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Old 11-11-2014
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Default tips on how to do better in school

I have been doing terrible on these NBME shelf exams (always below average) and the NBME conversion scale isn't too generous either.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since I did consistently below average in my medical school exams (usually within 1 std. deviation), got a 220 on my step 1. I got a 9 on VR MCAT and feel that doing well in medical school is more about verbal comprehension (reading something and knowing its implications seconds after reading) than science ability. I have worked hard to get to this point and try to read and memorize the information but when I get to a multiple choice question, I feel like I can't be confident to pick the right answer even if I know something about what the question is asking. What can I do to improve?

I feel like people in my class do so much better with the reading and lectures than I do though I feel that the material isn't hard to understand but then I feel that the NBME questions make the information a lot more confusing than it needs to be. I have always done with well with writing HPIs and short answer type of questions but multiple choice seems to be the bane of my existence. I have sought help from the academic counselor in my school and my scores got better from 2 std deviations below to 1 std deviations below but can never attain above average. I have been making high passes/passes in my rotations so far (do well on evaluations but get KILLED on shelf) and I have lost a lot of motivation to study because it seems to me no matter how much I study, I always don't do well as I want. What can I do? Any advice would be appreciated!

-3rd year student at top 20 med school in USA.
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