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nbme much harder than uworld?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by BlueElmo, 06.09.12.

  1. BlueElmo

    BlueElmo

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    Hey guys, do you feel like the questions on nbme are much harder than the world questions? I get around average scores when I do blocks in world, but then get absolutely owned on the nbme tests. I feel like the questions are WAY harder conceptually. My friends say they are of similar difficulty, so I'm wondering if it's just me.
    It's rather unsettling because people say the real tests are more like nbme's rather than world.:(
  2. HelpPleaseMD

    HelpPleaseMD

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    For me the NBMEs are more conceptual, but I find UWORLD slightly harder
  3. Convalaria

    Convalaria

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    I have exactly the same feelings concerning NBME as you do.
    But most people say that they are of the same difficulty or UW is even harder
  4. lrkoehle

    lrkoehle

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    IMO, it seems most people (in the experiences thread) say the NBME's are easier than the real thing which is easier than UW, but I have felt like the NBME's and UW were pretty similar, honestly. Although my average on 3 NBME's is ~10% above my UW average, so maybe they are easier? Maybe it's just a wider range of difficulties between the two...I dunno.
  5. Convalaria

    Convalaria

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    I think NBME forms are supposed to be easier than UW
    I assume it comparing 85% correct answers of NBME form that correlates with 205 and 85% of UW that is >260.
  6. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck

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    I think USWA has more medium/difficult questions per block than NBME blocks. Because of that USWA has generous curve compare to NBMEs
  7. Convalaria

    Convalaria

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    yeah, absolutely, curve is better in UW, that's why I scored >260 in UWSA2 and 235 in NBME 11 :) I like that curve, I don't want another :rolleyes:
  8. batch5000

    batch5000

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    In my experience, UW is considerably more challenging than NBME. My UW 46 question random blocks are anywhere from mid 50's to low 80s. Lately I would say that I have been averaging around the low 70's with the occasional drop into the 50's. On the other hand, I consistently score in the high 80's on NBMEs. The clinical presentations are much more subtle in UW. NBME seems to be loaded with buzzwords.
  9. BlueElmo

    BlueElmo

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    damn what's wrong with me? I'm average in UWorld percentages and way below average on NBME's.
  10. batch5000

    batch5000

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    I assume that a person's average in UW would usually be lower than their average NBME percent correct. Seeing that the 50th percentile in UW is slightly shy of 60% correct and the average USMLE = 226 which might be around 80% correct. There is clearly a large gap there.

    Are my assumptions off base here?
  11. lrkoehle

    lrkoehle

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    You're spot on. I'm not sure what I was thinking in that post, but I'm going to blame the daylong study marathon for frying my brain and leading to that comment. My three NBME's have been ~93% correct, whereas my UW average is 82%. Honestly, I think I am under-performing on my NBME's based on that UW average and what I see other people with similar first-pass averages getting on their NBME's, although my most recent NBME I made about 6-7 really dumb mistakes that were just plain careless (e.g. messing up a simple sensitivity calculation, using the wrong set of numbers on another calculation, etc.). Hopefully I'll get in the zone and not make those mistakes on the real deal...:xf:
  12. batch5000

    batch5000

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    Sounds like you are going to crush this thing. But I know what you mean by dumb mistakes. I had a UWorld biostats question today where I jumped the gun on an answer, forgetting to do the very last step. How can I avoid these simple mistakes on the real deal?
  13. tigress

    tigress queen of the jungle

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    Personally, I think everybody here who thinks that a 226 on the USMLE is an 80% is probably wrong. I really think it's less than that. Nobody knows, anyway, so it's just speculation.

    And I think NBMEs are easier than UW, by a lot. That's just my opinion. The real thing was harder than the NBMEs and easier than UW.
  14. tigress

    tigress queen of the jungle

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    I'm not sure you can, not entirely. It's too long of a test to avoid ALL silly errors. I woke up in the middle of the night last night remembering a stupid error I made. But a few silly errors in the whole test (say 3? I can think of 2 I made, but that's what I know about) should be offset by everything you do well, and it will come out okay. Other than that, I think preparing to be exhausted by the end of the test, building up stamina, bringing the right kinds of food and snacks, and getting enough sleep the few days before the test will all help you focus and not make needless errors.
  15. jatt12

    jatt12

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    For me it was opposite
  16. bomgd3

    bomgd3

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    They're pretty similar, I don't think you should read into fluctuations too much unless they are huge. I got 16 points lower on my most recent NBME compared to UWSA, but actually had around 85% correct on both.
  17. batch5000

    batch5000

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    I haven't tried a UWSA exam, but I think that their is a huge difference in challenge between the UW questions in the question bank and NBME questions. Maybe UWSA exam questions are easier than the UW questions?
  18. grotto

    grotto

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    I think U world ruthlessly challenges your fund of knowledge, the NBME exams give you a chance to figure things out but can also be trickier with wording (double negatives, etc). I usually find NBME to be a bit better written and less "tricky." Uworld also likes to put things in their questions that are slightly controversial or new (notice how they reference the primary literature in their equations) while NBME does not.

    I asked an MD at my school over lunch (who has written many NBME and specialty board questions) why there seem to be a ton of cardiovascular/respiratory questions on these tests and he gave me an interesting answer: NBME doesn't put anything on tests that is even remotely controversial - therefore cardio stuff, which has tons of basic science to back it up and relatively time tested physical exam findings - is something that can be tested heavily.

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