ABA exam - written

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by lakersbaby, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. lakersbaby

    lakersbaby 10+ Year Member

    308
    18
    May 31, 2006
    Californ-I-A
    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.
     
    just2063 likes this.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Jay82

    Jay82 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    65
    4
    Sep 16, 2011
    The test was just as random as the ITEs have been in past. There were some gimmes. There were questions from beyond left field. All we can do is hope for a Pass. When can we expect results?
     
  4. Jay82

    Jay82 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    65
    4
    Sep 16, 2011
    I was cool for a several weeks but now I'm anxious. I want me damn results. Does anyone know when we can expect results?
     
  5. aneftp

    aneftp 7+ Year Member

    1,610
    493
    Mar 23, 2010
    I suspect if results aren't out by Thursday they will be put before Labor Day weekend.
     
  6. txlonghorns

    txlonghorns New Member 10+ Year Member

    14
    0
    May 23, 2006
    Looking back at previous result release dates it seems the results are usually released on Wednesday. Does this sound correct? Wish they would hurry up and release them already.
     
  7. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    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?
     
  8. Chief Brody

    Chief Brody ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    74
    0
    Dec 11, 2008
    The Mainline
    Emailed the ABA today re: my "scheduled" status. Was told it would update only when the results are available... The waiting game continues.
     
  9. Jay82

    Jay82 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    65
    4
    Sep 16, 2011
    Same with me. My status said scheduled. I was worried my test wasn't properly submitted.
     
  10. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man 7+ Year Member

    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.
     
  11. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    Well...I really hope I don't see it say "eligible" again then!! Good luck to everyone. I know I'll be watching my email closely for the next week.
     
  12. kazuma

    kazuma ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    925
    166
    Nov 8, 2009
    They said it could take up to 6 weeks.....:whistle::mad:
     
  13. aneftp

    aneftp 7+ Year Member

    1,610
    493
    Mar 23, 2010
    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.
     
  14. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    Yes, it's a computer exam and they could just give you an immediate score (pass/fail as a percent correct above a hard cutoff), but my understanding is that they carefully examine questions that had discrepancies and take these questions into consideration for "throwing them out". For instance, if 99% of respondents answer an item incorrectly, they flag the question, send it to an oversight committee and make the call as to whether to mark it wrong for the 99%, mark it right or throw it out. Anytime committees are involved, you can bet that things will take 4-6 weeks! :)
     
  15. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    Also, I was in 6th grade in 1995. That's Middle School where I come from, thank you very much!

    Also, the current pass rate (as of 2014) was 90% for first time test takers. (see below, from ABA)

    IMG_4376 (2).PNG
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  16. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    10,242
    3,923
    Dec 14, 2005
    Not Home
    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.
     
    jbl16 likes this.
  17. aneftp

    aneftp 7+ Year Member

    1,610
    493
    Mar 23, 2010
    I wasn't talking about the dark days. I was talking about the ultra competitive 1990-1991 era. Those spots filled easily. How come passing rates were in the 70s with ultra competitive era?

    It's those who entered circa 1995/1996 (finished 1999/2000) where passing rates were in the 60s.

    Either the aba is changing the bell curve. Or people are smarter (at taking tests)
     
  18. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    I think it's a bit of the fact that we have trained better "test-takers" (many residents nowadays are test taking machines and study mostly old test questions or question banks before the exam) as well as more competitive applicants to Anesthesiology as a whole. But mostly the former.

    Also, I totally agree that 4-6 weeks to grade the Written Exam is ok; I'm just getting impatient. Believe me, I'm not thrilled that the reward for passing is that we get to take the Oral Exam next year! :scared: As for the MOCA, I'll save some anxiety for that in 10 years. Knowing the ABA, it will go through a half-dozen iterations by then and will be totally different by the time we take it anyway.
     
  19. txlonghorns

    txlonghorns New Member 10+ Year Member

    14
    0
    May 23, 2006
    So the ABA physician portal is down for maintenance. Anyone else notice that? Maybe we will get our scores some time this week.
     
  20. pgg

    pgg Laugh at me, will they? SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    10,242
    3,923
    Dec 14, 2005
    Not Home
    That's a strong indicator for imminent score release ... good luck! :)
     
  21. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    Good luck everyone! Hopefully scores will be up soon!!
     
  22. star2007

    star2007 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    27
    1
    Jun 29, 2006
    Results are up!!!
     
    ZzzPlz likes this.
  23. just2063

    just2063 5+ Year Member

    7
    2
    Jul 12, 2009
    Alabama
    Exam results are up!! Thank God, I passed! Now on to oral exam studying!
     
    IlDestriero and jbl16 like this.
  24. ZzzPlz

    ZzzPlz ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    276
    213
    Dec 2, 2010
    Passed! When should I start studying for oral boards? Definitely wont be starting any time soon though
     
    IlDestriero and jbl16 like this.
  25. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man 7+ Year Member

    Nice job everyone! Now on to that other exam...
     
    ZzzPlz likes this.
  26. lakersbaby

    lakersbaby 10+ Year Member

    308
    18
    May 31, 2006
    Californ-I-A
    Passed! Used M5 really as my only study source. For the ITE I used Hall and read baby miller. I would say don't slack off on CA3 ITE and you will be pretty decently prepared for the ABA with a little supplementation.
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  27. RedAnesthesia

    RedAnesthesia ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    168
    39
    Sep 9, 2009
    Missouri
    I started 3-4 months prior to it. As I'm sure you have heard but practice exams are the key.

