Anaesthesia MCQ:About

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Title:  Black Bank Wiki
Commenced: September 2005


Your help is needed

You can help by contributing where you can. Visit the How to Edit page for an introductory tutorial on how to enter text into a page, how to structure the content and how to include hyperlinks.

Basic Site Information

  • Powered by MediaWiki 1.4.9
  • There is currently no external funding for this site or this wiki
  • Advertising: There is no advertising on this wiki
  • SysOp: Kerry Brandis (Director of Anaesthesia, Gold Coast University Hospital)
  • Contact: [email protected]


The general aim of this wiki is to assist with education in Anaesthesia by providing access to the Anaesthesia Black Banks and associated educational materials.

One specific aim is to list every Black Bank MCQ from the Primary and Final ANZCA Exams and provide comments, discussion and references for every one. This may take some time and as new questions are being introduced the project will always be on-going.

What are the "Black Banks"?

The Black Banks are a collection of actual MCQs from ANZCA Exams. These are mostly MCQs that have been recalled by candidates and written down. Such MCQs can be collected into larger question "banks" and this is a common process after MCQ papers all over the world. Such banks are called 'memory banks'. The MCQs in a 'bank' may be incomplete, inaccurate or even misleading as they rely on people's memory. Some remembered MCQs are extremely accurate.

Such MCQ Banks are useful because:

  • MCQs from previous exams are commonly used again. (This is because it is difficult to write a 'good' MCQ and MCQs that have been used in an exam have been 'tested' ('validated') in the marketplace. The better MCQs are 'proven' in the sense that they are good at discriminating the better candidates from the worse candidates.)
  • They are good guides as to what to study for sitting a future exam in that subject
  • You can test your performance against these questions. (This can give you an idea of whether your knowledge of the subject is 'good' enough).

History of ANZCA Black Banks

ANZCA MCQs have been collected into small MCQ Banks probably ever since the MCQs were used in the exam. In about 1987, all the Finals MCQ memory banks were collected, collated and classified into a single bank. This was originally called the "Gold Coast MCQ Bank" and was circulated freely amongst ANZCA trainees. This bank has been updated twice a year after EVERY Final ANZCA exam since then.

Registrars started to refer to the bank as the "Black Bank" and this has now become the accepted term for this MCQ collection.

When MCQs were introduced into the Primary ANZCA Exam, a Primary Black Bank was commenced. This was divided into Physiology and Pharmacology Banks as these are the major 2 topic areas at the exam.

Because on feedback from examiners and others, it is known that the Black Bank contains a high proportion of all the MCQs ever asked.

The 'college' was initially antagonistic to the Black Banks but now views them (correctly) as a very useful educational tool. The fact that every exam candidate has equal and free access to the Black Bank has created a level playing field for candidates.

The sheer size of the Bank is such that it covers the real syllabus but it is too much for most exam candidates to wade through individually. Since at least the early 1990s registrars started to form themselves into small study groups meeting say one night per week to 'attack' (research & discuss) the questions systematically and collaboratively. This discussion group approach and sharing of thoughts and ideas has greatly enhanced the educational value of the bank, as well as fostering excellent personal and collegial relationships amongst Anaesthetists.

The Black Banks were initially distributed as a booklet, but since the late 1990s they have been available on-line, most recently on this AnaesthesiaMCQ website, but previously at its predecessor site. On-line access has always been free and unrestricted.

The success of the Bank has been due to the sharing approach of the registrars who have sat the exam. They are the ones who have remembered and submitted MCQs for the benefit of those that followed them.

This Wiki approach (introduced in late 2005) is the latest development in improving the Black Bank. The aim is to consolidate the various circulating "Answer files", to make them widely available and to enhance the quality of the references and comments about the MCQs.

Why use a Wiki for the Black Banks?

This allows you to freely access most of the material here AND also you can freely contribute to the site to make it better. Only a few of the main and index pages are protected from changes. Otherwise everyone can edit and change and improve nearly any page.

This on-line collaborative approach should enhance the educational value of the material, and minimise the amount of research time.

What can I find here?

This site allows you to review ALL the Anaesthesia MCQ "Black Banks" and to read and submit comments about the MCQs. Some important ways to use this site:

  • Enter a search term or the question code (if known) to find relevant questions. The [Go] button and the [Search] button work differently. For example, [Go] will take you to the page that has your search term as its title (if one exists)
  • Click on a Black Bank Link at the top of this page =>Index pages for that bank of MCQs
  • Contribute by editing any page to improve it in any relevant way (eg edit the existing content, add new information)
  • Add in new pages which contain related material.

Have a look at this Example page of just one way that comments can be added to a question page: GP12.

Please help this project by contributing

First, you will need to know the basics of editing a wiki. A simple tutorial is available on this site. Entering information is very easy (just like using any word processor) but the 'look' of your pages can be greatly improved by knowing the basics of the wiki 'markup' language so you can put in headings, dot points, bold text, hyperlinks etc. These are covered in the tutorial.

How the ANZCA MCQs Papers are Prepared and Marked

Information in general terms about how the college handles its MCQ papers is available on this page:

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