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Advice

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Hornet871, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member
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    What have you heard about the following books for Step II review:

    1. First Aid for Step 2
    2. Step 2 Secrets (Adam Brochert)
    3. NMS Step 2 question book

    How accurately does NMS reflect the boards? I ask b/c last year I had heard from many that Kaplan Q-Bank was "very similar" to Step 1, but nothing could be further from the truth, so now I'm wary of exams that supposedly "accurately simulate" the actual test.

    As long as I'm here, what about Kaplan Q-Book for Step 2?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    hornet871

    P.S. I can't post this on the Step II board because no one reads it.
     
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  3. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    I heard from a lot of people that First-Aid for Step 2 (unlike it's Step 1 counterpart) is not all that great. I've heard lots of good things about Crush the Boards for Step 2 though... but you know USMLE Step 2 Secrets IS THE EXACT SAME THING, just in question and answer format! I have them both and I compared 'em... they are virtually identical in content. So I would personally go with the Secrets book. The NMS questions are supposed to be the gold standard for Step 2.

    From my experience and what I've heard from others, ALL practice quesition sources tend to be more diffiicult than the real exams (Step 1 and Step 2). IMHO if you were to memorize the Secrets book and carefully do the NMS questions you'd definitely pass and maybe even do better than that. Good luck.
     
  4. ckent

    ckent Membership Revoked
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    People at my school say that First aid for step 2 isn't worthwhile, and the Prescription for Step 2 is like First AId was for step 1. I'm planning on waiting a few months for the new prescription for the boards comes out. I actually bought FIrst aid for step 2 and I like it, it's a similar format to step I. Has a lot less info though.
     
  5. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member
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    Thanks for all your advice, guys. It's been very helpful.

    What about Kaplan Q-Bank? (I've been scared off Q-Book b/c it's supposedly too easy.) Forget about the price ($100/month) - money is no concern here (even though I'm flate broke). How does it compare to the NMS question book, in y'all's opinion?

    And finally, Dr. Cuts, what do you think of Brochert (Secrets or Crush, take your pick) vs. Rx for the Boards? With only 10 days left, is it worth it to make the switch to Rx?

    (If Rx is really as good as First Aid for Step 1, then it must be awesome.)


    Thanks again, guys. 'ppreciate it.

    hornet871
     
  6. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    I think the most important thing to consider now is the fact that you have 10 days left. I don't think it'd be wise to start on something new at this point. IMHO the most high-yield thing you can do at this point is to MEMORIZE Secrets inside & out, and then if you have time, finish up the NMS questions.

    Incidentally, I heard an interesting tidbit about Brochert... the author of both the Step 2 Secrets and Crush the Boards. Some dude told me that Brochert was a med student not too long ago himself, and he supposedly has a photographic memory. He allegedly took the Step 2 exam, and then went home and wrote down every single question that was asked of him, and he passed this out to all of his friends. Supposedly he got into some kind of trouble for this by the NBME. Anyway, Secrets and CTBs are supposed to be his published versions of this...

    You know unlike Step 1, I think that some quality last minute (e.g. last 10 days) cramming for Step 2 can make a big difference. Good luck!
     
  7. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member
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    Once again, Dr. Cuts, you provide sage words in times of crisis. (Nine days left till Step 2 is a crisis, in my opinion!)

    So totally OWNING Secrets is more important than doing questions? Hmmmm... I've been splitting my days 50-50 between questions and reading. And for the first three days of studying, all I did was questions. I've been on the wrong track, baby! but you steered me back.

    I'm going to crush the boards with secrets!


    :clap:
     
  8. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    LOL! Do it bro :cool: .
     
  9. jdog

    jdog Senior Member
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    Hornet and Cuts,

    I have a question. I am basically doing Secrets / First Aid / Q Bank for the main studying along with supplementation from blueprints, but I was planning on doing NMS like the last 4 or 5 days before the exam as a wrap up. Can I get through this and is there a lot of new info in NMS or will it hit the same topics as I will have covered with the other sources I used.

    I am taking a month off to study and relax, and man is it nice.

    Thanks for the advice. I was naieve about step I and busted tail studying too much text and not enough question.

    I will not be fooled again.

    You proably think I am derm with this regimen, ha ha, just a humble future pediatrician.

    Thanks bro
     
  10. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    IMHO, what you're using now are all great sources. Memorize Secrets and First-Aid while concurrently doing Q-bank. I'd take a little more time for the NMS mcqs if at all possible... maybe more like 7-8 solid days... so you'll have time to re-look up stuff that seems unfamiliar. I haven't yet started doing mcqs, so I can't comment on the content of the NMS ones. Good luck!
     
  11. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member
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    I've got a week left. I haven't even looked at First Aid, and wasn't planning on it. I've only been doing Secrets/Q-Bank. That's it.

    Am I better off getting through First Aid once, or simply going through Secrets a second time - I'm halfway through Secrets on my first time through right now.

    People are telling me, "MEMORIZE Secrets." Should I do so even at the expense of looking at First Aid? 'Cause that's what I'm doing.

    What's considered a good score on Q-Bank? 75%? 65%? 60%? I need to know if I'm getting reasonable marks or if I'm screwed.
     
  12. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    Hey Hornet,

    All I did was First Aid and Q-bank and did pretty well (not amazing but damn good). I never used secrets so I can't say if a second read is worth it. I can say that a quick glance through First Aid would be worth it. Its pretty superficial in some parts but most of the stuff you already know and the book helped me remember these topics better.

    As for Q-Bank, getting around the 60%-65% range should get you above a 230. Its not consistent for everyone, though. I've heard of some people on the USMLE board with much different correlations than this.
     
  13. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath
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    Hornet: I think that the contents of First-Aid and Secrets are by an large the same. Remember that the Secrets book is actually identical to Crush the Boards... only in a question & answer format. So you have to ask yourself two questions...

    Do you prefer the layout/"feel" of First-Aid or CTB/Secrets?

    Do you learn/retain better by simply reading (recognition memory) or by having to answer questions (recollection memory)?

    The latter is clearly superior to consolidate info into one's knowledge base, but it's more time consuming. Seeing as you only have a week left, you might wanna stick with getting through First-Aid. Then, if you have time, try and finish up Secrets.

    Good luck bro.
     
  14. Hornet871

    Hornet871 Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the advice, guys.

    Two concerns:

    1) I'm scoring respectably on Kaplan Q-Bank, except my surgery scores are really low. How do you recommend improving my surgery knowledge? First Aid has no pure surgery section, as far as I know.

    2) I don't know that 60-65% on Q-Bank correlates with ~ 230 on Step II. Two of my roommates were consistently scoring in the mid- to high 70%s on Q-Bank, but neither of them cracked a 230 on the test. Granted, this is anecdotal evidence.... I guess you're right that the correlation varies from test-taker to test-taker. (I'm scoring in the mid- to high 60%s, incidentally.)


    Thanks again for your encouragement and advice.
     

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