    Red
     
    ZzzPlz likes this.
  28. TheKidCanRun

    TheKidCanRun 5+ Year Member

    11
    4
    Feb 27, 2011
    Passed! What a relief. That test was a bear. Studied hard with M5, ACE, M&M for CA-3 ITE, saw a significant improvement from years past. Took a little time off after ITE but then just continued consistent studying and ramped it up at the end. Did Matthes too and highly recommend. Hope everyone got good news today.
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  29. SuperHiro

    SuperHiro Fellow 10+ Year Member

    5,257
    35
    Apr 12, 2006
    Beantown
    Passed. Only did ACEs and M5 and found them to be SUPER helpful. I sampled Matthes when my co-fellows did them in the fellows office and thought those questions were WAAAAAAAAAAY overboard for the exam.

    I totally agree with everyone else who said not to slack off for the CA-3 ITE. I thought the exam was very similar to the ITEs. I walked out of the ABA exam feeling exactly how I felt when I walked out of the ITE.
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  30. txlonghorns

    txlonghorns New Member 10+ Year Member

    14
    0
    May 23, 2006
    Congrats to all. Nice to see the passing marks. Used the same stuff as other and the Kentucky iTunes podcast.
     
  31. Scotty_G

    Scotty_G Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    305
    30
    Jun 21, 2004
    Northeast
    Pass :)
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  32. jason46242003

    jason46242003 7+ Year Member

    79
    9
    Jul 18, 2006
    Southeast
    Passed. Only used M5, Hall's and listened to audio blue (probably 10 times). Never touched Miller, M&M, Stoelting, etc. I hate big bulky text books.

    Congrats everyone, now just have to worry about oral boards... and then recertification... and MOCA.....****, it never ends
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  33. R-35

    R-35 Member 10+ Year Member

    398
    5
    Jun 3, 2006
    Southeast
    Physician
    Passed. Grats to everyone. Not sure if you guys noticed, you can already register and pay Part 2. $2100 ouch..
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  34. kazuma

    kazuma ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    925
    166
    Nov 8, 2009
    Passed! I ran through M5 in the 3 weeks leading up to the exam and it paid off.
    I was kind of nervous since I started work on 7/1 and didn't have as much time as I would have liked between work moving. I had initially started doing open anesthesia questions in June. I got through about 400 before I got sick of them and called it quits. M5 was much higher yeild. I also did about 200 ACE questions in May/June. Congrats everybody!
     
    IlDestriero and okayplayer like this.
  35. Jay82

    Jay82 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    65
    4
    Sep 16, 2011
    Passed my test!!!! Just got results back via snail mail. High 80's percentile. Obviously read voraciously in residency to have a strong foundation. Cramming for test while working caused me to streamline my studying. Recommend ACE question and Truelearn question bank (went through 1.5 times).
     
    IlDestriero likes this.
  36. hlchess

    hlchess 10+ Year Member

    452
    2
    Jul 27, 2005
    Ohio
    Congrats everyone! Now how do we register for the oral board? On my portal it says "Online request not available." Does anyone else have this?
     
  37. Folken

    Folken 2+ Year Member

    15
    3
    Nov 5, 2011
    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.
     
    ZzzPlz and secants like this.
  38. ZzzPlz

    ZzzPlz ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    276
    213
    Dec 2, 2010
    Nice post

    I was usually in the low 20th percentile for ITE (intern ca1 and ca2). Something terrible happened on my last ITE and I went down... Big time... <5th percentile. Nothing like a shock like that to help with studying motivation!

    Up until June of CA3 year I did almost no studying other than looking up pertinent info for the next day's cases.

    Starting in June I went through all of M5 board review and did Pass machine all the way through. I then did 2 ACE booklets and spent lots of time reading the answers. Those books are MONEY and every word of the explanations are very high yield for the written exam.

    Just got my score report and I improved to 80th percentile.

    I think my case shows that even if you aren't especially strong with the ITEs, by taking a month or so before boards to really dedicate to studying, like 8 hours a day, you'll likely be fine.

    Good luck
     
  39. divinemsm

    divinemsm Pseudo Intellectual 10+ Year Member

    254
    4
    Mar 14, 2002
    On the brink
    If I could give what I consider to be essential advice for passing the written exam it would be the following: I teach / interact with residents daily and I reiterate to them over and over again-to make a serious effort to do 2 -3 hall questions a day: in depth-meaning taking notes on the explanation and reading the corresponding portion in Baby Miller. I tell them if you are REALLY doing this-it should be about 45 minutes to an hour to complete the task.

    If they do this at minimum faithfully-they will have gone through the question book three times -for really real-by residency end.

    Stick to ONE primary source/ textbook. You will drive yourself nuts jumping between Baby Miller/ Yao / Morgan etc etc etc.


    My personal opinion is that the board is similar in difficulty to a Hall question type with , of course , more than a few " WTF could they POSSIBLY be getting at with this one ?" questions.

    The hardest thing for me to accept / overcome on the written board was the fact that they require you to choose the most correct answer out of more than one correct / applicable choice.

    If you have missed a few words in a section describing why a drug behaves the way it does in vivo or a subtlety of a physiologic process-the board will exploit that and expose you when you choose the least correct of the two to three correct choices they provide as options.

    My 2 cents.
     
    ZzzPlz and pgg like this.
  40. sahmbo

    sahmbo 5+ Year Member

    8
    0
    Jul 9, 2010
    ITEs -- 20s/30s %ile -- used Hall, Matthes
    Written boards -- 67%ile -- my own notecards, true learn, some ACE, Big Blue

    True learn and M5 are both good q banks. ACE exams are helpful. Matthes is great. Big Blue is kinda dumb and I could have passed without spending all that money.

    Advice: For written boards, M5, True Learn, a few ACEs, and your own self-made notes/notecards will be a great plan for success. Take the test seriously, but do not ignore your family or your health.
     

Share This Page