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I was compelled to write about this as I've seen thousands of medical students are being fooled by the USMLE World mania!

Most students are shocked when they see their scores drop down significantly when they switch from Kaplan Qbank to USMLE World and they then deduce that USMLE World is a better and more intelligent qbank than Kaplan. But is that correct?

OK, here's my story. I did Kaplan Qbank and I averaged around 67% which their score estimator says it reflects 238 three digit USMLE score. I did USMLE World and my score was never above 55% which is kinda scary if you see what people are predicting from such a "awfully low" score. But I went ahead and took the exam and guess what, I got exactly 238 (which is 99)!!

So what's going on with USMLE World?

The people behind USMLE World have figured out how to impress students which is by simply putting very difficult questions. They do this by including lower yield topics, or lower yield details of a high yield topic, or by asking questions that require great deal of analytic power, or by simply lengthening the question stem rendering your available time less, or by putting misleading "Fooling" options to confuse us.

Dear friends, the real exam is not like that. It might be true that you find three or four questions per block that is similar to USMLE World style but the majority of the questions are straight forward and focus on high yield topics and asking salient direct questions that test your understanding of the various concepts.

I firmly believe that Kaplan Qbank is far more representative of the real exam (at least for USMLE Step 1 as I didn't do CK yet). It has an adequate mixture of easy and difficult questions that's truly the case in USMLE.

Do not be fooled by USMLE World. When you are doing the USMLE World you will get a sense that the exam is about fooling us and about tiny mini details that even our professors are not aware of. This is good in a way that it will raise your anxiety level and will make you digging harder into your materials but apart from these two advantages don't take it any further.

USMLE World is not realistic...
 

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