didnt pass the board exam :(

Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by pedidoc999, Dec 21, 2010.

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  1. pedidoc999

    pedidoc999 2+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Well, i didnt pass the board exam this year. im pretty shocked and devastated. i've never failed anything in my life. i think i was a little over-confident, but can't say that I totally blew it off...i read through PedStudy once, skimmed it once, and did intense PREP questions for probably 6 weeks of total (real) studying. i missed passing by only ten points on the standardized curve (400...passing is 410).

    perhaps some excuses would be a busy third year of residency, along with starting a new job over the summer. but i guess I just didnt know the material well enough. bah, i'm so bummed.

    my question is for those who have been in this same situation: for those of you who have failed the test one year and then eventually passed it, what did you do differently? im gonna go full steam this year - i really wanna not only pass, but do really well on it, to prove something to myself. i am thinking of taking a course this year, and perhaps trying Laughing your Way. Any advice?

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  3. michigangirl

    michigangirl 10+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    as you've already figured out, it is absolutely essential to have the high yield knowledge base down pat for this test-- which means choosing some high yield text and knowing it inside and out (for me it meant outlining the whole laughing your way and first aid for peds boards and memorizing my outlines)-- PREP questions are great supplements, but if you memorize/learn the content of laughing and/or first aid for the peds boards, it will be difficult to fail this exam-- but it does take a lot of energy. Good luck.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Jedi Ninja Wizard SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    I agree, there's a lot of core type content that just has to be memorized. The Board questions aren't always (or often) realistic in terms of what you would do, but you have to learn to give the answer they want. I used medstudy, reading through all five of those books 3 times or so, making outlines and note cards. I consistently put a couple hours a day during the week into it for about 2 months.

    The people I know who have failed the boards are usually people who haven't given themselves enough study time. They've been busy in a tough fellowship or in a high volume practice. It's essential to take some study time, and to have as light a schedule in October as possible. Don't be afraid to ask for it and make it a serious priority.
  5. pedidoc999

    pedidoc999 2+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Thanks very much for the advice, guys.
  6. TexasRose

    TexasRose Gotta run Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2002
    where else?
    Good point!
  7. energy


    Dec 9, 2009
    I was in some of the people's shoes last year, this forum really helped me and I passed with a good score. I did LYB cover to cover may be 4-5 times, prep qtns from last 5 yrs with cementing in LYB and med study which are did very early during the study period. But focus on zitelli pics, xrays, diagrams, LYB and prep esp last 2-3 years. I cut down my hours at work and that really helped me. I am selling LYB, LYB qbooks ( 3 volumes) and Medstudy. send me private msg if you are interested in buying. good luck for the upcoming year. stay focused. :)
  8. bearcali1

    bearcali1 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Hi i am in the 3rd year of fellowship and decided to delay the peds boards till this year didn't pass the 2010 exam? Any suggestions of what to do since i will be board eligible for both peds and specialty?

    Need advise? should i give up on specialty jobs search? work in gen peds? This is very disappointing any advise would be helpful to me... since i have no clue what to do next year...

    delaying the boards till last year in fellowship was not a good idea...
    i studied lyw, prep x 6 years i guess none was helpful...
    need advise
  9. pedsdoc95


    Jan 6, 2011
    Hey all,

    I passed my boards, but not without a LOT of hard work. Some suggestions:

    1) take a PREP test and/or review inservice exam results to assess weaknesses

    2) review the board content on the ABP website. They tell you what's on the test as well as the percentage of questions that will be on the test

    I did the above and used the results to focus on what areas to concentrate on. In general, I focused on weak areas, as well as more heavily weighted areas. Sometimes they overlapped.

