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Big Blue is outdated

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by precedexter, Mar 3, 2011.

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  1. precedexter

    precedexter

    9
    0
    Mar 3, 2011
    Okay...CA-3 here...ITE on Saturday and then on to the writtens in August. I'm going through Big Blue for the third time now and am completely fed up with this binder. Yes, I won't even call it a book...it's a binder. This text could honestly be cut down by 2/3rds if all of the stupid "ranger runs" and "lock and loads" were deleted, not to mention the repeated lines full sections that were obviously "cut and pasted" out of some old word document. C'mon dude, no one cares!

    My concerns, however, go much deeper than annoying nuances than the fill the binder. Much of the actual content is outdated and not helpful for the exam. Maybe at one point this text was relevant, however I personally have found it to be less useful over the course of my last 3 ITE's. Although some still thing it's a way to steal old test questions since the author Jensen literally tells you old dates that topics were questioned and states they are "resident remembered," I just don't think it's very good anymore.

    Also, who in there right mind would pay $570 for this thing. I have seen about 50 copies of this thing throughout my resdiency circulating, yet, not once have I ever seen the original book. Copies of this thing are a dime a dozen. Anyways, back to the books. Big test on Saturday. I'll be pitching this one after the text and going back to the real textbooks for my actual writtens.
     
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  3. proman

    proman Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    1,858
    8
    Mar 5, 2002
    Physician
    It's still relevant. I used Big Blue and Faust for the real exam and did just fine. The key was to have read during residency, Big Blue won't teach you anesthesiology.
     
    Noyac likes this.
  4. countingdays

    countingdays ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    1,147
    32
    May 16, 2009
    Could you cut Big Blue down to 60 pages without losing content? Yes.
    Could you charge $570 for a 60-page collection of notes? No.

    I don't love Big Blue either, but it's 60 pages of material are still probably the highest yield source. I also thought the live course was worthwhile for me.
     
  5. BPREPassistant

    BPREPassistant Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

    11
    0
    Oct 26, 2010


    This is just false and it's too bad that competition being what it is that sometimes competitors will write such untrue rubbish. All I would respectfully ask for, as any of your would is SPECIFICS, and namely how the CURRENT 2015 edition of Big Blue is outdated. Big Blue is and has been my life. I constantly update Big Blue and there is simply no source which has 25 years of key word, old question, remembered information, and ABA GAP solutions--with all due respect. Big Blue has been IT for me, personally and professionally. I work upon it all the time, with great pride, as any of you would, and it's sad when people trying to build other programs say unfair, untrue, and false things while hiding behind screen names. Can Big Blue make a difference? Let's turn to a real person. . . PS: How are some of you fine guys who have done so much, as all of you have, going to feel in your practices and lives when anonymous people come forth to make totally false and unfair claims and charges all for their own benefit in your personal and professional lives? It doesn't feel very good. . . I can attest.

    On 1/26/15 4:05 PM, "DXXXXX wrote:


    Can you please forward this to Dr. Jensen? Thanks


    Dr. Jensen,


    I would like to send you a note of gratitude. I purchased Big Blue and

    took your course in San Diego in preparation for repeating the Basic exam

    in January. I was one of only 50 candidates that failed. I have a history

    of poor performance on standardized tests and I completely agree with you

    that it¹s embarrassing already. My PD and ³mentor² attending both told me

    in December that they knew undoubtedly that I would fail in January

    because my initial exam I scored in the lowest percentile. I told them I

    was working with you, reading Big Blue, and completed your course in SD.

    I told them you believed I would pass based on the study plan we

    developed through Army of One, my scores on exams at your course. They

    weren¹t interested, insisted they knew more about board prep than you.

    Ha!!! I just smiled and continued our plan- read Big Blue 4x prior to the

    exam, listened to the Stats CD repeatedly through November, December AND

    on my way to the exam in January. And I found out this morning that I

    passed. Thank you for working with me, helping me to find flaws in my

    plan before it was too late, and for having confidence in me when my own

    program turned their backs on me. I¹m sure they will find something else

    to harass me over now. Now to start studying for the Advanced exam. I¹ll

    see you in early 2016 at a course to prep for the next battle.


    Thank you again,

    DXXXXX
     
  6. BPREPassistant

    BPREPassistant Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

    11
    0
    Oct 26, 2010

    Thanks for this interesting note. I respect it and respect you. Here's the problem: the ABA content domain is massive and Big Blue is a summary, a parsing of key words, old questions, remembered questions, and the ABA GAPs. I spend great time, outside of the history and other anecdotes where you have some point, summarizing information. (Granted, I put these in to add some context to interest to otherwise very dry material, but you can legitimately knock me for it--no doubt) But to glibly say you could somehow cut down what I have parsed, summarized, re-parsed, and re-summarized, painstakingly and over hours and hours and years and years, now going on 25, is just something which I find a bit. . . well. . . surprising and (sorry) amusing. I'd love to see your 60 page summary of Big Blue, so please prepare it and let's sit down for a coffee, coke, or beer and look it over and discuss how we can get more people through Boards sooner, better, and more efficiently. I'm all ears. Your respectful Wingman, Niels Jensen.
     
