keepsmiling10

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I used to rock at exams. I kicked ass on the ACT's & SAT's & rocked all my subject exams in high school & college. I also did fairly well on exams during my first 2 years in med school.

I just pure suck at standardized medical testing though. I did alright on the MCAT's, did pretty poorly on Step 1 & haven't been doing as well on shelf exams as I am used to doing on regular exams. I work really hard on my rotations & do read and study quite a bit before the exams but for some reason, the info just seems to get all jumbled up in my head.
We had a practice Step 2 exam recently & I did fairly poorer than my other classmates. I really need to rock out on Step 2 for saving grace to get into a good residency program. Plus, I need to figure out where my problem lies so I can change it for the way I study for shelf exams.
What is wrong with me & how can I fix it so that I can actually do better on these exams??
 

braluk

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Well since you've taken the exams yourself, you probably might have a better idea at what parts of the standardized exams you do poorly on- that is, specifically, is there an area which you consistently lack in? Most people who do poorly on standardized exams only get better by taking multiple practice exams and practice questions to learn. It's not necessarily learning and reciting and memorizing the material that will help you ace your exams and such, but actually applying it by doing practice questions, that will help you learn your stuff.
 

docmd2010

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Hey i feel your pain. i did well on the ACT/SAT but didn't do as hot on the MCAT. but then i turned it around and did well on the step 1. You know what? **** happens. Don't let your guard down, it's not a big deal. you can probably still get in to a program of your choice with a good step 2 score. we're all allowed to have a bed day, so don't beat yourself so bad. i agree with the above post, you and only you can assess your weaknesses. why did you score lower on the step 1? was it anxiety? how were your usmleworld practice percentages prior to step 1? if they were good, you probably just had a bad test, catering toward all of your weaknesses, if they weren't that good, than you have a problem with grasping the material. did you read through the explanations on UW? what materials did u use to study?

point is, from what i've heard, step 2 is easier than step 1. it's basically the same concepts and tricks from step 1 but with a clinical twist, i.e. no more crazy genetics, anatomy, embryology, or wierd path. and no memorization of ridicuilous microbial pathogenic factors, all that stff. so chill out, are you a 3rd year or 4th year? get UW now, regardless if ure a 3rd year or 4th year. if you normally don't have problem with the timing on boards, then do all the questions in tutor mode. Do each question, read the explanation, look up everything that you don't understand with books, uptodate, etc. while you're doing this, mark the questions that have really good explanations, good radiology images, or good charts. they'll be good review for the week before the exam.

you're obviously a smart person otherwise you wouldn't even be sitting for the step 2. get hope and get your stuff together and rock the step 2.

I wish you the best of luck. :D
 

EM2BE

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Hey i feel your pain. i did well on the ACT/SAT but didn't do as hot on the MCAT. but then i turned it around and did well on the step 1. You know what? **** happens. Don't let your guard down, it's not a big deal. you can probably still get in to a program of your choice with a good step 2 score. we're all allowed to have a bed day, so don't beat yourself so bad. i agree with the above post, you and only you can assess your weaknesses. why did you score lower on the step 1? was it anxiety? how were your usmleworld practice percentages prior to step 1? if they were good, you probably just had a bad test, catering toward all of your weaknesses, if they weren't that good, than you have a problem with grasping the material. did you read through the explanations on UW? what materials did u use to study?

point is, from what i've heard, step 2 is easier than step 1. it's basically the same concepts and tricks from step 1 but with a clinical twist, i.e. no more crazy genetics, anatomy, embryology, or wierd path. and no memorization of ridicuilous microbial pathogenic factors, all that stff. so chill out, are you a 3rd year or 4th year? get UW now, regardless if ure a 3rd year or 4th year. if you normally don't have problem with the timing on boards, then do all the questions in tutor mode. Do each question, read the explanation, look up everything that you don't understand with books, uptodate, etc. while you're doing this, mark the questions that have really good explanations, good radiology images, or good charts. they'll be good review for the week before the exam.

you're obviously a smart person otherwise you wouldn't even be sitting for the step 2. get hope and get your stuff together and rock the step 2.

I wish you the best of luck. :D

Very true! :smuggrin:
 
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Amy B

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Im also a poor standarized test taker. I just had to go over the material over and over, learned to read the questions more slowly, dont read to much into them, dont try to over analize the content, etc.......
 

keepsmiling10

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Thanks guys, that does help. I do really need to figure out what exactly I have trouble with. Perhaps starting now will help. Thanks!
 

Abram Hoffer

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Thanks guys, that does help. I do really need to figure out what exactly I have trouble with. Perhaps starting now will help. Thanks!
It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, so proceed sparingly with your self-deprecatory words. It's all right to identify weaker points among your skills, but you have come very far to say that you suck. Just a minor point, I know, but...

Specifics: one thing I learned in preparing for Step 2 CK is that I need to cross out the most unlikely choices (narrowing) in order to see my score increase. Usually this brings me down to 2 answer choices--which adds up quickly when you consider 50/50 vs 20% chance, etc. If you find you are unable to narrow a question down to 2 choices, you're usually missing the boat. Read: you lack significant knowledge in that area. What do you do to correct it? You jot down that concept and read on it after you finish your set of questions. Also, highlight the succinct ideas taken from explanations and go back and read those ideas into a recorder. Later, listen to those ideas when on the treadmill, driving to and from somewhere in traffic, etc.

Let us know what you think... there are hundreds of brainiacs on SDN, so surely, others will chime in and help optimize your learning.
 
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