    I used Medstudy, 3 years of PREP questions, Laughing your way, as well as a review course at UCLA. Review courses are expensive, so I would only recommend them if your in-service exams predict you have a poor chance of passing. I would also only recommend a review course if you have been doing some kind of studying on your own. Don't rely solely on the review course. I also signed up for a review course that was about a month prior to the test, so I would be able to synthesize what I learned in the course towards my studying.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to send me a message if you have questions.
  10. madcaps

    madcaps New Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    hi folks,
    i was in the same boat for the 2009 boards. i think i did not take it seriously enough and did not pass. needless to say, i was crushed.

    this year, i studied my butt off:

    - i read medstudy all 5 books once, took some notes/made charts on confusing topics like metabolic diseases. i started 6 mos or so before the test, and tried to read through a chapter a week.
    - i did 5 years of prep questions starting about 2 mos before the test. i read though all the answers (and why the incorrect options were wrong), including the ones i got right, which helped me to study. i also timed myself towards the last few weeks of studying to get the timing right. i found the real test questions much shorter than the prep questions.
    - got the medstudy practice questions (one book) and did those 2-3 weeks before the exam. i really liked the questions on those. they were separated by topic, so i could easily figure out which topics i was weak in. i focused on those topics as well as the topics i did poorly in on the 2009 test.
    - made flash cards along the way of the difficult to remember things, like alports vs alpers vs alperts disease, etc. i then reviewed these the last few weeks. made flash cards of development, and reviewed these the last few days
    - read through the laughing book x 3.
    - looked through zitelli pics the last week.

    other tips:
    - try something new. do not study the same was as last year. maybe get a new book or resource/class. i added medstudy to my study materials
    - i tried not second guessing myself this time. last time, when i did not know the answer, i agonized over it, and found myself rushing at the end. this time, if i did not know, i picked my best educated guess and moved on. i had a few minutes at the end of each section to review a few questions i was unsure about.
    - try to relax the last 1-2 days prior. i found it hard to sleep the night before, and relaxing that day made it easier. the last few days, i just went through my flashcards..things like developmental milestones.

    2010 was much better for me, and I did better than average. Failing was really hard for me. I felt really down, and i looked to this site for people's opinions and recommendations. i hope this post will help some of you. for those who have to try again, no worries...keep at it, and you will succeed.
  11. crummy


    Jan 16, 2011
    Hi madcaps,
    Thanks for the excellent post. I have failed my boards twice now-2009 and 2010 both times with a score of 400..
    I want to be able to get out of this borderline zone. Do you happen to know which is a good review course? UCLA/medstudy/NO? also, do you have recommendations for question books other than PREP? Thx
  12. shaza


    Jan 19, 2011
    need a serious study partner so that we can beat the board by preparing well
  13. shaza


    Jan 19, 2011
  14. Ocky318


    Dec 18, 2010
    I did not pass either, and I am quite upset and embarrassed about it all. My excuses are that I have a young child take care of and had a lot going on in my personal and work life this fall. With all of that I simply didn't have enough time to study. I got through medstudy once and did 4 years of Prep questions. I scored a 400 - which almost just makes me mad to be that close!

    I just received LYW in the mail and I SO wish I used it last year because it looks like an awesome study guide. I plan to do all the Prep questions again as well as get the 2011 ones from friends still in residency who get them for free! I also plan to go through medstudy again at least one more time and try to link LYW with medstudy, as well as keep a notebook to make notes/charts of things I have trouble with. For 2011 I will be closer to a testsite and not have to worry about travelling too much, my child will be older and I won't feel as bad asking for help or having him in daycare as long. I will be working 3 days a week but I figure that can only help.

    I cannot afford the time or money for a review course, nor do I really learn that way.

    Any other suggestions on how I should be studying? Thanks! And I can feel it --- this year there is no doubt I am going to pass!!
  15. pedsr


    Jun 9, 2010
    I failed but a few points too and was very disappointed as I thought that I had done failry well. I really want to do well this year. I was wondering if you would be willing to study with me? we can come up with a most reasonable practical strategy and pass the test.
  16. pedsr


    Jun 9, 2010
    I failed for a few points too and would like to ace the test too and was wondering if you would be willing to study together with me till the tests?

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