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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. My exam is in 20 days, and I feel I don't have enough information about the day of the exam. Especially about how things are supposed to be like. All I know is there are 7 blocks of mixed questions, 1 hour each, and 1 hour of rest.

The center I'll be taking the test at is in another city, 3 hours away, so I can't even give it a visit now. I have questions about these points that I hope somebody would help me with:

  1. How will I be able to keep track of break time? I suppose there's a timer on the screen.. right?
  2. During breaks, can I go anywhere I like?
  3. I have all my notes on a Palm portable device (there's no phone in it). Will I be able to check my notes in the breaks?
  4. Any recommendations about certain food to eat in the breaks?
Sorry about these seemingly dumb questions, but I guess we all watch trailers before going to watch the movie itself! :D

Thank you.
 

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I want to know the answers to some of these questions too! I can tell you what I know from giving the practice exam at the test center. (By the way, you may want to do that. I'm less stressed about the exam process after visiting the center and doing a practice exam.) I don't know about the center where you will be taking the exam, but the one I went to was SUPER cold. I was literally shivering, so I know to bring a nice fleece jacket for the real exam. You may want to dress in layers. You go in and there's a security guard there who has a list of the people who are going to take the test. You show him or her your ID (passport, govt id, etc) and sign and write the name of your school. Then the guard gives you a key for a locker and directs you inside. You can put your stuff in the locker or chill for awhile if you're early. Find out where the bathroom is located. Make sure your phone is off or on silent. You won't be allowed to enter the exam room until the person who administers the exam arrives. That person will give you an overview of everything and check your passport/ID and your permit paper. Then you go in one by one after showing the security guard your empty pockets and being wanded (I don't think that's a word but you know what I mean.) by a metal detector. You go inside and show your passport and permit again and get fingerprinted and sign a paper. You are given a whiteboard type of paper and dry erase pens and an eraser. You write your name and ID number at the top. Then you go to your seat and get your headphones and press to start the exam. Breaks are monitored by you. The clock on the wall outside the room is set to the same time as the one inside as you sign in and out so I guess you can only monitor your time this way. I believe it tells you how much total break time you have left, but I don't remember. Technically, I think you can go anywhere you want during the breaks but I never left the building. (It was only a few blocks not the real thing so I wasn't that tired or anything.) I have no idea about the palm thing. One guy at the exam brought his laptop but I don't know if he actually used it during the breaks. I know you can bring books and consult them during breaks, but I think I might be too stressed to look at them...we'll see lol. People recommend foods that don't make you sleepy. Nothing too heavy. I would like to know good ideas for food too. Hope this helps a bit. I really hope someone responds to this ASAP! My exam is really soon.
 

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Hello all. My exam is in 20 days, and I feel I don't have enough information about the day of the exam. Especially about how things are supposed to be like. All I know is there are 7 blocks of mixed questions, 1 hour each, and 1 hour of rest.

The center I'll be taking the test at is in another city, 3 hours away, so I can't even give it a visit now. I have questions about these points that I hope somebody would help me with:

  1. How will I be able to keep track of break time? I suppose there's a timer on the screen.. right?
  2. During breaks, can I go anywhere I like?
  3. I have all my notes on a Palm portable device (there's no phone in it). Will I be able to check my notes in the breaks?
  4. Any recommendations about certain food to eat in the breaks?
Sorry about these seemingly dumb questions, but I guess we all watch trailers before going to watch the movie itself! :D

Thank you.
  1. How will I be able to keep track of break time? I suppose there's a timer on the screen.. right?
Yes there is a timer on the exam. Most people like to do 4 blocks in the morning and 3 blocks in the afternoon. This is because people feel more tired at the end of the day then in the morning.

  1. During breaks, can I go anywhere I like?
Yes, you can go anywheres you like. Once you sign out you are free to do what you like. You can even go awall and not come back.
  1. I have all my notes on a Palm portable device (there's no phone in it). Will I be able to check my notes in the breaks?
Yes, you can check your notes during breaks, but this is ill advised. If you are having to check things then are you truly ready. As well, nothing will be repeated so checking something will only drive you crazy as to what you missed.

Any recommendations about certain food to eat in the breaks?

