Acc1989

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Failed Level 1 with a very narrow margin. Interested in IM as 1st Choice. Also okay with FM, as I most likely will have to be. What are my chances of matching into residency? Can a decent score on retake help my chances significantly? Thanks in advance
 

hallowmann

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Failed Level 1 with a very narrow margin. Interested in IM as 1st Choice. Also okay with FM, as I most likely will have to be. What are my chances of matching into residency? Can a decent score on retake help my chances significantly? Thanks in advance
Yes absolutely, but your options will be limited and you really need to work hard and come out with a high second score and a good Level 2.
 
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Leggomyeggo128

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Can you elaborate on why you failed the exam? What were your practice scores like? Was it a bad day? Have you struggled with the curriculum thus far? Did you underestimate the difficulty of the exam? Family trouble?

The above is mainly to satisfy my curiosity, but I think it will be crucial for you to harshly analyze what happened if you are to succeed on a retake. It's also important to note that the level 1 retake pass rate is around ~70%, which is a far cry from the 96% national first time pass rate. So it is very important not to count your chickens before they hatch. Take time off and study hard if need be.

Once you have passed the retake....and assuming no further red flags and solid performance moving forward....I see no reason that you wouldn't have a fair chance at matching/or scrambling into an IM or FM program (as long as you are not picky about the location). And depending on other factors (performance on auditions, letters, etc.) you might have a shot at some other fields/locations as well.

But don't worry right now about things outside of your control. Worry about passing the comlex. Everything else will fall into place.

Cheers. And good luck.
 
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tony101

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Failed Level 1 with a very narrow margin. Interested in IM as 1st Choice. Also okay with FM, as I most likely will have to be. What are my chances of matching into residency? Can a decent score on retake help my chances significantly? Thanks in advance
What the man said above, why did you fail? Was it anxiety? Did you not prep enough? Did you not study enough? Was there just to much information for the semester so you were overwhelmed and did not balance correctly? You really need to understand why you failed before you attempt it again.
 
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Acc1989

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I have severe test anxiety (always have). On practice exams I was scoring ~450-475, which isn't stellar by any means but certainly better than my score-- 398. I can recall several questions that I knew and changed the answer on (bad mistake). In prep, I completed DIT but honestly found it to be a huge time sink. I kind of wish I had tried something else. I spent too much time just going through their videos and annotating first aid that I didn't get through near enough practice questions IMO. I've already took a COMAT (my school allows us to start rotations without our COMLEX grades), and did well on it-- which is a different story all together, but I was comfortable with the questions as I changed my strategy and did several beforehand. School gives those that fail 4-5 solid weeks off to prep for the retake.
 

Leggomyeggo128

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I have severe test anxiety (always have). On practice exams I was scoring ~450-475, which isn't stellar by any means but certainly better than my score-- 398. I can recall several questions that I knew and changed the answer on (bad mistake). In prep, I completed DIT but honestly found it to be a huge time sink. I kind of wish I had tried something else. I spent too much time just going through their videos and annotating first aid that I didn't get through near enough practice questions IMO. I've already took a COMAT (my school allows us to start rotations without our COMLEX grades), and did well on it-- which is a different story all together, but I was comfortable with the questions as I changed my strategy and did several beforehand. School gives those that fail 4-5 solid weeks off to prep for the retake.
Got it. Very sorry this is happening to you.

First thing first however.....you need to stop dwelling on the past. A 398 might as well be a 0.

Now for some unsolicited advice.......

The good news is 4-5 weeks is enough time. My advice would be to spend it doing nothing but Uworld (>>>>>>>>>>>Kaplan>>>>>>>>>>combank), first aid, and pathoma. Take a COMSAE two weeks out and aim for 500+. I would not take comlex w/o scoring above 500 on a Comsae.

In addition to the above, make sure you get some help with the test anxiety. The stakes are high here and you will need your A game.

With a retake solidly in hand...you'll be able to move on to the fun stuff and forget preclinical ever happened.

 
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ninjaman22

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^^I kind of disagree with doing UWorld at this point. I would rather you do questions similar to COMLEX. I would suggest basically doing COMBANK/COMQUEST qbank and reviewing them very well. If you haven't done Pathoma, I would definitely do Pathoma. I would maybe do another pass of First Aid.
 

Leggomyeggo128

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^^I kind of disagree with doing UWorld at this point. I would rather you do questions similar to COMLEX. I would suggest basically doing COMBANK/COMQUEST qbank and reviewing them very well. If you haven't done Pathoma, I would definitely do Pathoma. I would maybe do another pass of First Aid.
This advice always makes me laugh. And I have no idea why it is given so frequently on this website. Honestly, it's detrimental advice.

