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  #1  
Old 04-15-2013
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Help NBME doesn't improve :(

Hi,
I'm old Img, graduated in 1997.
I have been studying Step 1 long time - about 2 years. Frankly speaking I underwent all Q-banks (Kaplan, UW, Students consult, Rx). Of course I read Kaplan notes etc. Recently I've done Q-bank is UW where I received 57% (timed, not used qs).
I wouldn't say that my knowledge don't increase but fact in that my NBME isn't increasing well:
NBME 3 - 5/4/12 - 300 (raw)
NBME 11 - 7/9/12 - 340 (raw)
NBME 12 - 12/7/2012 - 390 (raw)
NBME 4/15/2013 - 380 (raw)

So today, after UW I received less score than 4 months ago ... Well I frustrate and depressed... My exam period is Apr-May-June (186 form "in process" in ECMGF). Some kind of I just spent my time for nothing...

I can effectively study about 3-4-5h/day.
Last time I used flash cards in first parts and UW for second part of study time. Did different pictures and schemes (they all on the kitchen's walls).
Even I starts to training physically (running, interval running) with HRM with hoping to improve my performance in the preparing.

But something goes wrong I think. When I do a test I have problem with fast recall, even sometimes I have stupor with simple question (when try to recall fast). Lot information I studied but forget etc. In simple explanations it is like, "oh yes I know I studied this topic... hmm... I remember there were scheme and picture... but I can't remember exact enzyme... how it called..."

My brain is tired... all information there is mixed in chaos... when I study something in same time I lost other info...
I have no idea what to do next... I want to go to the exam when I will be full prepared and when I'll have 400 at least in NBME.

May be anyone had same or similar problems? Moral support and Any suggestions are welcomed.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2013
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i would suggest conscious revision of FA once more

and daily question blocks with more constrained time frame (46 questions - 46mins)
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Old 04-15-2013
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Hi there!
I am an “old” grad too. Have had my share of ups and downs. Started studying over year ago, but after 6-7 month fell off the track. My scores on UW weren’t improving; I was really frustrated and disappointed. I think the more I was worried the more I was getting “mental block”, couldn’t study at all, if it makes sense… Thanks to some people here (irakly J), I made few changes in my approach/schedule and saw the difference. My scores now show improvement and I feel encouraged and motivated again.
What I am trying to say, change your routine, or study patterns, or how you approach UW.
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2013
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At first thank you Cal_Tina andMedicalExaminer for support!I did UW (all) by timed block 46qs per day, after I worked with explanation, if it wasn't enough I read additionally textbook, internet etc.

And as I mentioned above about 3-4 months ago I switched from FA to flashcards based on FA like here. But how it showed on the practice - it seems not very effective for me (except possible pharma). May be it lacks visual information which needed for me - I'm visual...

And interesting thing... I've done 4 NBMEs and all the time "my Immune Sustem" was perfect (beyond) but it felt at last test after long study


Below my general chart.

Any other suggestions?
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Instead of saying “we don’t know why,” though, say “idiopathic.” It sounds so much smarter.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2013
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Cool Take it easy

1. Take a break. Be sure to include on your study schedule a "day off" or a "weekend off". We all know how much can we take. And you sound like you need a break.
2. Identify your weak areas and hit those. Understand the concept first, then memorize and parallel to this, do practice question related to this areas.
3. The fact that you had a low score on immune once does not means that u r weak on it. Perhaps they tested fewer question related on immune and you happened to missed them, learn them all, learn from your mistakes.
4. Dont let the nmbes bring you down. Remember, "its not how hard we can hit, its how hard can we get hit".
5. Last but not least, organize your study schedule. I am sure you have it done, but its just a reminder if u dont.
Good luck and you are not alone in this.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2013
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Hi,
I not sure that I need break, at least long one. I afraid I will forget lot of info. And I don study on Sat and Sunday, I just can't bc we have 3 kids and you know time is going.... I think I have perfect condition for the study now - I don't work at present but in same time I need to sitting with our smaller kid (turn by turn with my wife).
So my schedule was like that:
(time depends on need I sitting with son or not).
First part
6.30 - 7.30 - flash cards
9.00 - 11.30 - flash cards again + study weak topics + draw schemes, pics..
Second part
14.00 - 15.00 Q-bank (now UW) all time for timed mode)
- physical training time to time.
After it working hard with incorrect questions (read additional textbook like Biochemistry etc).

I'd say I didn't tired physically... My be "psychologically". And last time was like shock! I feel that my knowledge has been increased... And at least I did UW not very bad.

I forget say more detailed about last NBME 7.
At the first questions in NBME seemed for me in "strange format" I have no idea how to explain it i.e. they differ from UW.
Second. Long time I've been trained with 46 questins and NBME has 50 so in first block I have not time to answer last 4 questions (at least I sure I could correct answer 2 of them).

At present I considering to change my tactic. Something like that:
1. Refuse from flash cards (may be only for pharma). I will mostly use FA, sometimes Constanzo physiology and Lippincott bio (for particular questions).
2. As said Cal_Tina I totaly for a time will switch from random mode to exact topics (first my weak topic).
3. As said MedicalExaminer I agree that I need training for speed in q-bank.
4. Little bit back to my old tactic... I will write down / draw on pieces of papers/cards by my own, many times to memorize something for example from FA.

Any notes, suggestions?...

I'll will beat the Step 1 but I'd like to overcome it as fast as possible
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Instead of saying “we don’t know why,” though, say “idiopathic.” It sounds so much smarter.
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2013
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Your story is exactly parallel to mine for step 1...I went thru the same exact thing, nbme scores were around the same as yours for six whole months...I ended up getting a 210 on my real exam (made some dumb mistakes that cost me a 220 but I'm still happy with my score after how much I struggled)

Suggestions for you

1. Do usmlerx...this is a great great qbank especially for someone whose basics are not strong...this will help u memorize first aid in an active manner...do this first

2. Pathoma pathoma pathoma. I was lost before I found pathoma. It is gold for this exam. What Dr. Sattar says is high yield it is HIGH YEILD, everything he said was hy was in some form on my test

3. Dit. This is a great resource, do the workbook!!! It will engrain details into your head

4. Nbmes. These are very crucial, and I don't just mean doing them. Actively go thru them! See what mistakes you are making. See if it is a problem in u not understanding a concept or is because u forgot some specific detail or is it because the question confuses you. This is very important and most often overlooked.

Good luck, let me know if u have any more q's
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2013
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Default

Thank you DefeatTheBeast for the answer.

I already have done USMLERx, btw 390 I received after Rx
I tried the DIT but unfortunately that format doesn't fit for me absolutely.

As you said, ofter I know main concept of a question but there are problem with fast recall details (exact name of enzyme, a drug etc). Sometimes I have confusing with a question. And I'd like to hear your more detailed opinion (experience) about "confusing" and "fast recall problem".

Recently I saw one pathoma lection and considering listen them (only weak topics) in the end of study days.

Finally I decided to do this plan:
1. FA
a) by topic (weak topics first) about 2 days per topic.
b) after each page try to recall details (at least image them), try to draw of schemes.
2. UW along FA - same topic / 46 qs per day / I will try to increase the speed.
3. Additional: draw many times "universal" schemes like second messangers or those in which I very weak. Thinking do Pathoma in weak areas.
4. After I finish this all - NBME again
a) if NBME is 400 or more - take the test.
b) if NBME less 400 -> not going for test... and will see there.


Yesterday I recovered after a shock and today morning I started study again with the plan
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