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Kaplan and UWorld; the race goes on
by Syndromic 04-15-2010, 02:10 PM

Undoubtedly, the two most popular qbanks in USMLE preparation are Kaplan Qbank and USMLEWorld. These two companies have been thriving on our pockets for quite a while now.

And it seems that the best way to attract the idiot "Genius" students is by simply increasing the questions difficulty. The more the bank is difficult the more its perceived as better. This is human nature, they always go for the challenge.

So our two buddies have been upping their difficulty levels year after year to the point that a race has developed behind the doors.

However, they tackle this issue quite differently.

Kaplan, always inserting questions about "never-heard-of" facts. They find the rarest possible syndrome and the latest journal update and put it there. It seems working, coz people will say "wow, I never knew that".

UW, on the other hand, seems to stick to the high yield topics. So their method of increasing the difficulty is by making the most ever twisted, screwed, spiraled, wiggled, and zigzag thought processing in order to inflict mind bogging! It also seems working. coz people will say "wow, am so stupid not to answer that question".

In reality, none of these strategies is being followed by our "uncles" in the NBME. Yes, there are difficult questions in the real exam but they are not difficult in that sense, they are difficult in the sense of "Rarest of common and Commonest of Rare". So they'll ask you about the weirdest thing you'll ever imagine in a diabetic patient, yet they'll ask you a very simple superficial fact about a very rare syndrome such as I-cell disease.

And so my friends let's keep watching this interesting race and see who wins!

Post your thoughts about this ...
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Views 15853 Comments 6

Total Comments 6


Old 04-15-2010
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 187
Threads: 4
Reputation: 433
Great wars have no winners & losers... Only lessons for the generations to come! LOL Btw, you are absolutely right about the strategy of each question bank, as well as their correlation to the real thing.
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Old 07-04-2010
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 12
Threads: 2
Reputation: 11
thx ...totaly right
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Old 07-04-2010
Steps History: 1 + CK
Posts: 137
Threads: 49
Reputation: 142
My idea


U may be right but I did only UW and got 95. Therefore if somebody asks me which one do u think is better? I'd answer UW.

The fact that there all work is for money is so obvious as sun... , however, we must achieve our target anyway....so I think we should prefer UW more than Kaplan.....
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Old 09-19-2011
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 16
Threads: 2
Reputation: 15
Does that mean the Kaplan Q bank will prepare us for the "Commonest of Rarest" questions and the USMLE W will help to ace the "rarest of common" questions?
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Old 01-18-2012
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 11
Threads: 0
Reputation: 10
hey people my kaplan qbank average is a 68% right now after 1150 questions. i need to take the nbme comp exam in 2 weeks and dont know if a 68 % on kaplan qbank is a good indication of being prepared for both the nbme exam and step 1. would really appreciate some feedback
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Old 12-25-2013
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 69
Threads: 16
Reputation: 103
Random but irritating point.

UW: It tells you: What % of people chose each option a,b,c,d,e, etc.
Kaplan: Only tells you % of people who chose the CORRECT answer. It leaves all the other choices up for imagination.

Its frustrating when you make an INCORRECT selection, and you are interested in knowing "how off was i? " or " how many people made the same mistake as i did?"
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