FutrPharm

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Yeah yeah I'm a gunner, blah blah blah...

Okay now that that's out of the way, I'm wondering what Q bank I should purchase a year out from the actual exam. Would it be better to get something like USMLERX now and save USMLEWorld for later, or just get USMLEWorld now and use that the entire time (I know their website recommends going through each question and answer twice).

Thoughts?
 

Deferoxamine

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You mean to tell us that you're taking Step 1 NEXT YEAR and you haven't been using USMLE World since the 10th-grade?

Geeez. Get with the program.
 

Whats_up_doc

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Yeah yeah I'm a gunner, blah blah blah...

Okay now that that's out of the way, I'm wondering what Q bank I should purchase a year out from the actual exam. Would it be better to get something like USMLERX now and save USMLEWorld for later, or just get USMLEWorld now and use that the entire time (I know their website recommends going through each question and answer twice).

Thoughts?


If you are someone who has LOTS AND LOTS of money then I reccomend you buy Rx or Kaplan to go along your courses. Save UWORLD for the time of real board prep. Also, try to use FA along your courses and try to write RR Path into your BRS book. Also listen to Goljan Audios and ask a lot of questions here, on SDN.

The only advice that I gave you that I truly used was to use BRS along my courses and annotate RR path here and there and listen to Goljan. I didn't have the time or money for the other alternatives I reccomended you. However, since you accepted you are a gunner, I thought that was what you wanted to hear...

Good luck. Hope you get a 99!
 

doogoshly

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my school bought us kaplan qbank from the beginning of the year and i just used that along with a very light review of FA during the year.

UW is too high yield to buy early. i didn't like usmlerx very much. and gunner or not, take a chill pill dude. i didn't really start until feb/march and still did well (if 240 is considered well in your world).
 
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FutrPharm

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If you are someone who has LOTS AND LOTS of money then I reccomend you buy Rx or Kaplan to go along your courses. Save UWORLD for the time of real board prep. Also, try to use FA along your courses and try to write RR Path into your BRS book. Also listen to Goljan Audios and ask a lot of questions here, on SDN.

The only advice that I gave you that I truly used was to use BRS along my courses and annotate RR path here and there and listen to Goljan. I didn't have the time or money for the other alternatives I reccomended you. However, since you accepted you are a gunner, I thought that was what you wanted to hear...

Good luck. Hope you get a 99!

Thanks for the advice. It's honest people like you that keep this site relevant and useful.
 
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FutrPharm

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my school bought us kaplan qbank from the beginning of the year and i just used that along with a very light review of FA during the year.

UW is too high yield to buy early. i didn't like usmlerx very much. and gunner or not, take a chill pill dude. i didn't really start until feb/march and still did well (if 240 is considered well in your world).
240 is definitely considered well in my world. Congrats.
 

Blesbok

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I second the recommendation to save UW for real board prep. And coming from a fellow gunner, I didn't think qbank was all that helpful and I got it more than 6 months from the real thing. The questions just sucked compared to UW. I would recommend spending the time studying material including going the extra step to study the stuff that isn't necessarily going to be tested at your school, but might be on the boards.
 

BC848

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I plan on using webpath and robbins review throughout this year and then breaking out uworld for the final run.
 

a winner is you

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Personally speaking, it's pretty useless to get a qbank that far out. Unless you're gunning for a 275 or something. 5-6 weeks is PLENTY to study at the end of 2nd year (I was pretty much regressing the last week of studying due to burning out).
 

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USMLErx cause its cheaper and you can set the question difficulty to help you study for your schools exams. (start out easy, then do full blocks of hard before the test)

Save Uworld for right before the exam.
 

Whats_up_doc

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Personally speaking, it's pretty useless to get a qbank that far out. Unless you're gunning for a 275 or something. 5-6 weeks is PLENTY to study at the end of 2nd year (I was pretty much regressing the last week of studying due to burning out).
If you just want to do "well", then don't do anything during 2nd year and wait til' board time comes. On the other hand, board prep is way easier during summer if you have worked hard during your second year courses. I also reccomend to do Robbins Review Q book. These questions are hard but they are a great preparation to start thinking in the 2nd-3rd order fashion that these guys at NBME want you to think.
 

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People will definitely tell you different things about the best strategy for boards study. I was concerned about board studying, but I also needed to pass my courses, so I decided to focus on doing well in courses during the year, especially pathology. I made pathology my baby, and it really helped me because I didn't have to review much of it by the time board studying came around. You really need a strong knowledge base in place before you can use your boards REVIEW time to actually review. And you just can't do that without prioritizing 2nd year classes.

As far as Q-banks go, I bought a 9-month Kaplan QBank subscription and tried to do at least 10 questions every few days (mostly starting in second semester). I found that very frustrating when it came to questions on subjects I had not reviewed yet, and I don't think it really prepared me any better than not doing them at all. I was often torn between feeling guilty that I was not studying for current classes and feeling guilty that I was not studying for boards (as many of my classmates were). Plus Kaplan's questions are very specific and not always high yield. So I kind of feel it was a waste of money.
I definitely recommend (as others have) to hold off on UWorld until the end of your study time. It's very high yield and you will forget things if you do it too early.
 

