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  #1  
Old 12-16-2011
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First Aid Memorizing the First Aid Book!

2 Questions for step 1 test takers/people that have read first aid more than once

1) Do people actually sit down and memorize first aid? Or does reading cover to cover help in the memorization, for example some of the concepts in the principles section are covered with the systems so reading it once will allow you to see that information more than once and help you memorize first aid? In other words, should I read it like a story or not move on if I can't memorize something(on principles there is a lot of memorization where as in systems its more understanding)

2) Does first aid get easier to memorize and recall after you do qbanks, and a lot of questions and then sit down to read it cover to cover? Or do I really have to memorize it?

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  #2  
Old 12-17-2011
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One of my friends who took the exam and scored 253 Read FA word by word..And it think it definitely improves your Uworld scores too!
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Old 12-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouman View Post
One of my friends who took the exam and scored 253 Read FA word by word..And it think it definitely improves your Uworld scores too!
Thank you.
More feedback by students will be appreciated!
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Old 12-17-2011
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Default Yeah...

I have the same question here...
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Old 12-17-2011
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Idea!

I think First Aid is really High yield, I mean it is agreed upon that it contains 80% of the q's that come in step 1. However it demands a higher understanding than just plain memorizing it. I mean you can't just start memorizing it....because it is very dense and you can forget things easily...I tried to remember it without doing Kaplan.....I did succeed a bit...but it took me a long long time to remember things....


i think best way to do it...is understand everything in FA...through Kaplan...meaning your goal of reading Kaplan would be to understand and make connections of the info presented in FA.....

and than revise the hell out of FA......

Doing FA generally has shown to improve Uworld Scores as welll......
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Old 12-17-2011
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FA is a really great book.

It will become easier to understand after coming from big books like kaplan series.

And if you are reading FA along with a Qbank, it will become easier to remember.

There is a lot of information in it. And yes, you will have to understand/memorize a lot of stuff from FA. But it will not happen in just one reading. It needs lot of readings, I'd say more than 2, cover to cover to be able to remember most of the content.


PS: I haven't given the exam yet. This is my personal experience.
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Old 12-18-2011
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well to be honest i didnt read it yet ill be doing next month but how im approaching it is starting with the systems first read in conjoint with goljan that i finished plus brs physio and hy neuro for the neuro section add to it DIT and USMLERX for filling the gap the next month will be another first aid read add qbank the other month after first aid read add UW in between each week ill do an NMBE that will force me to read first aid again for each exam so i said this to tell u that what i believe is in repeating with an ACTIVE MODE of study will do the job rather then just memorizing it word by word and not actively knowing how to implement the book
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Old 12-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sana99 View Post
I think First Aid is really High yield, I mean it is agreed upon that it contains 80% of the q's that come in step 1. However it demands a higher understanding than just plain memorizing it. I mean you can't just start memorizing it....because it is very dense and you can forget things easily...I tried to remember it without doing Kaplan.....I did succeed a bit...but it took me a long long time to remember things....
Agree 100%. I know many people who sit down every day and read straight from FA and sure they remember many things, but deep down they are only repeating stuff they read in the book without necessarily having the underlying comprehension (ESPECIALLY for topics like physio, pharm and biochem that are heavy on mechanisms and not just straight fact recall)

FA is for reviewing and not for learning. FA is for straight facts, but will not necessarily help you develop good critical thinking or higher understanding like Sana99 says. This is developed through a combination of true clinical experience (YES, this is more important than most people think in my opinion), actual reading (not just FA) and applying that to questions.

FA is great as a general outline. It will tell you the basics of what you need to know. But there are things on the exam that you will only get correctly if you have developed good critical thinking and you truly understand the material.

It tells you stuff that you REALLY need to know, but unless you can memorize it 100%, I think studying properly is a better investment. Otherwise you will read a bunch of pages of FA and not remember anything (unless you have great memory). Of course you SHOULD use it to complement your general reading/studying, and while doing questions.

