This website contains study resources based on the ANZCA 2013 Primary Exam syllabus.

Some advice on my thoughts on how to pass this exam can be found here.

Otherwise notes and resources can be found under the relevant categories sections on the right (or below on a smartphone). Main sections include MCQs, Notes, SAQs, Study Aids, VIVAs.

Please note the references in this website contain a number of diagrams and graphs taken from reference texts. If anyone has copyright concerns please contact me and i will remove or replace these with handwritten ones¬†(but fingers crossed this won’t be an issue).

Inevitably, the notes will also contain errors. I have spent a lot of time trying to correct as many as possible after the exam. But please leave comments below and I will endeavour to correct them further. There are also a lot of typo’s despite my best efforts. Apologies.

All the best, and good luck studying!

Adam Hollingworth

( P.S. I also have another website for ANZCA Introductory Trainees. www.anzcaintrotrainingnotes.com. This contains notes which might help new trainees pass the IAACQ. Please spread the word. Thanks)

(P.P.S. I have added an extra section called ‘xRandom Cheat sheets‘. It contains a couple of useful cheat sheets with drug dosing and random facts. I’ve always found them really useful in different places I’ve worked over the years. Not really an exam resource but it might be of use to people)


20 thoughts on “About

  1. Thank you Adam for this valuable resource! I will no doubt go through them in due course! And congratulations on passing part 1!

  2. I’ve made some updates to the site today. The main ones are adding subsections in the SAQ & VIVA section. I’ve also added the latest SAQ paper, and VIVA topics from the recent sitting. I’d be very happy to host similar stuff at the next sitting! Cheers

  3. I’ve added a new section called Random Cheat Sheets. (there’s an x at the front to get it to the bottom of the categories list :-)). Not really exam relevant but might be helpful for junior docs starting off new or rotating through ED or ICU. Just thought it might be of interest. Many people over the years have asked me to give them a copy. Cheers

  4. Hi Adam
    These notes are amazing and so kind of you to share them!
    It seems like you’ve been through the whole syllabus comprehensively and it must have taken you ages.
    I imagine you passed with honours!
    Thanks again, Terry

    1. Sorry been away travelling so haven’t gotten round to this. I’ve tried to answer this question in notes for individual sections. In the end I don’t think it’s important which text you use. In the end they all say the same stuff with differing degrees of waffle around the sides. That’s why I’ve shared my notes, to try and help others with focused, high yield information. It could save you a lot of time depending on your learning style of course. Cheers

  5. Hello all. I hope everyone’s written went well recently. I’m away from NZ until June but just noticed ANZCA have kindly added to the curriculum (as of late Jan). Obviously these topics aren’t in my notes. If anyone would very kindly like to contribute the topics if be very grateful to add them into my notes. Otherwise I might write some stuff on them when I return from travelling. They are as follows:

    2. New learning outcomes, included in the primary exam:
    a. BT_SQ 1.20 Outline the pharmacology of radiological contrast agents.
    b. BT_PO 1.3a Outline the pharmacology of commonly encountered illicit drugs and their interactions with drugs used in anaesthetic care.
    c. BT_PO 1.4a Outline the pharmacology of herbal medicines. Describe adverse effects and potential drug interactions of such medicines with particular reference to the perioperative period.

    Happy studying all.

  6. Hi Adam, I just needed to say a BIG THANK YOU for making your notes accessible on the Internet. They were invaluable and in fact I used pretty much nothing else but your notes for the entire period of my preparation for this exam (I am a lazy person who hates picking out important stuff from textbooks and I wouldnt trust my own notes either!). So I’m pretty sure they helped me pass this exam today.. Again, a massive thank you for being so generous and all the best to you!

      1. You are most welcome! I wish you every success in the future – you totally deserve it after you have helped countless people like me by making your notes available.

        I just wanted to add on your comment above on the extra learning outcomes. It was hard to predict how much detail the college wanted to know on each of those three new topics, but this is what my study group and I used:

        1. Herbal medications – there is an excellent article on this very topic in the BJA’s CEACCP (2011) 11 (1): 14-17 (http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/1/14.full.pdf+html). We did not pay much attention to the text, as Table 1 provides an excellent summary of what we felt we needed to know.

        2. Radiological contrast agents – we used A-Z of Anaesthesia in Intensive Care, there is a paragraph in there on it

        3. Illicit drugs – I only went with what you already had in your very comprehensive pharmacology notes (and the hope that we wouldn’t be asked too much on things like GHB, methamphetamines, aerosols and LSD)

  7. Hi Adam,

    Just a quick note to say thanks for creating this resource. I’ve just passed the primary and found this website invaluable – from the intro notes to the VIVA tips. You’ve obviously put a lot of work into creating this and it is immensely appreciated!

    Thanks again,


  8. I’ve just added todays SAQ paper to the site under SAQ>Previous SAQ Papers. Good luck to everyone that ‘enjoyed’ their day of torment.

    My plan to update my notes with the new learning outcomes still exists. Been ridiculously busy since being back in the country but its on the medium term agenda. Unless anyone else can help me out with some electronic notes?

  9. Hi Adam, I’m hoping to sit the exam in August 2015 and am feeling pretty daunted right now. I’m not sure what approach to take.. I’m planning on using your notes, Amanda’s SAQs and supplement with text books. Do most people read your notes (say 10 times) or should I be making notes on the notes?

    1. Hi Jane, understandable to be daunted. I can’t comment on what most people do. I can tell you what I did. I pretty much did what I laid out in the advice section of this site. The rest depends on your learning style. I avoided most other texts as I distilled everything down into my notes. But obviously if you have time reading around stuff is beneficial. However, try and stick to high yield things as much as possible. Spending a day reading about the history of volatiles for example might be that. Hope that helps.

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