Bring fruit juice to eat and something light. You don't want to eat heavy and then get tired. You should be doing some fake exams at your house and prepare like its the real thing... mix and match and find out what works for you. Me, I had 2 pop at the start of the day and then switched to some juice, with a banana and apple and a little bit of sugar
 

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Do the Prometric or FRED

How will I be able to keep track of break time? I suppose there's a timer on the screen.. right?
Whenever you submit a block a screen will pop up telling you the remaining time of the day and remaining exam time. By simple subtraction you can know how much break time remaining.

I suggest you take the Prometric Test before the exam so that you know where to park, what time to go, the city, any good restaurant nearby, ..etc
For more information see this
http://www.usmle-forums.com/general...hreads/719-usmle-prometric-practice-test.html

If that's not an option for you then I suggest you do the free three blocks of FRED that comes from USMLE.org for more information read this
http://www.usmle-forums.com/general...ree-practice-questions-free-150-usmle-cd.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies..

I intend to use my Palm just to go through those 'forgettables', not to check on any previous question. But may be you're correct about not revising at all in the breaks. I'll see if I can resist the urge!

What about the paper that somebody had mentioned in another thread that it would be given to you? I wonder what this is.
 

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Thanks for the replies..

I intend to use my Palm just to go through those 'forgettables', not to check on any previous question. But may be you're correct about not revising at all in the breaks. I'll see if I can resist the urge!

What about the paper that somebody had mentioned in another thread that it would be given to you? I wonder what this is.
You get 2 pieces of "paper" or white board (or whatever colour it is in your testing centre). You can use it to write whatever you want in it WHILE in the exam room but nothing before.

What i did was write out my biochem pathways and my Gram - and + algorythms before I started my exam. Calmed me down
 

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Thanks for the replies..

I intend to use my Palm just to go through those 'forgettables', not to check on any previous question. But may be you're correct about not revising at all in the breaks. I'll see if I can resist the urge!

What about the paper that somebody had mentioned in another thread that it would be given to you? I wonder what this is.
Have a look here for further details about this
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-step-1-forum/1001-paper-notes-during-exam.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This would be really helpful! I wish I knew about this earlier as I hated writing notes on the FRED interface while taking exam blocks. I think it could've saved me a lot of biostatistics and math mistakes..

Thanks for the info :happy:
 

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thanks

I want to know the answers to some of these questions too! I can tell you what I know from giving the practice exam at the test center. (By the way, you may want to do that. I'm less stressed about the exam process after visiting the center and doing a practice exam.) I don't know about the center where you will be taking the exam, but the one I went to was SUPER cold. I was literally shivering, so I know to bring a nice fleece jacket for the real exam. You may want to dress in layers. You go in and there's a security guard there who has a list of the people who are going to take the test. You show him or her your ID (passport, govt id, etc) and sign and write the name of your school. Then the guard gives you a key for a locker and directs you inside. You can put your stuff in the locker or chill for awhile if you're early. Find out where the bathroom is located. Make sure your phone is off or on silent. You won't be allowed to enter the exam room until the person who administers the exam arrives. That person will give you an overview of everything and check your passport/ID and your permit paper. Then you go in one by one after showing the security guard your empty pockets and being wanded (I don't think that's a word but you know what I mean.) by a metal detector. You go inside and show your passport and permit again and get fingerprinted and sign a paper. You are given a whiteboard type of paper and dry erase pens and an eraser. You write your name and ID number at the top. Then you go to your seat and get your headphones and press to start the exam. Breaks are monitored by you. The clock on the wall outside the room is set to the same time as the one inside as you sign in and out so I guess you can only monitor your time this way. I believe it tells you how much total break time you have left, but I don't remember. Technically, I think you can go anywhere you want during the breaks but I never left the building. (It was only a few blocks not the real thing so I wasn't that tired or anything.) I have no idea about the palm thing. One guy at the exam brought his laptop but I don't know if he actually used it during the breaks. I know you can bring books and consult them during breaks, but I think I might be too stressed to look at them...we'll see lol. People recommend foods that don't make you sleepy. Nothing too heavy. I would like to know good ideas for food too. Hope this helps a bit. I really hope someone responds to this ASAP! My exam is really soon.
You helped alot,thanks
 
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