Can a slacker use uWorld/FA for primary learning? In 6 wks?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by sazerac, 01.15.14.

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  1. sazerac

    sazerac rye sense of humor 2+ Year Member

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    What's the best way for a slacker American MD student (exams consistently 2SD below the mean, passing with 65% on exams plus 5% PBL attendance credit) to learn the neglected material and achieve a respectable, slightly above average Step 1 score, say a 235? The poor grades are by choice, with time spent on various distractions instead of studying.

    So much of this forum tells us how to use uWorld and FA to review old knowledge, but what if the knowledge was truly never learned in the first place? Is the usual 6 week dedicated study plan enough? Or is this a rare situation where some extra dedicated time (like an additional 4 weeks) would be beneficial? If so how should that extra time be spent (more "review" vs primary sources)? Does it make any sense to try to learn the old material starting now, during 4th semester classes?
     
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  3. ulikedaggers

    ulikedaggers Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    I know people who were barely passing in school and got ~230-240 just by doing FA, DIT, and Uworld.

    I'm curious how you can be 2SD below the mean and still pass though.. Your class averages must be really high and/or have really small SDs.
     
  4. Ionian

    Ionian 2+ Year Member

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    Just, lol.

    Previous work is predictive of step score. Consistently below 2 sd on tests, expect that or nothing more than average for step.

    Oh but its because you didn't study but you are smart right?

    Doesnt matter. You didn't put in the work. And it will show.

    Just as those who did put it the work, with their scores, it will show.

    "Uworld/FA is enough to do well on step", is consistently misinterpreted by everyone I talk to.
    Is it enough for step? Yes. But that is solely based on the ASSUMPTION, that you learned path in the first place, which includes either class with lectures or readings, and tons of questions outside of 'just one qbank and the pages in first aid'

    IT IS NOT: I ONLY DID UWORLD/FA TO LEARN ALL OF PATH, DID WELL IN CLASSES AND DID WELL IN STEP.
    Really? You stretched out 1 year of pathology with only 2000 questions and only the average 4 pages of path in First aid as your source/foundation and did well? Unlikely.

    Now if you spent time learning from Rapid review/pathoma/class material, and worked your ass off. I can totally believe during your dedicated study time you only used Uworld/FA, because you were just reviewing & practicing things you already knew really well....

    So to answer your questions, you want to be lazy, and just do these next few months going through Uworld 40 times and reading FA?
    You will fail. I guarantee you.
    #like just memorizing the answers to a physics exam, prolly not going to do well when they use different numbers
    The knowledge must have been truly learned in the first place. Not just last minute memorized.
     
    Last edited: 01.15.14
  5. Missorleans

    Missorleans 5+ Year Member

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    You're one of those self reported 280s aren't you?

    Willing to bet money Sazerac is asking for someone else.
     
  6. Ionian

    Ionian 2+ Year Member

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    My bad, it was just a funny post.

    And no. I am not.
     
  7. sobored

    sobored 2+ Year Member

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    OP in your case I would encourage you to spend an extra few weeks to prepare for the exam. I think what you'll notice while you're studying first aid is that there will be many topics that it just does a cursory review of and you will need to supplement your learning of that material with another source. Once you get it down from that second source, you can then annotate it into first aid so you will remember it better. You will probably be fine with an extra 2-3 weeks in addition to your proposed study time.
     
  8. J ROD

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

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    You will probably need extra time. I am taking the whole semester and working it in around classes. I have a low B (3.1) average though. I could be more like 3.5-3.6 if I studied a lot more but I am content with rolling with the punches and then trying hard on Step 1. I just wish I was a better standardized test taker. Another reason I am working hard because most med students are. I just need a 200. Want a 230-240. Well, I just need to pass but I would be highly disappointed in myself if I cant get above a 200.
     
  9. ulikedaggers

    ulikedaggers Account on Hold Account on Hold

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    Do you guys think someone who is top 15-20%ile in their class would pass Step 1 if all they did was read FA once?
     
  10. J ROD

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

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    Hard to say what you remember. And with no questions. I think you could do a medium review and get away with it. It all depends on the person. I know several folks that could. They are insane in the amount they have studied through med school though. I mean like 12hrs/day. I don't know when they eat. Always in the library. Have great grades though. Just not worth it to me.
     
