How hard are the boards?

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by MDchouette, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. MDchouette

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    PGY4 here, with a question for those who have taken the initial ABPN certification recently.

    My dearest friend has scheduled her wedding the Saturday two days before the Monday-Tuesday board exam. The difficulty is that her wedding is in California, and I live in Boston. I am feeling very torn as this is truly my dearest friend in the universe, but I understand the consequences (financial, professional) of failing the boards. It's not something I am willing to risk, which she understands as she is also a physician.

    So, assuming that I study adequately in the months beforehand, and am very good at standardized tests,
    do either of these options seem reasonable?
    - Fly out on Friday night or Saturday AM for wedding and don't stay up late. Study on Sunday. Take test locally on Monday-Tuesday.
    - Fly out on Friday PM / Sat AM, return home on Sunday. Take test at home on Monday-Tuesday.

    I realize that another option is to get there earlier, give myself more time to adjust to the time difference, and then take the test locally, but I won't have enough vacation time yet at my new job to do this.

    Thanks for your honest opinions.
     
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  3. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Either seems reasonable, assuming as you do that you have prepared well ahead of time and are a good test taker.
    Oh, except whichever you choose, ditch that final Sunday study thing.
     
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  4. vistaril

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    I don't know your exact situation, but I really doubt there would be significant professional consequences from failing the boards, especially just one time. Most jobs I was looking at just wanted you to be board certified within 5 years or you were out. My understanding is that is pretty standard. Academic positions in most cases likely won't be that chill, but I know a number of people(at different places) that didn't take the boards until 15 or so months after they graduated.
     
  5. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Agree--but there are significant personal financial consequences from having to pay to take the exam again!
     
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  6. Shikima

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    $1800 individual consequences.....
     
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  7. F0nzie

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    Anybody know what the pass rate is?
     
  8. Shikima

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    Personally speaking, and this is the suspiciousness of others' motives, is going to be on the low side as they will want more money. How else can they justify keeping the exam at its current fee schedule with the elimination of oral boards?
     
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  9. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    I believe it is in the 85-90% range on the current exam.


    We paid extra for the oral boards. It was "Congratulations, you passed Part I. Please send us a check and you can schedule Part II now, and we'll tell you where you can spend more of your own money to travel to to enjoy this day of pure hell."

    [OldManRant] Kids these days don't know how good they've got it...mumble mumble....GET OFFA MY LAWN, Shikma![/OldManRant]
     
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  10. MDchouette

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    Thanks everyone. I'll go with one of those options.

    My salary will go up significantly after I pass boards, so the stakes are higher for me.
     
  11. StECT

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    Ha! That makes all the programs' claims that they have a 90% or 95% first-attempt board pass rate look less impressive!
     
  12. Chimed

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    That just sucks. I know I've gripped and moaned about the video vignettes, but I'm sure as heck happy I didn't have to take the orals part!!! I was lucky being the first year that didn't have to take the oral boards! :)
     
  13. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    My impression of the written board exam was that it was tough but every single question I saw on it was fair. It was something I saw on the list of subjects to study and the questions were for the overwhelming part direct and unambiguous. You either knew the answer or didn't and if you didn't know the answer you knew it was because you didn't know it, not because the question was too vague and the answer choices unfathomable.

    The PRITE is not a good primer for the board exam. The style of the questions are very different. I always tell this analogy to medstudents and residents. You could take one professor's course given that the subject was extremely large, know the material he taught solidly, but then take another professor's exam that covered the same subject and fail it. It all comes down to what the test writer wanted and given that the body of knowledge is so large, what the writer emphasized and thought was important likely would've been very different from the first professor.

    While the PRITE does have a correlation with the board exam, studying old PRITEs are cost-ineffective for the board exam.

    My impression of the old oral board exam is that it's pretty much BS. It's too subjective and given the price of the test and the high subjectivity, I don't think it's a fair test. That format is now gone but some people still have to take it.
     
  14. TikiTorches

    Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

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    Does anyone have to take the last set of oral exams?
     
  15. 2tall

    2tall 1K Member

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    The weekend before the exam is much more about managing your own anxiety than cramming/reviewing last-minute information. If studying reducing your pre-test anxiety than go for it! However, my advice would be to celebrate your friend's day, dance the night away (...have a drink even) and rest on Sunday.
     
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  17. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    Study for it, do it dilligently because the information on that exam does make you a better psychologist (edit-meant to write psychiatrist) vs the scores of other tests we had to take in medschool that we knew more or less were BS. Agree with the above. The day before, take it easy. If you study anything the day before, only study the rote-stuff that's difficult to keep a hold of such as the liver enzyme metabolic stuff.
     
    #15 whopper, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  18. Heathcliff

    Heathcliff Member

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    Just to clear up a misconception among the old timers on this forum...

    The ABPN did NOT pass along the savings when they came up with the Initial Psychiatry Certification Examination. When I registered for the exam in 2013, the application fee was $700 and the examination fee was $2000, for a total cost of $2700. Thankfully I passed it on the first attempt (which was not the experience I had taking the USMLE's).

    This year (2014), the total cost to take the Initial Psychiatry Certification Examination is $2510 (the application fee remains $700, but the examination fee has decreased to $1810. Why? "The ABPN reserves the right to revise fee schedules at any time").

    See page 2: http://www.abpn.com/downloads/ifas/2014_IFA_Cert_Psych_110113.pdf
     
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  19. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Went and dug it up...2003 Part I Board was $1375, 2005 Part II Board was $1725 (and many examinees had to travel, get hotel, etc...)
    So I still think that you young whippersnappers have it better. :hardy:
     
  20. Heathcliff

    Heathcliff Member

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    I also remember something about the pass rate for the oral boards being only 50 to 60%, so I must admit that you are correct: we do have it better.

    You have put this young buck in check.
     
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  21. psychMDhopefully

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    This may seem like a dumb question, bu are psychiatry boards harder than step 1? Like do you have to study for the exam for months and is the test unnecessarily hard ?
     
  22. futuredo32

    futuredo32 Senior Member

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    I took them in 2016 and didn't study all that much. It was pretty straightforward mostly, the vignettes sucked. I failed. I took it this year and it was like WTF IMO. A lot of random factoids I wouldn't have studied. I studied REALLY hard this year. Waiting for results. I took the Comlex not USMLE but it was much harder than the Comlex.
     
  23. Doc1401

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    The general consensus this year is that the psych board was much more difficult than previous years
     
  24. DisorderedDoc417

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    Seems to be the general consensus of every board exam any medical student or resident has ever taken. Glad to see this mentality continues as an attending.
     
  25. psychMDhopefully

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    Yeah it honestly seems that board exams and even entrance exams like the MCAT get harder ever year making it harder to become a board certified MD, while other fields like nursing continue to relax standards so that they can pump out more and more NPs. Hopefully the strategy medicine is adopting will benefit us in some way but I don't see how it will besides making people more stressed.
     
  26. TexasPhysician

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    With so many companies “outing” questions, new questions must be formulated often. This often results in subjectively harder questions not before seen in Q banks.

    The end result is the same. Percentage pass rates don’t change much.
     
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  27. ara96

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    Gosh, these posts make me scared about passing the boards.
     
  28. didipass

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    Anyone got any info on when the results come out this year?
     

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