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  #1  
Old 03-29-2012
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Help How to stop reading the questions 2 times?

I've came to notice that whenever I read a question, I expend too much time reading the question because I tend to read it two times.

Is not that I have problems with the english, or that I can't understand what the question is asking. Its just that by the time I've finished reading the question... I've already forgot certain details, like patient's main complain, or the "X" and "Y" symptoms he's having,etc... so I have to read the question from the beginning.

Does anybody have an idea how to avoid this??? Any sugestion???

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Old 03-29-2012
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i've found that atleast for me, reading the question twice actually saves time!
the first time i usually just skim the question to get an idea of what is being asked, & the second time i know what to look for
If i try to retain all the info while reading the 1st time, & find out that the diagnosis is already given in the last line, that pisses me off. So i've made it almost a rule to first observe the question & then read it
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Old 03-29-2012
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Use the highlight option! I highlight the main symptoms, lab values, patients age & gender and normally the last line of the question. After the first thorough read I think of an answer in my mind, then I look at the choices, if what I thought is an option, I just pick and move on. If its not there then I go back and read the highlighted stuff again .. its really easy and goes by fast n then you have more time to think of an answer.
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Old 03-29-2012
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I think it's ok to read the question twice.

Here's what I've read from Kaplan's test-taking strategies:

"Superior students generally spend about 45 seconds reading the question and about 15 to 20 seconds choosing from the given options. Poorer students tend to reverse this time allocation, spending less time on the question and more on the options. Time reading the question is time well spent. More time on the question means more time spent thinking."

- Kaplan Qbook (under the topic a Proven Routine for Handling Each Question)

As long as you don't find yourself running out of time, don't worry about it.
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Old 03-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mexito View Post
I've came to notice that whenever I read a question, I expend too much time reading the question because I tend to read it two times.

Is not that I have problems with the english, or that I can't understand what the question is asking. Its just that by the time I've finished reading the question... I've already forgot certain details, like patient's main complain, or the "X" and "Y" symptoms he's having,etc... so I have to read the question from the beginning.

Does anybody have an idea how to avoid this??? Any sugestion???

Practice Practice and Practice.......its normal also when question stem is too long......ONLY PRACTICE CAN MAKE U OVERCOME THIS PROBLEM.....me too had this problem but in the end ,I was able to extract useful information by a single read........!!!
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I highlight the following
Age and gender
Main symptoms
Main lab values

If I dont get a diagnosis before seeing the options.. I look at the options and then reread the highlighted stuff and think again
I found this time saving
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Old 03-29-2012
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After you read every sentence, recite in your head what was said. This will help you actively read the stem rather than passively skimming it.

Use the highlighter to highlight lab values and key symptoms.
You can look bck at this highlighted bits.

But you shouldnt read the entire question again.
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This is actually a good thing! However, here are some pointers from Kaplan:
  1. Read the last sentence first!
  2. Make sure you understand what is being asked.
  3. Then read the rest of the question.
  4. Focus on key elements that are related to the question (lab values, sx, dx, etc.).
  5. Read it again. You should now have an answer in your head.
  6. Read all of the answer options.
  7. Use deductive reasoning to see which fits best your conclusion.

As Dr Goljan says, and educated guess is better than simply typing C. Try to narrow your options to at the most two. This way, you have a 50% chance of getting the question right, which is better than the original 20% when you blindly type in C.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theundead;
i've found that at least for me, reading the question twice actually saves time!
Thank you!! I got afraid because people are saying "read the question once".... and I am like ....No way!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass;
Use the highlight option! I highlight the main symptoms, lab values, patients age & gender and normally the last line of the question.
Thank you man... I'll star doing that . BTW, will I be able to highlight the questions in the real exam???


Quote:
Originally Posted by d_wiqed;
As long as you don't find yourself running out of time, don't worry about it.
Usually I finish a block within 55 minutes.... Gives me a lot of stress...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drbooda
I highlight the following
Age and gender
Main symptoms
Main lab values

If I dont get a diagnosis before seeing the options.. I look at the options and then reread the highlighted stuff and think again
Thanks... I'll do that

Quote:
Originally Posted by K06100
me too had this problem but in the end ,I was able to extract useful information by a single read........!!!
Did it took you long time to get over this problem???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.NickRiviera;
After you read every sentence, recite in your head what was said. This will help you actively read the stem rather than passively skimming it.
Some times I try to do that and then... Nothing comes to my mind I guess that I have to read more


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsanchezramirez;
As Dr Goljan says, and educated guess is better than simply typing C. Try to narrow your options to at the most two. This way, you have a 50% chance of getting the question right, which is better than the original 20% when you blindly type in C.

