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Qualifying / supplementary exam for foreign medics in Slovakia (Doplňujúca skúška lekár): Our student's experience

The qualifying/additional exam was held on May 28, 2024. A doctor (pediatrician), who has completed a cycle of Slovak language courses for foreign medical professionals, was at this exam and shared her impressions, preparation tips and general useful information about the organization.

The commission and the exam format

The exam began with a joint testing session involving both dentists (zubný lekár) and physicians (lekár). This was an important stage that brought all participants together before they were divided into specialized committees.

How many participants were there?

"At the exam, there were 44 participants, 40 of whom successfully passed the tests. After that, we were divided into two groups of 20 people each for the oral part. In my group, 10 out of 20 passed. In the second group, to everyone's surprise, 14 out of 20 participants successfully passed the exams. It was a record-breaking result, and many attribute it to the absence of a strict examiner whom everyone feared," explains our student.

Difficulty of the exam

"I would rate the written part of the exam 5 out of 10, but the oral exam was a definite 10 out of 10. It was incredibly challenging, especially from a psycho-emotional perspective. You sit in front of five people, each asking their own questions. In such an atmosphere, it's easy to forget everything you know," she shares.

The exam day started with tests in the morning and continued until late evening.

"We started with the tests in the morning, and from 1pm the real torture began. Our group stayed in the exam until half past six. It was terrible chronic stress," a student shares.
The qualifying / supplementary exam (doplňujúca skúška) included questions on four specialties. The committee consisted of four specialists, each of whom asked questions in a different field, and the chairman of the committee.

"The commission consisted of four people: one was the chairman, the rest were specialists in different areas. The chairman did not ask me anything, although others said that he was sometimes actively involved in the process," our heroine recalls.
Comparison with exams in Ukraine
Our student noted that the exams in Slovakia are significantly different from those she took in Ukraine. The main stress factor is the language.

"It was a long time ago, but the most important difference was the language. In Slovakia, I had to answer in a non-native language, which added stress. Sometimes I just couldn't remember the right term because of my nerves."

Feelings before and after the exam: expectations and reality

Surprises on the exam
At the exam, our student was surprised that the committee was quite loyal.

"The commission was friendly. It really surprised me, because everyone told me that the examiners were tough and asked tricky questions. I was asked normal questions, although of course there were some extra ones," she says.
Evaluation of results
"I've only been in Slovakia for 10 months and I've already passed the exam. Some of my colleagues who have been here since the beginning of the war had not even started preparation. I knew I would take the exam in May, so I started preparing from September. This is a great result," she says proudly.
Have expectations been fulfilled?
Expectations and the results of the qualifying / supplementary exam (doplňujúca skúška) may often not match, but in our student's case the outcome was better than she expected.
"The result exceeded my expectations. I internally allowed myself not to pass the first time, but I would still go until I was successful. In the end, I passed the exam the first time, and it was a better result than I expected," she rejoices.

Tips for future examiners

Preparing for the qualifying / supplementary exam (doplňujúca skúška) requires considerable effort and time. Many candidates had to study for 6 months or even a year.
Not only knowledge but also emotional preparation is important to pass the exam.
"My advice is to study the material every day, at least for two hours. This not only helps you internalize knowledge, but also prepares you for the stress of the exam. Besides, it is important to be morally stable and not to give up," advises the student.
"If you dedicate time to studying every day, you have every chance of success. I started preparing from September and studied almost without a day off. Those who relied on luck and didn't spend enough time preparing, of course, didn't pass," she says.
Write down yourself Latin names and learn them too, as when defining some definition it is a necessary part of the answer.
Did the courses help?
"There was a lot of material. The courses helped to systematize knowledge and prepare for the main questions," she added.
She emphasized the importance of using supplementary materials, such as prospectuses and photocopies with specific answers to the questions, which helped her better prepare for the exam. They took these notes directly in the course and as homework.

Plans for the future

"I am now planning to confirm my specialization. I am a pediatrician, but after the exam I am considered a doctor without specialization. I will have to send my documents to the ministry again and possibly do some additional studies. I plan to look for residency or internship opportunities in Slovakia," she says.

In conclusion, the story of our student who passed the qualifying / supplementary exam (doplňujúca skúška) for doctors in Slovakia, we emphasize the importance of persistent preparation and psycho-emotional stability in overcoming difficult tests.
If you are also ready for the test and are looking for an effective way to prepare, check out our Slovak language courses for medical professionals, which will help you learn the necessary medical vocabulary and develop your communication skills on complex topics, making your preparation more effective.
In addition, successful completion of the qualifying / supplementary exam (doplňujúca skúška) for medics in Slovakia opens the door to numerous employment opportunities for medics abroad. Med-Integro provides medical employment services abroad, helping you find the perfect place for your career.