May 6, 2018
109
165
Status
Dental Student
Shoutout to all those who came before on this site and helped me along. Writing this to honor them and help out those who come after.

This was my first time taking the CBSE. Attending a non-med-based public dental school.

I started studying for the CBSE Spring break D1 (March 2018). My primary tool was Zanki, which is group of Anki decks used by med students (see /r/medicalschoolanki for info). The base deck has about 17,000 flashcards, and it includes Pathoma, first aid, among other things. Then the micro zanki deck (Pepper micro) has about 6000 cards, and the pharm deck has more. So I guess technically, I used Pathoma, first aid, sketchy pharm, and sketchy micro. I think I averaged about 75 new cards a day and 600 reviews. This was every day. I never took a day off. Zanki ruined my life - I would not wish it on my worst enemy. During summer between D1 and D2 when I was grinding, I was doing 250 new cards a day and 2000+ reviews, which would take 8-12 hours every single day. Last time I checked I think I’ve reviewed over quarter of a million cards (yeah, it’s like 300,000) with Zanki. I don’t know how I made it through a sane person. It’s impossible to handle it and balance dental school. At least in med school, the things overlap, but dental school had little overlap with Zanki. I took the phrase “Prepare for it like the med students“ too literally - Zanki was overkill, and it ruined my quality of life over the past 2 years. I would highly recommend finding another way to study. All this was part of the learning phase. I finished Zanki during winter break of D2 (December 2018). I maintained it until about March 2019 when I gave up keeping up with reviews.

For my review phase, I used UWorld. I averaged about 20 questions per day. I made flashcards, but by then, I hated flashcards and I never reviewed them. One lesson I learned - if you don’t have a good mnemonic or truly understand a topic inside and out, you’re going to forget it. Don’t ever tell yourself “Okay, I gotta remember this“ - You will not. This exam requires too much brain space - you need good a mnemonic for everything. First Aid is pretty good for this. I’d also like to give a shoutout to YouTuber DirtyUSMLE, whose mnemonics worked well. I finished UWorld with a 74% average I think, but I cheated a lot. I finished UWorld in summer before D3 (June 2019), then I started doing my incorrect and marked questions, but I didn't have time to finish all of them.

For my testing phase, I went through all of the NMBEs and UWorld self assessments. I reviewed the NBME answers unlike some people. I think it helped. I went right up to the weekend before the test day. The night before the exam, I re-read First Aid’s rapid review. I hardly slept the night before because of nerves.

NBME 13 (8 months out) 63
NBME 24 (4 weeks out ) 77
NBME 23 (4 weeks out) 80
NBME 22 (4 weeks out) 81
NBME 21 (4 weeks out) 76
NBME 20 (4 weeks out) 79
UWSA1 (3 weeks out) 89
NBME 18 (2 weeks out ) 77
UWSA2 (1 week out) 89

Biggest regret: Zanki.
Best advice: Take the exam February D2 or August D3. Sketchy is a must. Have First Aid on your desktop and use as constant reference. UWorld takes longer than you think.

A lot of underclassmen have the notion that you can take this exam as many times as you want. That’s missing the most important point - this exam is a constant weight on your shoulder - it is this little voice saying “I’m the most important thing in your life - I’m the gatekeeper to your future - you still haven’t studied enough“ whispering into your ear every minute of every day. Every time your friends invite you out, it’s making you feel guilty. Every time you’re studying for a dental school exam, it’s looking at you with shame. The CBSE is literally a monster - one that creeps around in your shadow.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

Score: 240-250 (85-90)

Any other questions, I’d be happy to answer.
 
Last edited:

fit2

2+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2015
1,086
782
Status
Pre-Dental
Shoutout to all those who came before on this site and helped me along. Writing this to honor them and help out those who come after.

This was my first time taking the CBSE. Attending a non-med based public dental school.

I started studying for the CBSE Spring break D1 (March 2018). My primary tool was Zanki, which is group of Anki decks used by med students (see /r/medicalschoolanki for info). The base deck has about 17,000 flashcards, and it includes Pathoma, first aid, among other things. Then the micro zanki deck (Pepper micro) has about 6000 cards, and the pharm deck has more. So I guess technically, I used Pathoma, first aid, sketchy pharm, and sketchy micro. I think I averaged about 75 new cards a day and 600 reviews. This was every day. I never took a day off. Zanki ruined my life - I would not wish it on my worst enemy. During summer between D1 and D2 when I was grinding, I was doing 250 new cards a day and 2000+ reviews, which would take 8-12 hours every single day. Last time I checked I think I’ve reviewed over quarter of a million cards (yeah, it’s like 300,000) with Zanki. I don’t know how I made it through a sane person. It’s impossible to handle it and balance dental school. At least in med school, the things overlap, but dental school had little overlap with Zanki. I took the phrase “Prepare for it like the med students“ too literally - Zanki was overkill, and it ruined my quality of life over the past 2 years. I would highly recommend finding another way to study. All this was part of the learning phase. I finished Zanki during winter break of D2 (December 2018). I maintained it until about March 2019 when I gave up keeping up with reviews.

