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Biochem help!

Discussion in 'Step I' started by DMBFan, May 12, 2008.

  1. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I just started biochem review, and it's going horrific. It's my first time through and I'm going so slowly, so I'm ALREADY behind on my calendar. Anyway, I spend most of the day thinking I'm learning the different pathways, but I end up doing horrible in my end of day review with the biochem questions on USMLE World. I can't seem to keep all the pathways straight! Should I spend an extra day on my calendar on biochem or suck it up and move on, hoping that it will be low yield?

    My percentiles on USMLEWorld are dismal (1st time through 40% most of it random guessing)... I'm going through RR Biochem, but it's too long and I don't think I"ll be able to read the whole book....And I know FA isn't enough, given how specific the questions are on USMLE World....ugh..any advice?
  2. osli

    osli Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    Well, for one thing make sure you actually learn the material in the questions from UWorld. Those questions plus the biochem in FA = decent chance you'll cover material and concepts seen on step 1. Remember, UWorld is primarily for learning, not assessment... every question you get wrong and then learn from is one more concept you now know for step 1. For another, a lot of people start with UWorld averages in the 40's (or worse) for their cumulative average... strengths and weaknesses included. So 40% in your weak area is not that bad of a starting point. Hell, I'm at 60% average with a long way to go to finish, but I have a few areas where I know my knowledge sucks and it's worse than 40% there... and biochem was one of them until recently. For another, read RR biochem (or whatever other source) for understanding - don't think you can memorize everything in one pass. Once you understand biochem, you have to memorize the few specific pathways that are commonly tested (all the gly/glu stuff, urea cycle, fatty acid synthesis and oxidation, TCA, steroid hormone synthesis, maybe some DNA/RNA stuff, etc.). That's just rote memorization... for me, charts help a lot more than reading the text. That stuff you can learn, and then a few days later you have forgotten again, so you either need lots of repetition or to make sure you refresh it just before the exam.

    Hope that is somewhat helpful.
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