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How do you memorize the whole book?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by porland, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. porland

    porland Member
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    Hey guys,
    I have heard from many people saying that they memorized FA, BRS pathology, BRS phys from cover to cover. Do you guys have any advice or guidelines as to how to memorize these books? I don't see it's possible for me to memorize every single word in the books and retain them all for a long time. I tried to memorize just parts of FA or BRS path, and I forgot all about it 3 days later. It's been very frustrating for me and it totally drives me nuts!
    When you said memorize, did you mean word for word in the entire book or just the important concepts? How do you guys keep tons and tons of info straight in your head?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated

    Thanks

    Porland
     
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  3. funkless

    funkless Apatheist, Anestheologist
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    Start early.
    Make flashcards.
    Repeat repeat repeat.
     
  4. DOctorJay

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    check out the University of Utah website also, they have some palm programs to download that broke a lot of FA up into flash cards for the palm. Google this info and you should be able to find some other ways to study FA.

    -J
     
  5. heifetz

    heifetz Member
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    Instead of memorizing FA/BRS why don't you learn the material properly during your 2 years of MS?? Surely you don't think step 1 is simply an exercise in rote memorization. If so let me know how that works out for ya.
     
  6. porland

    porland Member
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    heifetz,
    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I don't learn anything during my 2 years in med school and count solely on my memory for the step 1. You misinterpreted me. My concern is that I'm worried if I could not master both FA and BRS path to the degree where I should. These books have tremendously helped and guided many students. So, obviously all informations are considered important, and I wanted to make sure that I do not miss one single question on the exam where you can easily find the answer from these books.

    Yes, all the materials covered in these books are technically review for all of us and we all should know them. I could probably recognize the most common symptom, etiology, mechanism, etc associated with one particular disease. But to retain all of the info....I don't think so. So, all I'm asking is just what is the best way to know these 2 books cold, inside out. What study guides that other people have done? Repetition is probably the key, but then the next question is how much repetition?

    Keep in mind that this does not only apply to FA and BRS, it applies to all board prep books out there. I hope this clarifies my question.

    porland
     
  7. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
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    Like you said, repitition is key. Another thing you might want to try is to make a brief outline of BRS path as you progress in your Step 1 studies. Since there is so much info in there, having an outline will certainly help you not get lost in the minutiae when taking the "memorizing" approach. G'luck!
     
  8. kcumbDO

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    all you need to ace step 1 is brs path, brs phys, qbank, robins review of path, hy neuro, first aid, and get plenty of practice questions from the pretest series on physio, biochem, pharm, micro.
     
  9. Arnold Chiari

    Arnold Chiari Member
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    please define "ace"
     
  10. chillypalmer

    chillypalmer Cool Member
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    For me ACE means Anything Closer to E, where E=206 :D
     
  11. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member
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    Every once in a while a post comes along on the Step One forum that gives me a terrific headache and almost makes me lose faith in future generations of medical students. This happens to be one of them.

    Dude, you could tell me what the 13th word of the 2nd paragraph of page 244 was, but that's hardly a guarantee that you're gonna rock that damn test. It's less about memorizing and more about understanding, because they don't directly ask you anything. Study FA (or whatever you feel most comfortable with..they're all the same) and do tons of questions to gage where you stand. Hint: if you run through qbank and are hitting questions at a 70% clip, you're doing pretty good (240-250).

    This is just my 2 cents...I consider myself a little more "normal" than the rest of the gunners that populate these forums ;)
     
  12. YouDontKnowJack

    YouDontKnowJack I no something you don't
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    then there are those who get 70% on qbank and still do poorly on the test.
    i wonder how many people are like this. I've read about a few people on these forums.

    It seems a 70% qbank corresponds to a wide range of scores: 220-250
     
  13. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
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    You're right, I've seen that happen several times. I think every person should take the NBME exams 1 & 2 ($45 each) before walking into the USMLE. It's, by far, the best predictor of your actual performance on the exam.

    I'll probably take NBME 1 about 3-4 weeks before my test date and then take NBME 2 like three days before.
     
  14. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member
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    I'd be interested in knowing exactly how many did so well on qbank and poorly on the test. In my opinion those qbank questions are a lot pickier and more specific than the ones on the real thing. But that was just my experience. If you've gone through the entire thing and are at 70%, then I would think that you can assure yourself of a decent score (240-250 may be a bit of an exaggeration)

    Anyway, that was like the least relevant part of my post. The point is, understanding and NOT memorization is the key to viuctory over pure, unmitigated evil (Step One).
     
