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Preliminary Examination of the Royal College of Surgeons. The next Preliminary Examination for the diplomas of MEMBER and FELLOW of this College will be held on or about Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the 19th, 20th and 21st of December, 1871.* Candidates desirous of presenting themselves for this Examination must signify their intention of so doing to the secretary (at the College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields) on or before the 30th of November next.
The Compulsory subjects are the same as in the legal “ Preliminary,” except that no candidate will be passed who does not show a competent knowledge of the first four rules, simple and compound, of vulgar fractions and of decimals; and the mathematics include Euclid, Books I. and II. or the subjects thereof, and algebra to simple equations inclusive. Candidates will also be required to translate a passage from the second book of Cæsar's Commentaries, “ De Bello Gallico.'
Papers will also be set on the following six subjects; and each candidate will be required to offer himself for Examination on one subject at least, at his option; but no candidate will be allowed to offer himself for Examination on more than four subjects :1. Translation of a passage from the first Book of the Anabasis of
8. Translation of a passage from Schiller's “ Wilhelm Tell.” Besides these translations into English, the candidate will be required to answer questions on the grammar of each subject, whether compulsory or optional. 4. Mechanics. The questions will be chiefly of an elementary cha
racter. 5. Chemistry. The questions will be on the elementary facts of
chemistry, 6. Botany and Zoology. The questions will be on the classification
of plants and animals. The quality of the handwriting and the spelling will be taken into account.
A candidate in order to qualify himself for the Fellowship is required, in addition to the ordinary subjects, to pass in Greek, French or German, and in French or German (as the case may be), Mechanics, Chemistry, or Botany and Zoology.
Preliminary Examination for the Bar. The Preliminary Examinations for the Bar are usually held every Saturday during each legal term, and once in the week next preceding each legal term. By the Consolidated Regulations of the Four Inns of Court, it is provided that no Examiner shall attend unless two clear days' notice prior to the day appointed for his attendance shall have been given to the secretary of the Board of Examiners, by at least one candidate, of an intention to present himself on that day for Examination. The subjects of Examination are-(a) The English language; (b) The Latin language ; and (c) English history. No Latin works are named by the Examiners in which candidates will be examined-hence it is necessary that they should be
• The exact dates have not yet been fixed by the council.
tolerably well acquainted with the Latin language. Candidates are, however, usually required to translate passages from the works of Sallust, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, &c.
Review of the June Examination Papers* set for the “Preliminary” of
Candidates for the Diplomas of Fellow and Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, with some Remarks on the Study of Geography. The English Language. It is evident from this paper, that the Examiners attach great importance to the study of the higher branches of English. A knowledge of the grammar, such as given to us by Lennie or Lindley Murray, is not sufficient for Examinations. The student must have studied analysis such as laid down by Mason or Morrell, waded through a few of the difficulties of parsing, and sought refuge in the balmy shades of composition. It must, however, by no means be understood that the elementary branches can be overlooked. A certainty in distinguishing the parts of speech, with their logical and grammatical inflexions, is invaluable, and not only so, but indispensable. Also to be able to define well is a sine quâ non. Students cannot attach too great importance to this matter; indeed, our remarks will apply to all the papers. To be able to describe a thing as different from others of its species, is necessary
Composition. This subject formed a leading article in our review of the May Examination for solicitors, and therefore it will be unnecessary to enlarge upon it. We will, however, supplement those remarks with one or two useful hints. Examiners, when suggesting subjects for composition, invariably select something which is the talk of everyday life at the period of Examination. As a proof of this, we invite our readers to refer to foregoing papers. In the one which we are reviewing, we find the “Civil War in Paris” or “Vaccination,” both the talk of the time when this Examination was held. We should not be surprised to find the “ Tichborne Case" figuring in some early Examination, as a subject for composition. Candidates therefore will do well to make themselves acquainted with things going on around them in the Political World.
Arithmetic. This paper is rather easy. It seems that the Examiners have discovered that there is no absolute necessity for candidates to possess a thorough kuowledge of this branch. The paper, as compared with that of Christmas, 1868, presents a marked difference. We are bound to observe, that those who failed in the paper which we are reviewing, must have been bad indeed. Beyond the multiplication and division of concrete quantities, reduction and proportion, there is nothing required except a knowledge of fractions and decimals. There are just a few remarks we would offer with regard to Question 8. The left-hand member must be brought to a vulgar fraction to avoid the circulating decimal. The greater quantity is then casily seen by reducing both the new fractions to mixed numbers. Doubtless, one or two candidates failed to work this sum satisfactorily.
• We assume that the student has copies of the papers before him while perusing our remarks.
English History. On this subject we must be brief, as it formed the basis of rather lengthened matter when reviewing the May (Solicitors' Preliminary) papers; but there being some slight difference in the work suggested by the Examination for the College of Surgeons, we will offer a few remarks. It will be well for the student to make himself acquainted with the principal plots, carefully marking the reigns in whch they occurred. A knowledge of not only the kings, but their wives, is sometimes expected. A sketch also of the principal characters mentioned in certain periods, marked out, and committed to memory, would be found advantageous. The leading dates, including the battles, with their causes and results, the descents of the sovereigns, and above all a quick cognizance with the Hanoverian period up to the present time, should not be overlooked. The paper is quite as searching as its predecessors.
Latin. We see nothing new in this paper. The piece from Cæsar is a little longer than usual, but well selected. Evidently sound elementary kuowledge of this subject is expected. The grammatical questions are, as usual, taken from the extract. We recommend students to accustom themselves to parse fully passages from Cæsar, under the care of an experienced and successful tutor.