For my review phase, I used UWorld. I averaged about 20 questions per day. I made flashcards, but by then, I hated flashcards and I never reviewed them. One lesson I learned - if you don’t have a good pneumonic or truly understand a topic inside and out, you’re going to forget it. Don’t ever tell yourself “Okay, I gotta remember this“ - You will not. This exam requires too much brain space - you need good a pneumonic for everything. First Aid is pretty good for this. I’d also like to give a shoutout to YouTuber DirtyUSMLE, whose pneumonics worked well. I finished UWorld with a 74% average I think, but I cheated a lot. I finished UWorld in summer before D3 (June 2019), then I started doing my incorrect and marked questions, but I didn't have time to finish all of them.

For my testing phase, I went through all of the NMBEs and UWorld self assessments. I reviewed the NBME answers unlike some people. I think it helped. I went right up to the weekend before the test day. The night before the exam, I re-read First Aid’s rapid review. I hardly slept the night before because of nerves.

NBME 13 (8 months out) 63
NBME 24 (4 weeks out ) 77
NBME 23 (4 weeks out) 80
NBME 22 (4 weeks out) 81
NBME 21 (4 weeks out) 76
NBME 20 (4 weeks out) 79
UWSA1 (3 weeks out) 89
NBME 18 (2 weeks out ) 77
UWSA2 (1 week out) 89

Biggest regret: Zanki.
Best advice: Take the exam February D2 or August D3. Sketchy is a must. Have First Aid on your desktop and use as constant reference. UWorld takes longer than you think.

A lot of underclassmen have the notion that you can take this exam as many times as you want. That’s missing the most important point - this exam is a constant weight on your shoulder - it is this little voice saying “I’m the most important thing in your life - I’m the gatekeeper to your future - you still haven’t studied enough“ whispering into your ear every minute of every day. Every time your friends invite you out, it’s making you feel guilty. Every time you’re studying for a dental school exam, it’s looking at you with shame. The CBSE is literally a monster - one that creeps around in your shadow.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

Score: 85-90

Any other questions, I’d be happy to answer.
Bro you’re insane! Congrats and good advice on the Zanki! I been doing that last 3 months and did like 50k cards. But I’ve realized recently once you have a foundation you don’t need to be hitting them that hard. Congrats again
 
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May 6, 2018
109
165
Status
Dental Student
Bro you’re insane! Congrats and good advice on the Zanki! I been doing that last 3 months and did like 50k cards. But I’ve realized recently once you have a foundation you don’t need to be hitting them that hard. Congrats again
Exactly! You can use it to learn the material - but don't go through the hell of keeping up reviews.
 
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Jun 12, 2018
14
10
I plan on retaking. I got a 178. Thats equivalent to like a 61 correct? Is that even good enough to apply if lets say worst comes to worst?
 

nuk

7+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2010
91
19
Status
Will we get 2-digit score report tomorrow?

If not, would it be appropriate to report our raw score with converted score (from table you guys posted) to our CV?
 
  • Like
Reactions: studentdoc73
Jan 28, 2019
17
22
Status
Dental Student
Will we get 2-digit score report tomorrow?

If not, would it be appropriate to report our raw score with converted score (from table you guys posted) to our CV?
I'm just uploading and reporting my raw score. I'm sure they can figure out the conversion rate. The most important thing is comparing to USMLE pass rate (194) anyways, esp. for the 6 year programs.
 
OP
ab117

ab117

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
294
433
Virginia
Status
Dental Student
Shoutout to all those who came before on this site and helped me along. Writing this to honor them and help out those who come after.

This was my first time taking the CBSE. Attending a non-med-based public dental school.

I started studying for the CBSE Spring break D1 (March 2018). My primary tool was Zanki, which is group of Anki decks used by med students (see /r/medicalschoolanki for info). The base deck has about 17,000 flashcards, and it includes Pathoma, first aid, among other things. Then the micro zanki deck (Pepper micro) has about 6000 cards, and the pharm deck has more. So I guess technically, I used Pathoma, first aid, sketchy pharm, and sketchy micro. I think I averaged about 75 new cards a day and 600 reviews. This was every day. I never took a day off. Zanki ruined my life - I would not wish it on my worst enemy. During summer between D1 and D2 when I was grinding, I was doing 250 new cards a day and 2000+ reviews, which would take 8-12 hours every single day. Last time I checked I think I’ve reviewed over quarter of a million cards (yeah, it’s like 300,000) with Zanki. I don’t know how I made it through a sane person. It’s impossible to handle it and balance dental school. At least in med school, the things overlap, but dental school had little overlap with Zanki. I took the phrase “Prepare for it like the med students“ too literally - Zanki was overkill, and it ruined my quality of life over the past 2 years. I would highly recommend finding another way to study. All this was part of the learning phase. I finished Zanki during winter break of D2 (December 2018). I maintained it until about March 2019 when I gave up keeping up with reviews.