Ha ha ha.. yeah ... I tend to chose "C" sometimes... I've heard that that is because "C" = "Constant"

Thank you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mexito View Post
Thank you man... I'll star doing that . BTW, will I be able to highlight the questions in the real exam???

Yeah, you'll be able to highlight the questions in the real exam. You can also use the strike out option in the choices. The real exam interface is exactly like UW.
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LOL! How do you that? Putting multiple quotes in one post?

You know, it's weird but I came across a step experience before that recommends we MEMORIZE the lab values -- at least the most common ones. The person said that looking at the labs during the exam takes so much time, memorizing them beforehand actually saves time!

I think this might work... I'll personally try memorizing the most common serum electrolytes (Na, Ca, K...). They are usually a distractor in the question stem, if you notice in uworld.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mexito View Post
Thank you!! I got afraid because people are saying "read the question once".... and I am like ....No way!!!



Thank you man... I'll star doing that . BTW, will I be able to highlight the questions in the real exam???




Usually I finish a block within 55 minutes.... Gives me a lot of stress...




Thanks... I'll do that



Did it took you long time to get over this problem???



Some times I try to do that and then... Nothing comes to my mind I guess that I have to read more




Ha ha ha.. yeah ... I tend to chose "C" sometimes... I've heard that that is because "C" = "Constant"

Thank you.

when u do lot of MCQs , u will notice and find that what information u want and what not....so u will be able to extract information u want....ie. when u will read the question , u urself will be picking the imp.stuff from question...this all happens with practice....i did a lot of MCQs ....over 6300.....so i laid atress on PRACTICE,PRACTICE AND PRACTICE.......!!!!
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Do you guys find that the highlighting in Kaplan Qbank isn't that smooth and half the time you have to double click or really click on different spots to get it working ?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
Do you guys find that the highlighting in Kaplan Qbank isn't that smooth and half the time you have to double click or really click on different spots to get it working ?
I have just bought my kaplan qbank a week before, I haven't used it yet. But is it true that I can just copy and paste from it? That would be a huge relief! It will make taking down notes a lot easier!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
I have just bought my kaplan qbank a week before, I haven't used it yet. But is it true that I can just copy and paste from it? That would be huge relief! It will make taking down notes a lot easier!
Oh wow, I didn't know we could do that! I doubt it because when you try to select anything it will just highlight instead ?
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I used to have the same problem.
I did it because I was anxious, worried about the question.
What helped me is when I read the information I perephraze it to myself, I quickly realized that this is the most efficient way that worked for me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSikorski View Post
I used to have the same problem.
I did it because I was anxious, worried about the question.
What helped me is when I read the information I perephraze it to myself, I quickly realized that this is the most efficient way that worked for me.
What do you mean by perephraze? I dont understand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSikorski View Post
I used to have the same problem.
I did it because I was anxious, worried about the question.
What helped me is when I read the information I perephraze it to myself, I quickly realized that this is the most efficient way that worked for me.
Thanks man... I'm super nervous (stress is killing me)... I'm taking NBME 12 this monday... but I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to finish the Qs in the block...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
I have just bought my kaplan qbank a week before, I haven't used it yet. But is it true that I can just copy and paste from it? That would be a huge relief! It will make taking down notes a lot easier!
Select and drag... that's the magic of Mac... no need to "copy paste"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mexito View Post
Select and drag... that's the magic of Mac... no need to "copy paste"
Thank you very much!! OMG! That will save me a lot of time!

There is hope for me after all!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
What do you mean by perephraze? I dont understand
I think DocSikorski means paraphrase -> re-phrasing the question in your own words.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
I think DocSikorski means paraphrase -> re-phrasing the question in your own words.
True that!
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Dr Mexito, I just remembered! There is a blog by askdoc about the usmle.

One of his tips is to get a "throw-away" (or cheap) qbank and just practice speed reading everyday. Read and answer the questions fast and under time-pressure. Don't worry about the score you get. Just build speed and stamina.

Here's the link to his blog, but I can't find exactly which article I read about his tip on using the "throwaway" qbank.

http://blogs.askdoc-usmle.com/increa...reading-speed/
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