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Is the Kaplan Qbank worth it

Discussion in 'Step I' started by phd89, Apr 17, 2012.

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  1. phd89

    phd89

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    So i went through the Uworld bank once and still have a month left I decided to buy the kaplan qbank and as im going though it I've noticed that for me at least it is quite harder than the Uwrold Qbank, they seem to test a lot of minuscule detailed stuff and poor conceptual information in First Aid. I'm guessing they are not that HY in their questions is that right or is the Kap qbank like the real deal and I should go though it to fix up my deficiencies????
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. Bernoull

    Bernoull

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    Ultimately, more Qs is always better; it reinforces what you know and exposes what you don't. I haven't tried UW, but I've done some Kaplan and I liked the questions and I thought the explanations were good.

    Yes, they can be picky at times, but as long as u're learning from it, that's the whole point...

    my $0.02
  3. missmedschool

    missmedschool MS3

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    I really feel like the "minutiae" in Kaplan is overexaggerated. Why? I don't know, because most of the questions in the Kaplan QBank reference the exact page in FA you can go to. I'm almost done with Kaplan QBank and I absolutely love it. I finished UWorld a while ago. Kaplan and UWorld are totally different. I feel that UWorld's questions are written better, but Kaplan has really helped me learn a LOT of stuff that I just glance over in FA. Kaplan has been invaluable to me, in my opinion.

    Everyone says that Kaplan has an increased amount of minuscule questions. I just find this hard to believe, as I'm almost done with the QBank,and probably 95% of all their questions tell you the exact FA page to go to. I feel that Kaplan has developed this stereotype of testing minutiae, but then when you actually use the QBank, it's not true at all. Both UWorld and Kaplan have an equal amount of minutiae, in my opinion.

    I would tell you to actually go through the Kaplan QBank for a while before coming to the opinion that their questions are overly detailed. Just my 2 cents
  4. mdeast

    mdeast

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    I overall feel that Kaplan QBank is best used as a learning tool. I.e. Timed Tutor mode, helping you go through First Aid. I've been doing it immediately after reviewing a section and before going to UWorld. UWorld questions are better and more Step I like, so they actually prepare you to take the exam. Kaplan QBank helps to fill in further factoid holes that UWorld doesn't.

    It's a larger QBank as well. So for particular subjects that UWorld maybe only has 80-100 questions on....Kaplan may have 150-200 additional.

    I feel like Kaplan + UWorld seems like the most high yield combo. They compliment each other well and help round out your studying in specific areas. Definitely don't forget about UWorld though. It's definitely a better tool overall.
  5. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor

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    More questions = absolutely better. The # of questions you complete, understand and learn from associates directly with your score like the Hb-O2 dissociation curve. People claim there's a plateau phase, but it's like buying potential, rather than kinetic, energy (i.e. you're building security rather than mere score augmentation as you do >2 QBank's worth of questions).

    I have not yet gotten to the Kaplan QBank. I'm in the process of finishing up USMLE Rx at the moment. However, I've done a few sections from the Kaplan Qbook, not QBank, and it is TOTALLY minutiae. Maybe this is where they largely get their reputation from. For example, I had some question on ridiculously specific eye embryology, and I just remember thinking, "I could take the UMSMLE 40 times and never get a question like this."
  6. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator

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    I was able to score it for free as a promotion, but honestly I wouldn't have bought it and I don't intend to buy it for step 2. I agree that more questions is better, but I'm glad that I focused my time on redoing USMLEWorld rather than doing Qbank. I DID do about 25% of Qbank when all was said and done. I ended up doing just the easy high yield questions to make sure I had all the basics down. The harder questions just got me frustrated because many were so out there.
  7. doxycycline

    doxycycline

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    Yeah I have USMLE world and Kaplan Qbank and I've done like 53% qbank and like 4% usmle world (i just got it for 2 months before my test/havent rlly started board studying yet). I used kaplan throughout the year and increased my usage these past few months and comparing the 2 I'd say Kaplan is by far more difficult and they do point out details you'd prob never hafta know (altho who rlly knows). I like that they reference first aid right in the qbank altho their explanations are some times skimpy. Uworld has much better explanations but no references which can be annoying and time consuming if ur wanting to annotate every question. I hear uworld is the gold standard so ill prob stop qbank soon and go all uworld but yeah i think i def learned stuff from qbank so id def do it if u got the time.
  8. Lioness12

    Lioness12

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    I agree. The more questions you do the better off.
    What do you guys think of the kaplan q book in comparison to the qbank?
    I have the qbook and don't have too much time. Should I invest in qbank and forget the qbook?
  9. mdeast

    mdeast

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    I think QBank is worth it if you have the time. (i.e. you've already gone through UWorld and need more questions). UWorld should be your #1. But, I've found QBank helpful for other things.

