breaking 250+

Discussion in 'Step I' started by jambio, May 19, 2014.

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  1. jambio

    jambio 2+ Year Member

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    I'm exactly 4 weeks out from my exam. I've finished my first passes through First Aid, Pathoma, and UWorld (took about 5 weeks). I'm on my second pass through the material using DIT (~25% finished) and going through my second pass through UWorld.

    Here is my progress so far:

    NBME 16: 185 - 3/31, didn't take it seriously when it was administered by our school and this was before I started any dedicated studying
    NBME 13: 247 (89% correct) - 5/12, at this point I was done with my first pass through the material and took the exam to assess my progress
    NBME 12: 245 (90% correct) - 5/19, at this point I am only 25% done with DIT

    I can't tell if I'm wasting my time by going through DIT, because it's taking me forever. Maybe I could be doing something more efficient (like going through the material myself, at a faster pace). My goal is 250+, but I feel like it's impossible break that mark... how do people get over 90% on these exams? It's really discouraging to see my score stagnate and feel as though I've reached my peak. The fact that the exam is still 4 weeks away is also making me anxious that my score will start going down.

    Does anyone have any advice for me?
     
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  3. Diggidy

    Diggidy 7+ Year Member

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    I used Pathoma OR DIT for my deep pass through material. For most things, at least pathology, Pathoma is far better than DIT. For things like Biochem, immunology, and micro I loved DIT because I cannot learn material just reading it out of first aid, and the videos helped me hear the information while I was looking at it.

    You have four weeks though. Be strategic with your studying, this is the time you find your weaknesses and you attack them. You've done two NBMEs recently -- look at your subject break down. Do you have any subjects that you did poorly in both times? If so, comb through those again, select that subject in UWorld and go through those questions again.

    I will say that it seems like 250+ is a bit of luck. Someone who got a 260 on Step 1 just as easily could have gotten a 250 if their exam nailed them on material they were weak with. The only thing you can do at this point is try and find those weaknesses and improve on them the best you can.
     
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  4. Etorphine

    Etorphine 5+ Year Member

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    you're already getting within range on recent nbme's. 4 weeks left. you're going to get it
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
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  5. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

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    I would probably only use DIT on subjects you are weak on or think you need a clear explanation. Based on your scores, you know enough. Now, it is fine tuning.

    Look for areas where you might be weak and try and build there.
     
  6. tantacles

    tantacles Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    I have been asking that question for the last two years.
     
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  7. Apoplexy__

    Apoplexy__ Blood-and-thunder appearance 2+ Year Member

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    I agree with Etorphine. I'd bet money you'll break 250+.

    Can't comment on DIT, but just make sure you stay true to the FA+Pathoma+UWorld trinity and do them until you think you've extracted every last drop of utility.
     
  8. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

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    Great standardized test takers...........

    I am slightly below average. Always have been and I do not see it changing. That's why I have 230 as my goal. I am realistic. I just can't reason through the questions well enough. I know the material but miss it because I can't make the connections. Then, when I look at the answer, I am like I know that. That's why I plan to spend much of my late prep time just doing questions.

    Thankfully, life is not a multiple choice test.
     
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  9. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    You and I are in pretty much the same exact boat (except I hate pharm and I'm sure you rock it haha). I get so angry at UWorld blocks because I know that I know the material. I've done 3 passes of FA, 2 passes of Pathoma, plus some extra outside review for my weaker areas. I've been getting 80-90% on Rx because those are straightforward questions. But the UWorld questions trip me up. I would be very happy to walk away with a 230.
     
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  10. jambio

    jambio 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement, guys. The problem is there isn't a particular topic that I'm struggling with (at least according to the NBME breakdowns), so it's not that simple. It's those left field nit-picky questions or dumb mistakes that get me.

    I'm going to ditch DIT videos for a week and try to go over as much of First Aid and Pathoma on my own as I can and then take another practice NBME next Monday. If I see an improvement from my current baseline, I'll just keep doing that on repeat til my exam. If not, I'll probably just resume watching DIT because listening to someone talk is easier than reading myself ha.

    How useful is doing UWorld a second time, anyways? I've re-done about 500 questions so far and I feel like I remember a lot of the questions/concepts they're getting at and am scoring in the upper 80s. Maybe I'll just go through it on tutor mode, because that seems to go faster...
     
  11. jambio

    jambio 2+ Year Member

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    Have you taken any NBME exams? I find their questions are a lot easier than UWorld, and probably closer to Rx in difficulty. They require 1-2 steps in reasoning while UWorld is much more complicated. But then again, NBME curve is not very forgiving.
     
  12. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    I'm taking one on Wednesday or Thursday. The last one I took (16) was back in March after one pass of FA. I've taken both UWSAs and actually thought they were easier than NBME 16, but that might also be because I had a few weeks of studying in between the NBME and the UWSAs. Hopefully this upcoming NBME boosts my confidence, test in 10 days!
     
  13. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

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    I have not started Uworld yet but I find the hard questions on Rx fairly hard. I am getting like 60% but I am better in areas I have fully reviewed. I just did a Micro for the hell of it and got about 65%.

    Is the CBSE representative at all? I thought those questions were much easier. It can't be.
     
  14. tantacles

    tantacles Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    CBSE felt a lot easier than the other NBMEs.
     
  15. anbuitachi

    anbuitachi ASA Member 7+ Year Member

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    your scores are very impressive!!!, i have a feeling you'll break 250. just dont break down from anxiety during test day
     
  16. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

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    Figured so. alas...............
     
  17. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus Banned Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

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    I thought it was about the same. Just remember that not every CBSE is the same, just like the NBMEs aren't the same. I find the NBMEs to be overly picky on some things and overly vague on others, which just means I got to up my game or learn all this random minutia.
     
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  18. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

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    Yeah, I am surprised. I thought the focus would be more general. I swear I had like 10 biostat questions on the CBSE and I just skipped them because I did not review it. We had a brief session in school about it that was not tested so I never paid any attention. So, if it is like that or remotely, similar I feel better. Because I feel right now I could get 20pts higher on what I saw and then I plan on understanding biostats. It is easy straightforward points if you have studied it.
     

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