  15. mjl1717

    mjl1717 Senior Member
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    Pompacil relax, I think most would still say that porland is asking a halfway decent question and most respect your point of understanding the info.
    Especially when one lives in the competetive,(get use to not being in the top 10% of the class anymore) academic battle ground that we are in.
    And in addition one the best comments Ive heard recently is that understanding is only the bare minimum. "One must understand, be able to master and then manipulate for real success"
     
  16. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member
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    How profound.

    You should see me when I'm pissed. :)
     
  17. Paws

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    I am getting sort of worried because I am just not so good at memorizing stuff that doesn't have a maningful place in my brain. I can short term memorize 'stuff,' but as far as I know step 1 is a clinically based question test. I hope to actually understand the material I learn during second year, and that this will help with the exam.

    Otherwise, I am way worried. I have classmates who sat in the library all last summer studying for the boards. I just can't see how that stuff would stay in your brain. But alot of these guys are "memorizers," and I seem to still be the squishy liberal arts person who tries to 'understand' the clinical scenario.

    This test has me worried because I can't just memorize FA. I am going to work through the qbank questions over the break and see how that goes.
     
  18. ozarka

    ozarka Junior Member
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    i'm in your exact situation paws - i'm the "squish liberal arts person" who has a terrible time memorizing. i'm sort of panicking because i have no idea how to approach this studying marathon. i've heard from some that it's not the best to do qbank too early, to save the questions for the actual prep time in the spring/summer...so i thought of going through 1st aid casually over break, maybe some brs path and phys, just to get myself acquainted with the material so it won't be foreign come march....
     
  19. mcandy

    mcandy Senior Member
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    Here is a suggestion...re-read material you know (aka should know) in BRS PATH...read up on anything relevant (remotely relevant) in BRS PHYS...then mix in the pharm that corresponds with the "system" and you will be covering some good ground. Pop open the appropriate chapter in the BIG Robbins (is there any other???) and look at a few pictures. If the section has some biochem invovled (like say with megaloblastic anemias) then pull out a biochem book and scribble down the reaction in the margin of your path book paying particular attention to the RLS. This is also a good place to integrate that pharm you were looking at cause that is usually where pharm functions (I like to add my drug name intot he chem reaction with a + or - denoting whether it inhibits or encourages...You could also pop open Netter (5 minutes tops) and remember things like how many lobes each lung has or why right sided heart failure might cause liver issues (keep it simple and relevant to what you are reading).

    If you are feeling really ambitious, you can look up all the bugs and viruses that predispose you too X or that one is predisposed to becoming infected with while inflicted with ______ (ie the bugs that come up over and over in path books like EBV, CMV, HPV, Strep, SA, TB.....). I like to put these notes in my FA in the micro section.

    You can also revisit that 1st year path stuff and hammer it out....atrophy, liquefactive necrosis, neoplasia....This is especially fun!!! :love:

    Try it out. It sounds like a lot but it is a good way to start methodically widdling away at the mess...it is also a good way to approach new material in systems based learning. Repitition is the key....but learning the why and how will get you around the memorizing too (well somewhat). With this approach, you will have reviewd alot of last years "crap" and your review books will be nicely annotated with a lot of HY stuff. Casual is a waste of time...do it 100% or go do soemthing fun. No advice on Qbank, but I have found Robbins Review of Path to be a great source of questions to do along with systems.

    Now in return for my worldly advice, please send me motivation to study over break...can't seem to put down the clicker and beer.
     
  20. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!
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    :thumbup:
     
  21. chillypalmer

    chillypalmer Cool Member
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    Heres your motivation, a dumb f and ****** like me is studing during the break, and if I score more than you, you gonna feel hurt, so please throw that clicker away and store the beer till later and get on within it pal! :D :thumbup:
     
  22. porland

    porland Member
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    Thanks all for the advice and suggestions! I appreciate them very much!
     
  23. porland

    porland Member
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    Thanks all for the advice and suggestions! I appreciate them very much! :) :)
     
  24. felicia2001uk

    felicia2001uk Junior Member
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  25. hitemup11

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    uve gotta be kidding dude
    dont waste ur time memorizing all that stuff
    u should have learned it during ur 1st 2 years.....
    :idea:
     

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