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did anyone feel bored while taking step 1?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by hippocampus, May 30, 2008.

  1. hippocampus

    hippocampus Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    did u guys get bored while taking the exam (since it's long and there are a lot of questions)? how did u keep focus and not be bored?
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  3. Nodelphi

    Nodelphi Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    Only if you mean bored as in having a hole drilled into you...
  4. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic 10+ Year Member

    May 7, 2006
    Yes it happened. Two things: 1) I took breaks after every block. 2) I just kept telling myself that this is what all the hard work boils down to, and I am not going to let ADD take me down.
  5. oreosandsake

    oreosandsake 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    is it true that if you finish a block early, the time gets added to your break time?

    also, does that mean there is a timer for your total time, and another one for each individual block?
  6. CCLCMer

    CCLCMer CCLCM Alum c/o 2011 7+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    Cleveland expatriate
    If you think it's boring now, just imagine having to do this all again. I think that alone would keep my attention focused!
  7. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Yes, this is true.

    There is a timer for each individual block - they don't really record your total time, per se.

    Here's how it works:
    - When you start the test, they set off an hour-long timer for that first block.

    - After you finish your first block, they will ask you what you want to do. Do you want to do another block right away, or take a break? If you opt to take a break, they will "pause" your exam - and this starts a timer that will count down from your hour of break time. When you return from your break, you will restart the exam, which then stops counting down the hour alloted for your break.

    - If you finish a block early, then that extra time will be added to your total break time.
  8. Rogue Synapse

    Rogue Synapse The Dude Has Got No Mercy 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    So then, theoretically you could have a ton of break time on your hands later in the day? Because nobody really uses the full hour per block, do they? I don't on my practice timed exams, but then again I haven't taken the real step 1 yet.
  9. farnsworth

    farnsworth 2+ Year Member

    May 25, 2008
    Do those of you who have taken it recommend not submitting a block early?
    i.e. check your answers again instead, etc.?
  10. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    For some blocks - yeah, I definitely took the full hour. There were some crazy questions that I really stopped and thought about, and it took a long time to answer those.

    But you could definitely leave quite early, depending on how fast you go through the test.

    It's up to you.

    Some people really feel the need to go back and check their work. For other people, if they do that, then they tend to over-think and will change their answers from the correct one to an INCORRECT one.

    So it's up to you - and you should be using practice questions to figure out which style fits you best.
  11. Labslave

    Labslave Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    Just for clarification, you definitely do NOT get extra break time for finishing a block early.
  12. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Are you sure? :confused: When I took the exam last year, I'm pretty sure that I did.

    You get extra break time. You don't get extra time to complete other blocks. Each block must be completed in one hour....but you do get extra break time if you finish early.

  13. g6pddfishnc

    g6pddfishnc 2+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  14. Cards21aceking

    Cards21aceking 5+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I know this is probably another stupid question, but are you allowed to go back to a block after you've submitted it, if you have not used up your full hour?

    Ie. Say I finish block 1 in 50 minutes, and block 2 in 50 minutes, and I realized an answer to a question on the first block. Can I go back to the first block since I had 10 minutes still left on it?

    (FYI: My gut says that once you complete a section, it's over and done with and you can't go back to it, but the "holy crap, it's the boards, so even common sense doesn't work" gene is being over-worked right now, so hence the question :))
  15. Rogue Synapse

    Rogue Synapse The Dude Has Got No Mercy 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Negative. Once you submit a block, no matter how much time you have left on it, it's lost to you forever. Which is, I guess, a pretty powerful argument for using all the time you get for each block to make sure you get it right before you forfeit your chance to change anything.

    I'm one of those people that basically never changes an answer unless I am struck by a revelation from heaven, because I change right>wrong about 2x more than wrong>right. I basically always go with the gut instinct first answer no matter what. So, when I took my full-length practice exam administered by my school yesterday, I finished each section pretty early and wound up having extra break time. I took a 1.5 hour lunch, which was pretty sweet, though I'm sure I won't be doing that on actual test day.
  16. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    :) I actually took the test about a year ago. So it's kind of moot for me now.

    You might be right...I don't remember anymore.

    What I meant was that the total time for your exam doesn't really matter. You might finish the exam in under 8 hours, but if you needed 70 minutes for a block, then it really doesn't make a difference what your total exam time was. I don't think that I paid any attention to the total time I had left - just how much time was left in each block.

    Nope. Once you hit "submit" at the end of a block, you're done.
  17. mudphudwannabe

    mudphudwannabe Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Ok, now I'm confused. Maybe that's not what you meant, but you can't take 70 minutes for any test block. The limit is 60 minutes.

    Agreed that when you hit submit, the block is done, and there's no going back. Take the whole time if you need it - there's no sense trying to finish early, but you do need to finish in time. I finished some of my blocks a few minutes early just because I couldn't stand looking at the questions again after double and triple checking everything, but unless you've had time to double and triple check, there's no sense in finishing early. If you do finish early, the extra time will be added to your break time (this page includes a description of how break time works: USMLE Testing), but if there's any chance another minute spent reviewing your answers might help, it's much better to use the time for the test than add it to your break time.

    The break time doesn't sound like a lot, but in reality it is plenty even if you want to take a break after every block. You are going to be so hyped up the day of the exam that you aren't going to want to spend a lot of time dilly-dallying on breaks. Don't worry!

  18. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    What I was trying to say (and obviously not saying very well!) was that it doesn't matter how much total time you've used for the entire test. What really matters is how much time you're taking for each block. If you end the exam in 7 hours, that's fine - but if you didn't finish a block because you ran out of time for that block, then the total amount of time that you took for the exam doesn't matter.

    My point is - when I took Step 1, I never even looked at the "total exam time" countdown (if they even keep track). The ONLY thing I cared about was how much time I had left for that particular block.
  19. JonnyG

    JonnyG IN the hospitals.... 7+ Year Member

    i took the whole beast in alittle under four hours because i felt if i got up from my seat i wouldn't be able to bring myself back to it. If i had gotten up right before the last block i could have taken a three hour break because the time kept accumulating for my allotted break time. there is no getting bored with the usmle because you go at your own pace and finish when you want. This does not apply to the comlex where you unfairly get a set number of breaks at designated times (did that one in 3 hours 30).

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