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Tips on how to pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in 2021

October 6, 2021

How to pass the OSCE in 2021:

We know how difficult and daunting it can be to sit exams, especially the OSCE!  We’ve asked our examiners and clinicians to recommend the best tips and tricks to pass the OSCE exam. So here is a list of top tips on how you can pass the OSCE.



  • As clinicians and examiners, one of the most disappointing things to discover during the OSCE is when a candidate is unable to listen and take a good history or understand the problem presented to them.
  • Generally, nerves kick in as it is an examination and candidates do not either fully understand the scenario present to them or don’t listen to the model and have already committed errors from the word go.
  • So ensure that you are carefully listening so you don’t miss out on key information during your OSCE.
  • When assessing a patient /simulation or model, open each time by introducing yourself and what you are there to do? E.g., Give medication, carry out a clinical examination of the patient.



  • Building up to your OSCE our advice is to read one scenario or assessment item every night and refresh your memory of the steps to assessment, care planning, implementation and evaluation. 



Practice your peak flow, writing out a fluid balance chart, basic life support, wound care, administering inhalers, giving medication

  • Follow the 6 rights – The right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route and the right time
  • Catheter care,  IM and SC injections.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Safe disposal of sharps, calculating drug doses



Try to get a feel of what 20 minutes, 14 minutes, 15 minutes, and 8 minutes feel like. Practice the below sequence with a friend, simulate a scenario and set your phone to vibrate for 20 minutes as you start the assessment station and see if you have enough time to complete the task as you would like to and to the standard required. 

The APIE stations last for: 

  • Assessment station: 20 minutes 
  • Planning station: 14 minutes 
  • Implementation station: 15 minutes 
  • Evaluation station: 8 minutes 


There will be about 4 minutes between stations, for the stations to be reset and the candidates or assessors to move between the stations if required. 

  • During your Planning station ensure you write the correct frequency 
  • Implementation – be careful and mindful not to sign the medication before the patient takes it.
  • Evaluation – Ensure you check the
  • fluid balance or NEWS Chart corrected and correctly input into the charts – PRACTICE these skills 


Remember your passing your OSCE to demonstrate that you are a competent nurse who is going to provide care to patients therefore when you prepare for your OSCE prepare for life and your practice, not just the exam. 

When you enter the OSCE exam hall, think of how you would deal with this in a real-life situation you may be dealing with a difficult patient, an anxious patient a confused patient and so on. SO keep cool and calm even if you are not as that’s what you are trained to do as a nurse and a clinical professional. 

Lastly, remember that in a real-life scenario listening to the patient and understanding their anxiety and fears before an intervention or assessment is very critical to a systematic deductive approach. When a systematic approach is adopted from the assessment it becomes easy to create a problem list from which a care plan can be drawn out.

We hope these tips help you on your journey In passing the OSCE. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Additionally, our subsidiary company Cloud Medical is a provider of comprehensive OSCE training. If you would like more information about OSCE click here. If you would like to book OSCE training with Cloud Medical please contact: info@cloudmedical.co.uk.

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