I used it randomly during my studying as quick reference and to see what things I needed to study. I would always check the FA chapter on each system I studied and made sure I checked out what FA had to say about it. Also, I did one complete read through before my test, but at the end I had seen most of it anyway, and knew most of what the book had to say.

just my two cents, but disclaimer: I speak only based on my own experience and also having seen many people trying to study "wrong" and miserably failing. However, everyone's different and different methods may work for you or your friends - if you are doing well on FA alone then by all means don't change whatever you're doing!

edit: it may seem like I'm bashing FA but I'm not! I just don't want people making the same mistakes many of my friends have made. Use FA as a guide and as reference for important high yield facts. If it's in FA you probably have to know it and know how to apply it, but don't use First Aid by itself! Actually, "Using First Aid as your sole study resource" is listed as one of the mistakes students make [See FA 2011, page 2]

Last edited by quique2; 12-18-2011 at 04:38 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sana99 View Post
I think First Aid is really High yield, I mean it is agreed upon that it contains 80% of the q's that come in step 1. However it demands a higher understanding than just plain memorizing it. I mean you can't just start memorizing it....because it is very dense and you can forget things easily...I tried to remember it without doing Kaplan.....I did succeed a bit...but it took me a long long time to remember things....


i think best way to do it...is understand everything in FA...through Kaplan...meaning your goal of reading Kaplan would be to understand and make connections of the info presented in FA.....

and than revise the hell out of FA......

Doing FA generally has shown to improve Uworld Scores as welll......
I am annotating kaplan video lecture notes in first aid according to the section. A lot of the notes I add help me understand the section better. Some of the notes that I add are info thats considered high yield by kaplan, but not included in first aid, for example vaccines. Is this the correct way to do it?
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Old 12-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeqwerty View Post
FA is a really great book.

It will become easier to understand after coming from big books like kaplan series.

And if you are reading FA along with a Qbank, it will become easier to remember.

There is a lot of information in it. And yes, you will have to understand/memorize a lot of stuff from FA. But it will not happen in just one reading. It needs lot of readings, I'd say more than 2, cover to cover to be able to remember most of the content.


PS: I haven't given the exam yet. This is my personal experience.
Whats better? To review qbank questions and for each question look back the reference to first aid? Or do as many qbank questions as possible and only look at the reference if you dont understand something? Also, is it really that important to take uworld notes in fa, which is annotated with kaplan video notes?
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Old 12-18-2011
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Originally Posted by yazz View Post
well to be honest i didnt read it yet ill be doing next month but how im approaching it is starting with the systems first read in conjoint with goljan that i finished plus brs physio and hy neuro for the neuro section add to it DIT and USMLERX for filling the gap the next month will be another first aid read add qbank the other month after first aid read add UW in between each week ill do an NMBE that will force me to read first aid again for each exam so i said this to tell u that what i believe is in repeating with an ACTIVE MODE of study will do the job rather then just memorizing it word by word and not actively knowing how to implement the book
are you adding notes from brs physio and high yield neuro to fa? Or just reading it with the appropriate first aid sections? Or are you adding the pages from brs physio and hy neuro to fa? Also, would annotating from kaplan neuro videos be enough for neuro? My plan is to annotate into the fa from kaplan neuro videos
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Originally Posted by quique2 View Post
Agree 100%. I know many people who sit down every day and read straight from ............"Using First Aid as your sole study resource" is listed as one of the mistakes students make [See FA 2011, page 2]
I really appreciate you taking out the time to write such a thought out reply. I am annotating kaplan video notes into the first aid by 1) adding stuff to help make understanding some of the facts better and 2) adding hy stuff thats not in fa. After having completed my fa book like this, and if i was to repeat that numerous times, would that be good enough?

Also, is it worth it to add notes from kaplan qbank and uworld to a first aid that is ALREADY filled with kaplan video notes? Because if i was to add notes from kaplan qbank and uworld, it would take so long and I would get less blocks done. However if I didnt make notes from kaplan qbank or uworld, I'd already have my kaplan video notes in fa and I'd be able to do 5 or 6 blocks for the question bank in 1 day! whats better?

thank you
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Old 12-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman1 View Post
I really appreciate you taking out the time to write such a thought out reply. I am annotating kaplan video notes into the first aid by 1) adding stuff to help make understanding some of the facts better and 2) adding hy stuff thats not in fa. After having completed my fa book like this, and if i was to repeat that numerous times, would that be good enough?
You will have to be the judge of that yourself... if you annotate like this and feel that you are doing well on questions and that you really understand these notes then yes, of course that will be good enough. Everyone is different and you just have to find the approach that works for you. For example, I never annotated ANYTHING!! I only kept a list of "forgettables" or stuff that I knew I had to study again (for some reason I never learned the glomerulonephritides well, for example). I would never recommend to NOT annotate though, that's just the method I used because I felt that for me, writing was a waste of time. Some people annotate into Kaplan books, some people annotate into FA, some people have notes on separate sheets of paper... what you have to do is try and find whatever works for you. If there's something that you know that you'll never forget, why write it down? However there are topics where notes just won't do it and you may have to (for example) watch videos again or something. It all depends...

Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman1 View Post
Also, is it worth it to add notes from kaplan qbank and uworld to a first aid that is ALREADY filled with kaplan video notes? Because if i was to add notes from kaplan qbank and uworld, it would take so long and I would get less blocks done. However if I didnt make notes from kaplan qbank or uworld, I'd already have my kaplan video notes in fa and I'd be able to do 5 or 6 blocks for the question bank in 1 day! whats better?
thank you
Same thing as before. If it works for you go for it. I just think that your FA sounds like it'll be absolutely FULL with notes I never took notes from Kaplan's qbank either, but I did add the questions to the "My Questions" thing and then tried to re-do them before the test. Those were my notes.

I mean, you can always add more information to FA, like from questions in Kaplan's qbank/UW, but be realistic. That information probably is in FA somewhere (these banks test a few concepts that aren't in FA, but they aren't many). If it isn't explicitly mentioned in FA, chances are it's in another chapter or sort of "implied". Be careful not to feel like you have to write everything down because then you could always rely on being able to look at your notes, but the fact of the matter is that this information needs to end up in your head and not on paper (of course, some things are just really hard to memorize so writing helps)

So I answer the same thing I wrote before. I can't tell you what's "better" because there is no right answer. You have to be the judge of that
yourself. What I CAN tell you is to try and manage your time. It would be great if you could do everything you're saying but realistically it sounds like too much.

BTW 5-6 question blocks sounds like a lot for one day (you also have to revise them of course) but I don't know what your schedule is, for example. I used to do an average of 2 blocks a day, sometimes 3.


I just woke up and feel like I'm not making much sense. Let me try and summarize:
- Find what works for you. Search for the most efficient method that helps you learn the most. Annotate whatever you want if you feel that it will help you, but if you feel like you're wasting your time try something else.
- You will have to judge your studying method yourself, by looking at your performance on questions as well as judging how confident you're feeling in the material
- Manage your time properly, I would have wanted to read FA and watch Kaplan a thousand times each but realistically that would probably have been a total waste of time. The stuff I didn't learn one time around would have been just as hard to learn the second time around (that's the stuff I added to my mini-list)
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2011
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Originally Posted by medicineman1 View Post
are you adding notes from brs physio and high yield neuro to fa? Or just reading it with the appropriate first aid sections? Or are you adding the pages from brs physio and hy neuro to fa? Also, would annotating from kaplan neuro videos be enough for neuro? My plan is to annotate into the fa from kaplan neuro videos
i read kaplan anatomy except for the neuro section which i did HY neuro for two reasons first i studied it while in college the second most of whom i know personally scored 230 + focused on it
so i didnt do the videos too i cant tell much about them but what i can tell u is out of the hundreds threads i read and whom i met whats common between all whom did well is focusing on whats in first aid subjects and trying to understand them from other sources if u understand whats in first aid well u crossed the first step the second thing is the amount of question banks u do is what actually reflects on ur score .. seriously i know couple of friends whom struggled very much in college simply medicine wasnt there first choice from the start . but when they applied for step 1 the minimal score they got was 227 out of BANKS ALOT OF BANKS so good luck to u and all of us
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Old 12-19-2011
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i swear i know them good most r below average not to underestimate them no but they dont care if they score or not and most of em they do it not for the sake of residency they do it for fellowship cuz in my country doing residency locally is a big time better payment compare for a hard road in usa so take from a brother focus on the questions understand first aid good even if using house MD do ur nbmezz check ur situations and go and ace the beast wish u the best
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  #16  
Old 12-28-2012
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but the fact of the matter is that this information needs to end up in your head and not on paper (of course, some things are just really hard to memorize so writing helps)


well said quique2
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