  7. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man 7+ Year Member

    Thanks for addressing this 4 year old concern.
    I didn't use big blue, or any of his prep materials and did well so there's an N of 1 not needing this material. Some swear by them, but after perusing one, they were not for me. My program did a comprehensive keyword review and I thought we should have published that. It was outstanding, amazingly not repetitive, and without the wingman stuff.
    I did get lazy and get The Pass Machine for the Peds anesthesia boards and the MOCA exam and can say they were a good refresher and prepared me adequately for the exams, in addition to my regular meeting participation, CMEs, etc. However, I only listened to the lectures (at 1.4 speed) so if you don't learn by listening and watching the lectures, perhaps something like the Jensen binders would be better for you.
    I am quite certain I wouldn't be in the bottom 5% at risk of failure, but it was a nice review nonetheless, and the fact that it was paid out of my professional expense account sealed the deal for me. I bought 2 books to review, but watching lectures for a couple hours a night for a couple weeks was so much easier. 1.4x is required when listening to Charlie Cote btw. I was chuckling to myself last month at the peds meeting when he gave a lecture and was speaking so slowly. "Where's the fast forward button?" He's a good guy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  8. criticalelement

    criticalelement Banned Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    766
    874
    Aug 24, 2014
    Niels,
    You and MIKE HO( ESSENTIAL ORAL BOARD REVIEW(800 772 1242) are my idols. Why dont all three of us boil some coffee by the camp fire and lets break down the alveolar gas equation in detail. YOu and MIKE HO demystify the process of the ABA exam which is more than I can say about those ABA directors.
     
    Consigliere and BPREPassistant like this.
  9. Noyac

    Noyac ASA Member SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    7,104
    1,648
    Jun 20, 2005
    I have to echo earlier comments. All of these review materials are based on the assumption that you already know the anesthesia literature. They just make you repeat it over and over so that you can regurgitate it in your sleep. You can't learn anesthesia from any of these materials.
     
  10. aneftp

    aneftp 7+ Year Member

    1,665
    542
    Mar 23, 2010
    I used big blue for my Aba exam in 2004. I used it as my primary study guide (supplemented by other material).

    I was kinda of lazy not studying for my in service exams as a resident. I went backwards on each of the in service exams. Went from like 80% tile as CA-1 to like 9% tile as a CA-3. I hit big blue like crazy January 2004. Went over it 5 times for the real exam in July. Passed it with like 50% tile. Which ain't bad for someone at 9% tile the year before. So big blue works. But I would recommend you have a study partner and ask questions for things you need clarification from big blue.

    I took Jensen course as well. The course wasn't that helpful in terms of explanations of questions. But I took the course to "simulate" real life testing environment. And I think a lot of people make mistake of not testing under simulated environments. It was paper test at that time but it really helped.

    I also used big blue 2003 edition for my 2013 MOCA exam on the computer. Passed that easily with like 70% tile.

    Anesthesia is anesthesia folks. Not much has changed in the past 10-15 years. Sure some practice guidelines have changed. But the core of anesthesia knowledge hasn't changed. I used 10 year old big blue for a 2013 test. Just supplement it with other study guides.

    Big blue works for some people. It doesn't work for others. Everyone study habits are different.
     
  11. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man 7+ Year Member

    I'm surprised he doesn't stipulate that you can't use it for multiple exams. Sounds like you owe Jensen another $600.
     
  12. pgg

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

    10,722
    4,703
    Dec 14, 2005
    Home Again
    The irony of a guy who makes a living selling "remembered" board questions bitching about someone taking a book he bought and selling it to someone is suffocatingly thick.

    How's that work, Niels? You're happy to PROFIT off of a test taker violating a written agreement with the ABA to not memorize or reproduce questions in order to feed you material for your book and courses ...

    ... but somehow your demand that people not even give away the book they bought from you when they're finished is some holy, sacred trust?


    I've said it before a dozen times and I'll say it again: I found Big Blue to be a useful tool for preparing for the AKTs, ITEs, and my written board exam ... but the guy who produces it is a tool.

    And not just because he necrobumps years-old threads on internet forums and cut-n-paste-crossposts self-promotional material in multiple threads. (Please don't do that.)
     
    IlDestriero and norwood like this.

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