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  #1  
Old 10-22-2010
heights's Avatar
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Planning Anyone used a Qbank before 1st read of FA

I am planning to take Step 1 in May, and this week I subscribed to 9 months of Kaplan Qbank. The thing is, I am a 2nd year med student and have tons of classes so I don't have much time to study. My school gives us 7-8 weeks study time, so I'll be doing my real studying starting in March. My plan is to try to get through the Qbank at least 2 times before March, then I will get UWorld for the 8 weeks that I am doing my dedicated study.

So, this is my Kaplan Qbank strategy: pick 1 or 2 organ systems that I have covered in class, then select all the disciplines, do 25-50 timed questions each day, read all the explanations, then read the section in FA. I should mention that I read some of Costanzo and Goljan RR for classes too, but not a lot at this point. So far, I have done 100 questions and averaged 50%. At this rate, I should finish my first pass of Qbank by end of December or early January.

Can someone please give me some advice on this strategy? What do you think of that plan? Is 50% in Kaplan Qbank bad at this point? Anything else you think I should be doing?

Thanks alot!
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Old 10-23-2010
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I can tell you that your plan is great because it's a... plan! Any plan would work. There isn't a standard plan out there. We all make our own plans. And if you read through the forums, you'll find many different plans. It would only be worrying if you don't have a plan.

As to doing questions early, I'll tell you about a friend's experience. He started doing questions from day 1. He scored 99. Although, many books advise against doing questions early to avoid frustration, I still think that, if done in moderation, it would be very helpful, because this test really requires test-taking skills (multi-step thinking, crossing out, smart guessing). For me, I didn't do that (just did Kaplan end-of-chapter questions).

50% in early first pass is a good score. Remember that scoring around 65% in the qbank gets you into the 99 realm. Of course you'll need to score higher if you wish to get into the high 99 realm. It's only a matter of time before your scores start getting higher. That occasional low-score in a block is normal too.

Good luck.
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heights (10-23-2010), Sabio (10-23-2010)
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Old 10-23-2010
heights's Avatar
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Thanks a lot for the encouraging response Haisook, that helps to relieve my anxiety a bit. It does get frustrating when I get questions wrong, because some of them are facts or concepts that I've never even heard of before, which is scary at this point. However, I tell myself that whenever I get something wrong, I make sure to read FA and try to understand it completely, so hopefully I'll never get that concept wrong again (if I don't forget it ). Many of the ones I get wrong are concepts that I understand, but misunderstood the question. Hopefully on the second pass I can do better, my goal is a high 99
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2010
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Same here. I get a lot of questions wrong because I missed a little bit of information, or thought too much. The scope of the exam is limitless, so you'll definitely come across questions you have no idea about. So don't let those make you tense. Guess them or mark them and move on.

One thing that I think helped me a lot is writing down every single question that I got wrong. Of course I just write the concept or the point of interest, not the whole question. Then, you can go through them every once in a while.
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