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  #1  
Old 03-01-2012
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First Aid Reading multiple times through FA

Hey everybody, I just had a quick question. So, I take my step 1 in June, and am currently making my first pass through FA. I am using other resources and feel I have a pretty good grasp on major concepts and understanding. So my biggest setback now I feel is just memorization (esp pharm).

This may be a silly quesiton, but for people who have read FA several times (4,5,6X), do you read it more like a novel and just read picking stuff up as it comes, or do you actually try to memorize everything and cram it in as you go through it? I've always been bad at memorization and better at general concepts. Since my exam is approaching, I feel like time is limited to go over FA multiple times and effectively retain information.

Thanks for the help guys!!
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Old 03-01-2012
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There are some facts that you just have to memorize... So FA has some fun mnemonics for it. Sometimes you have to make your own.

Its all based on understanding of the material, but there are always stuff for memorization.

..as there supposed to be "regurgitation" questions on the real exam.
So pretty much everything in FA is important, but try to memorize stuff while applying it to your concepts that you say you have a good gasp on.

Good Luck!
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First Aid is already a skeleton of what we really need to know.

Using your primary material -> maximize understanding of concepts
Using First Aid -> where you sit down and memorize

First Aid is used in the context of your primary material. It contains all the key words already. You really need to memorize those important details (MOA and SE of drugs, chars of bugs, etc).

Instead of doing it multiple times (7x!), give one thorough and effective memorization. Then, a second read to consolidate. And one last look 1-2 weeks before the exam. That's just 3 reads. I believe that's better than just "scanning it" 6-7x. It's also a more efficient use of your time.
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Thanks for the replies! How long would you say it should take to read once through FA?
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It really depends on you. When I first read it, it's after every chapter or topic of my primary material. I memorized it right then and there. So I can't really say how long it took me bec I was also reading other books.
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Thanks, I feel that's a good strategy. I've decided to rely on what worked best for me during the MCAT, which was mostly TONS of good practice questions. I'm currently on my 3rd listen through Goljan audio, and am currently using USMLE-rx to get me through FA. As I miss questions in Rx, I write short bullet points down about it in a separate notebook, for future reference. When I finish Rx, I will then do UWorld hopefully a couple of times, as I read over my self-made notes. Does that sound like an okay method?
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Yep! That's active studying!

Using RX to get you through FA can make you really remember it more than just reading FA by itself.

Your plan sounds fine. Good luck in your studies!
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Old 03-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsumed64 View Post
Hey everybody, I just had a quick question. So, I take my step 1 in June, and am currently making my first pass through FA. I am using other resources and feel I have a pretty good grasp on major concepts and understanding. So my biggest setback now I feel is just memorization (esp pharm).

This may be a silly quesiton, but for people who have read FA several times (4,5,6X), do you read it more like a novel and just read picking stuff up as it comes, or do you actually try to memorize everything and cram it in as you go through it? I've always been bad at memorization and better at general concepts. Since my exam is approaching, I feel like time is limited to go over FA multiple times and effectively retain information.

Thanks for the help guys!!

When reading it without the background knowledge it won't make any sense. Besides, the actual exam doesn't require you to regurgitate stuff straight from FA. They ask questions that will make you apply your knowledge. Personally I think you need to have an idea of the big picture before you start going on a memorizing rampage.

I don't know how much time you have....but if you still have some to spare, watch all the Kaplan videos and build your concepts. You don't need to read the books but watching the videos is a must. Once you've done that and you start going through FA....it'll be like a light bulb that goes off in your head!! Eveything will make sense and you will even realize that you don't need to memorize as much as you thought earlier.

Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2012
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Default how to add kaplan to first aid

hello seniors, i am new to this forum need you guidance

i am done with anatomy and physiology but it took me more time than expected. so previously i was thinking of doing kaplan thrice or atleast twice, but know as it is taking more time, i am thinking of adding important points in FIRST AID.
so my question is
1) what the best possible method to add notes in FA ...
a) add notes after each chapter i finsih from kaplan .....
b) add notes while doing FA for the first time and till that time have completely done with kaplan.

and one more thing how does Doctor's in trainin
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Old 03-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNitinArya View Post
hello seniors, i am new to this forum need you guidance

i am done with anatomy and physiology but it took me more time than expected. so previously i was thinking of doing kaplan thrice or atleast twice, but know as it is taking more time, i am thinking of adding important points in FIRST AID.
so my question is
1) what the best possible method to add notes in FA ...
a) add notes after each chapter i finsih from kaplan .....
b) add notes while doing FA for the first time and till that time have completely done with kaplan.

and one more thing how does Doctor's in trainin
I did Kaplan LN for half the courses without taking notes on FA and thought I will have enough time to go over Kaplan twice but seems like I don't have enough time. So I have started adding notes to FA while doing Kaplan LN. Try to add notes after each chapter of Kaplan for the big chapters (cardio, resp,etc) and for tinny chapters (DNA replication,etc) you can either add it after a chapter or two.. Depends on when you feel you are ready to add it to FA. But my strong suggestion is after a chapter or few chapters. Don't wait till you are fully done with kaplan because you might not have the time to do it...
Good luck!
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Old 03-07-2012
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Originally Posted by suka View Post
I did Kaplan LN for half the courses without taking notes on FA and thought I will have enough time to go over Kaplan twice but seems like I don't have enough time. So I have started adding notes to FA while doing Kaplan LN. Try to add notes after each chapter of Kaplan for the big chapters (cardio, resp,etc) and for tinny chapters (DNA replication,etc) you can either add it after a chapter or two.. Depends on when you feel you are ready to add it to FA. But my strong suggestion is after a chapter or few chapters. Don't wait till you are fully done with kaplan because you might not have the time to do it...
Good luck!
thanks a lot suka... same even i am feeling that i don't have enough time to do kaplan with video twice... did u do kaplan videos also with notes whats the best way to do kaplan videos i don't want to skip on then as they help u retain information.
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Old 03-07-2012
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Originally Posted by DrNitinArya View Post
thanks a lot suka... same even i am feeling that i don't have enough time to do kaplan with video twice... did u do kaplan videos also with notes whats the best way to do kaplan videos i don't want to skip on then as they help u retain information.
Well... I personally used to hate watching videos. So I just studied the LN for pharm, behavioural, genetics, most of biochem (I just needed the video for chapter 6 and 7 since I didn't understand it much when I read it the first time and I didn't like the videos for those), histo (I tried watching it but the dude reads off everything thats on the book), Physio (only course I liked the videos). Anat (I watched it for half of it).
For those courses/chapters that I did watch the videos I only watched it for the chapters that I didn't understand or have trouble understanding just with the Notes. Physio is the only course I watched most of it and is planning on watching the rest. For physio since its alot to watch and read I prefer reading a few pgs and then watching that part of the video before i go to the next.
Hope it helps.
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Old 03-20-2012
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It really depends on you. When I first read it, it's after every chapter or topic of my primary material. I memorized it right then and there. So I can't really say how long it took me bec I was also reading other books.
FA in one week (review)... do you think is possible? :sorry::sorry::sorry:
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Old 03-20-2012
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In my opinion Kaplan is too long to hold in your brain.
Our hippocampus is so brilliantly build that it doesn't stores short term memory for long times because its useless in its "own thinking"

The key to success is to do questions and then do FA. I do it like this.

I do questions daily 1-2 blocks of 50 question i score around 60-70% answers correct sometymes its down to 40% also.

I read the explanations and move on. But when I read FA that same day in afternoon I get thru some points or concepts which I saw in my questions somewhere I attempted (forums, qbanks, offline, online etc) that way I remember the fact FOREVER.

Like goljan says The best key to be a great diagnostician is to see patients and that will increase your experience and let you have a Diagnostic EYE.
But as a student you can't see patients in real life so the best alternative is QUESTIONS.. Do as many questions as you can but the key is to learn from every question. As you learn from every patient in real life.