For my review phase, I used UWorld. I averaged about 20 questions per day. I made flashcards, but by then, I hated flashcards and I never reviewed them. One lesson I learned - if you don’t have a good mnemonic or truly understand a topic inside and out, you’re going to forget it. Don’t ever tell yourself “Okay, I gotta remember this“ - You will not. This exam requires too much brain space - you need good a mnemonic for everything. First Aid is pretty good for this. I’d also like to give a shoutout to YouTuber DirtyUSMLE, whose mnemonics worked well. I finished UWorld with a 74% average I think, but I cheated a lot. I finished UWorld in summer before D3 (June 2019), then I started doing my incorrect and marked questions, but I didn't have time to finish all of them.

For my testing phase, I went through all of the NMBEs and UWorld self assessments. I reviewed the NBME answers unlike some people. I think it helped. I went right up to the weekend before the test day. The night before the exam, I re-read First Aid’s rapid review. I hardly slept the night before because of nerves.

NBME 13 (8 months out) 63
NBME 24 (4 weeks out ) 77
NBME 23 (4 weeks out) 80
NBME 22 (4 weeks out) 81
NBME 21 (4 weeks out) 76
NBME 20 (4 weeks out) 79
UWSA1 (3 weeks out) 89
NBME 18 (2 weeks out ) 77
UWSA2 (1 week out) 89

Biggest regret: Zanki.
Best advice: Take the exam February D2 or August D3. Sketchy is a must. Have First Aid on your desktop and use as constant reference. UWorld takes longer than you think.

A lot of underclassmen have the notion that you can take this exam as many times as you want. That’s missing the most important point - this exam is a constant weight on your shoulder - it is this little voice saying “I’m the most important thing in your life - I’m the gatekeeper to your future - you still haven’t studied enough“ whispering into your ear every minute of every day. Every time your friends invite you out, it’s making you feel guilty. Every time you’re studying for a dental school exam, it’s looking at you with shame. The CBSE is literally a monster - one that creeps around in your shadow.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

Score: 85-90

Any other questions, I’d be happy to answer.
Absolutely brilliant post. Listen to this man (or woman).

Anyone intimidated though, I can now personally attest that you can hit an 80 without Zanki or any anki at all. It could tip you into the 90s if you’re completely insane like Ivy here but I gave up on it after a really small amount cause it’s miserable haha.
 
OP
ab117

ab117

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
294
433
Virginia
Status
Dental Student
I didn’t touch anki. I went with good ol UFAP.
same except I also really didn't use FA much at all. I'd tell anyone who hates reading FA to focus on UWorld cause I'm living proof apparently that you can hit 80 without it. That being said, I did use it to tell what's boards-important and what's not when google/wikipedia gave me too much info.
 
Oct 3, 2016
111
212
Status
Dental Student
same except I also really didn't use FA much at all. I'd tell anyone who hates reading FA to focus on UWorld cause I'm living proof apparently that you can hit 80 without it. That being said, I did use it to tell what's boards-important and what's not when google/wikipedia gave me too much info.
Apparently scoring 80+ still isn't enough to get you off probation?
 

TrevorwestDDS

2+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2017
73
59
Status
Dental Student
anyone having trouble logging into the nbme.org? I can't log in. I could wait till noon but...I kinda wanna see my score.
 
Oct 19, 2017
92
44
Seems like they've started reporting a 3 digit score instead of the 2 digit one. I wonder why they switched it up. Also, I miss the more detailed score columns that break down subject areas.
 
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ab117

ab117

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
294
433
Virginia
Status
Dental Student
Might have missed a post but did our friend Mr. London tell anyone when to expect the stats? I’m extremely curious what the average was on this one.
 
Last edited:
OP
ab117

ab117

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
294
433
Virginia
Status
Dental Student
5CFBA419-0D54-4027-8006-5A3EFDDF56C4.jpeg
Kept thinking this while studying.
 

BYU4you

5+ Year Member
May 22, 2013
1,017
1,087
Status
Pre-Dental
Wow, their new score conversion made my score a lot higher.
Depends on how you look at it. If you got a 200 this time according to the old score you got a 70, the new way it is closer to a 69.

If you previously got a 70 it is now a 202.
 

Likkriue

2+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2016
2,771
3,977
New York City
Status
Dental Student
Depends on how you look at it. If you got a 200 this time according to the old score you got a 70, the new way it is closer to a 69.

If you previously got a 70 it is now a 202.
Oh true that. Very interesting what they plan on doing with this information. I wanna see what the averages are with regards to the 3 digit score.
 
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