15+ Year Member
- May 31, 2006
- Reaction score
I'm surprised there's no thread on this since we just had the exam this week. What'd everyone think? Hope we all passed.
Emailed the ABA today re: my "scheduled" status. Was told it would update only when the results are available... The waiting game continues.Yeah, I really thought they'd be up today. Tried calling the ABA just to see, but only got a voicemail. Oh well; will just wait for an e-mail. Are you guys checking the ABA Physician Portal too? Under exam status mine still says "scheduled". That isn't reassuring given that I took it over 4 weeks ago now. Can anyone else confirm that theirs still says "scheduled" as well?
If you fail it will revert back to eligible or in exam process or something like that. That's how I knew one of my friends failed.
Honestly, it's a computer exam. The ABA could have given you the results almost instantly like they do many computer exams for other fields.
The ABA just chooses to sit and exam what the "cutoff" for passing the exam is. It makes zero sense.
"oh this year, lets set the standard passing at 85%". That's what I "think" they do. Complete joke.
Look at previous years. The entering residency class of 1991 (those finishing anesthesia in 1995) probably was the toughest class to get into anesthesia. Anesthesia was really at it's peak way back than when most of you guys were still in elementary school. Yet those passing rates were in the 70's percent tile.
Now the passing rate is between 85-88%. Which means the ABA is just manipulating the standard bell curve.
For cryin' out loud, it's not a middle school spelling test.
In the dark days of the specialty, when residency programs didn't fill, and any warm body who wasn't a felon could match to anesthesia, the board pass rate dropped to 50%. Garbage in, garbage out.
Anesthesia has been competitive in the last decade or so. Why wouldn't pass rates approach 90%?
This is exactly what you'd expect if the ABA was upholding a standard, which is what we want.
They take their sweet time to run the data and manually examine worrisome patterns, in order to throw out bad questions. They also evaluate new "test" test questions. Writing and validating good questions is hard and takes humans.
Save your ABA ire for the MOCA nonsense. The written exam and a few weeks to grade it is just fine.
For future test takers, here is my summary:
CA-1 ITE: 35 percentile, 27 raw - no studying (except minor reading for cases)
CA-2 ITE: 29 percentile, 30 raw - Hall questions
CA-3 ITE: 26 percentile, 32 raw - M5 questions
Written Boards: 75 percentile - TrueLearn & ACE questions
I don't post this to tout the effectiveness of TL and ACE, or how great a crammer I am (trust me - I felt pretty lucky to pass - I missed 44/225 questions, not including the 25 trial questions they threw out, but I flagged 60-70 questions that I felt were (less than) 50/50 guesses). Rather, as other posters have shown, the resources you use doesn't necessarily determine how well you do. Find a resource you like, whether that's a textbook, openanesthesia, q-banks, and use it consistently. Read up on your cases, and take good, organized notes to review in the few days before a test.
Realistically though, during your three years of anesthesia residency, it should not be a problem to get through all of the question banks. If I could go back and do it, I'd recommend:
CA-1: TrueLearn Basic Exam q-bank & Hall (basic sections)
CA-2: TL ITE q-bank & Hall (advanced subspecialty sections) & M5
CA-3: TL Written Exam q-bank & M5
I would supplement all these q-banks with ACE exams, especially leading up to the tests (those questions are most reflective in regards to style and content of the ITE and boards). I never used the openanesthesia q-bank, but have heard good things.
Also, because everyone still crams (or at least increases their studying leading up to a test), I'm sure most would benefit from delaying their new job or fellowship by 1 month after completion of residency to focus solely on studying. While many fellowships may not allow this, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Anyways, my two cents.