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  #1  
Old 09-03-2013
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USMLEWorld How to do U world Qbank?

Hello!
I was wondering anybody can give any tips on how to do questions in the U world Q bank, and how to analyze the ones one gets wrong. Should we take an extra notebook and write extra information as we do the questions?? Or should one do questions first attempt them all in the first go and then revisit the wrong questions??. Should one write extra notes directly to First Aid or extra notebook?? Would really appreciate any tips! Thanks much!!
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Old 09-04-2013
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Hi there,

Using USMLE World is a great choice, all of the students we have here at The Academy are highly encouraged to use it, simply because we have found over the years that it is very close to the level of difficulty experienced in the real USMLE exam, it hits on all of the higher yield topics, and does a great job at supplementing a traditional review program and basic science curriculum with extra, pertinent information. As for using the question bank, what I recommend is a bit different from what others might suggest, but keep in mind that we mentor 100's of students every year and they all use this strategy, and the results are always excellent. So here's what I recommend you do with UWorld:

First... keep in mind that you don't want to use your UW % as the predictor of your knowledge, you want to use it to build your knowledge. Use the NBME's for assessment purposes... that is important to remember!

So here's my suggestion:

1. Go through questions in a TIMED format, doing a full block of questions at a time (46-48q) (Reason: you need to train for the USMLE exam like you would train for a physical event like a marathon, and the best way to build your stamina is to perform a full block of questions in the same timeframe that you will do so on the real exam. If you do this from the start, you will build excellent stamina, you will learn to work faster yet still efficiently, and it will go a long way on the real exam).

2. Once finishing each block of questions, now is the time to go back over all of the answers. Get yourself an empty notebook and start taking notes. Keep track of your strengths and your weaknesses as you move through these question/answers. This takes time, but the more detailed you can be with your explanations about each question, the more you will learn and the better you will be in the long-run. Continue this until you finish the entire question bank. With each passing day, look over the notes you've made in your notebook, talk aloud in explaining certain concepts or pieces of information you are struggling with, and be sure to consistently review review review.

Now, the mistake I see a lot of students making at this point is to simply re-do the entire question bank. And when you simply re-do the qbank, you may see an improvement in your %, but you have to realize that this is most likely due to memorization of some answers. Instead, as you move through each day, you should be truly MASTERING the information within your notes. So by the time you are done with the 1st round of the qbank, your depth and breadth of knowledge should be much greater. Once you have thoroughly studied your notes (in addition to your straightforward studying from your basic science notes or review course if you choose to do one), then it is time to go through your UW Qbank a 2nd time, but the key to truly using it to maximize your knowledge isn't to simply go through the questions again in a Multiple choice format - NO! Instead, what you should do is the following:

Note: this time you don't have to perform the questions in a timed mode.

1st - Read the question as you normally would (note: be sure to always read the last line of the question first, as sometimes reading the entire stem isn't even necessary to answer the question - and if you have 2-3 of these per block, you can save yourself a few minutes of precious time). Back to the main point... read the question as you normally would, but instead of simply choosing the correct answer (which should be easy based on your having properly gone through the 1st time), you want to identify the proper answer from the answer choices, but instead of just answering it and moving to the next question, explain to yourself, aloud, why the question you believe to be correct is in fact correct. If you can explain why an answer is right, then you have a much better overall comprehension of the material. In addition, take a look at the answers you find to be incorrect, and discuss with yourself why each incorrect answer is in fact 'incorrect'. You see, if you only master the information for each correct answer, you overlook the learning opportunity for all 4-5 of the other answer options, because even though they're incorrect for this particular answer, they are still pieces of information that you should know/learn/understand.

Simply move through the qbank this way until you get through the entire thing. So this means your 2nd time through is more about being able to explain information, instead of simply being able to remember correct and/or incorrect answers. This takes time, I won't lie to you, it takes lots of time and patience... BUT, you will learn so much medical information that when it comes time for you to sit for the real exam, all of the hard work that you put in will make things much easier for you.


I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to contact me or reply if you have any questions!

Best of luck!

Dr. Paul
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Old 09-04-2013
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Thank You So Much Dr. Paul!
I really appreciate your help! I have one more question for an average student, how much time do you think we need to set aside to do the whole Q bank properly and have an enough time do the revision, one month, two months???

Thank You,
Rupinder (Fmmedicalstudent)
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Originally Posted by fmmedicalstudent View Post
Thank You So Much Dr. Paul!
I really appreciate your help! I have one more question for an average student, how much time do you think we need to set aside to do the whole Q bank properly and have an enough time do the revision, one month, two months???

Thank You,
Rupinder (Fmmedicalstudent)
Hi Rupinder,

You're very welcome.

How much time you need really depends on some feedback you get from an NBME exam after going through your QBank the first time. I suggest you do an NBME once you've gone through the 1st time, taken your notes, and had some time to study a bit. See where you are weak and strong, then from there I suggest taking 1 week of directed study at the weak areas, in addition to general review of your strengths. Then after going through the 2nd time, do another NBME, by this time you should have few weaknesses, and use the feedback from that NBME to tailor the last couple weeks of your review to those subjects. Lets say you have 2 weak areas (ex. neuro, behavioral), take a week for each topic, dedicating time to intensely studying that subject and strengthening those areas. If you have more weaknesses, you'll need more time. But in general, a week for each weakness should be plenty of time to bring them up.

And just an FYI... When looking at your NBME results, consider anything that crosses the 'borderline' into lower area to be a weakness, while anything that is completely to the right of that borderline marker to be a strength.

I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 09-04-2013
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Thanks so much Dr. Paul! Really appreciate your advice!

From
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Originally Posted by fmmedicalstudent View Post
Thanks so much Dr. Paul! Really appreciate your advice!

From
Rupinder

No problem. Good luck.
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Old 09-06-2013
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Default Paul need your guidance

Dear Paul,

I am preparing for step 1 exam. My family tells me to do as many questions as I can and learn from that. Dont read books. I am studying from the UW question online and reading from FA 2013. Is this method good? I plan to do NBME close to the exam. Any suggestions from you will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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