The two other 4th years that took it and I are in agreement. This year sucked, as did last year's test. The tests during our first two years were hard because we didn't know anything, but still nowhere near as ridiculous. Look at the average scores (overall or by PGY year, doesn't matter). in 07 and 08 they were similar. in 09 they dropped by 20 points!!! i think they made the stupid test harder. and i should add that i'm not Path-tarded, because all of my scores have been at/or above my PGY level.
we were all in agreement that we knew what a bunch of questions were, but then couldn't answer the secondary question that they really wanted answered. and that was after "studying" for the last month or so.
a friend who took the boards last June (and passed) felt that the RISE was ridiculous that year. She felt the Boards were hard but somewhat more fair.
I would say it was easier than last year, and even last year I scored above average in the majority of the sections. I was puzzled by their choice of immunostains in AP section I wouldve done slightly different panels. Forensic was a joke (as usual), cyto- was not difficult. I was disgusted by some chemistry and statistics questions in CP but I despise these subjects so no surprises there. Transfusion and coag questions were rather primitive. Same applies to heme and hemepath ones. Micro was fine. Special topics section is not worth mentioning very easy. But, I might be overestimating my performance level. Well see in a month when the results are back.