Bad at NBME... good at UW?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by johndoe3344, 05.06.12.

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  1. johndoe3344

    johndoe3344 5+ Year Member

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    I have a little more than 2 weeks for my exam, so if anyone can give me any suggestions on what might be causing this problem, I'd be very appreciative.

    I seem to be doing disproportionately well on UW and UW-style questions. My typical UW average for a timed, random block is usually 70-80%. Similarly, when I took the UWSA1, I got around 76% which translated to a 250+. However, a week ago, I took the NBME 11 and I got a 224. Granted, I studied hard during that one week (finished up the remainder of my organ systems... so maybe around 3 or 4 organ systems?), but even taking into account that UWSA typically overpredicts by around 10 points, that's still a very pronounced discrepancy.

    Obviously, the NBME is the better predictor at performance on the real thing, but for whatever reason I just don't do as well on the NBMEs. What do you guys suggest I do?
     
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  3. mdeast

    mdeast 5+ Year Member

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    I feel you too. A lot of it I feel is that (personally) I tend to do better comparably on hard questions than I do on easy questions. In other words, I'm bad at remembering easy facts like drug interactions, bugs, etc. that are supposedly "easy" points on NBMEs. The curve on UWorld means that you can still get a lot wrong and do well. NBMEs are all about minimizing wrong answers as much as possible to get up above 85 or so for an amazing score. Thus, I'm really good at getting 70-75% on UWorld, but not as good as improving that percentage on NBME's because I miss supposedly "easy" questions that are supposed to bump up my score.

    I'd concentrate on making sure you know all the memorization tables in First Aid, Bugs, drugs, interactions, etc. if you're having a similar problem.
     
  4. phd89

    phd89 5+ Year Member

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    I feel the same way I got 193/380 on NBME 5 with 142/200 when i checked my answers offline. Thats 71% which means you need greater than 72% just to break a 200 on the NBMEs, why are the curves insane and is that how we should expect the real exam to be?
     
  5. XRanger

    XRanger Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Yea the curve on NBME (and the real thing) is insane. I believe you need around 80% correct for 220
     
  6. JasonE

    JasonE 5+ Year Member

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    how do you know the curve on the real thing is insane? do they even report % correct?
     
  7. iheartmints

    iheartmints 2+ Year Member

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    There's some pattern to the way UWorld asks certain stuff and after a while you start to pick up on certain things. I think what makes the NBME difficult is that there is no pattern and the curve is very strict
     
  8. shadowfox87

    shadowfox87 7+ Year Member

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    same thing here...Doing 80s on UW, but getting avg on NBME due to their curve. You have to get like 90% on NBME to reach 240-250 based on their scale..
     
  9. Girfaroo

    Girfaroo 5+ Year Member

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    I'm kind of the opposite... my UWorld average is definitely lower than what I would like, and I am doing better on the NBMEs than that average would suggest. Does that mean I'm in trouble for the real thing? I'm hoping it just means I'm learning by doing questions.
     
  10. blessyourheart

    blessyourheart

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    to start Uworld 1: 221
    1 week in NMBE13: 210
    2 weeks in Uworld 2: 242

    I'm gonna hope and pray Uworld is more predictive but I really think it has a lot to do with which test you got
     
  11. Chaoticsheath

    Chaoticsheath 2+ Year Member

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    I did about 26 pts worse on nbme 11 than i did on the other nbmes, if that is worth ne thing. Anyway, trust U world more. I took the step 1 exam today. GRUELING. And somehow, it was WAYYY more like UWORLD than the nbmes. Like wtf???
     
  12. Chaoticsheath

    Chaoticsheath 2+ Year Member

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    but let me qualify that by saying that the UWSAs over predict, especially number 2
     
  13. HelpPleaseMD

    HelpPleaseMD 2+ Year Member

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    man that sucks lol. I am taking it tomorrow o_O. gonna come back mad tired
     
  14. njmedstudent973

    njmedstudent973 2+ Year Member

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    When you get your score id be interested to see if your uworld qbank was a better predictor cause I'm in the same boat right now and according to other posts nbme is pretty dead on. But then others say if you can do uworld you'll be fine and that the real exam was easier than uworld. I dunno maybe cause I have my font on large with uworld I find it less grueling to read through the questions than wit nbme screen. For some reason my eyes get so fatigued and strained from reading those questions. Like I have glasses but that doesn't seem to help lol.
     
  15. shadowfox87

    shadowfox87 7+ Year Member

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    ahh finally took an another NBME and went up by 25 points. I find that the reason NBME seems harder than UW is because those extra 4 questions at the end. I'm always feeling like I'm running out of time and rushing. On the real USMLE, it's going to be 46 qs in 1 hour though, exactly like UW.
     
  16. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck 7+ Year Member

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    But you have 65 minutes on NBMEs for 50 questions. UWSA gives you 60 minutes for 46 questions.
     
  17. shadowfox87

    shadowfox87 7+ Year Member

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    Yea I know lol, it just felt longer to me for some reason. I don't like those extra 4 questions, just seems unnatural.
     
  18. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck 7+ Year Member

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    LOL. Yea. how are you and everyone else making that transition from Uworld/UWSA to NBME's. I feel NBMEs are more convoluted. I am still struggling with that transition. Suggestions are welcome.
     
  19. shadowfox87

    shadowfox87 7+ Year Member

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    Well, the more you do them, the better you get. There's really nothing else. The NBME screen also is not that great (questions are stretched, no calculator, etc.). Thankfully, the real test will be like UW screen.
     
  20. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck 7+ Year Member

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    True.
     

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