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  #1  
Old 11-10-2011
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USMLE Books Is it necessary to add notes to FA, besides uworld notes?

To all the experienced test takers:

If I don't annotate my FA with 1) Kaplan video notes 2) Kaplan lecture notes 3) Kaplan qbank notes, am I selling myself too short? What I find is that I am able to do more questions and understand more explanations by NOT taking any notes from the qbanks. Also, I find it very inconvenient and time consuming to annotate first aid with kaplan notes(how is one supposed to know what notes fa is missing anyways? Its supposed to be high yield anyways and by adding too many notes, one will make it not so high yield)

Instead I was thinking about doing kaplan qbank questions without notes, read and understand kaplan lecture notes and videos. This would make it easier for me to understand Fa. When its time to do Uworld, I would add uworld notes in a separate notebook, subject by subject, and in the end of my prep review first aid along with the uworld notes.

Long story short, with my kaplan background(videos, reading lecture notes, doing qbank questions but taking NO NOTES), and an empty FA with no notes BESIDES UWORLD NOTES, will I be good for the exam?

thanks

mikemike
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2011
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Anyone?????????????????????????????????
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2011
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Buddy,
each one of us has a different way of learning and reviewing...
you need to see what is working for you..

IMO, i annotated a lot in my FA, there's tons of key points and what's important... but I must confess that now that I'm reviewing it, I constantly jump my annotations and just read the FA... because I'm kinda laisy hehe

Do what's best for you... I'd suggest to take only notes that are very important and you're sure that you will forget it..
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Old 11-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jriella View Post
Buddy,
each one of us has a different way of learning and reviewing...
you need to see what is working for you..

IMO, i annotated a lot in my FA, there's tons of key points and what's important... but I must confess that now that I'm reviewing it, I constantly jump my annotations and just read the FA... because I'm kinda laisy hehe

Do what's best for you... I'd suggest to take only notes that are very important and you're sure that you will forget it..
you're amazing. Thank you!
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Old 11-15-2011
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Anyone else have any advice regarding this? Is it necessary to add notes to FA? Anyone in here that did well on the exam, without adding notes to fa? The only annotating I plan on doing is uworld annotations. Other than that, nothing at all. Is this fine?
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2011
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I haven't written my exam yet, but I didnt write a lot of stuff in my FA. Just some stuff from the Uworld explanations. I think that you shouldn't add all the kaplan notes in the FA, i mean as u said, then the FA doesnt really make sense anymore. I found it useful though to put the Uworl stuff in it but I think it doesnt really matter if u add it in a addiontal notebook. It seemed just nice to have all the important stuff in one book. Good luck studying!
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  #7  
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Thank you for your response. Exactly what I was thinking. The only explanations that I could add would be uworld explanations because everything in uworld is high yield. Problem with kaplan notes/kaplan video/and kaplan qbank annotations is that some things might be high yield and some other things may not be as high yield and youll end up adding them in paranoia. Atleast thats whats my problem. As a result, I end up learning less. I don't learn by writing. I learn by doing problems, thinking about it, and actively recalling material in my head
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Old 11-15-2011
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Yeah me too. As soon as I start to write a lot my brain starts to shut down and my hand just moves
I think your method is good, just use the kaplan in order to understand all the underlying mechanisms and the big picture. At the end of the preparation u will use FA and your notebook with all the high yield stuff, and the kaplan material will already be part of it just in your brain Good luck!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glomerulus View Post
Yeah me too. As soon as I start to write a lot my brain starts to shut down and my hand just moves
I think your method is good, just use the kaplan in order to understand all the underlying mechanisms and the big picture. At the end of the preparation u will use FA and your notebook with all the high yield stuff, and the kaplan material will already be part of it just in your brain Good luck!
I really appreciate your advice!
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Old 11-15-2011
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Other than a few notes here and there from DIT, the majority of the notes in my First Aid are from uworld. I haven't taken the test yet but I think we should be fine .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dextrocardia View Post
Other than a few notes here and there from DIT, the majority of the notes in my First Aid are from uworld. I haven't taken the test yet but I think we should be fine .
how were the dit notes? they elaborated on the first aid stuff or they mentioned a lot of stuff not in fa? I'm asking because i'm not planning on dit, however I am doing kaplan qbank and uworld
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The DIT's guy just says to add some notes, a few things here, etc...
Not VERY important I guess.. I watched some videos, but he just reads FA with you... although it's good if you keep losing focus/concentration when reading alone (like me :[ )
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I don't really write a lot. In fact, I barely write, for two reasons: 1, I feel like I'm wasting my time and 2, my FA and Kaplan books are PDFs so I can't write in the margins

But then again that's just what seems to be working for me (77% cumulative avg on Qbank, 590, 570 and 590 on NBMEs 6, 7 and 11 respectively). But because I haven't taken the exam yet, you may want to be wary of anything I do I'm still waiting for my permit.

