COMLEX & USMLE Timing

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by joferreri, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. joferreri

    joferreri NYCOM 2011

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    Debating about timing of taking USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1 this Spring. Anyone have any advice about how far apart to space the two exams and which to take first? Thanks!

    Jo - NYCOM 2011
     
  2. jbp100

    jbp100 Member
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    This is largely a matter of personal preference, but I will let you know how I looked at it. I took the USMLE first as I wanted to do my best on it preparing to do an allopathic residency (peak at the USMLE if you will).

    Then the COMLEX (a much easier test in my opinion) I took about 5 days later. I told myself I would study OMM during those five days, I didn't actually study OMM that much and I am glad I didn't. The OMM on the test is very basic and there was only one random cranial question that I was unsure of.

    So, bottom line, if you are thinking osteopathic residency, you may want to "peak" at the COMLEX. If you are thinking allopathic residency, you may want to "peak" at the USMLE.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. joferreri

    joferreri NYCOM 2011

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    Thanks so much for getting back to me. I've heard a lot of mixed opinions so far but I like your thinking! I'm hoping to do an allopathic residency because I am planning on doing a fellowship of some sort and do not want to close myself out of any options in the future so I might go your way. Good luck!
     
  4. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    Personally, I'd take the USMLE first. COMLEX is a much easier test, and you really don't have to spend any time studying extra "real medicine" to take it.

    Study for the USMLE, and take it first. Give yourself a 2 or 3 day gap to brush up on your OMM and take COMLEX.

    (...and consider taking USMLE Step 2CS in addition to Step 2CK and Step 1. It essentially serves as the "get out of jail free" card for DO students when it comes to Comlex 3...)
     
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  5. Bedpan Commando

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    I'm in the same shoes, but I've come to a different conclusion.

    I'm not opting for an osteopathic residency, therefore USMLE is my main focus.

    So I'm thinking of taking COMLEX-1 first, to get out any "test jitters" out of the way, take a couple of days off, then study areas I feel weak in before taking USMLE Step I a week later.

    This worked out well for someone I know, and since they kinda share the same study and test taking habits I think this might suit me best.
     
  6. jbp100

    jbp100 Member
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    Besides my method above, this is the other prevailing philosophy. I myself don't really get test jitters (once I have started at least) and so went for the other way around.

    This way reminds me a little bit of There's Something About Mary and the advice before the big date. :laugh:
     
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  7. Lamborghini1315

    Lamborghini1315 Sleep deprived
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    My rotation schedule came out today, i intentionally ranked vacation block schedules higher and i am glad i got a vacation block first. I intend to use some of my vacation time toward board prep time i know its lame..based on my schedule next year i wont have much time to study for usmle after school ends so i will take my comlex right away prolly within 3 weeks and then extend my studying time into my vacation block. You really have to find what works for you..ideally i would take USMLE first. My rotation schedule was so key for me coz i know end of it all i will be one dead horse to follow up my academic year with 2 board exams and then to transition to rotations is really tough. So make sure if you are going to take both exams to leave yourself some breathing room or you know...
     
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  8. Dreammona

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    Hi guys

    could the ones that took both exam give me an overview of the basic difference between usmle and comlex?

    My plan is to mainly rock out the usmle and I'm taking it a few days before comlex. But I am not too hot on biochem/genetics right now. Plus I heard anatomy is huge on comlex, how huge? What about embryo being bigger on comlex than usmle?

    If you could do a side by side comparison per subject for me that would be great!

    Thanks
     
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  9. DrWBD

    DrWBD Formerly 'wanna_be_do'
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    If you can, get a copy of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 from your library or a friend. There used to be a chapter for osteopathic medical stuidents that addressed differences between the COMLEX and the USMLE, as I recall.

    As far as the "which exam to take first" question - I'm with the camp that took COMLEX first as the "trial run" and then took the USMLE about a week later.
     
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  10. ChiDO

    Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    4-5ish weeks of study, then USMLE, then COMLEX 6 days later (wish it was only 3, but no available spots)
     
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  11. Powdermonkey

    Powdermonkey ninja doctor in training
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    Thats what I'm thinking of doing too. Our school has a KAPLAN review at the end of May so I'm hoping to be done completely with all of my studying a few days before the review so I can take an NBME and/or COMSAE, go to the review, fine tune everything, take the USMLE a few days after and the COMLEX a few days after that.
     
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