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I started using UW at the end of first year (along with each class) and that was very helpful. If I had to do it again, I would have bought Rx and used that during basic sciences and then used UW for the last 2-3 months before step.
 
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FutrPharm

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Thanks for all the advice guys.

I think I will go with RX for the year and then get World closer to test time, as others have suggested.
 
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I definitely liked Kaplan QBank throughout the 2nd year. The questions were good. All the better written Rx/FA questions are in the First Aid Q+A book for <$40

I recommend Kaplan QBanks + Robbins Review + Webpath for the 2nd year.
 

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also note...i think AMSA offers a discount for USMLERx at some point during the year, so if you are a member you may be able to take advantage of that. i don't know any of the details; all i remember is getting an email about an AMSA Rx discount.
 
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hey. my first post here.:oops:

i was thinking about two Q banks: http://www.usmleconsult.com/
and URx... any of you have any experiences/thoughts about them? i don't know which one to buy for my year 2. any comparisons, comments welcome:)
thnks guys.
 

msundi83

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I would have done UW during second year. I didn't like kaplan and didn't try the other one. Like someone said I think reading the review books you are gonna use during the year is probably better, but I can't say enough about how useful UW is during the actual test prep so maybe both strategies would be a good idea if you have the energy.
 

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I would say to get USMLERx, simply because the questions are actually pretty good, its really cheap if youre an AMSA member (149 for 6 months), and the best part of all and the reason i got it 6 months out ----- after every question they show you the relevant First Aid page or pages right there on your screen. I thought that was really helpful to just casually do questions, read answers and read the relevant material in first aid all on the computer screen, rather than having to buckle down and read First Aid itself.
 

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So, do USMLE Rx and Kaplan Qbank allow you to choose which types of questions you can do (ex. if I am weak in Neuro, I can spend some time only working on the Neuro questions)?

Also, are these both web based programs or software that you can use without being online?

If not, are there any question banks that one does not need to be online to use?
 

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So, do USMLE Rx and Kaplan Qbank allow you to choose which types of questions you can do (ex. if I am weak in Neuro, I can spend some time only working on the Neuro questions)?

Also, are these both web based programs or software that you can use without being online?

If not, are there any question banks that one does not need to be online to use?
For Kaplan and USMLEWorld you can select which subjects you want the question block to cover. You need to have an internet connection to access these q banks. I don't know about USMLE Rx.

You can buy Kaplan Qbook or FA Q&A if you want to do questions w/o an internet connection.
 

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Thanks for the response. So does Qbook have all the same question and the Qbank?
 

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So, do USMLE Rx and Kaplan Qbank allow you to choose which types of questions you can do (ex. if I am weak in Neuro, I can spend some time only working on the Neuro questions)?
Does anyone know the answer to this in regards to Rx? For instance, can you be even more specific, like choose immunology questions only, rather than microbiology questions?

I'm trying to figure out if I want to buy Rx to use for practice questions for my block exams. Especially for micro. I checked out a 2001 edition of A&L review of micro question book from the library but it is so old that the immuno isn't as up to date and there is a lot of errata. Any other book suggestions if not a suggetion for Rx?
 
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bostonguy911

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when do you do these questions? during the block or after the block?
seems like either or...but i figure doing them after your exam is over would be easier since the material is fresh and also it does not interfere with grades/exams?
 

bd4727

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I really don't understand the theory behind "it's too high yield to learn now." I mean if its that valuable of information, isn't it better to learn it now and know it for school if you wouldn't have covered it and also to not have to be able to cram it in the 1mo you have to review for step? Am I wrong about this? If USMLEWorld is very high yield, that implies a lot of things that are on there end up showing up on the real test. Isn't it better than to make certain that you learn it everything on there thoroughly and integrate it with the other things you are learning now, rather than maybe or maybe not have time to get to learn it all later?

Isn't the best way to learn things in medical school by seeing them multiple times over the coarse of the semester rather than 1 or 2 times the night before the exam? Why would the same not be true for Step1?

Someone please enlighten me on this theory.
 

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Just wanted to touch on the OP's question. I'm an M2 and this is what I've done so far. I bought a 3 (or was it 4) month Kaplan QBank at the end of August which I plan to use during 1st semester. I'm strictly using this in Tutor mode and doing the questions while I have FA open in front of me. Also, I'm choosing the subjects based on what we are learning in class. If a class just started, doing some of the questions for that subject seems pointless, so I try and complete some of the questions for M1 classes. For example, we started Micro. at the beginning of this month. Instead of doing the Micro. questions, I actually took some time on the weekend (maybe 4-5 hours spread over Fri., Sat., Sun.) to complete all 46 Embryology questions in the QBank. I read all the explanations and jotted the "reKap" notes in my FA.

