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7+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2016
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Anybody any thoughts on what to make of this score drop?

NBME 3 May 159
NBME 4 July 242
NBME 6 August 235
UWSA six days later 223

After the first NBME, Read MTB 2, watched DIT videos. After first pass through UW, took weakest subjects by percentile and did all the questions in those subjects again. Have been using Anki consistently to try and retain it. Felt like NBME 4 was easier than 6.

Discouraged to see UWSA score was so low, thought it would be closer to the last NBME. Feel like 242 and 235 are not so different, but 223 is way lower than expected. Only one more practice exam left (NBME 7)

Is it wise to rely on one's average of the latest practice tests? DO student with 227 on Step 1 applying for anesthesia, wanting to at least improve upon that..would have felt ok taking the test following 235 on NBME 6 but with UWSA showing 223, feeling worried. Don't want to apply with a Step 2 < Step 1...

Welcoming your thoughts/advice. Thanks so much!

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My understanding of using exams to gauge scores is that NBME's are more consistent.

The number one factor correlated with success on USMLE exams (at my school) is number of practice questions completed. Can't explain the drop in score from your UWSA, but doing lots of questions from now until your test seems to be the only answer worth believing in.

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I had a 7 point drop from NBME 4 (237) to UWSA (230) taken 1 week apart. Not really sure what to make of it, taking NBME 6 this weekend and gonna go forward with the exam next Wednesday likely no matter what (just making sure I am not having a stroke and losing information).
Did you review your wrong answers on UWSA? Notice any patterns of why/what you were missing?