Some people I know write/annotate a lot, but I don't. What I DO write down are very specific subjects/drugs that I am weak on. The glomerulonephritides. The statistical analyses/tests (t-test vs ANOVA vs chi-squared...). Also some of the more rare drugs such as palivizumab, sorafenib or daclizumab, which I have trouble remembering. That way I keep track of my "gaps" and weaknesses, and try and focus on those. I also write down weird syndromes and eponyms that I often forget, even if they are rarely tested, just so I can try and be ready for anything.
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  #14  
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Thank you for your help guys! Quique, thats exactly what I felt. I will only write down uworld explanations in a diff notebook and use it simultaneously with fa. your advice helps a lot!
Quote:
Originally Posted by quique2 View Post
I don't really write a lot. In fact, I barely write, for two reasons: 1, I feel like I'm wasting my time and 2, my FA and Kaplan books are PDFs so I can't write in the margins

But then again that's just what seems to be working for me (77% cumulative avg on Qbank, 590, 570 and 590 on NBMEs 6, 7 and 11 respectively). But because I haven't taken the exam yet, you may want to be wary of anything I do I'm still waiting for my permit.

Some people I know write/annotate a lot, but I don't. What I DO write down are very specific subjects/drugs that I am weak on. The glomerulonephritides. The statistical analyses/tests (t-test vs ANOVA vs chi-squared...). Also some of the more rare drugs such as palivizumab, sorafenib or daclizumab, which I have trouble remembering. That way I keep track of my "gaps" and weaknesses, and try and focus on those. I also write down weird syndromes and eponyms that I often forget, even if they are rarely tested, just so I can try and be ready for anything.
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Old 11-15-2011
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I keep a document on my desktop (computer desktop) with all that stuff. I also write down my progression on question banks and NBMEs.

The document is called "Life Plan.doc" It started out as a study plan by systems, detailing what I planned to study for each system/topic and has continuously evolved into what it is today.

The list that I mentioned that I've been expanding is called "stuff to study again". Even after finally learning some of the things on that list (like the congenital adrenal hyperplasias - FINALLY found a way to learn and understand them!) I keep them there, in case I forget them again later. :P And then there's some things I feel I will never learn, like the different virus families (not just the names of them). How the heck am I supposed to remember whether they're single or double stranded, positive or negative sense... I tried writing that down somewhere, but then I realized it was easier just reading it straight from FA. I probably will never learn it anyway... :sorry:

I also wrote down some of the important formulas, even though they're listed in the back of FA.
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Old 11-20-2011
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Great thread on how 2 use FA...all d posts are wat i opine for FA...really it wud b much better 2 use if v dont merge it wd kaplan totally...

But are u all IMGs????????????
I mean AMGs love 2 annotate in FA ,n if u all r IMGs n dnt wish 2 annotate in FA lyk me(IMG)..its really great...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quique2 View Post
I don't really write a lot. In fact, I barely write, for two reasons: 1, I feel like I'm wasting my time and 2, my FA and Kaplan books are PDFs so I can't write in the margins

But then again that's just what seems to be working for me (77% cumulative avg on Qbank, 590, 570 and 590 on NBMEs 6, 7 and 11 respectively). But because I haven't taken the exam yet, you may want to be wary of anything I do I'm still waiting for my permit.

Some people I know write/annotate a lot, but I don't. What I DO write down are very specific subjects/drugs that I am weak on. The glomerulonephritides. The statistical analyses/tests (t-test vs ANOVA vs chi-squared...). Also some of the more rare drugs such as palivizumab, sorafenib or daclizumab, which I have trouble remembering. That way I keep track of my "gaps" and weaknesses, and try and focus on those. I also write down weird syndromes and eponyms that I often forget, even if they are rarely tested, just so I can try and be ready for anything.
This is the best way of reading n best Advice.
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Old 05-13-2016
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First Aid notes should definitely be annotated from reliable sources such as Goljian and Robbins.
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Old 05-13-2016
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On my first aid book I was writing so many notes that my FA wasn't not readable, got a new FA and started reading it without adding anything, and literally threw my old FA in the trash

In my opinion, create a question out of concepts and write them on power points, on a small note book or flash cards, you can later use those to review, I am with not making FA more overwhelming

Just remember, be honest with yourself, write what you think you will forget in few days, be efficient
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Old 05-15-2016
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Personally I wrote notes in FA because I find that writing helps me remember things, but I never went back and read them. In retrospect it would have been better to write in a notebook, since I managed to obscure a lot of the text in FA. It's totally up to your learning style, but I definitely wouldn't say it's necessary.
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