UWORLD is a gold standard study tool. It is NOT simply a question bank for familiarizing yourself with "style." It teaches concepts as well as details. Provides primary resources. And is the best simulation of a board style exam in terms of difficulty. It's far and away the highest yield resource for ANY step 1/level 1 exam. I don't even think this can be debated.

COMBANK is second rate. It's explanations pale in comparison to what Uworld provides. If you have time for two q banks, by all means run through it, but DO NOT replace Uworld for anything.

If you want to see comlex style...do Comsae practice tests. You'll get to see the crazily vague style straight from the source. And speaking from personal experience, I found my comlex (2016) to actually be quite similar to my USMLE taken 4 days earlier. I also performed equally well on both using "USMLE only" materials. With the standard 1 day cram session of voodoo wizardry per protocol.
 
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ninjaman22

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This advice always makes me laugh. And I have no idea why it is given so frequently on this website. Honestly, it's detrimental advice.

UWORLD is a gold standard study tool. It is NOT simply a question bank for familiarizing yourself with "style." It teaches concepts as well as details. Provides primary resources. And is the best simulation of a board style exam in terms of difficulty. It's far and away the highest yield resource for ANY step 1/level 1 exam. I don't even think this can be debated.

COMBANK is second rate. It's explanations pale in comparison to what Uworld provides. If you have time for two q banks, by all means run through it, but DO NOT replace Uworld for anything.

If you want to see comlex style...do Comsae practice tests. You'll get to see the crazily vague style straight from the source. And speaking from personal experience, I found my comlex (2016) to actually be quite similar to my USMLE taken 4 days earlier. I also performed equally well on both using "USMLE only" materials. With the standard 1 day cram session of voodoo wizardry per protocol.
I am aware that UWorld along with Pathoma and FA are by far the best resources available for Step 1/Level 1. However, for this poster who only has 4-5 weeks, I don't think UWorld is the best bang for his buck. If he had 3 months or even 2 months then I would say sure go for it. I know COMBANK/COMQUEST isn't ideal but with such a short period of time to improve his/her score, I wouldn't waste time with UWorld at this point.

It's funny you mention COMSAEs being similar to COMLEX. None of my three COMSAEs were anywhere near close to my COMLEX.

To the op, what were your weak areas? If you look at the table at the end of your score report you can see where you need to improve on.
 
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Acc1989

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I am aware that UWorld along with Pathoma and FA are by far the best resources available for Step 1/Level 1. However, for this poster who only has 4-5 weeks, I don't think UWorld is the best bang for his buck. If he had 3 months or even 2 months then I would say sure go for it. I know COMBANK/COMQUEST isn't ideal but with such a short period of time to improve his/her score, I wouldn't waste time with UWorld at this point.

It's funny you mention COMSAEs being similar to COMLEX. None of my three COMSAEs were anywhere near close to my COMLEX.

To the op, what were your weak areas? If you look at the table at the end of your score report you can see where you need to improve on.
My lowest area was Pathology, so I am doing a run through of Pathoma. My next lowest was Physiology. I also felt like the COMSAEs were very different from the COMLEX. I did see a handful of questions, though, that were quite similar to some I had previously encountered in COMBANK. If time permits, I'll utilize UWORLD. I do know it is a very good resource, but I'm not sure on the amount of time I can dedicate to it. I may do a mix of the two.
 
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Acc1989

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I will add in the few UWORLD questions I had previously done I do agree their explanations are off the charts better than COMBANK.
 

Leggomyeggo128

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I will add in the few UWORLD questions I had previously done I do agree their explanations are off the charts better than COMBANK.
I think you would be making a huge mistake not doing UWORLD.

Perhaps just click on the path/physio questions and go through them on tutor mode.

You don't need comlex style questions. You already took the comlex.....you know exactly what to expect.

Spot on with pathoma. I could hear the great Sattar in my head as I clicked through my exams.
 
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Acc1989

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I think you would be making a huge mistake not doing UWORLD.

Perhaps just click on the path/physio questions and go through them on tutor mode.

You don't need comlex style questions. You already took the comlex.....you know exactly what to expect.

Spot on with pathoma. I could hear the great Sattar in my head as I clicked through my exams.
I'll definitely take your advice
 

GUH

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UWorld is not the highest yield source for student who desperately needs to just get a passing score on COMLEX with only 4 weeks to prepare.
It's a great resource for above-average students and also for below-average students with plenty of time.
I agree with the poster who said use on a COMLEX-style qbank and do Pathoma + FA. You do not have time for much else.
 

