operative Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, CDM and Oral Pathology. There was ~t any defined allotted number of MCQs to either subject in clinical portion.


For basic sciences portion, I would canvass the  strategy which I adopted for the time of my FCPS-1 preparation. Average state of being prepared time is 3-5 months through an average of 8 hours quotidian study, gradually increasing to 12 hours in the utmost month. However, this months and hours distribution varies extremely from person to somebody. I was also discharging my duties at a Rural Health Centre in a far-flung village during my preparation at what place I had enough time to study, boundary still, I had to be adjusted in my office and had to check the patients from 8am-2pm. I failed the FCPS-1 essay of March 2016 and appeared afresh in May 2016 with more state of being prepared, revitalized enthusiasm and lots of prayers.

Let’s agitate the preparation strategy for each subject concisely.

Anatomy is a extraordinary subject and can be covered in the following deportment  from the under mentioned books:

1. Snell 
Snell Review part  is enough for head and neck portion. However, I did rule and neck anatomy from big snell . I likewise did the vertebral column, brachial plexus, passion anatomy and spinal cord from the arrogant snell. General Anatomy can also subsist covered from the first chapter of inflated snell. It’s enough.

2. USMLE First Aid
Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology are covered remarkably well in this book. Some commonalty recommend KAPLAN for neuro, but I didn’t study KAPLAN. You should in like manner go through the anatomy portions of CVS and kidney from this volume.

3. High Yield Embryology
Do the perfect portion of general embryo. Do the undeveloped of head & neck and brain from the special embryo portion.

4. NBDE First Aid Part 1
This book should be on your fingertips, not solitary for Anatomy but also for the other subjects at the same time that it covers all the subjects of basic sciences on account of any exam of dentistry. Histology be possible to also be covered completely from NBDE.   Remember undivided thing: Do NBDE after you be delivered of done the main textbook for the uttered subject. Without proper concepts, NBDE would exist difficult to understand. I prefer NBDE above the top USMLE because it is ‘Dentistry oriented’ book. But the preference is again a corporal matter. Set your preferences wisely!

5. Acland’s Youtube Videos
As the outlawry has been lifted from the youtube in Pakistan, you can watch Acland’s videos of tend & neck and brain anatomy. They perspicacious the concepts very nicely. Seeing is attainments! Isn’t it?


BRS Physiology is enough. Cover this book thoroughly by  delineation each and every word including the exordium! After grasping the concepts from BRS, learn the Physiology portion of  NBDE. Try to include the Neurophysiology from both NBDE in the manner that well as USMLE. This combination of books be inclined charge your brain and neurons – the prerequisite of somewhat preparation. So, have a good seize hold of on Neurophysiology and Neuroanatomy.


NBDE is plenty for Biochemistry. Do nutrition and vitamins from USMLE moreover. Some people find USMLE more to be depended on for Biochem. Again the matter of preferences. Choose wisely!


BRS Pathology is ample. Cover the first eight chapters of this volume thoroughly. These eight chapters would put a ~ing on the General Pathology. After that, commit to memory the Pathology portion of NBDE including the Immunology and Special Pathology. Don’t be of service for special pathology in detail from BRS, however the Special Pathology portion of NBDE is a ~iness do! Have a view of  ‘conflict ‘ and the tables of immunology from USMLE in addition.


NBDE is enough for Microbiology. Give a Micro time to Micro! However, try to wish a look at the handy points/ pearls of Micro to the degree that well as other subjects as they be possible to help a lot.


I carefully read Mini Katzung. The topics to exist focused are Anesthesia, CNS, Antimicrobials, ANS and General Pharma respectively. Cover the  General Pharma portion of USMLE forward with the CNS, ANS and whether or not you have time then also study the Antimicrobials portion also.


Honestly speaking, I didn’t trouble to study the final year BDS subjects particularly Operative, OMFS, Prostho and Ortho. I upright went through the NBDE PART 2, but that didn’t help me a portion. I randomly guessed the answers up~ the body the basis of previous knowledge, that I didn’t have too a great quantity! However, if you have less time and you be destitute of to study the text along through the MCQs, then Dentogist is a excellent book for all the dentists. An MCQ followed ~ the agency of its explanation helps a lot to have ~ing the concepts. 


I did the CDM from McCabe. General properties of dental materials, mercurial compound, impression materials and gypsum are grave topics. Do cover metals and alloys in addition. High yield points by Dr. Maryam Malik in Jahangir Khan’s part are very useful for CDM.


Dental anomalies, cysts, tumors, bone lesions and spoken infections are important topics. Have a lo at other topics too as the bearing is interlinked and the topic that you study for one subject be possible to help to solve the question of not the same subject.


NBDE is plenty.


Some the vulgar recommend the dentogist for the dental subjects but, but I would recommend it conducive to all the subjects because the say in reply of every MCQ is followed through its explanation. It serves the purpose of re-examination too.

A exceedingly good book. Do it after finishing both topic as it’s a general idea wise book. Also cover the ready points given at the end of every chapter. Errata is needed for it.

It’s likewise a good book. No need to confer MCQs from asim and shoaib physic or surgery. Errata required!

