chomskytool

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sorry to create a new thread on the 2010 abim, but i thought this would be the best way for this info to be seen......

To be honest, i still do not have my official score as of yet, but when i took this years abim, i left feeling like i aced it.....now that it appears this was one of the harder versions of the ABIM, i would like to share with everyone who failed, how i prepared......

I actually graduated in 2009, but chose not to take the test right away since: 1) i was burned out, 2) i started my first job as a hospitalist 6 weeks before my scheduled exam in 2009.....therefore i ended up cancelling the test fearing that i would not pass......

fast forward to 2010, and i scheduled my test for aug 26th. I began my serious prep for this exam in june 2010. The first two challenges i faced was that i was working full time and my wife was due with our first child in early september......

I put in on avg, 2hrs a night during the weekdays, and about 4-6hrs a day on the weekend.

The main text i used was ACPS BOARD BASCICS 2. I cannot emphasize how important this text is. The normal mksap text is way too much info and med study to be honest is way to dense(and also has alot of board irrelevant material)

Board bascis 2 was awesome. very conscise, easy to read(you can read through it completely in about 3 days) and most importantly was the most board relevant text out there.

Also for questions i used all of mksap 14(which was not the lastest version). I would do all the questions, and then right notes on each question in a note book. I would then re-read the chapter(for example on heme-onc) in board basics, then re-read my notes, then repeat taking the mksap questions. i would do this until i was knew all the testable facts in each subject. of course you eventually "memorize" the anwsers, but what this does is that you memorize a testable fact.

I ended up reading board basics 2 from cover to cover over about 5 times. and did the all of mksap questions several times as well.

as i got closer to to the test date, i had a very old acp Question CD( i think from 2005), and i would use these questions(since they were brand new to me) to gauge how well i was doing. i was scoring above 80% on avg. i only took these questions once.

As many posts hint at, when i took the abim, the first 2 blocks were very easy and the afternoon blocks became increasingly harder...however as i left the test center, i felt very confident i passed. at least with the first 2 blocks, i felt i only missed 2-3 questions on avg in those blocks....

Trust me i have never been a good standardized test taker. i did very avg on all three step exams to be honest...i was shocked at how easy the whole test felt...also was shocked that alot people were saying it was hard(this of course made me very scared....any time i think i do good, i usually fail.)

I really think what made me pass was the text i choose(board basics 2) and going over constantly the mksap questions. I personally think medstudy is even a waste of your precious study time.....i mean u could spend a week memorizing all the stuff contained in there charts and none of it showed up on the abims....

also what helped me big time was making a very easy algorithm about cardiac murmurs... there is a good 5-10 questions on this stuff, and if u memorize a simple algorithm it becomes very easy...

i hope this post was not to long winded. but i wrote in sincere hope that whoever failed this year, can use the above info to beat the **** out of the test next year.....

i may post my algorithm, and other pneumonics that helped me along the way later....

if i leave you with anything, it is get board basics 2.
 
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mig26x

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a quick question. they tell you first pass or fail and then the score or are you posting on a gut feeling?
 
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chomskytool

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a quick question. they tell you first pass or fail and then the score or are you posting on a gut feeling?

no i definitively passed( i checked on the ABIM website). the actually score is sent through the mail...and i havent updated my mailing address since we moved, so i am not sure how long this will take....so i may have passed by a little or alot...but i felt like i passed by alot to be honest.
 

DrWBD

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Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience and advice.
I used MKSAP questions and the MedStudy books for review - I completely agree that the MKSAP text is total overkill.
 
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chomskytool

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just wanted to update everyone... i did pass. didnt smash the thing, but got a solid average score.....
 
Jan 4, 2014
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Hi! I'm studying for my boards and came across your post - how did you create your algorithm for cardiac murmurs?
 

Instatewaiter

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First, this post is from 4 years ago and the last time this guy posted was 2 years ago. He's long gone.

Second, you don't need an algorithm. There are really only a handful of murmurs you could possibly be asked about. What problems are you having with them?
 
Jan 4, 2014
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:) I thought it was a great idea and wanted to know his algorithm. I guess I'll make one myself since he is long gone, afterall!
 
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Instatewaiter

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The murmur section is surprisingly easy. They give you about 50 different clues to figure it out. With the exception of a single murmur on the exam, I didn't need the audio portion.
 
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chomskytool

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:) I thought it was a great idea and wanted to know his algorithm. I guess I'll make one myself since he is long gone, afterall!
cool. i actually still lurk here and there. and cant believe you resurrected this thread. for that i will search old notes and post it per your request. hope it helps. peace
 
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chomskytool

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I found it! i am pretty sure this was compiled from board basics 2/med study. so the info should be pretty accurate. img070.jpg
 
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Instatewaiter

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I found it! i am pretty sure this was compiled from board basics 2/med study. so the info should be pretty accurate.
Well you made a liar out of me... haha. Overall a good flowsheet


A few points
1) Persistently split and fixed split are essentially the same thing. They probably won't say "fixed split" on the real thing
2) Fixed split S2 is not necessarily serious. An old guy with a RBBB, this is an expected finding. He'll probably have an S4 as well from his hypertension.
3) S4 is found in anything that thickens the ventricle (hypertension and those on this list). Because of this an S4 with a murmur is not a worrisome finding. (ie hypertension with any murmur)
4) Valsava increases HoCM. If they tell you the murmur increases with valsalva, it's probably HoCM and it will probably be a young guy
5) S3 isn't a normal finding in dilated cardiomyopathy. You see it when they are in heart failure. You diurese them and it goes away. Also seen normally in pregnancy and adolescence
6) TR and VSD are both found at the sternal border
7) Don't forget about the changes to JVP with different murmurs especially large V waves with TR.
 
Jan 4, 2014
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cool. i actually still lurk here and there. and cant believe you resurrected this thread. for that i will search old notes and post it per your request. hope it helps. peace
BTW I posted this flowsheet to 2014 ABIM thread bc it was too good to just keep it for myself. Hope that is okay! :) Thanks you guys.