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How are YOU studying for the ABA Basic Exam?

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by floridaboy18, Jun 19, 2014.

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  1. floridaboy18

    floridaboy18 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Just curious how current CA-1's are tackling this?

    I've been doing some M5 and some high yield chapter from Baby Miller to refresh. Might use some ACE book questions too. Would love to hear everyone's opinion.

    On the upside, I've heard that they only anticipate a 5% failure rate.
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  3. V-SWAG


    Jun 19, 2014
    M5, Anesthesia Prep, Hall, ACE questions. No book reading per se, just doing questions until my head explodes.
  4. CharleyVCU1988

    CharleyVCU1988 Are we having fun yet? 10+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I would love to get this stickied...I am going to be a brand new CA-1 in 1 week!
  5. HiddenGentleman

    HiddenGentleman ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2010
    I am doing pretty much the same. I have been working my way through M5 while taking extensive notes. I've went through the first 20 or so chapters of baby Miller doing the same. Planning to go through the basic sections of Hall the weekend before. Hopefully it will be enough to earn a P.
  6. cognitus

    cognitus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2013
    Have any of you guys heard of StartPREP? It's this new online course put together by Stanford to help prepare for the basic portion of the exam. My program will be using that to prepare the CA-1 residents. Just wondering if there are any thoughts on it.
  7. Shimmy8

    Shimmy8 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2012
    My program used it last year, CA-1 thoughts were mixed, some didn't like how it was organized.

    But we're going to use it again for my upcoming CA-1 year, so they must have found it somewhat useful overall.

    My "plan" is to read as much as I can for the first half of they year to get base, then sometime in January really ramp up the questions with M5, Hall, and ACE. Of course, we'll see what the test ends up looking like here soon.
  8. funaswc

    funaswc NHNT 5+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    For those using M5; is there a 'filter' to select questions/topics specifically for the Basic exam? Thank you!
  9. HiddenGentleman

    HiddenGentleman ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2010
    No. No one really knows what exactly will be on the exam yet.
  10. cognitus

    cognitus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2013
    I guess I wouldn't care about organization as long as they cover all the relevant material. I guess we will see how good it was after they take the exam.
  11. gasblaster

    gasblaster ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2012
    Our program had access to StartPrep. For the first part of the year, most of the CA-1s were doing it pretty regularly because it was really the only thing we had geared to the Basic Exam. However, as time progressed, most of us had issues with it and started studying our own way, especially as ITEs approached. Post-ITE there are very few of us that still do it. The people at Stanford are pretty open to criticisms about it and are planning to make changes for the next year.
  12. cognitus

    cognitus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2013
    What were the issues you had that caused you to reduce your usage? And what did you do to replace StartPrep once you reduced your usage?
  13. gasblaster

    gasblaster ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2012
    Main things:

    1) A very rigid structure. Each day a specific lecture is released. You have to do that lecture and can only do that lecture. You can't do any others that have not been released and cannot do any other lectures until you've done all the ones that have been released up to that.
    2) Organization of lectures weren't that great. As noted above, they chose which lectures were released on what days. The sequence didn't seem to flow or correlate, but skipped around a lot.
    3) Quality was ok. Lectures are made by attendings at the participating institutions, so there's a lot of variation in the quality, content, etc. Some were awesome, some were... not.
    4) Lot's of surveys that were required. I guess they wanted a lot of feedback since it's a new thing, but it was quiet excessive.

    Most of us turned to the tried and true textbooks. Of course, we don't know exactly what's going to work until we get our scores back. Although, our class ITE performance, which should hopefully somewhat reflect our performance on the Basics since the ITE covers both Advanced and Basic topics, was quite positive, so StartPrep definitely isn't necessary by any means.
  14. cognitus

    cognitus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2013
    Thanks. Any specific textbooks that you recommend for the BASIC exam? Not sure how similar it is to the ITEs.
  15. cognitus

    cognitus 2+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2013
    That's a lousy structure. As a resident, you're not going to have the energy to view a lecture every day and they shouldn't hold you to that.
  16. NewYorkGas

    NewYorkGas 2+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    I think all would be wise to check out the ABA Basic Exam outline available at the ABA site. There is very good reason to believe that the test questions correlate very closely to this outline.

    I'd think one would want a quick hitter review book like Faust plus a Qbank, whether that is a website, app, or book. I would definitely though make sure your Q&A source aligns with the ABA BASIC exam outline. There is a new book out there, Anesthesiology Core Review, that is like Faust, but only covers topics on the ABA BASIC outline. There are about 200, 2-page chapters on topics directly from the outline. Faust I believe covers topics on both the BASIC and ADVANCED outlines so make sure you study the right material.

    If you are going to use a Q&A book like Hall or Dershwitz, again I'd compare the TOC and/or index to the ABA BASIC outline for the highest yield. Only study the topics on the ABA outline or you are wasting your time.
  17. crazywiththecheezwhiz

    crazywiththecheezwhiz ASA Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2014
    How many questions are on this test? 250?
  18. gassyPants

    gassyPants 5+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2011
    You just had to be there
    You would hope that, but a few of the practice questions are outside the scope of the outline, so now I feel like I really have very little guidance on what to expect. I've more or less covered the relevant chapters of M&M, and most of the M5 sections. I just keep hammering the obvious basics, the obvious exam trivia, maintain a cram list of things I forget instantly (dermatomes, nerve distributions, etc) and try to retain whatever else I can. I don't have the time or energy to study for my sub-specialty rotations and cover all the material that may or may not be on this exam. As an aside, this exam is clinically detracting for me and I think it is going to have a negative impact on my overall education - I'm not paying as much attention as I should to studying toward my specific patients, or the rotation I am on. I am not out in the trenches vying for procedures if I can get a few moments to study instead. I'll take a month or two worth of mediocre evals over the risk of having to go through this again or extending my residency.

    The M5 folks (folk?) sent out a pretty useful email about a month ago on their opinions which of their questions seem to correlate best with what will be on the exam. They also suggested that the exam would probably extend outside the scope of the outline.

    At this point, I'm just holding on for the ride, covering what I can, keeping manufacturers of ibuprofen in business and hoping that I won't fall in the bottom 5%.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  19. liza1234


    Jul 24, 2014
    I am brand new CA!, I am looking for study partner to study one hour couple times a week via skype. please let me know if you are interested. my skype ID: liza.ahmadi
  20. Dawkter

    Dawkter 5+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Same question ^
  21. Diet Dr Pepper

    Diet Dr Pepper 2+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2013
    I could care less about this basic exam. It's pass/fail, and the actual score never gets shared with anyone. I was 99% basic on the ite the past two years. Waste of time.
  22. WashMe

    WashMe 7+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2008
    Sounds like you couldn't care less.
  23. FranksWildYears

    FranksWildYears Fresh chilled Diprivan, delivered to your door! 7+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2008
  24. acidbase1

    acidbase1 5+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2011
    Same question
  25. Docuronium

    Docuronium ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    This is the most SDN thing I've seen in a long time. Thank you for this
    Diet Dr Pepper and JeffGarrett like this.

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