The portrait of QLTS OSCE candidate – will you find yourself?

A typical OSCEsmart student, as the figures show, sits OSCE for the first time, speaks English as a foreign language and has some previous preparation before registering for OSCEsmart course

Generally we propose two types of questionnaires for all the candidates who want to prepare with us to sit OSCE. At the beginning we ask our prospective students to provide some information about their background – i.e. education, qualification and their expectations as to the preparation process. Our survey has covered the total of 300 candidates. The information elicited is necessary to find the best approach for each of them in order to achieve the best results.

After the candidates have taken their QLTS OSCE and are waiting for the results, we ask them to share their thoughts and impressions as to the actual exam conditions and their preparation. This helps us to improve our services in future, make them more client-friendly and closer to the exam conditions. So far, such responses have been received from 30 students.

As our statistics show, the geography of our students’ origin deeply varies – and we may say for sure that preparation to OSCE  is really required and valued from China to Peru. As for previous qualification of respondents, the number of those who have common and civil law qualification is divided almost equally - 56.3% compared to 43.7%. Most of the candidates are not LPC graduates, and a relatively small number of them - 12.5% - have LPC background.

Approximately one third of the whole body of candidates are native English speakers (30.8%), while  69.2% speak English as a foreign language. The same is the correlation between those who have been practicing English law and those who have never had such experience. Also, more than a half of respondents (57.6%) didn't study in UK, and a prevailing majority (75%) had never been to courts of England and Wales by the time of the survey.

84 % of those who come to us have absolutely no experience in doing QLTS OSCE.  The rest have had one or more unsuccessful attempts. However, the number of those who enrol on our course  after the first (or even repeated) failure is increasingly growing.

Two thirds of all applicants started their preparation to OSCE before registering for our course. The duration of such preparation ranges from 1 week to a year, though the most common length of previous training is 1-4 months.

Following the examination, we asked students to share their vision of what exceeded their expectations and what was quite predictable. A lot of them admitted that QLTS OSCE was extremely challenging (36.7%), some 26.7% found it  reasonably difficult and enjoyable, and another 20% said it was okay.



Almost half of the respondents found the second part harder than the first, and 13.3 % think they are equally difficult:


Speaking about the most difficult parts of exams, the candidates mentioned Drafting and Research components most frequently. When it comes to the skills which they would improve should they have been familiar with the structure of the exam before, it was quite predictable that the absolute majority also chose the same two categories followed by Attendance notes/Case analysis and Writing.


Also, the biggest part attaches higher importance to practical skills rather than theoretical background when preparing to OSCE:


Some candidates noticed that even if questions were not too difficult, they lacked time for preparation, which means time management really matters. Also those who are not new to sitting QLTS OSCE, say the exam has become tougher than it was in the previous years.

Students were also suggested to assess their preparation with OSCEsmart. Above 86% say that interviews with our assessors are rather similar or very similar to the exam conditions. 60% of students consider OSCEsmart’s mock questions much harder or somewhat harder than actual exam questions, and another 30% think they are equally difficult. About half of the respondents (46.7%) also name reasonable prices and individual approach as factors which make OSCEsmart recognisable on the market.

We offered OSCEsmart students to summarize their impressions following sitting OSCE in one word - and  there was everything from ‘creative’ and ‘unpredictable’ to ‘murderous’ and ‘brutal’. Well, another thing we may say for sure, is that QLTS OSCE leaves indifferent no one.


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