Before i used to become sad when i scored less and get frustrated. But after listening to Poppy's advice I saw it as 30% of the information is new which i didnt know before.
I do follow Poppy's advice and i must say I'M IMPROVING.

Best of luck for your step 1
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Old 03-20-2012
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Originally Posted by Dr. Mexito View Post
FA in one week (review)... do you think is possible? :sorry::sorry::sorry:
Of course, it is! When you've done kaplan notes/videos and uworld, you'll notice that FA has very basic information. By this time, everything is in your brain already. FA just helps in recall. Keep us posted. Good luck, Dr. Mexito!!
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I do follow Poppy's advice and i must say I'M IMPROVING.

Best of luck for your step 1
How is Poppy??
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How is Poppy??
Goljan is poppy
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Old 03-28-2012
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Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
Of course, it is! When you've done kaplan notes/videos and uworld, you'll notice that FA has very basic information. By this time, everything is in your brain already. FA just helps in recall. Keep us posted. Good luck, Dr. Mexito!!
Man... I'm struggling to finish FA by sunday. It looks almost impossible... FA 2010, just right now I'm starting Immunology. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to finishing this by sunday, though.

Any tips to do this faster??? I'm reading like 11-11:30 hrs a day. Pure reading... I cannot go any faster I started reading this past sunday...
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Old 03-28-2012
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Man... I'm struggling to finish FA by sunday. It looks almost impossible... FA 2010, just right now I'm starting Immunology. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to finishing this by sunday, though.

Any tips to do this faster??? I'm reading like 11-11:30 hrs a day. Pure reading... I cannot go any faster I started reading this past sunday...
its harsh to skim it fast.
Especially there are 3 condensed and important systems at the end - Respiratory, Renal and Reproductive...
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Old 03-28-2012
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its harsh to skim it fast.
Especially there are 3 condensed and important systems at the end - Respiratory, Renal and Reproductive...
Yeah man... Micro just killed me... The reason why I want to finish by sunday is because I have until april/2 to go for NBME 12. So, I want to give a "quick" review and see how do I do.

My plan was 1 week... I'm starting to forget about that goal.
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Old 03-28-2012
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Man... I'm struggling to finish FA by sunday. It looks almost impossible... FA 2010, just right now I'm starting Immunology. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to finishing this by sunday, though.

Any tips to do this faster??? I'm reading like 11-11:30 hrs a day. Pure reading... I cannot go any faster I started reading this past sunday...
Maybe you slowed a bit because of biochem. That part is hard bec it's sheer memorization. The same goes for embryology and immunology.

Don't focus or dwell on all areas. Just on the parts you were having difficulty in uworld. On the subjects/systems you are good at, run-through them quickly.

Instead of going through FA linearly, why don't you make a list of subjects/topics that you want to cover before your nbme? Arrange it by your weakness and by how long since you've read them -- prioritize.
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Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
Maybe you slowed a bit because of biochem. That part is hard bec it's sheer memorization. The same goes for embryology and immunology.

Don't focus or dwell on all areas. Just on the parts you were having difficulty in uworld. On the subjects/systems you are good at, run-through them quickly.

Instead of going through FA linearly, why don't you make a list of subjects/topics that you want to cover before your nbme? Arrange it by your weakness and by how long since you've read them -- prioritize.
Thank you... You know... the biggest problem that I have is a word-phrasing problem. I misunderstand what the Q is asking so I hit a foul ball... Although, besides that... Pharmacology is and Hematology are my KRYPTONITE. I will follow your advice. Today I hope I'll finish with Immunology and then... next topics I will try to run.

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Thank you... You know... the biggest problem that I have is a word-phrasing problem. I misunderstand what the Q is asking so I hit a foul ball... Although, besides that... Pharmacology is and Hematology are my KRYPTONITE. I will follow your advice. Today I hope I'll finish with Immunology and then... next topics I will try to run.

