Biochem hell -- feel like I'm getting nowhere

Discussion in 'Step I' started by -Goose-, May 15, 2008.

  1. -Goose-

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    So I just slogged through 2 days worth of biochem review (basically transcribing USMLE Road Map Biochem --> FA) and trying to recall this garbage that I long ago purged from my memory. I feel like I've accomplished very little and I think biochem will be a weakness of mine on the test. +pissed+

    Has anyone else felt this way? Any suggestions? I'm basically counting on cramming FA and UW to cover the major stuff.
     
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  3. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    FA pretty much covered everything on my test in regards to biochem. Honestly, I think I ended up overstudying it when I should have put time into a higher yield subject like cardio (which was my poorest score).
     
  4. -Goose-

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    Thanks man. Congrats on being done and having a great score.
     
  5. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    Thanks:) If I could do it over, I probably would have spent less time stressing the little details like biochem (where I ended up learning it in much greater depth than proved useful) and I would have focused on the stuff that is pretty big, but our schools tends to under perform on. I managed to star or at least be in the "high performance" category on every subject save cardio which was dipping down into the "borderline performance". Although I am more than happy with my score, I do wonder what the result would have been if I could have pulled off a better showing in cardio.
     
  6. medstylee

    medstylee 1K Member

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    dude, i'm feeling the exact same way. i'm having a hard time figuring out what stuff is high yield and what stuff i can just forget about. it'd be nice to rewind the past 3 days and start over.
     
  7. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member

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    I feel the exact same way about biochem. I feel like I am belaboring details in biochem! I went through pretty much the entire RR Biochem and still feel like I don't remember the TCA Cycle. Now I'm doing neuro (one of my weaker subjects) and I still feel as if I am belaboring the point with this subject. Should I just move on and hurry up and get to path? Or is neuro relatively high yield? (It's nearly day 3 on neuro and I don't want to spend any longer than that on it).
     
  8. Cards21aceking

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    Just finished my second of 3 days alloted for biochem/cell/molec.....man, I am totalllly overwhelmed w/ biochem. There's a distinct part of me that actually wonders what the h*ll i was actually doing during this part of 1st year, since it all looks COMPLETELY new.

    As for neuro, I think that it deserves the time that you're spending on it. I've set aside 3 days for neuro as well, but I only have about 5 weeks total. best of luck.
     
  9. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    Yeah, biochem sucks. Don't know why, but its one of my worst subjects. Haven't started reviewing it yet, but hopefully it won't be too bad.:scared:
     
  10. -Goose-

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    whew.

    good to know i'm not alone.

    i second the comment about wondering where the hell i was when we covered this stuff first year. seems like ages ago.


    ...back to it.
     
  11. MSKalltheway

    MSKalltheway I got the magic stick

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    Not even close to alone. Not only do I wonder where the hell I was when we learned this stuff, we DIDN'T learn some of this stuff! There are certain bchem subjects I felt like we had a different focus on. Doesn't make it any better that some of these UW questions are hard as s***.
     
  12. mstald1

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    Ditto to all of the above.

    Biochem + USMLEWorld = oh s**t!
     
  13. osli

    osli Senior Member

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    Yup, count me in too. I went through most of RR biochem in January-February, all of Lippincott biochem March-April, have reviewed about 1/3 of Lippincott in the last week as part of more intensive biochem, and it's still my weakest area in UWorld. :laugh:

    There's hope though... I read half of the new edition of HY Cell & Molecular yesterday, and realized that many of the UWorld questions that made me go WTF? were covered there. It's also a great reinforcement of a lot of genetic pathology.

    And in the end, while I know that biochem/CMB is more important than it used to be on step 1 (and still more important than it is for COMLEX), it is likely that going through UWorld will have solidified the concepts most likely to be tested on the actual exam.
     
  14. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member

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    I got the 1999 version of HY Cell and Molecular Bio and found it to be too outline-y. The copy I got looks almost bootlegged since there's no index, and has these pictures that look like they were photocopied! How is the recent version? Is it longer? There are some things in biochem FA that I couldn't find in either RR or HY!
     
