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  #1  
Old 09-21-2010
ashishkabir's Avatar
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Clock Breaks during exam

Guys I had a quick question about breaks during the step - can you look at notes and stuff when you're writing the step during your breaks?

The DIT guy - Dr. Jenkins - talks about "markerboard topics" which are essentially things you mihgt forget you write them down on your markerboard - I'm wondering if there is something I forget if I can take a break after one of my blocks - run over - look it up quickly and then come back? Is this a bad idea? Suggestions?
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashishkabir View Post
Guys I had a quick question about breaks during the step - can you look at notes and stuff when you're writing the step during your breaks?

The DIT guy - Dr. Jenkins - talks about "markerboard topics" which are essentially things you mihgt forget you write them down on your markerboard - I'm wondering if there is something I forget if I can take a break after one of my blocks - run over - look it up quickly and then come back? Is this a bad idea? Suggestions?

You could do that. BUT, if you are doing that constantly then are you really ready?

Even before the exam was on, they brought me into my chair and computer. I stopped and didn't put in my cin number to start the exam, instead, I wrote out the entire Biochem Pathways and the Micro flow charts of gram + and -'ves.

I did this for a couple reasons.
1- to slow my mind down, give me time to take a deep breath and relax in the chair.
2- mind races when reading the questions, wanted a backup of the 2 most important things.

did this help? The gram + and -'ve I got a couple questions that I looked at my board and seen them.
the biopathways, not so much, but it helped me think.

Going to quickly look stuff up is no good. Your mind will be racing so much, you have so little time and you won't remember it going back in anyways.

My advice, know your stuff coming into the exam, leave your books at home and use your breaks for water, bathrooms and 20 min for a light dinner. Your mind will need breaks, looking things up will do you more harm then good. Trust what you learn and trust your first instinct.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Arrow UnScheduled Breaks during the exam

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashishkabir View Post
Guys I had a quick question about breaks during the step - can you look at notes and stuff when you're writing the step during your breaks?

The DIT guy - Dr. Jenkins - talks about "markerboard topics" which are essentially things you mihgt forget you write them down on your markerboard - I'm wondering if there is something I forget if I can take a break after one of my blocks - run over - look it up quickly and then come back? Is this a bad idea? Suggestions?
I don't really understand what you are saying. What is the use of looking at your personal notes or books after you finish the block? You already finished the block and submitted it and you cannot go back to the questions and therefore you cannot change your answers according to what your notes are saying.

There two types of breaks during the exam:

Scheduled breaks
which can be taken only after you submit an entire block. You have 45 minutes + 15 minutes if you skip the tutorial. So your total break time is 60 minutes. During these breaks you can go wherever you want to go and you can read your books or whatever.

Unscheduled breaks during the block (before the block finish) will have the following grave consequences:
-First, the time you spent in the break will be taken from the block time.
-Second, it will be reported to the NBME and they'll investigate the cause.
-Third, you cannot read notes or access your locked because the invigilator will accompany you for the entire period of the break.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Default check this also

this is also useful
How to distribute your break time in USMLE Step 1?
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Old 09-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peewee View Post

Going to quickly look stuff up is no good. Your mind will be racing so much, you have so little time and you won't remember it going back in anyways.

My advice, know your stuff coming into the exam, leave your books at home and use your breaks for water, bathrooms and 20 min for a light dinner. Your mind will need breaks, looking things up will do you more harm then good. Trust what you learn and trust your first instinct.
This is really good advice! It makes sense to know things well and probably have some things written and not majority stuff.
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Old 09-22-2010
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Thanks a million for the advice guys... I was just thinking that I often forget names and I'm the kind of guy that has to discuss exams after I just wrote them. You're right though - it'll probably do more harm than good.

@Rasheed I was actually talking about scheduled breaks but thanks for the warning - washroom breaks are before and after blocks are over I'm assuming then...

So I guess the theory is that use those 5 mins to recuperate instead of tyring to get more information in. I guess the same holds true for the 30 min lunch break?
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Old 09-23-2010
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I agree Yes, you are right

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashishkabir View Post
Thanks a million for the advice guys... I was just thinking that I often forget names and I'm the kind of guy that has to discuss exams after I just wrote them. You're right though - it'll probably do more harm than good.

@Rasheed I was actually talking about scheduled breaks but thanks for the warning - washroom breaks are before and after blocks are over I'm assuming then...

So I guess the theory is that use those 5 mins to recuperate instead of tyring to get more information in. I guess the same holds true for the 30 min lunch break?
You can take whatever amount of time you like once you finish the block.
Yes, you are right, take short 5 minutes breaks to take a breath and perhaps a quick visit to the rest room and take a long (20-30 minutes) break for a light lunch and perhaps a call to your buddy
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