Euclid. This is an excellent paper. We advise candidates to read Euclid carefully. When we come to speak upon this subject fully in its turn, we hope to offer a few practical remarks as to its study. Doubtless, however, very few candidates who were properly prepared had any difficulty in writing out these propositions. The Examiner has shown great tact in his selection.
French. The Examiners seem to have gone beyond the general line of French papers, and taken to writing logical questions. We would, therefore, advise the use of “Noel et Chapsal.” Candidates should make themselves acquainted with the rules connected with the participle.
Algebra. In this paper students are required to understand thoroughly the fundamental uses of algebraical computations. Multiplication and division, the greatest common measure, least common multiple, and the resolution of quantities into their elementary factors, are all searchingly suggested. We recommend the larger Todhunter for the study of the latter. The principles of fractions also must be thoroughly mastered, both in the theory and practice. Colenzo is a good book for this, but can be used properly only under the supervision of a good mathematical tutor. It is also necessary to read in extenso Todhunter's articles on the G. C. M., trying, at the same time, to understand the principle of the operation. No difficulty will then be experienced with this seemingly (to candidates) perplexing theme.
Greek. This paper, to our minds, presents many difficulties to the student. We do not find fault with the piece for translation ; it is very
; general in its kind, and, with the exception of one or two sentences, is comparatively easy. We venture to say that those for the fellowship, who selected this subject, have been at any rate satisfied with it. matical questions are however searching, and require diligent reading to be able to answer them.
Chemistry. We think this paper strange in its finish. Candidates would hardly think to qualify themselves to be able to answer such questions. However, there is a choice, and we hope candidates have not complained.
German. This is a beautiful selection from “William Tell,” one of Schiller's choicest productions. We venture to state that all students who have taken this subject felt much pleasure in translating this little extract. The grammar questions are comprehensive, but not beyond the province of the examination.
Mechanics. In this paper there is not much to find fault with. The “parallelogram of forces" and a knowledge of the “simple mechanical powers” surely must have been looked for by candidates qualifying in this branch. Also the principles and rules for finding “ the centre of gravity,” and " in a system of bodies in a given relative position.”
The papers are, we think, simpler than formerly.
Natural History. The paper on botany is nothing beyond what may be expected; also the zoology. A knowledge of plants and animals, with their structures, classifications, orders, &c. is indispensable to the medical student, and therefore they should be expected to show fair knowledge thereof whilst under probation.
Remarks on the Study of Geography. The paper on geography, although decidedly more advanced than formerly, is at the same time very general in its tone. We recommend students to adopt some mechanical plan of pursuing the study of this very important subject. England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland might be read together, in the same way as Europe and Asia, &c. The political divisions should be first committed to memory; then the mountain ranges, with the rivers flowing from them. When this is accomplished, we advise the student to take the six principal rivers of each country, trace their courses on a map (an improvised map is the best for this, for it enables the pupil to become acquainted with mapping, so universally essential in Examinations), and afterwards mark places on the rivers corresponding to those in the atlas, not forgetting that in speaking of rivers the term bank is to be used, the right bank being to the right of the river coming from its source. The other terms used in geography should be thoroughly learnt and understood. Lake, loch, frith, fiord, savannah, pass, isthmus, gulf, bay, estuary, &c. should be well defined in a description on paper.
We have, in the course of our experience, heard candidates speak of a place being a little to the right or left of another. Nothing can be more erroneous; the terms should be east or west. This must be attended to. Again, in some papers which we have seen, we have noticed the following: _“The Straits of Dover dividing England from France." Now, although this is in itself correct, yet it is not geographically so. The definition of a strait is, “ A narrow portion of water connecting two seas." The answer should therefore have been, “ separating the English Channel from the North Sea;” and so of many others which our space will not admit us to mention. We make these remarks to call the attention of those candidates who have hitherto failed to the marked difference which they must have noticed between the wording of their Examination papers and those probably given them while under preparation. Speaking for ourselves, we always compel our pupils to attend to these points ; indeed, most of them are set forth in a note-book containing the leading peculiarities and technicalities of this subject.
LECTURES ON LANGUAGE.
The English Language-Part II. It may be imagined that our principal aim in compiling these lectures is to afford such assistance to those of our readers who are preparing for examination as will enable them to answer some of the more difficult questions which are to be seen in the papers on the English language. We have frequently been asked, “Of what use is a knowledge of the elements of the English language (such as you advise) to a student becoming a solicitor?” To this we reply in the words of the learned judges: “We are here to administer, not to make the laws.” If Examiners will insist on asking questions which are fatal to the majority of those who have not been specially prepared, we have no alternative, as the guardians of intending candidates, but to watch their interests, by not only pointing out to them the salient and most important features of the Examination in a general way, but also by affording them as much explanation as our space will admit.
A perusal of the last number of our Journal will show that we have so far proved that our language is based principally on the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic or imported elements, and that these elements have been introduced since the Saxon conquests. It will also be seen that we have noted the different Germanic invasions of England, and how the dialects of the various tribes, after superseding the British language, became one tongue, viz. Anglo-Saxon. A knowledge of these details, it must be borne in mind, is extremely useful; indeed, a question was recently asked requiring candidates to give an account of the German immigrations into Britain. A somewhat similar question was asked in the last May Examination with respect to the introduction of the Latin elements into our language ; but as we consider that our answer was sufficiently lucid, it will be unnecessary to enter into further details.
Well, resuming the thread of our lecture, we promised to call attention to the various prefixes and affixes (sometimes called suffixes) which are derived from the Anglo-Saxon, French, Latin and Greek languages. Has it not often astonished our readers what an important position these prefixes and affixes occupy in our language? The meaning of a word may be changed diametrically opposite by the addition of a syllable. We may remark that prefixes and suffixes viewed as syllables, such as they are, were once significant words, i. e., had a distinct and independent meaning in the language to which they originally belonged.