  15. -Goose-

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    Yeah... I think we got the same edition. Looks ghetto.
     
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  17. muscles

    muscles student of the month

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    biochem is a very small topic on step I; stick with the high yield stuff - phys, path, pharm, cardio, renal...
     
  18. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    uh...easy for you to say, but when you have a s**tload of biochem questions that come up....its better to be prepared than not.
     
  19. -Goose-

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    I agree it is probably not an especially high yield topic, but I'd like to have at least a fighting chance when I get a biochem question rather than cursing under my breath and picking "C"
     
  20. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    My advice is to stick to FA (aside from reference). I pretty much suck at biochem, I've always sucked at it, and I absolutely loathe it as a subject. I stuck to FA (only referencing Kaplan for things I was unclear of) and ended up starring it on the real exam. Know the stuff in FA inside out but don't waste time on subjects in USMLE Road Map that arent in FA. In the case of my exam everything I saw in biochem was in FA, but many of the questions really required you to know it in detail. Another thing about biochem on my exam is that only about 20% of it was straight biochem - the majority of it was a clinical scenario.
     
  21. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    I wouldn't say it is low yield. I probably had 20+ biochem questions. It's just that most of them were questions about things like Hurler's, McArdles, etc.
     
  22. muscles

    muscles student of the month

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    yeah, you may have had 20 biochem questions, but is that high yield compared to other topics? If I had to do step I over again, I would still ignore the basic biochem - sure I would study the glycogen storage diseases, but I would not, say read BRS biochem. In my opinion, it is a waste of time compared to other more high yield things - that is all I'm trying to say.
     
  23. Fireboy

    Fireboy Member

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    If *UNDERSTAND* in a basic fashion the biochem in FA you will be fine. I found UW's coverage of the topic to be very, very representative of what biochem topics were on the exam... except that UW covered them in MUCH greater detail than what was found on the actual exam.
     
  24. osli

    osli Senior Member

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    I like the new version. I think there are some things in there that are certainly beyond what step one (or even UWorld) require, like extensive genetic descriptions of the constituents of the hox complexes or detailed explanations of the gene product actions of all of the translocations of ALL's and/or AML's other than M3 (pretty sure step 1 won't ask about any of them, and UWorld hasn't in 1000+ questions). On the other hand, for the first time I have a decent grasp of inner-workings of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, and a lot more understanding of cell signaling and membrane transporters.

    I think the best thing about the HY CMB book (at least, the new addition) is that it seems to span a variety of topics and bring them together, which has helped consolidate my knowledge. It grabs a lot of stuff from cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, oncology, and virology. It's pretty good about using clinical disease examples for each type of mutation, inheritance, etc. And it has some nice summary tables for things that I've had a hard time finding all in one place (like all the cancer/leukemia mutations/translocations, membrane receptors, etc.).

    The down side of the new edition is that the editing was horrible. There are typos all over the place. Captions under a picture will say it is a gross picture of a brain and it has a smiling kid's face. The text flip-flops from using greek symbols for alpha/beta to just using 'a' and 'b' to spelling them out as I did. And the text is mostly written in full sentence paragraph style (like Lippincott Biochem) but then you often run into sentence fragments, like the author stepped into outline mode for a moment. I don't mind either, but it breaks the continuity of reading when you get used to one style and then rudely find yourself wondering where the rest of a sentence went. And then there are missing words, duplicated words, etc. Grammatical mistakes like subject/verb plurality agreement, etc.

    Not that any of that is terribly important, but in a book chock full of the alphabet soup of genes, proteins, receptors, ions, and other abbreviations you do start to wonder what else might have been a typo.
     
  25. JaSam

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    Alls I gotta say is Biochem and Neuroanatomy are boring as hell. And Biochem is just straight up memorization most of the way especially for the pathways which makes it even worse. And just to add to your pain, you forget it after 1 week as if to mock you about your time poorly spent.
     

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