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  #1  
Old 09-22-2010
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Arrow 490 on NBME 3, exam in 3 weeks, advice please

Hi all,

I scored 490 on NBME form 3 which correlates to a 3-digit score of 220.
I had lower performance (to the left of the borderline on the graph) in four categories.

Obviously, I need to focus on these topics in my final review.

I've done UW offline and I took notes from the questions but I didn't read those notes after I wrote them. I'm not sure whether it's enough to read the notes or I should do the questions a second time

I intend to take another form 1 week prior to my exam. Is there any question bank that I MUST do before the next assessment? or at all, for that matter?

Any advice is welcome.
Thanx in advance.
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Old 09-22-2010
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Doing a whole question bank in 3 weeks really isn't effective. You won't learn alot, IMHO. You will be doing over 3000 questions in 3 weeks, thats a lot to know and digest.

In the last 2 weeks I think you should only be looking at First Aid (it has notes that you put in it right?). Go back and do the questions that you got wrong in your previous banks.

8 days before you exam, take NBME form 6. If you like the result, then take the exam, if you don't then push it back.
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Old 09-22-2010
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Its not enough score... u hv 2 read topics frm FA again... take another form (form 6).. see the result... if u get more than 500, then only go ahead...
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Old 09-22-2010
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You'll probably pass with 490 but like Peewee said you'll get more out of reading FA and doing the questions you got wrong. You can do some free wikitestprep questions if you want to build up your mental stamina but for learning material use FA and UW - online this time...
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Old 09-23-2010
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Thanks lads.
I'll go through FA and UW once again. I think I can do it in 20 days so I'm pushing the exam.

I'll take another NBME form (either 6 or 7) not sure if my score will improve though. you know, these forms are known for being precise. Maybe I am at my best now and I will never score significantly better

Has anyone ever significantly improved their NBME score in 3 weeks?
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Old 09-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by United View Post
Thanks lads.
I'll go through FA and UW once again. I think I can do it in 20 days so I'm pushing the exam.

I'll take another NBME form(either 6 or 7) not sure if my score will improve though. you know, these forms are known for being precise. Maybe I am at my best now and I will never score significantly better

Has anyone ever significantly improved their NBME score in 3 weeks?
Of course an additional 3 weeks will help - you're at the border now so after you do FA and UW again you'll certainly be better off. Try it for 10 days and if that doesn't work, then push a much later exam date (like a month or two) and go over FA, UW and Kaplan or Consult again - that will boost you to where you need to be.
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Old 09-23-2010
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Originally Posted by ashishkabir View Post
Try it for 10 days and if that doesn't work, then push a much later exam date (like a month or two) and go over FA, UW and Kaplan or Consult again - that will boost you to where you need to be.
Are you suggesting that I should go over FA AND UW in 10 days?
I don't think it's possible for me at this level. I made a very strict schedule and I don't think I can do it in less than 20 days.
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Originally Posted by United View Post
Are you suggesting that I should go over FA AND UW in 10 days?
I don't think it's possible for me at this level. I made a very strict schedule and I don't think I can do it in less than 20 days.
No no - you're right -I was unclear...

What I meant to say was if you've pushed your exam and you've scheduled the 20 days to go over FA and UW again you'll need to confirm with yourself that your revision is in fact helping. To do this you have to do an NBME so, finish your revision in 20 days, do an NBME and then when you ace it about a week after *that* write your exam. I'm sure you'll do much better in that NBME - that was my thought

The problem you have in my opinion is that a 490 on form 3 is not as representative as say form 7 or 6 so that's why you need to write an NBME form more or less fully prepared.

Hope this helps a little - let us know what you decide!
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  #9  
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Default my plan

actually, I don't know why I chose form 3. anyway, the last couple of weeks leading up to taking this form weren't exactly great studying-wise.

I've already started this final lap of torture and I'll be taking form 6 or 7 on the 15th of October.

one more question, from your experience, is 490 on form 3 an over- or underestimation of my preparedness? I feel the former might be true because I thought the questions weren't very hard and some topics -particularly biochemistry- had just a few and somewhat easy questions.
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Its not that its not representative of the USMLE but from what I've heard about it - form 3's focus is a little off from the current testing style. You're right though - if you miss out on biochem questions like that its' a simple preparedness problem. Just memorize biochem every night for the next 10 nights...

I don't know what your strengths are exactly, but I believe for most people once you feel ready, your actual score would have probably been better in real life. No guarantees as exam day itself comes with its own set of problems such as being in an unknown location and 7 hours instead of 4...

I think we'd all agree that this really is torture - I can't wait to begin, in my case, my third year clerkships and go back to caring for patients... This is a necessary evil and it'll be over eventually so stick with it You're almost there now....
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Old 10-15-2010
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Default 3 weeks on and no improvement !!!

So, I took NBME 7 today and I got 490. the same score as in NBME 3 21 days ago.

