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Interpreting Graphs

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Proverbs31, May 31, 2008.

  1. Proverbs31

    Proverbs31 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Northern bound
    Need advice on reading graphs Does anyone else have this problem? I find that about 50% of the time I am getting problems wrong not bc I do not know the material, but bc I have a hard time interpreting the graphs and charts provided with the questions. Some make no sense to me whatsoever and I cant even tell you what Im supposed to be deducing from the graph until I read the answer, at which point I feel like a dumba** for not getting it in the first place. Maybe its a little too late to try and learn this isn't a new problem, but I was wondering if anyone had any strategies or know of any prep books that go over all the kinds of graphs, scales, charts you are most likey to see and how to interpret them fast??

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  3. TerpMD

    TerpMD 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    UMD 2010
    You might already be doing this but I would look at the last line of the question and then the answer choices before trying to interpret the graph so you know the goal. Sometimes they will give some crazy chart and ask for something that is just a number on the chart- but it is easy to get confused because they always throw in lots of info you don't need.

    When it comes to graphs specifically, I try to make a sentence that says the point- as X increases Y decreases or whatever. Same with the crazy electrophoresis. That can often help and it is easy to do quickly.
  4. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Yeah, I'm another person with agraphia. (As Goljan would put it)
  5. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Can you be more specific? If you're talking about cardiac function curves, I have different advice than if you're talking about charts/graphs relating to sensitivity and specificity.
  6. CCLCMer

    CCLCMer CCLCM Alum c/o 2011 7+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    Cleveland expatriate
    What I do is read the question stem first. Sometimes you don't really need the graph to answer the question. Then, I look at the axes and any labels on the graph. I know that sounds incredibly obvious, but a lot of times the axis labels are pretty helpful to give you an idea of what is going on. Then, like Terp said, I look at whether the relationship being shown is direct (as x increases, y increases) or indirect (as x increases, y decreases). Even if you still don't know what the answer is, you can at least eliminate some of the wrong answers if they don't have the correct relationship. In other words, if I know that y and x are inversely related, I would rule out all the answers where y goes up when x goes up, or y goes down when x goes down. The other thing is, if you know that these questions are hard for you, practice reading more graphs. Even just pick up a journal article and look at the graphs. Try to figure the relationship out yourself from the labels, and then read the legend.
  7. Proverbs31

    Proverbs31 5+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Northern bound
    To All---thanks for the comments they def all are helping..

    Prowler: It really just depends...I guess Both.....I even have my MPH so I should easily be able to understand the RR and OR, sensitivity crap by now but ...Nope..
    I can look in BRS Physio and for the most part ~90% time I can understand all the graphs in there. I just need to remember to not confuse Veno-Dilation with Vaso-Dilation and the associated compensations, etc.

    Ummm...Ok ..UW Question I did last night. It was stating that this new Antiarrythmic drug is being tested in experiments and that the experiments measure the ion flow with a negative flow representing efflux of ions and a positive flow representing influx. I scroll down and they show you a normal Myocyte cardiac cycle graph...Im like great I get that...then below it two more graphs are shown with one stating -before drug A -and one - after Drug A...
    SO right off the bat Im like "why are they showing 3 graphs now"....Took me a second to just disregard the first normal one....Then I look at the other two and the lines are different colors and they go up and down and have no remote similarity to looking like a normal myocyte AP graph and I cant figure out which phase is what color or line....(It looked like a 2 year old scribbled some lines-overlapping and different colors)
    SO I pick an answer (the choices were listed as Drug names and which one its mech resembled) and it was wrong. The Ques. was looking for Class 3 antiarrythmics that prolong the K and AP. I was like GEEZ! I spent forever learning those graphs in BRS and now I miss it anyways--- when if you just knew which ions came/left during the phases you would easily get the Question correct. Sorry that may not be the best example but thats the only one off the top of my head right now and I gotta get out of this house for a bit. :) I'll try to be more specific and a better , shorter example...

    Thanks again in advance for your help.

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