First test coming up....trying to assess what I know and how I'll do...

yanks26dmb

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So we've got our first test coming up next Monday. I've been studying non-stop since school began, and will keep at it until the test.

Despite the massive amount of effort put in, is it normal to still feel like you aren't clear on certain things? Or is this a sign I'm going to perform poorly?

Secondary to this, and for those of who you have already been through a least one medical school test....do you find the nature of multiple choice exams are enough to jog your memory and help you locate a right answer, even if you're a little unclear going in? There are certain things that I can't fully remember outright, but if I see it, I'm like, "oh yeah, how did I forget that". I hope this is a (slight) indication of learning...:(
 
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UTsksk

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You'll be fine. In my experience, I never felt completely prepared for an exam and did just fine. The multiple choice tests do help in that regard where you can use the process of elimination to figure things out. Just keep studying and good luck!

Do practice questions.
 
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doapplicant2015

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Your classmates are in the same boat as you are. And at this rate, by Monday you'll probably know everything anyways.

You'll be just fine
 
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wjs010

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Just get comfortable with the first test. Try hard to pass. After you've seen it, nail that **** and shoot for the stars!
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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If you've kept up with the material, then you'll do well. The biggest reason people don't do well on tests is largely due to them having to play catch up on material the weekend before.
 

abolt18

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Your scores are inversely proportional to the amount of time spent on Facebook and SDN. ;)

Also multiple choice is wonderful. Word recognition is a powerful thing.
 

yanks26dmb

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If you've kept up with the material, then you'll do well. The biggest reason people don't do well on tests is largely due to them having to play catch up on material the weekend before.

That's the thing. I spend a solid 12-14 hours a day studying. I'm sure Ill be able to scale this back once I see whats expected (I hope), but for now, thats what I'm doing. Nonetheless, even with all of this studying going on, I still feel like I'm not 100% clear on certain things.

Going into a test without knowing all the details/answers beforehand is a scary thing, but I just don't see how I'm going to be able to a) pack it all in by monday and b) retain everything.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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That's the thing. I spend a solid 12-14 hours a day studying. I'm sure Ill be able to scale this back once I see whats expected (I hope), but for now, thats what I'm doing. Nonetheless, even with all of this studying going on, I still feel like I'm not 100% clear on certain things.

Going into a test without knowing all the details/answers beforehand is a scary thing, but I just don't see how I'm going to be able to a) pack it all in by monday and b) retain everything.
I am hoping thats 12-14 hours a day without going to class...even at that you are really putting in way more time than 99% of your classmates.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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That's the thing. I spend a solid 12-14 hours a day studying. I'm sure Ill be able to scale this back once I see whats expected (I hope), but for now, thats what I'm doing. Nonetheless, even with all of this studying going on, I still feel like I'm not 100% clear on certain things.

Going into a test without knowing all the details/answers beforehand is a scary thing, but I just don't see how I'm going to be able to a) pack it all in by monday and b) retain everything.

Right, bull****.

There's no way you spend 12-14 hours studying unless that includes 6-8 hours of class and lab time.

Honestly, I'm spending 4-5 hours a day studying on a hard week, and this week I'm spending closer to 2 since it's been a light week ( I'll be back to 4-5 tonight though).

But yah, tone it down or else you'll burn out. And honestly getting just a 70% and passing is a lot better than burning out, getting a 90 and then failing the next class because you're unable to move.
 
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Goro

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Flash cards, practice questions, and go ask your faculty or friends to pimp you. It's more important to know what you don't know, than what you do know. Good luck!!

Keep in mind that many people start off slow in med school, and then recover and thrive.

Trust your gut as well.


So we've got our first test coming up next Monday. I've been studying non-stop since school began, and will keep at it until the test.

Despite the massive amount of effort put in, is it normal to still feel like you aren't clear on certain things? Or is this a sign I'm going to perform poorly?

Secondary to this, and for those of who you have already been through a least one medical school test....do you find the nature of multiple choice exams are enough to jog your memory and help you locate a right answer, even if you're a little unclear going in? There are certain things that I can't fully remember outright, but if I see it, I'm like, "oh yeah, how did I forget that". I hope this is a (slight) indication of learning...:(
 

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My secrets:
Sleep a good amount the night before.

Caffeine in the AM, just before the test (there is some evidence this is enough of a stimulant to focus you, if you have the answer in there somewhere the caffeine will help you get it out). I don't drink coffee, but a red-bull on the way in was adequate.

Hard-tack candy just before test, during if possible. Brain runs on glucose, keep it fully powered.

