Ophthoseidon

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Is it a pro or a con to have NBME preclinical exams? I was just wondering what people thought. On one hand it helps for boards, on another hand having mandatory lectures seems like a waste of time.
 

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Questioning your medical school's curriculum as an M1, are we? It's a pro to have NBME shelf exams. They tell you exactly how you stand on that particular subject with regards to Step 1 and is a good barometer of your progress. I don't see what mandatory lectures has to do with instituting a shelf exam. That's your school's policy -- don't blame the NBME for that.
 
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Is it a pro or a con to have NBME preclinical exams? I was just wondering what people thought. On one hand it helps for boards, on another hand having mandatory lectures seems like a waste of time.

The NBMEs are usually easier than our regular exams, so I don't mind having them, they boost our grades.
 

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The NBMEs are usually easier than our regular exams, so I don't mind having them, they boost our grades.
It depends on what type of questions your prof use... These questions are labeled as 'easy, 'intermediate' or 'advanced'. If your prof use the easy ones, of course most med students would find them easy...
 
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Ophthoseidon

Ophthoseidon

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Questioning your medical school's curriculum as an M1, are we? It's a pro to have NBME shelf exams. They tell you exactly how you stand on that particular subject with regards to Step 1 and is a good barometer of your progress. I don't see what mandatory lectures has to do with instituting a shelf exam. That's your school's policy -- don't blame the NBME for that.
I am not questioning it at all! I like it. I was just wondering if it was an advantage over having professor written exams. Seems like it is from your post. I just meant normally for NBME people use board books, not lectures. So I didnt know if its better to work through lecture material for NBME exams or stick to the other stuff. I just want to learn as much as possible
 

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@Ophthoseidon ...Does your school use NBME exclusively or is it only on some subjects? Do you go to a US school? I have not heard of many US schools that use NBME shelf exam exclusively throughout the first 2 preclinical years...
 

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I am not questioning it at all! I like it. I was just wondering if it was an advantage over having professor written exams. Seems like it is from your post. I just meant normally for NBME people use board books, not lectures. So I didnt know if its better to work through lecture material for NBME exams or stick to the other stuff. I just want to learn as much as possible
Oh, I see, you're not talking about end-of-course NBME shelf exams. You're talking about all your exams being NBME style -- the professor essentially just selects which questions he wants out of the NBME test bank which are on the subject matter, topics, and concepts he's covered and then you take the exam. Well since the NBME writes the Step 1 exam, then it's good that you're being exposed to those type of questions thru out your classes.

That's a tough one, in that case, whether professor powerpoints and lecture notes or board review books are better.
 
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DermViser

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@Ophthoseidon ...Does your school use NBME exclusively or is it only on some subjects? Do you go to a US school? I have not heard of many US schools that use NBME shelf exam exclusively throughout the first 2 preclinical years...
There are some schools that actively do this. Many top tier schools don't do it bc they don't believe their curriculum should contour itself to "teaching to the test".
 
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Ophthoseidon

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@Ophthoseidon ...Does your school use NBME exclusively or is it only on some subjects? Do you go to a US school? I have not heard of many US schools that use NBME shelf exam exclusively throughout the first 2 preclinical years...
I go to a US MD school. Our first semester is professor written exams. After winter break we start systems and switch straight over to NBME.
 
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There are some schools that actively do this. Many top tier schools don't do it bc they don't believe their curriculum should contour itself to "teaching to the test".
I see... I think there are more pro than con to that because most prof are not good in writing test questions. Also, like you said that give students some familiarity with board type questions... The con is that some smart students might be able to good on these exams by just using these review books...
 

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I go to a US MD school. Our first semester is professor written exams. After winter break we start systems and switch straight over to NBME.
How long your school has been doing that? Do you know how they (the students) have done the board since they started using NBME? because I am sure if it wasn't working they would stop doing it...
 

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I see... I think there are more pro than con to that because most prof are not good in writing test questions. Also, like you said that give students some familiarity with board type questions... The con is that some smart students might be able to good on these exams by just using these review books...
I could be wrong but I think the board review books are better for the end-of-course shelf exams, not necessarily the midterm exams. It all depends how good the review book is for example - BRS Anatomy is probably better than High Yield Anatomy. Also I'm sure the test bank has so many questions that they can pick any nit-picky questions available, so lecture notes might help with that bc your professor might choose something that was addressed in the notes that won't be in a review book.
 
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Ophthoseidon

Ophthoseidon

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How long your school has been doing that? Do you know how they (the students) have done the board since they started using NBME? because I am sure if it wasn't working they would stop doing it...
The students perform at the average of the test, so I guess they do well enough! I'm just hoping it works for me
 

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The students perform at the average of the test, so I guess they do well enough! I'm just hoping it works for me
If they are at 227+ average, I think that is pretty good. There are some schools in the top 30 that are just above average.
 

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Thanks Dermviser! I really appreciate the resource. It looks solid. Unfortunately its not organized into systems, but Ill search through it and see what I can do :)
Well those are for the end-of-rotation shelf exam questions. Not many schools buy the subscription from the NBME for professors to go thru their test bank. This might help you better understand how NBME test questions are written:

http://www.nbme.org/PDF/ItemWriting_2003/2003IWGwhole.pdf

http://download.usmle.org/IWTutorial/intro.htm
 

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Are these questions like board style questions?
They are technically "retired" board questions, but they're pretty good indicators as to how you will do on Step 1. Of course there are confounders that can alter this greatly how many weeks you get at the end of M2 to only study for Step 1, when you get your butt into gear and start doing Qbank questions like USMLERx, etc. so it isn't completely like a crystal ball.

This might help: http://www.benwhite.com/medicine/tips-on-nbme-shelf-exams/
 
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