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Old 06-27-2016
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Idea! NBME-Medicine Shelf Exam (Study Strategy)


I am currently studying for the NBME Internal Medicine shelf and I would like some feedback on my strategy going into the exam. I take the exam at the end of July.

I am currently doing 44 question, random, timed, UW questions to assess my progress. When I finish a quiz I tally up all the questions that took me over 80 seconds (1 minute, 20 seconds) to complete. Once I have that list, I sort them into questions I got correct and questions I got incorrect. Then I sort them by time.

1. Incorrect over 80sec (These Q can use improvement on timing)
2. Correct over 80sec (These Q waste time and indicate lack of knowledge)

The remaining questions I don't bother studying, but there are metrics for those too.

3. Incorrect under 60sec (These questions indicate serious lack of knowledge. I selected the answer thinking that I was correct when really I was incorrect.)
4. Correct under 60sec (These questions might have been correct by chance, inaccurate knowledge, or incomplete knowledge)

The first two metrics are going to save me a lot of time and If I believe that I can get question types 3 and 4 correct again, all I need to do is read them once to review. Question types 1 and 2 are deeply concerning and I plan to take roughly 3-4 hours to review those topics in depth. Each of those questions will get a full write up and sequential review (later).

I would like to do at least two blocks per day (44x1.5min=66min, 1HR 6min, 3 HR Review = Total = 3HR + 1HR 6min = 4HR 6min) (Two sessions = 8HR 12min)

I'm on rotation for two more weeks so my sleeping schedule is suffering. I'm getting 5HR sleep per night.

What do you think of this approach? It rests on the assumption that the questions that I get correct in UW, I will get correct on the NBME Internal Medicine shelf.

Do you think it would be wise to include Kaplan Q-Bank later on when my percentage levels climb above 50% in UW? What metric would you use to add a Q-Bank? Would you consider adding Kaplan Q-Bank? Did you use Kaplan? If so, how? I was annoyed by the pulmonary videos because he was reading from the presentation rather than interpreting the information like Conrad Fisher does. Did you watch those videos? I don't think that watching videos is good use of my time given the well organized and well-thought out questioning available at UW. Each question is like a tiny textbook.

Thank you so much for your feedback!

Lastly: Failure to complete a practice quiz on time reflects lack of knowledge if there are >10% of type 2 questions (this is an arbitrary metric)

Also: This is my second attempt at taking this exam. I read MTB Step 2 CK, watched all the Kaplan HY videos, watched the Emma Ramahi video twice, and did roughly 100 practice questions to prepare for my 1st attempt. I understand that this was not enough. My IM rotation was intense and did not leave time to read or study (please don't ask). Failing my first attempt was a major setback and a real confidence killer. I understand that I need some serious remediation and that is why I am taking my time reviewing the UW Step 2 QBank.
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Old 06-27-2016
USMLE Forums Newbie
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Posts: 7
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Originally Posted by Dr. Denver View Post
1. Incorrect over 80sec (These Q waste time and indicate lack of knowledge)
2. Correct over 80sec (These Q can use improvement on timing)

This is the correct metric. I apologize for the mistake. I cannot edit a thread that I start. I can only submit it to the admins for deletion and then repost it. I am still getting used to the forum.

Thank you
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