  11. haFaithve

    haFaithve 5+ Year Member

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    What constructive advice would you offer in this case?
     
  12. Ionian

    Ionian 2+ Year Member

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    Too hard to tell given the goal. How much time is there?
     
  13. Leonidis I

    Leonidis I 2+ Year Member

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    lol damn bro you seem legitimately ticked off by even the idea that someone could coast through the first 2 years and then turn it on for 6 weeks and earn a respectable score. not even an SDN-badass score but "just" a 235.

    don't work too hard man
     
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  14. sazerac

    sazerac rye sense of humor 2+ Year Member

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    Concerning how it's possible to fly so low, the class averages are about 85, with an SD of about 9, so exam grades 2 SD below the mean, in the 65-70% range, plus a few extra points for professionalism / PBL attendance is enough to still squeak by.

    Concerning the exam timing, there are still pre-clinical classes Jan and Feb. Then the school has some scattered activities (orientation, NBME exams, etc), so figure about six weeks of studying by the middle of April, raising it to a maximum possible ten or eleven weeks before 3rd year starts.

    What I'm hearing from the group so far is that while six weeks is plenty of time to review the material, in this particular situation (the capable slacker) some extra time actually spent learning the material with more primary sources (not qbanks / FA) would be best, if the goal is slightly above average Step 1 performance.
     
  15. sarah65

    sarah65

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    My advice: Delay your exam. In order to get the score you want, you need to overshoot. You need to sit your butt down and figure out exactly where you are right now. Do a self-assessment and figure out what subjects you're weakest in and start on that/them. Leave your strongest subject/s for last. Crack open your FA and read through it, when you come across something you don't know, reach for the reference books. It will be tough, but not impossible. Best of luck!
     
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  16. haFaithve

    haFaithve 5+ Year Member

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    3 to 4 months, but not for pure Step I studying. Still have a few basic sciences shelf exams to take.
     
  17. Trogghunter

    Trogghunter 7+ Year Member

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    I disagree.... My friend and I had the same study plan: 12-14h/d 6 d/wk for 7 weeks. We were below avg because we go to a school with good football and basketball. Both of us scored ~95th%ile on step 1. You will not fail if you really commit to this, you just have to know your study habits. Ie in that time I read FA x4, qbank(1x + incorrects), and read the entire Kaplan set for usmle. You make the score in that study time. If you know how to take a standardized test well, that is half the battle.

    Good luck, underachiever.
     
  18. pandoraone

    pandoraone 2+ Year Member

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    If a hypothetical slacker started now to review all first aid topics and pathoma videos + physiology, would they be in a better spot (with the 5 weeks dedicated study) to get a 240+?

    Same 65% + 5% PBL scenario here
     
  19. sazerac

    sazerac rye sense of humor 2+ Year Member

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    Hi folks! Somebody PM'ed me about this thread and I thought I would bring it to its conclusion for all the other lurker slackers out there.

    First let me say that the thread was never about me personally. You can read about my own results in the official Scores & Experiences thread. This thread is about a real classmate of mine though. Try as I might I cannot get him to write up his experiences himself, so this is based on my talking to him during and after dedicated study time.

    His first resource was Doctors in Training, going over all the videos and the workbook. Because much of the material was new to him, this took more like 4 weeks rather than the two week express version. Diagnostic testing put his score at around 200. This was a lot better than the diagnostic 165 that he got at the end of second year.

    Then he became a generic med student, doing uWorld plus another qbank (USMLERx QMAX), annotating notes into First Aid. Whenever he needed more information, he would hit up review sources like pathoma, goljan text, or BRS instead of primary textbook sources. His score slowly rose, but was still unacceptable to him at the 7 week mark, so he delayed for a total of 11 weeks, giving him time to do all of uWorld and most of the incorrects, and reviewing FA again and again.

    His diagnostic scores plateaued in the mid 220s and his final result was 225. The average was 227 this year, so he basically rose from sitting on the pass line all the way to med student average in 11 weeks of hard work. Looks like @Ionian called it when he said "nothing more than average for step".
     
    Ionian likes this.

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