    I too only do the High Yield filter as I got so annoyed by the picky, detail questions that I wanted to try and avoid wasting time with them. They still show up on High Yield as well though :/

    Overall, more questions= better.
  10. iheartmints

    iheartmints

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    I wouldn't bother with the qbook.

    I have my exam scheduled in June and I feel like I don't remember much at all from the Kaplan qbank questions I did over the year. I have around 700 questions left and I think at this point I'm going to just focus on UWorld for as many passes as I can get in.
  11. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    I think the Qbook was useful in 1st/2nd year for content review. At this point, I really like the ability to use the Qbank interface. And $200 is about what some of us pay for a day's worth of med school (if you subtract the weekends/holidays/etc)... there's no question that this $200 is worthwhile.

    That is, after you've finished UWorld.
  12. jatt12

    jatt12

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    I haven't taken my exam yet, but students and my friends who took step1 said it is not worth it, and majority of them scored 250 and above. I think you should just stick to you uworld or usmlerx, and if you really want another one you can sign up for student consult. :thumbup:
  13. Soccer171983

    Soccer171983 Just living the dream....

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    No. Go uworld.
  14. jatt12

    jatt12

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    :thumbup:
  15. colts

    colts

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    I have read that kaplan qbank does not test minutiae and everything that kaplan qbank tests can be found in First Aid as there are page references of where in first aid the answer to the question could be found...this ABSOLUTELY MISLEADING...

    Kaplan does give you page references, but by no means does that page reference help you answer the question. I have seen several questions where it gives you page reference, and the only thing on that page that related to the question is a diagram with label on it (no explanation as to what that structure is or of its clinical significance)...with that being said, its still a pretty good qbank and you definitely learn a lot from it...but it needs to be said that Kaplan qbank most definitely tests minute that is not covered in First Aid
  16. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member

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    I'm mostly finished with the Kaplan QBank. I like their behavioral science Qs and a lot of the physiology stuff. Multimedia questions are great, and some of the explanations are fantastic (pharm).

    But there is a lot of one-step minutiae. I've seen stuff that isn't in Big Robbins. Some very low-yield questions. They do plenty of "What is the best treatment?" questions were they give you five types of tetracyclines.

    Overall, UWorld is much better, but I don't regret going through Kaplan. I actually like the minutiae to keep me honest, but I'm not putting too much stock into my score fluctuations in the qbank because some of the questions are just ridiculously dumb.
  17. LaCasta

    LaCasta

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    I have 8 weeks to study, and I was planning on doing Qbank alongside my first pass of FA then UWorld later on. Should I just do UWorld with my first pass, and then do Qbank later (if needed/if time permits)?
  18. alternatego

    alternatego

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    Hey, I bought Qbank for the time being, as my exam is on Aug 31st, so I have more than enough time to finish it and buy a 2-month suscription to UW.

    What was your % average in Qbank? I'm always fluctuating between 60-70%, and my overall correct is 69%, but I'm only 11% in and doing it system-focused for my 1st pass. I hope it means I'm retaining something, there is just so much stuff to memorize/learn!
  19. secants

    secants about:blank

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    I stupidly bought all three banks thinking I was going to go through them all throughout the year; I overestimated myself. In any case, I also finished my first pass of Uworld, but with going through the wrongs/marked, which is about 500 (overall I was at 71%), resetting and going a second time along with doing the two assessments and at least one NMBE, I just don't have time to touch the other banks.

    If you have time to go through another bank, I'd say do Rx only because the consensus is that it really hammers FA into your brain.
  20. ijn

    ijn

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    If you have a short temper, then save yourself the aggravation. Or at least stick to the "high yield" questions. Tangier disease isn't going to be on your STEP 1.

    If you have done all of UWorld, then I'd recommend doing all 2138 released NBME questions.
  21. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member

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    Orange tonsils. That's all I know.

    Hrm, apparently there are 50 cases of this disease in the world. Nice ****ing question, Kaplan.
  22. LaCasta

    LaCasta

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    Did you do World first and then Kaplan? I'm not sure which one to do first
  23. lrkoehle

    lrkoehle

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    So true...I about punched my computer today after dealing with Kaplan...my scores on all 3 of blocks of 46 random questions that I did today were a drop off from where I was this time last week. Does anyone else seem to have that kind of issue with Kaplan? Like a whole day or couple days where it just ain't there for you? I'm just not sure what happened today (and yesterday too), but I was hitting 80's most of the time last week and today I'm barely touching 70%? :mad:
  24. VisionaryTics

    VisionaryTics Señor Member

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    Definitely been there. I just sigh, realize that the questions that are the difference between a 70 and an 85 are a bunch of useless, poorly-worded pieces of crap, and move on.
  25. herewego

    herewego

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    Just wanted to add a different opinion. I haven't done kaplan qbank, but I am almost done with finishing my second pass of uworld. I did my first pass along with classes.