Our Micro. class will be over in two weeks and we are taking a Shelf exam on our last day that counts for our grade. So, for these next two weeks, I'm going to start (and hopefully finish) all the Micro. questions in the QBank (263, I believe). I think I've learned enough material so I won't be guessing on every question. I'll have FA out and add notes to it as needed.

So that's the plan for THIS semester: follow along in class w/QBank and try to do as many other questions as I can during Winter Break so I don't totally waste my money. For 2nd semester, I'm taking the advice of our M3's and SDN and buying a 6 month UWorld, which I hope to complete twice (once during the semester and once during my study month). Will I be able to do everything? Probably not, but at least I have some sort of plan (although I still need to add/remove/change parts of it) so I can hopefully stay on track. I hope this helps.
 

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I really don't understand the theory behind "it's too high yield to learn now." I mean if its that valuable of information, isn't it better to learn it now and know it for school if you wouldn't have covered it and also to not have to be able to cram it in the 1mo you have to review for step? Am I wrong about this? If USMLEWorld is very high yield, that implies a lot of things that are on there end up showing up on the real test. Isn't it better than to make certain that you learn it everything on there thoroughly and integrate it with the other things you are learning now, rather than maybe or maybe not have time to get to learn it all later?

Isn't the best way to learn things in medical school by seeing them multiple times over the coarse of the semester rather than 1 or 2 times the night before the exam? Why would the same not be true for Step1?

Someone please enlighten me on this theory.
Yes I am also interested in this, aside from cost why shouldnt uworld be used alongside second year?
 

bd4727

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*Bump*

So many people on here espouse this view. Can someone please justify it?
 

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*Bump*

So many people on here espouse this view. Can someone please justify it?
If you go through UW before you start studying for step in earnest, then you risk answering questions right because of memory as opposed to logic. That will not help you on the exam as much as seeing all of the questions for the first time right before you take Step 1.

On the other hand, the USMLErx questions are so hit-or-miss that it is better suited for 2nd year because you will learn by making mistakes and reading up on the explanations since half of the questions are too awfully written to be seen on the step.
 

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If you just want to do "well", then don't do anything during 2nd year and wait til' board time comes. On the other hand, board prep is way easier during summer if you have worked hard during your second year courses. I also reccomend to do Robbins Review Q book. These questions are hard but they are a great preparation to start thinking in the 2nd-3rd order fashion that these guys at NBME want you to think.
Are Robbins Review questions more difficult than the UWorld questions?? I did the Robbins questions along with my path course. Gonna use UWorld for board review..
 

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my school bought us kaplan qbank from the beginning of the year and i just used that along with a very light review of FA during the year.

UW is too high yield to buy early. i didn't like usmlerx very much. and gunner or not, take a chill pill dude. i didn't really start until feb/march and still did well (if 240 is considered well in your world).
Which schools tend to do this--buy qbank for their students? I think it's a really good idea.
 

NRAI2001

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Which schools tend to do this--buy qbank for their students? I think it's a really good idea.
We get a 10% discount from our school on Qworld.. you could ask your school if they give you a dsicount.
 
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USMLE World v. Kaplan? If you can afford to use both, do so. They say Kaplan is more effective in assessment and preparation. USMLE World, though, is great in that it trains you to answer tough questions. Just remember that you don't have to look for tricks everywhere when taking the exam, most questions in the USMLE will be straightforward and easy to answer.
 
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They say they're pretty detailed. However, UW questions require a 3-4 level mode of thinking - much more difficult than what you encounter on the USMLE. That might be advantageous, though, in that you learn a lot from reading the explanations. In fact, some people suggest studying only actual questions for an extended period of time - you only go thru the study material when you get a question wrong. Practising as many questions as possible, as opposed to ample preparation and a few practice exams.
 

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I really don't understand the theory behind "it's too high yield to learn now." I mean if its that valuable of information, isn't it better to learn it now and know it for school if you wouldn't have covered it and also to not have to be able to cram it in the 1mo you have to review for step? Am I wrong about this? If USMLEWorld is very high yield, that implies a lot of things that are on there end up showing up on the real test. Isn't it better than to make certain that you learn it everything on there thoroughly and integrate it with the other things you are learning now, rather than maybe or maybe not have time to get to learn it all later?

Isn't the best way to learn things in medical school by seeing them multiple times over the coarse of the semester rather than 1 or 2 times the night before the exam? Why would the same not be true for Step1?

Someone please enlighten me on this theory.
I've talked to many of my esteemed senior colleagues with 250+scores. They highly recommended going thru Uworld at least twice. I'm using it now during my 2nd year study and I must say that it's darn helpful to pass my sequences at my school. Their explanations are very great too. Don't let $$$ be a hindrance to scoring well,that's my philosophy.