Important Notes:
  • 4 categories extended into the low performance zone (the same number as in form 3)
  • 2 of these 4 are the same as in form 3 (these are Behavioral Sciences and Nervous System/special senses) Behavioral got much worse. Neuro got a little bit worse !
  • The 2 "New" weaknesses ( Histology&Cell Biology and Reproductive and Endocrine System) were at very very high performance in form 3
  • Hematopoietic and Lymphoreticular System, which was the lowest performance category in form3, is not available as a category in form7. Although I'm pretty sure there were a few questions that could be listed under this category.


I'm so depressed
I was expecting 540 at least.
I think this is my peak. The test day is in 2 weeks. I'm going.

Suggestions/comments are very much welcome.
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Old 10-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by United View Post
So, I took NBME 7 today and I got 490. the same score as in NBME 3 21 days ago.

Important Notes:
  • 4 categories extended into the low performance zone (the same number as in form 3)
  • 2 of these 4 are the same as in form 3 (these are Behavioral Sciences and Nervous System/special senses) Behavioral got much worse. Neuro got a little bit worse !
  • The 2 "New" weaknesses ( Histology&Cell Biology and Reproductive and Endocrine System) were at very very high performance in form 3
  • Hematopoietic and Lymphoreticular System, which was the lowest performance category in form3, is not available as a category in form7. Although I'm pretty sure there were a few questions that could be listed under this category.


I'm so depressed
I was expecting 540 at least.
I think this is my peak. The test day is in 2 weeks. I'm going.

Suggestions/comments are very much welcome.
Don't give a lot of attention to subcategories like endocrine, hematology,..etc -- esp. in UW, I found much weird categorizing, like a question about velocardiofacial syndrome being placed in Head & Neck! Not sure if NBME is the same. So my advice is to only look at the main subjects (Pathology, Anatomy,..etc) - and those that you're weak at, read them from First Aid very carefully, and try to memorize them word by word, as much as you can. It will help a lot I'm sure (especially in Micro, Pharm, Patho -- well, may be everything except Physio, Behavioral).

Do this, and take form 6 three days before your exam. If you're still not satisfied, may be you should delay your exam.

GL.
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Old 10-15-2010
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Default What am I supposed to do to ACE behavioral questions?

Thanx Haisook.

I'll probably take form 6 nest week.
do you think that FA is enough for biostat? that seems to be my weakest area.
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Old 10-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by United View Post
Thanx Haisook.

I'll probably take form 6 nest week.
do you think that FA is enough for biostat? that seems to be my weakest area.
Biostatistics is a tough subject for most IMGs, but thankfully you won't find many bio-statistics questions in the exam. In UWSA, there were only 3 questions. So probably in the actual exam there would be around 5 questions. Note that behavioral sciences and bio-statistics together constitute only 5% of the questions, in contrast to Pathology (25%), for instance. So, at this point for you, the most useful thing to do is to re-read bio-statistics from the FA (try to write down the formulas on a sheet of paper for memorization).

Check out the percentages of questions from the different subjects expected to be seen in USMLE Step 1 in the attachment below.

490 on NBME 3, exam in 3 weeks, advice please-step-1-subject-percentages.jpg
click to enlarge
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Old 10-15-2010
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Default 5%

i took the test a few days ago....n just wanted to comment there were certainly more b science qns than 5%....5%works out to some 16 qns right.....

ethics, b science n statistics combined worked out like 25 qns for me.....

i suggest u take one day off n read the ethics text....n the stats...u shud know the sensitivity, specificity, ppv, npv,alpha n beta error stuff inside out
u cant get confused abt that during the exam......
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Old 10-15-2010
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no do end up reading the formula page on the last page of first aid...it has almost everythin...i had to write down just 10 formulas to that page n i got all my formulas in a single page.....the page is b4 the index or very close to that....hope u ve already seen it
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunjose View Post
i suggest u take one day off n read the ethics text....n the stats...u shud know the sensitivity, specificity, ppv, npv,alpha n beta error stuff inside out
u cant get confused abt that during the exam......

you're absolutely right. I got this question about ppv on form 7, it was pretty straight forward but for some reason I wasn't sure at all.

This page you're talking about is gonna be the last thing I read at 7:45 am that's for sure.


Wish you a great score.
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Old 10-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunjose View Post
i took the test a few days ago....n just wanted to comment there were certainly more b science qns than 5%....5%works out to some 16 qns right.....

ethics, b science n statistics combined worked out like 25 qns for me.....

i suggest u take one day off n read the ethics text....n the stats...u shud know the sensitivity, specificity, ppv, npv,alpha n beta error stuff inside out
u cant get confused abt that during the exam......
Congrats on taking the exam!

Strange. They shouldn't exceed 16 as you say. So, how many of those 25 questions were biostatistics in a math format?
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