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  #1  
Old 01-24-2011
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Help I worried about my study progress...

Hi All,

After I completed 12 (random, unused, timed etc) Kaplan online q-bank I started to really worry about my study process ...

I'm 40-year-old and graduated medical school about 12 years ago, so my knowledge is not very fresh. Before online Kaplan q-bank I studied at least one cycle all disciplines - it is difficult to say how much time it took because it was spread in time (work, my kids, immigration process etc).
The problem is that my score in q-bank like WAVES! Look -> 52%-34%-32%-36%-41%-23%-32%-30%-47%-30%-50%-30%. I really don't see any progress (or stability) but I've done 1/4 of the q-bank. I use the q-bank about 1,5 month - after each block I spend couple days for study explanation and look some books/internet resources about it. I really can study effectively only 5-6 hours per day.

May be I am doing something wrong?
Does someone had some problems like that?
Any suggestions, comments - welcome.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2011
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Arrow Improved on your background before questions

Once cycle of reading of your primary materials is NOT enough. You need to at least read twice.
Do not spread your efforts right and left, focus on one series, and let me suggest Kaplan Lecture Notes, read it twice, then start doing questions.

Your Kaplan Qbank performance is not good at all. It will not improve if you don't get a solid background reading.

All the luck,
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2011
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Thank you for answer.
I read disciplines at least 1 time, but some disciplines I read more than 1 cycle and watched video, did question in Kaplan notes, Kaplan q-book. When I read something like biochemistry my brain in short time just ignores information looks like it switches on "firewall". In other words I would say I spent a lot time for reading and study... I started kaplan q-banks because it looked like a stimul for me, I thought that may be working with cases (in Kaplan) would be more effectively study for my personal brain.
May be I was wrong, may be I too old for USMLE
I know lot of people who can memorize lot info just by reading it even one time it seems not for me...
So I posted my topic here not for complain but possible someone had such situation and found his/her way and could suggest me something. I don't believe that I alone in such sutuation.
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Old 01-24-2011
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Smile

Read Kaplan Again, go through First Aid along with kaplan, and aggregate notes in FA from kaplan. Then start the questions again.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2011
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As I read Kaplan (or even Power points from back in the day) I used to summarize the whole chapter in a notebook and I used to do it for every subject. Now that I am finished with the Kaplan lectures I will go over the notes only. It usually takes 1-2 pages of notes to summarize the whole chapter, but it includes everything so that when you go back to read it it goes by faster. Also make sure to label the pages so if you need to reference something you can go back and check it. This takes a lot of time to do. but it is good to do while reading. Hope it helps.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2011
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yes...i agree with above post..it takes time to make notes but it will help u in future...
if u plan to make notes make sure u make it 1 line note n simple..
n other important point is revise it a next day!!!
i am doing physio n it takes hard work to make to-the-point-notes...but next day when i revise those notes early morning..it takes me only 1 hour to revise 50 pages of kaplan.. i feel like it has rewarded my hard work..
dont get freak out with wrong questions...it means ull work hard with those wrong ones n it will stay in ur mind for long time...
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2011
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Default be confident

Quote:
Originally Posted by deyneko View Post
Thank you for answer.
I read disciplines at least 1 time, but some disciplines I read more than 1 cycle and watched video, did question in Kaplan notes, Kaplan q-book. When I read something like biochemistry my brain in short time just ignores information looks like it switches on "firewall". In other words I would say I spent a lot time for reading and study... I started kaplan q-banks because it looked like a stimul for me, I thought that may be working with cases (in Kaplan) would be more effectively study for my personal brain.
May be I was wrong, may be I too old for USMLE
I know lot of people who can memorize lot info just by reading it even one time it seems not for me...
So I posted my topic here not for complain but possible someone had such situation and found his/her way and could suggest me something. I don't believe that I alone in such sutuation.
no age is old age for learning new things. u can get through usmle without any problem. only thing that u seem to lack now is courage. even 5-6hrs a day is a very good time if utilised properly. u just need to concentrate. u being an old graduate, can more easily manage the questions with clinical vignettes.
keep every work aside for some days and try to dedicate much of your time for studying. it is better to get your basics strong before starting the qbanks. that will add to your confidence. dont worry, be confident, work hard. give ur best shot... leave the rest to god. u will rock. good luck.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2011
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Default Nothing will stop you

Well don't take the score that you are having as a self assessment. Since you haven't finish to cover all the materials yet. Same happen to me for the UW q-bank. I knew not to panic because I used it as a learning tools. May be when you are doing questions you are stress out about the score you will get after the test is done instead of concentrating on the test it self and the concepts. If so it will make your score even lower.
Again, since you have the q-bank already just do questions as one of your learning tools (if not you will loose your money). Using too many sources is not helping with memory either.
I know how you feel. It is going to be a long way but we will make it. You must be already a good physician so don't let a test stop you from practicing medicine everywhere in the world. Let's go for it! forget the scores for now JUST READ WHY YOUR ANSWER WAS WRONG AND WHY THE CORRECT ANSWER WAS CORRECT FOR EACH QUESTION.
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2011
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I think everyone's right that the reason you are not scoring well on the material is that you haven't mastered the concepts. The qbank is a great learning tool, and I would highly recommend this strategy because it's been working for me so far.
First, based on your scores you are not ready for random questions. You need to approach studying in small bite size pieces. By that I mean that you need to make a day to day schedule of what your studying, and do a chunk each day. Since you have already gone through Kaplan LNs once, I would suggest using FA at this point as your main source, then re-read Kaplan for anything you're struggling with. Here's an example of how to make your schedule if you have 5 hours in a day:
Day 1: Use 2 hours to read+ understand GI physiology in FA. Do 20 q bank questions on just GI physiology. Review answers, annotate FA, clarify things you don't understand with Kaplan LNs.
Day 2: read GI path. Do 20 questions on BOTH GI physiology + pathology. Review answers.
Keep going like this, and the benefit is that you're always doing questions so you don't forget things you learned a week ago. By the time you get though all your topics you will be doing random blocks, then you can repeat the bank or switch to UWorld. I would suggest trying this strategy, your scores will definitely improve.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2011
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Thanks very much for all answers and thanks a lot about your support!
At first I decided to lay by to write now I know what to do etc But I know you all very smart persons
Unfortunately I didn't find suitable answer/way for me and how to resolve my problem yet... Even I little bit regret that I posted my complain-like topic... Terrible, terrible sorry for my direct speech. But I don't surrender - I sure I will find the resolving my problem!
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2011
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Default my opinion

I think fluctuation in Q banks scores occurs only if great part of the answers is based on guessing or uncertain thinking.. yes, some answers should depend on guessing even with the best students but I think this part is huge in your case.

I think here is the solution

1. read another reading subject by subject e.g physiology then biochemistry ... etc.

2. after reading a subject, go to Q bank and choose questions of this subject.. here is the most important for you; do not answer question except if you are sure of its answer and here, you will get your real score ( which may be frustrating but surprisingly fixed!!).

3. then revise questions you did not answer due to uncertainty and read these topics again.. Uncertainity of a subject means shallow knowledge which is still good base but just needs reinforcement by question-guided study.

4. finally, with finishing the last subject, begin to answer randamized blocks and it is better to be from another Q bank

I am old IMG too.. good luck, dear friend.
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