Man, I am worried about failing Internal Medicine Shelf Exam


Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2005
Well, I took the shelf Int Medicine Shelf exam last week and am just concern of failing this darn exam. I just barely finish the exam. I felt the exam was just one big blur. Does anyone else feel they failed after taking the shelf exam. I mean there were questions I knew but there were also quite a few questions that I had to narrow down between 2 choices. I feel you really have no time to think about each question, just read, make an educated guess and move on.
And then at the end of the exam, our preceptor stated that you need to get 11% or above on the shelf exam, which is equivalent to 64 questions right.
Man, I just feel down at times esp, when students on this forum are rocking 95% on the shelf exams, while I am worried about passing. Dang, I know it's christmas break and all but I feel this shelf will bug me throughout my break.

Well, enough about me complaining.

Merry Christmas to all the future doctors!!!


10+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2008
MD/PhD Student
I wouldn't worry too much. I personally don't know anyone who is actually rocking 95% on their shelf exam. First of all, you're done with the exam so chill out and relax. It's done and there's not much more that can be done now. If you're not happy about how you are doing on your shelf exams, perhaps you need another way of studying. I would recommend reading as many of those question/answer books as possible (e.g. Pretest)--because, there are only so many questions that can be asked about any particular specialty.


10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2004
Hiding in your closet
Attending Physician
I had a rough time on this shelf as well, and I thought I was going into it pretty well-prepared. My main problem on these tests stems from the fact that I read fairly slow - not a good trait to have on shelf exams. I ran out of time with 10 questions left, and had to bubble in random answers without even reading the questions. I've never before in my life run out of time on an exam (even during Step 1), until this year. I feel like I just keep getting owned by shelf after shelf. I wish I could read faster! Now that I'm on break, I keep thinking about it, and I'm so worried. I was hoping to do well on my medicine rotation - I really busted my butt on my rotations. But I'm afraid that this stupid shelf exam is going to drag down my average and end up off-setting my marks for performance. Argg.
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