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NBME Shelf Exams

Powel6016

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May 2, 2005
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    I use Kaplan lecture notes for each subject along w/ the videos and pretest series, a good qbank series. People also used BRS series and High yield series. Physiology was all pathophysiology which was hard, kind of threw me off guard, biochem was alright, microbiology was hard. The rest were alright. I'm just talking about the basic science
     

    pincheeric

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      Hmm...we haven't had any physiology shelf exams. I'm assuming the shelf exams you're talking about are for your 3rd and 4th year core clerkships. I'm not familiar with any other shelf exams. That said, there is HUGE variation in what books students use in the various rotations. The most popular series are PreTest, Lange, Blueprints, CaseFiles. In general, what I've done is read one overview text (e.g. Blueprints) and then just done 1-3 question books (e.g. PreTest). The summary text gives you a good foundation and then the question books solidify that information. I would recommend against using any large texts such as Williams' Obstetrics because it's WAY more information than you need and you'll just end up wasting your time.

      As for the difficulty of the shelfs it again varies by rotation, but I think everyone would agree that the most difficult part is the time crunch. You have 2hr10min for 100 questions. The last 10 or so questions usually have options A-P or something ridiculous (I do those questions first since they actually tend to be the easiest, but are easy to miss if you have no time at the end). Most people stay for the entirety of the test, I usually finish 20 min early and then go back over my test. I know many people who have had to fill in random answers for the last couple questions because they run out of time.
       
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      Droopy Snoopy

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        Hmm...we haven't had any physiology shelf exams. I'm assuming the shelf exams you're talking about are for your 3rd and 4th year core clerkships. I'm not familiar with any other shelf exams.

        There are shelf exams for the preclinical courses as well, same structure as the clinical ones but variable # of questions and exam length depending on the subject. I wouldn't sweat these, since they're fairly difficult to fail and equally difficult to do extremely well. But BRS is a good bet in general.
         

        blabbyblab

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          Internal Medicine: Step-Up, MKSAP 3, usmle world questions, pocket medicine
          NeuroPsych: Blueprints Neuro, Pretest Neuro, HY Psych, Pretest Psych
          Surgery: Kaplan Pestana review, bootleg kaplan questions, Pretest Surgery

          Family: Case Files, Pretest, course material, USPSTF website
          Peds: Blueprints, Blueprints Q&A, Pretest
          OBGYN: Kaplan Review, Pretest, Case Files

          This is just one opinion but a lot of these suggestions I got off this forum.
           

          blabbyblab

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            oh wait this is for the first two years, man i forget those

            cell biology histology - BRS cell bio
            biochem - lippencot/pretest
            anatomy - brs + any question source
            physiology - BRS physiology
            pathology - rapid review path + web path + other question source
            pharm - rapid review pharm + questions
            micro - MMRS if you want, i just used lecture notes and some kaplan questions
             

            pdp2001

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            Jul 12, 2005
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              i had to do nbme shelf for all of my finals in ms2 - every reference/review book has the same information. it's just in a different format, with a different emphasis but all the important stuff (ie stuff on the tests) is in there. just study hard for the course throughout the year and the shelf will be fine. you don't need anything extra, you just need to pick a source and learn the material.
               
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