Trust in the work you've put in. Until you have reason not to trust the work, which won't happen happen until after the test and if you did bad. Till then, just focus on doing as well as possible. I think an attitude of confidence and optimism going in is huge!
 

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Also, according to numbers and math stuff, half of you class will score less than the class average. If you are in that group, dont let it get to you.

Do get better though. No matter what your school has told you, you have a class rank. 100% of medical schools have one, and they all release it when you apply for residency.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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Also, according to numbers and math stuff, half of you class will score less than the class average. If you are in that group, dont let it get to you.

Do get better though. No matter what your school has told you, you have a class rank. 100% of medical schools have one, and they all release it when you apply for residency.
Isn't it ranked like.... 11th or 17th in terms of stuff residency directors care about?
 
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ananasmed

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You'll be fine. In my experience, I never felt completely prepared for an exam and did just fine. The multiple choice tests do help in that regard where you can use the process of elimination to figure things out. Just keep studying and good luck!

Do practice questions.
Any suggestions for practice question books or resources? In general or for any specific courses. I'm having a hard time figuring out whether or not I actually know anything that I'm studying...
 

doapplicant2015

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Any suggestions for practice question books or resources? In general or for any specific courses. I'm having a hard time figuring out whether or not I actually know anything that I'm studying...
If you're in anatomy, the Gray's review book and do all of those questions pre-exam or while studying
 
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ortnakas

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Any suggestions for practice question books or resources? In general or for any specific courses. I'm having a hard time figuring out whether or not I actually know anything that I'm studying...
Green Gray's for anatomy. BRS for anatomy.

If you have physio from Guyton and Hall, the Guyton review book. BRS works here too. BRS works for a lot of things, actually.

If your class has a required textbook-- even if it's "required" and you don't actually use it-- see if there's a corresponding review book. Or ask your professors for their recommendations.
 
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yanks26dmb

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Right, bull****.

There's no way you spend 12-14 hours studying unless that includes 6-8 hours of class and lab time.

Honestly, I'm spending 4-5 hours a day studying on a hard week, and this week I'm spending closer to 2 since it's been a light week ( I'll be back to 4-5 tonight though).

But yah, tone it down or else you'll burn out. And honestly getting just a 70% and passing is a lot better than burning out, getting a 90 and then failing the next class because you're unable to move.

When I say 12-14 hours...I mean class time included.

My days are essentially 8-3 with about 5 hours of class, 1 hour of straight studying. I then do 530 to 1030 after class. Weekends I do 8 or 9am-10p. So roughly 50-55 hours of studying a week on top of class. I don't say this to sound smart or cool...I actually wonder if Im incredibly inefficient...but until the first test, I won't know, so i figure just do as much as possible then see where I stand.
 

wjs010

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When I say 12-14 hours...I mean class time included.

My days are essentially 8-3 with about 5 hours of class, 1 hour of straight studying. I then do 530 to 1030 after class. Weekends I do 8 or 9am-10p. So roughly 50-55 hours of studying a week on top of class. I don't say this to sound smart or cool...I actually wonder if Im incredibly inefficient...but until the first test, I won't know, so i figure just do as much as possible then see where I stand.
Don't worry. For the first time you have to give it your all.. So you can have piece of mind. It's amazing how much cooler and more interesting the material you are currently learning is when you're not stressing over a previous test. But If you study every day , including weekends, you should be fine. Having confidence in medical school is a great feeling. Once you gain that confidence , like "yea, I know what to expect on the next test and I think I'm gonna do well" or " I'm not scared anymore", the rest is history and you just doing your due diligence. It will all fall into place as you get past that first test.
 
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SLC

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Don't worry. For the first time you have to give it your all.. So you can have piece of mind. It's amazing how much cooler and more interesting the material you are currently learning is when you're not stressing over a previous test. But If you study every day , including weekends, you should be fine. Having confidence in medical school is a great feeling. Once you gain that confidence , like "yea, I know what to expect on the next test and I think I'm gonna do well" or " I'm not scared anymore", the rest is history and you just doing your due diligence. It will all fall into place as you get past that first test.
This exactly. The first test seems like everyone's Mt. Everest; after that you start to find a groove and things get a lot better.
 
