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-   -   Ultimate Qbank Strategy (https://www.usmle-forums.com/general-topics-recommended-threads/309-ultimate-qbank-strategy.html)

StepTaker 08-27-2009 03:47 PM

Ultimate Qbank Strategy
 
There are several ways in which you can tackle your USMLE qbanks in preparation for the exams.

One of the most successful strategies is this;

Do Three Qbanks [for example Kaplan qbank and USMLE World and NBME]

Qbank Number 1
  • Practice Kaplan qbank [or any other recognized step 1 or step 2 CK qbank] right after finishing your primary study [for example Kaplan Lecture Notes, First Aid, or whatever].
  • Do it un-timed [tutor mode] in small blocks. Subject wise, [for example one week of pathology-only or medicine-only questions followed by another week of physiology-only or surgery-only questions].
  • Read the answers and explanations thoroughly and go back to your primary materials for things that you have forgotten or to add more bits of information or new concepts you gained from the questions. This will constitute your secondary reading of the original materials.
  • Your pace may be in the range of 30-70 questions* per day.
  • Your total number of questions varies, see this step 1 post and this step 2 CK post for details.
Qbank Number 2
  • Practice USMLE World [or any other recognized step 1 or step 2 CK qbank] after finishing all subjects and/or systems in qbank 1 above.
  • Do it timed, in blocks of 50. Select all subjects and systems.
  • Do not waste time reading answers and explanations in details unless it's completely a new knowledge or a new concept.
  • Your pace may be in the range of 150-450* questions per day, note this is not platelet count!
  • Your total number of questions varies 1500-3000, see this step 1 post and this step 2 CK post for details.

Qbank Number 3
  • Proceed to NBME [only NBME not any other qbank] when you have consistently averaged above 55%** in qbank 2 above. see this post for best time to take NBME.
  • No need for more than 2 NBME forms.
  • If you get more than 500*** in NBME then go take the exam, if not you may repeat the above cycle with less number of questions over a shorter period of time.
* This depends on what's your USMLE score target and how much time is available for you.
** This is specific for USMLE World, other qbanks may vary in score prediction.
*** This is if you aim at more than 220 score in USMLE, it can be less or more according to your target.

PS: the choice of Kaplan then USMLE World is not absolute. You can do whatever combination of recognizable qbanks. However, I personally recommend USMLE World specifically for your qbank 2 as students feedback telling that it's most closely related to the actual exam.




randausmle 08-27-2009 05:13 PM

Thanks for such a great guide
I have a question
What is the benefit of dividing the qbanks into tutor qbank 1 then timed qbank 2?

StepTaker 08-27-2009 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randausmle (Post 670)
Thanks for such a great guide
I have a question
What is the benefit of dividing the qbanks into tutor qbank 1 then timed qbank 2?

Here are the benefits:

  • Doing a tutor mode first will buy you time as you'll be doing both questions and reviewing your primary materials.
  • Most students start slow with questions and so it's better to avoid initial overwhelming number of questions.
  • Doing subject/system specific blocks initially will usually yield high results as you will be reading only that specific subject during that week. This will encourage you and get you going and avoid the frustration seen if you take timed whole blocks from the start.
  • Switching to timed block later in the study plan will shape you up for the approaching exam date and gives you an idea about your overall performance so that things are clearer.
  • If you do tutor then timed whole blocks in the same qbank your average performance will be erronous as you won't be able to know that for example your average 50% score is actually due to [70% untimed qs] and [30% timed qs]! Though have to say that USMLERx have come around this problem but letting you segment your reports.





aausmle 08-27-2009 09:37 PM

How about the common recommendation that says

Do exactly like the exam day
which means 7 to 8 blocks in exactly the same timing and environment as the real exam

You did not mention that in your ultimate strategy!

StepTaker 08-27-2009 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aausmle (Post 674)
How about the common recommendation that says

Do exactly like the exam day
which means 7 to 8 blocks in exactly the same timing and environment as the real exam

You did not mention that in your ultimate strategy!

In my personal experience, I did not do that
I don't think it's extremely important to do it
On the exam day, you are different
Your epinephrine is shooting and you'll definitely make it through the day
You don't need to exhaust yourself practicing killing exam days




USMLE-Syndrome 01-03-2011 06:54 AM

i want advise
i end my 1st reading for step 2ck using kaplan books material only
and i have kaplan qbank
so i start solving question of psych and i solved all the questions in 4_5 days timed but usually i solve only 44 questions per day and 17to 20 questions are wrong answered and now after i end all psych questions i return to my primary material (kaplan) for fast review so is that what u mean that after we end questions we return to our primary material ??
and i want to ask is it 17 to 20 wrong answer from 44 questions is bad?
thanks

StepTaker 01-03-2011 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miss patho (Post 23520)
i want advise
i end my 1st reading for step 2ck using kaplan books material only
and i have kaplan qbank
so i start solving question of psych and i solved all the questions in 4_5 days timed but usually i solve only 44 questions per day and 17to 20 questions are wrong answered and now after i end all psych questions i return to my primary material (kaplan) for fast review so is that what u mean that after we end questions we return to our primary material ??
and i want to ask is it 17 to 20 wrong answer from 44 questions is bad?
thanks

No, I meant that you go and review the material after each question or a block of questions not after finishing all that subject questions, but anyway I think what you did is just fine.
Also, scoring 24-27 correct out of 44 means 57 to 61% which is not bad, but it would be perfect if you touch the 65%.




USMLE-Syndrome 01-03-2011 10:58 AM

thanks for ur reply

Quote:

Also, scoring 24-27 correct out of 44 means 57 to 61% which is not bad, but it would be perfect if you touch the 65%.
so what do u advise me to do so that i can reach 65% and if i am getting 61% what do u think that my score will be in real exam?? should i change my reading and solving questions strategy????

StepTaker 01-03-2011 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miss patho (Post 23544)
so what do u advise me to do so that i can reach 65% and if i am getting 61% what do u think that my score will be in real exam?? should i change my reading and solving questions strategy????

61% is a good score and you'll get over 90 in the exam. To move to 65% and more you need to keep doing what you are doing. More questions, more review of materials.




imcv 09-06-2011 12:15 PM

this is incredibly helpful! been trying to make a good step 1 studying sched. thank you for this! Happy-2

billy 09-26-2012 11:11 AM

Thank you very much:).

wenskyrose 10-21-2012 01:30 AM

Thank you for the guidance. This does sound like the best strategy and that too tailormade for us!:happy:

Dr.Medo280 10-27-2016 11:48 PM

I've noticed that, it has been 7 years since this post, so I hope everyone is alive and well by now ?.
However, I'm seeking for help regarding this area, and I consider my self in the first part of this strategy.
I've started with kaplan Qbank, and the problem is it takes alot alot of time, reading between all the explanations and reviews, so it makes it even hard to finish 15q in 3hours!!! which takes you to the disappointment corner.
Anyway,I will appreciate any kind of help, strategy, experience or advice.

At the end,thanks

fafa86 04-15-2017 09:20 AM

useful post thanks for this


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