CatSurg13

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I would like some advice from people who have recently taken (and passed) the written Ophtho boards. Especially, I would like to hear from those of you out there who were never the best test takers (such as myself). Thanks a lot for your input.
 
Aug 26, 2009
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My OKAP scores were always less than 30th percentile. I passed the boards at 60th.

I used the Friedman book and Will's course notes, supplemented it with the Academy books. Did all the Chern questions at least twice and also used the Mass Q and A book. Last minute optics for optics combined w/ Will's Guyton optics. The last week I used the new Kanski atlas with case studies, it's a great review.

Will's retina, path, uveitis, and oncology sections were great, although cornea was very poor so use something else for that. The Eagle Pathology CD from Wills is money. Also the REDAtlas is good for retina and cornea. I would review peds and optics again right before the exam.

I started hitting the studying hard in November, so by the time the Wills course rolls around it's more of a review for you. Good Luck!!
 

justadude

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My residency class scored poor to average on OKAPS, but we all passed the Written Boards. In my case I used Chern and MEEI questions, Last Minute and Guyton Optics, using BCSC as reference. I started actively studying about 3 months before the exam. I did the Wills course, but it was too much of a fire hose down the throat for me. You may be surprised at how much knowledge you have absorbed through your residency and post residency experience alone - I know others have told you this, but it is true. Take 1-2 days off before the exam to relax with limited to no studying. The fact you are posting your concerns tells me you will do fine.
 
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JMK2005

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I hope that the OP would have passed the written boards since 2006. ;)

So, I'll be taking it this year. How many questions is it? Is the format similar to the OKAPs?
 

umsami

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Anybody use the MOC questions to help study for the written boards? Are they useful?
 

Visionary

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Anybody use the MOC questions to help study for the written boards? Are they useful?
MOC questions are likely too low-level for written board study. You have to understand that the MOC exam is designed to be passable by a wide range of ophthalmolgists, including subspecialists, who have been out of residency for over 10 years! If you think about it, there aren't many oculoplastics docs who are up on the latest retina pathology/treatment. Likewise, there aren't many retina docs who are up on the latest in oculoplastics.

FYI, I used Chern review/questions, MEEI questions, supplementing with other material (e.g., BCSC, Secrets--has a quick and dirty optics review). Never took any courses. Like "justadude," I started intensively studying a few months prior.

It's a 5-hour, 250-question, multiple choice (4 options only) test. Pretty exhausting, but goes quickly.
 

7ontheline

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I found that studying for written boards was very similar to studying for OKAPs - except that a lot of people are way more motivated than they were in residency. In terms of material / studying aids, what worked for OKAPs should basically work for written boards. Just don't expect quite as many easy questions, so maybe just aim for more detailed reviews and questions.
 
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