Debrief Week – How to reach competence on the UFE

You’ve received your marked response back and now the hard work begins. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, understanding how to reach competence on the UFE is a critical step in a useful UFE debrief.

The first step is thoroughly reading through the simulation solution. The simulation solution consists of several parts.

  1. The actual solution text or example report. This text is excellent to study from but is not even close to what’s expected from you in a real response so please understand that this is the ideal solution if you had days to write it. It is thorough in order to be useful to study from.
  2. The Evaluation Board’s comments throughout. In italics after the solution to each indicator you will find the Evaluation Board’s comments mixed in. These comments are extremely useful because they give the boards overall impression of how candidates did on specific issues. They will often provide great insight into what was expected, what was received and should give you an idea of how much the board expected. On a side note, these are often very amusing to read since I sometimes find the Evaluation Board to actually be pretty harsh in this area.
  3. A Table summarizing student performance. Below items 1 and 2 above you’ll find another useful goodie which is the table of how students performed on this indicator and a brief description of what was necessary to achieve each ranking. You’ll see words in here like identifies, attempts, performs, discusses, thoroughly discusses, recommends and so forth. All these mean something and are an indicator of what was necessary to achieve each rank. This is very important as each word here implies different requirements. If you only discussed an issue but to reach C required discussion and recommendation than you did not reach C and you will now understand why you did not reach C.
  4. The Evaluation Board’s comments on overall student performance. At the end, after the performance table, you’ll find a paragraph or two about how the Evaluation Board felt about student performance on this indicator. You’ll very often get more specific information about what the board wanted here in order to reach competent. The information about requirements here will often be very specific, “The board expected candidates to calculate x, y and z and provide meaningful analysis.”. If the Board expected something then you most likely needed to provide it in order to achieve C. Based on the summary of student performance table and this written summary, you should get a good idea of what was required for RC and C.
Next, you’ll want to take a step back. Chances are you’ve been reading everything in detail and gotten down to really specific issues. This is good and you will hopefully understand what each indicator needs in order to achieve C. One added step that may help you now is to understand that the ideal solution is not possible in an exam environment. You must consider ranking which is intentionally tested on the UFE. You must recognize which issues are important and why the must be addressed vs. the issues which are not as important and can be ignored. Look again at which issues you had to discuss in order to achieve C and which are played down in the evaluation guide. Determine why. It’s most often a materiality or pervasiveness thing.

I’ll have some future posts where we break down this process on a real simulation so stay tuned. In the mean time, tell us in the comments how you’ve been debriefing!

Tomorrow: comparing your response to what was required and learning from it.

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