    Yes, once in a while I'll remember the question, but there is SO MUCH that I couldn't process the first time through, even though I went through it with a fine tooth comb. I'm still learning a lot from it. Also, I still go through each question, right or wrong, easy or not, with a fine tooth comb, figuring out why each answer choice is correct/incorrect. I still think this is very helpful and reinforcing.

    If I had more time, I'd probably do a pass of kaplan, but I only had time for "two qbanks," so I decided to do the highest quality one twice and master it.

    Just letting you know that's an option.
  26. LaCasta

    LaCasta

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    Thanks for your input.

    I have about 2 months till my exam, and instead of doing Qbank first to prepare me for UWorld like I had originally planned, I think I will start off on UWorld so I can go through it a second time like you mentioned. I know I am the type of person who will spend a ton of time with the explanations. If time permits after 2 passes of World then maybe I'll do Qbank.
  27. missmedschool

    missmedschool MS3

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    Without explanations? Doing a QBank with explanations is better in my opinion. But the NBME is great to track your progress
  28. Aclamity

    Aclamity

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    So the consensus is that the best subjects in kaplan are pharm and BS? I'm sort of weak on pharm so that might be good for me. Any other subjects kaplan seems to be particularly strong for?

    I also noticed that their micro questions test a lot of bugs that UW doesn't really touch (e.g. on kaplan I've gotten like 6 questions on tularemia). Is this part of the "minutiae" y'all are talking about?
  29. MrBeauregard

    MrBeauregard Soon-to-be PGY-1

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    Yeah. You'll also get questions about Ehrlichiosis and numerous questions about arthropod vectors. They also love bacterial genetics and have some very specific questions on that topic. But to be fair to Kaplan, I just got a UWorld question not long ago about the fact that some single-strangeded, linear, non-eneloped RNA viruses replicate by this very specific mechanism that I can't even remember right now.

    I finished Kaplan with a 70% cumulative (all random) and I am glad I did it, even though it does test some very specific topics. I think either way, the more questions you can see the better. I definitely think that UWorld's questions are extremely well-written and do a better job at assessing understanding of material and teaching how to think about material.

    If you're down to the wire, I would personally do UWorld. If you feel you can comfortably finish Kaplan and then still have plenty of time to get everything you can out of UWorld then I would suggest both.
  30. ijn

    ijn

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    Kaplan questions and graphics have a 0% chance of appearing on your exam word for word or picture for picture. NBME questions are STEP questions. They give you a direct window into the minds of the test writers, and there is a chance they can repeat on your own STEP 1.
  31. missmedschool

    missmedschool MS3

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    True; I just get frustrated if I don't get a question right but can't see the reasoning behind the right answer. But that's just me
  32. Aclamity

    Aclamity

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    Thanks. Yep I probably finished 50% of kaplan throughout the school year and then switched to UW for dedicated study time. I have a few weeks till test date and about 35% of UW left. I can feasibly see myself finishing UW and re-doing a good number of questions OR just finishing UW and moving on to finish kaplan. I suppose I'll see how I feel in about a week
  33. SlaveOfTCMC

    SlaveOfTCMC

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    Funny thing is this qusetion reappears on the Kaplan step 2 qbank (worded slightly differently) and this time >80% of the people got it right
  34. medstud87

    medstud87

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    would you recommend doing this over USMLERx as well?

    How do you get these NBME questions?

    Thank!
  35. alternatego

    alternatego

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    I got my ass handed to me in a neuro block I did, out of 20 anatomy questions I only got 46% correct :(

    I've noticed Qbanks anatomy questions are very detailed, perhaps they might be useful for the increased importance of anatomy in the exam
  36. missmedschool

    missmedschool MS3

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    USMLERx is better than Kaplan. While I found Kaplan very helpful in actually learning and cementing material, USMLERx questions in my opinion are as close to NBME-written questions you can get. I'm not saying that USMLERx is better than UWorld because it's not. What I'm saying is that USMLERx questions resemble the way NBME writes their questions. I've done several shelf exams through my med school, CBSE, NBMEs, etc., and USMLERx is very similar to NBME's writing style.

    UWorld is definitely a better question bank, however. Kaplan suffers from their writing style being not at all similar to the way NBME writes their questions. However, I definitely do not regret going through Kaplan and recommend it if you have the time. If you don't however I would go with USMLERx before Kaplan.

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