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abolt18

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Isn't it ranked like.... 11th or 17th in terms of stuff residency directors care about?
If I remember right, the way that report is read is completely flawed. PD's rank each item in its importance from 1-5. The score is averaged and then each item is ordered according to highest score. So while #1 might be Step 1 scores, ranked at a solid 5 across the board, class rank may be 4.6 and fall at number 17 because a handful of PDs gave it a 4 instead of 5 (a 4 showing it's still quite important to them). So the difference may be very small between data points there, making most of those things all still very important.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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If I remember right, the way that report is read is completely flawed. PD's rank each item in its importance from 1-5. The score is averaged and then each item is ordered according to highest score. So while #1 might be Step 1 scores, ranked at a solid 5 across the board, class rank may be 4.6 and fall at number 17 because a handful of PDs gave it a 4 instead of 5 (a 4 showing it's still quite important to them). So the difference may be very small between data points there, making most of those things all still very important.

Eh, I'm inclined based on my experience with surveying methodology to doubt that the difference is minor.
 
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Well it just is.

Class rank averaged a 3.9 out of a possible 5
Step one score averaged a 4.1


I am inclined based on my experience with numbers to be certain that the difference is minor.
http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/PD-Survey-Report-2014.pdf page 6
Step 1 average 4.1 on 94% citing factor vs. class rank average 3.9 on 69% citing factor. Last cycle, there was n=1 residency application on SDN and she was a bottom quartile of her class with average USMLE scores. She got more interview offers than her top quartile classmates, who didn't take step 1, when applied to the same ACGME specialty. Additionally, NRMP report is mainly pertained for MD students than for DO students. You can be #1 in your class, but it wouldn't mean anything if your step 1 is just a pass or if you don't take it.
 
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http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/PD-Survey-Report-2014.pdf page 6
Step 1 average 4.1 on 94% citing factor vs. class rank average 3.9 on 69% citing factor. Last cycle, there was n=1 residency application on SDN and she was a bottom quartile of her class with average USMLE scores. She got more interview offers than her top quartile classmates, who didn't take step 1, when applied to the same ACGME specialty. Additionally, NRMP report is mainly pertained for MD students than for DO students. You can be #1 in your class, but it wouldn't mean anything if your step 1 is just a pass or if you don't take it.

Not to mention that when class rank is broken down, while PD's care quite a bit about grades/honors in required clerkship (4.3 for interview, 4.2 for rank), and do care about clerkship grades in general (4.0 for interview and rank), honors in basic sciences clock in at a cold 3.5 for interview selection and ranking, which was the lowest rated thing in the entire survey. They didn't even bother either asking or reporting basic sciences grades as a separate factor from honors.
 

yanks26dmb

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congratulations. the first point in time when the class is divided into smart half and dumb half is approaching. which group will you fall into.....?
In study groups, I certainly feel like I know more than my classmates...and end up doing most of the "teaching". yet I still have several holes in my own knowledge gap... its so hard to predict.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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In study groups, I certainly feel like I know more than my classmates...and end up doing most of the "teaching". yet I still have several holes in my own knowledge gap... its so hard to predict.
Sounds like you and I are similar. Prepare to be..... fine.... and stressed..... and have bloody diarrhea.
 

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Well first test came and went. I definitely had some questions I'm certain I missed, but overall, I felt prepared. We'll see what my grade is, but I'm 95% sure I at least didn't fail....wewww!
 
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At our school we get our exam scores the second we submit.
 
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wjs010

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Ended up over a standard deviation above the mean. Hopefully this will allow my neuroticism to chill for a bit.
See? Good job. Keep it rolling. Now enjoy what you're learning :D
 

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Yea! Vaguely remember it. Then there's the travelers diarrhea type and the pediatric type and like 4 others
 

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Flash cards, practice questions, and go ask your faculty or friends to pimp you. It's more important to know what you don't know, than what you do know. Good luck!!

Keep in mind that many people start off slow in med school, and then recover and thrive.

Trust your gut as well.
How slow is this slow start? I mean when they say the class does badly on the first? Like 60% range or 50% range in your experience?
 

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usually for my students it takes a third of the semester for them to turn things around.

It varies from year to year, but I'll guess that each OMSI class has about 25-33% of the class scoring 1 SD below the median for the first exam. Maybe some 10% are below a 65%. Scoring a 50%? It takes talent to do that....we're not LUCOM.

How slow is this slow start? I mean when they say the class does badly on the first? Like 60% range or 50% range in your experience?
 
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Ended up over a standard deviation above the mean. Hopefully this will allow my neuroticism to chill for a bit.
In case you did not know at many of the MD Schools they grade you Pass or Fail during basic sciences, yep, no grades, just pass or fail. To them Basic Science grades are meaningless because to them the students are roughly equal.
 

yanks26dmb

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In case you did not know at many of the MD Schools they grade you Pass or Fail during basic sciences, yep, no grades, just pass or fail. To them Basic Science grades are meaningless because to them the students are roughly equal.
I'm at a pass fail school as well.
 
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