Doing hematology along with Goljan lectures (about 6 hours) makes this subject solid.
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Originally Posted by Dr. Mexito View Post
Man... I'm struggling to finish FA by sunday. It looks almost impossible... FA 2010, just right now I'm starting Immunology. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to finishing this by sunday, though.

Any tips to do this faster??? I'm reading like 11-11:30 hrs a day. Pure reading... I cannot go any faster I started reading this past sunday...

Go with your own paste, who cares about anyone else. some ppl finish first aid in few days, some in few weeks, everyone is different.

Biggest advice, go with your own paste...
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Done with Pathology and immunology, about to start Pharmacology. Looks like I'm going to be able to finish pharmacology today too.

However, I'm starting to see everything in "digital"
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Done with Pathology and immunology, about to start Pharmacology. Looks like I'm going to be able to finish pharmacology today too.

However, I'm starting to see everything in "digital"
Goodluck
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Done with Pathology and immunology, about to start Pharmacology. Looks like I'm going to be able to finish pharmacology today too.

However, I'm starting to see everything in "digital"
I saw your name in the Quizlet website. You are a flash card champion there! You hold the record in going through a set of usmle flash chards in the shortest amount of time! Nice!

It's sunday... Good luck! Wish you all the best!
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I'm halfway done with Biochemistry. I'm reading the FA after I read the LN and watch the videos. This way I can read the FA fast. I tried doing it the other way around and I would spend entire days deciphering the FA. I'm hoping to finish Biochem Monday or Tuesday and then start with Physiology once and for all. Since I have Holy Week of from University and work, I think I can manage reading the whole book during Holy Week. Personally, I'm not adding any notes since I will be taking a Live Lectures course in July. So I'm guessing I'll have more time then to add notes, both from the LN and the Qbanks.

By the way, if you're struggling with Pharmacology, you might want to try the BRS or Conrad Fischer's Pharmacology Flashcards.
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I'm halfway done with Biochemistry. I'm reading the FA after I read the LN and watch the videos. This way I can read the FA fast. I tried doing it the other way around and I would spend entire days deciphering the FA. I'm hoping to finish Biochem Monday or Tuesday and then start with Physiology once and for all. Since I have Holy Week of from University and work, I think I can manage reading the whole book during Holy Week. Personally, I'm not adding any notes since I will be taking a Live Lectures course in July. So I'm guessing I'll have more time then to add notes, both from the LN and the Qbanks.

By the way, if you're struggling with Pharmacology, you might want to try the BRS or Conrad Fischer's Pharmacology Flashcards.
Do you have these flashcards?? Can you mail ?


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Old 04-01-2012
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I have completed kaplan videos and notes and goljan once. I am confused what to do next? I have not started FA yet

I have exam in july.Now I feel like i dont remember anything what i read in kaplan.

Is revising kaplan a good option? or to start with kaplan qbank and FA for a month now . And then start with uworld later.

Need your suggestions.
Thanks
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Old 04-01-2012
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I saw your name in the Quizlet website. You are a flash card champion there! You hold the record in going through a set of usmle flash chards in the shortest amount of time! Nice!

It's sunday... Good luck! Wish you all the best!
Quizlet s awesome....nice find bro
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Default prevent forgetting what you read for USMLE STEP 1

if you keep forgetting what you read in first aid then try flashcards to help you remember the stuff for a long time... If you are looking for the most complete set of Usmle Step 1 flashcards from First Aid for USMLE Step 1 check out USMLEFastTrack.com. 9000+ flashcard from all chapters in first aid and its the most complete flash card set you can get plus its FREE to check it out.
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Old 03-22-2014
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Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
Of course, it is! When you've done kaplan notes/videos and uworld, you'll notice that FA has very basic information. By this time, everything is in your brain already. FA just helps in recall. Keep us posted. Good luck, Dr. Mexito!!


i have done KLN with videos and now i am doing FA with UWORLD. i read a section then i attempt the questions and add notes to FA. is the right way to go? or should i have read the whole FA once before attempting questions as ive found out now from UWORLD that the questions even from one topic have info that is scattered aroudn the whole FA.. any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
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