Leggomyeggo128

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UWorld is not the highest yield source for student who desperately needs to just get a passing score on COMLEX with only 4 weeks to prepare.
It's a great resource for above-average students and also for below-average students with plenty of time.
I agree with the poster who said use on a COMLEX-style qbank and do Pathoma + FA. You do not have time for much else.

No.

UFAP is the strategy. It doesn't matter what kind of student you are. If time permits use a combank....but those 3 sources are a must.
 

GUH

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No.

UFAP is the strategy. It doesn't matter what kind of student you are. If time permits use a combank....but those 3 sources are a must.
Your assertion that there is one single strategy that is absolutely the best for every student regardless of the student's situation and regardless of whether or not the student even intends to take the USMLE is unlikely to be backed by evidence.
 

Bobcat18

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Completely agree with this post. I only used UWorld as a question bank (only did one block of Combank the week before my COMLEX) and think it's the way to go. The point of question banks are to help you learn the material- UWorlds explanations are 100X better than COMBANK/COMQUESTS. They put a ton of effort in testing you on the high yield information and gives fantastic explanations on why certain answers are right and why others are wrong. For someone who failed the COMLEX there is probably a component of misunderstanding the material so you want to use a Qbank that will allow you to UNDERSTAND the material as much as possible. Good luck!

This advice always makes me laugh. And I have no idea why it is given so frequently on this website. Honestly, it's detrimental advice.

UWORLD is a gold standard study tool. It is NOT simply a question bank for familiarizing yourself with "style." It teaches concepts as well as details. Provides primary resources. And is the best simulation of a board style exam in terms of difficulty. It's far and away the highest yield resource for ANY step 1/level 1 exam. I don't even think this can be debated.

COMBANK is second rate. It's explanations pale in comparison to what Uworld provides. If you have time for two q banks, by all means run through it, but DO NOT replace Uworld for anything.

If you want to see comlex style...do Comsae practice tests. You'll get to see the crazily vague style straight from the source. And speaking from personal experience, I found my comlex (2016) to actually be quite similar to my USMLE taken 4 days earlier. I also performed equally well on both using "USMLE only" materials. With the standard 1 day cram session of voodoo wizardry per protocol.
 
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Leggomyeggo128

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Your assertion that there is one single strategy that is absolutely the best for every student regardless of the student's situation and regardless of whether or not the student even intends to take the USMLE is unlikely to be backed by evidence.
i agree with you. There are multiple strategies. The point I am trying to make is Uworld, pathoma, and first aid are widely accepted as THE bare minimum resources for doing well on step or level 1. Suggesting the use of an inferior resource is poor form and potentially damaging to the OP.

Combank is universally recognized as the q bank DO students use to pass the time between USMLE and comlex, and familiarize themselves with comlex's unique style. And since the OP has already taken comlex, he doesn't need to familiarize himself/herself with comlex question style/wording. He/she needs to learn concepts and high yield details to get more questions correct. The BEST way to do that is by using the UFAP resources. All other resources only apply if time allows.

Having said the above....I will follow by saying the OP should do what is best for him/her. Everyone thinks they have the best advice, but when it comes down to it, you have to do what's best for you. GUH is correct. There is no wrong way to study for these exams. Just pick your poison and stick with it till the end.

Good luck OP!!!!
 
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cabinbuilder

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My lowest area was Pathology, so I am doing a run through of Pathoma. My next lowest was Physiology. I also felt like the COMSAEs were very different from the COMLEX. I did see a handful of questions, though, that were quite similar to some I had previously encountered in COMBANK. If time permits, I'll utilize UWORLD. I do know it is a very good resource, but I'm not sure on the amount of time I can dedicate to it. I may do a mix of the two.
I would suggest you go on Pathguy.com and do as many path G.R.I.P.E questions you can. It's the only way I learned path. Dr. Friedlander lectured at LECOM when I was there. His questions are spot on.
 

niko327

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Failed Level 1 with a very narrow margin. Interested in IM as 1st Choice. Also okay with FM, as I most likely will have to be. What are my chances of matching into residency? Can a decent score on retake help my chances significantly? Thanks in advance
Stay calm my man. Some of these people are going to make you nuts. COMBANK and UWorld, you're fine with either, honestly. You have studied everything at this point. Just work as many questions as you can. Read the explanations for all questions, correct or incorrect. It will teach you everything you need to know and correctly re-teach everything you thought you knew. Use Dr. Google, Sattar or your other resources if you need to clarify the explanation.
 
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