It’s a to a high degree helpful and the most important work containing the past papers of FCPS-1.  Almost every one of the paper of May 2016 was a repeat and was included in this part. Apart from past papers, it includes the prominent yield points/pearls of almost every one of the subjects which help a great number. Some Mcqs do need correction .

5. VIJAY PRATAP Dental Material Mcqs

6. CHANDKIAN’s Mcqs Pool
I didn’t study it thoroughly and uncorrupt solved its 2,3 papers. If you be delivered of time then do it, otherwise, the rest of the books would have ~ing enough. It has a huge include of errors in the answers and formal errata is a must for it.

Do rationale and MCQs side by side. Don’t glut any mcq. Solve each MCQ by logic and concept. Give at minutest 2 revisions to MCQs books. Revise books smartly. Do but the important points marked by yourself for the time of the initial reading.  In the hindmost 5-7 days before the exam, only solve the MCQs. If you need to study the books in the last week, just give a cursory front to the points highlighted or underlined . From my exterior experience, I would recommend you to re~ only  MCQs in the finally 3 days from Jahangir Khan’s book, Rabia Ali and Asim & Shoaib( Dentistry). If you regard to select a single book in the be unconsumed two days, I would recommend Jahangir’s volume. Do it completely including MCQs and the pearls/close at hand points.


There are scarcely any very helpful groups created on facebook aimed at providing leadership to the candidates. However, I was not a uniform visitor of them. Even in the be unconsumed month of my preparation, I didn’t log in to my facebook tidings. Preferences again! Following are the links of those groups and pages:
(MD,MS & MDS Doctors Community Pakistan-MDCP)    
[FCPS prep.(batch 2005-10)]


The candidates who cleared the written portion of JCAT were called since the VPCE. This portion was of 50 marks consisting of 25 slides having 2 marks eddish. i.e. total 50 marks. 

25 marks were needed to pronounce the VPCE. However, an aggregate of 60%(150/250)  was required to excrete the JCAT overall(Written exam+VPCE). Negative marking was anew implemented here for each wrong say in reply resulting in a deduction of 0.5 symptom.  

An image was displayed in successi~ the projector screen and the questions were asked in reference to the image. For example, the idol of an articulator was shown and the to the purpose questions asked were about the fame of the instrument, its types and its use. In another image, a local anesthesia cartridge was shown and we were asked to inscribe down its contents. All the images were taken from the Google. I didn’t study a great quantity for the VPCE, but I skilled smartly and went through all the pictures of the textbooks of BDS eventual year and of Oral Pathology’s Cawson since well. That formula helped me a portion because a cursory look at the pictures of the textbooks rewinded the total film in my mind. 

My furrow in JCAT ( Written Exam + VPCE) is while under:
Written Exam = 123/200
VPCE= 45.5/50
Total= 168.5/250

Only 12 through of 16 candidates were declared auspicious in VPCE as well as in JCAT overall disclosed of 194 candidates. Total 204 applicants wish submitted the forms. The result of JCAT would exist valid for one year.


1. Have a constant faith in ALLAH.

2. Give your most judicious during the preparation and the exam.

3. Try to dwell calm, specially during the exam . Tension solitary kills your talent.

4. Have a chocolate by you during the exam! Take its bites on the farther side and on just to have a sentiment that you are alive and everything would have existence fine if Allah wishes.

5. Keep in animadversion with the good people during the state of being prepared, watch motivational videos and read inspirational quotes. The most of all companion would be none other than the Qur’an. Read it daily with translation. You desire find the comforting words soothing your corpse and calming your soul.

6. Have a study partner. Like I used to have a telephonic confabulate almost daily with my friend Dr. M. Dilshad  who had cleared the FCPS-1 in March 2016 . During this confabulation, a lot of my concepts were built and we corrected divers of the wrongly answered MCQs in the MCQ books. My brother like friends Abdul Rehman Maqsood (PMCian) and Usman Manzoor (Nishtarian) who got stand by and third position respectively in JCAT moreover helped me a lot . Thank you brothers!

7.  Pray to Allah and in the manner that I have said earlier, request the godly and caring people around you to pray for you. Prayers can do wonders.

8. If in plight you don’t clear the exam, true have a deep breath, look encompassing and you will find out that you are superior than millions. You have something that the others slip on’t even think of. Remain under obligation to the Almighty no matter the sort of the circumstances you are going through.

9. If you are not going through the exam repeatedly despite all of your efforts and you furnish no better reason of your failure, withdrawal it. It’s not your moral defect or deficiency. It’s Allah’s choose. Go for any other exam or at all other degree. The hard work you possess done would not go in vain. Allah is extremely merciful. He will give you a with greater advantage alternative. It’s just a sense of time. It’s just a indefinite amount of  Almighty’s KUN  (Happen) and in a nictate of an eye it turns not at home to be FAYAKUN( it happens).

If you light upon this guidance useful, do share by your fellows. I’m writing these lines in the mean of an Odd Night(TAAK RAAT) of the continue ten days of Ramadan Kareem. Maybe it’s Laylatul Qadar – the ignorance of blessings! Remember me in your lenient prayers.

For feedback or queries, contiguity the blog or send me ~y email at .

May Allah be with us all in every exam of this globe and the world hereafter.

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