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Need advice from those who've taken Step 1

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by dwstranger, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. dwstranger

    dwstranger Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bethlehem, PA
    Okay, so I have two weeks left until my test date. I have taken a Kaplan course through my school, which ended May 30th, and I have been reviewing since then. I just booted up the Kaplan disk today, and find that I need advice in the test-taking strategies dept.

    Here's the big question:

    Each of the test blocks has 50 questions, with 60 minutes allotted for each block. I read really fast, so I usually get done pretty fast. I mean, so far the shortest time I've had left was 20+ minutes. The question is: what should I do after I review all of the Marked questions? Should I quit the session, even though I have all that time left?

    I have noticed that when I narrow it down to 2 choices, I should go with my first impression - that's what they say anyway - because when I change it, I'm usually wrong. So I'm afraid that if I review questions that I haven't marked to go back to, I'll end up second guessing myself - and we all know what happens after that!

    So what do you all think? :confused:
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  3. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 8, 2000
    I haven't taken step 1, but I'm going to work on test strategies this summer. One thing I'm going to do (as I take many many multiple choice prep exams) is keep track of those I've-narrowed-it-down-to-2-answers questions, make a note of my first instinct, and see how often I'm right. This might help you figure out if your first impulse, statistically, is indeed trustworthy!
  4. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 1999
    The Land of Lincoln
    Test out what happens when you change answers. If you usually change them to the wrong answer, don't go back to review. You can add the extra time to your breaks, and/or finish the test early. Just because other people take the entire time, or even complain that they don't have enough time, doesn't mean that you need to use all the time. Do what works best for you.
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    If you are fairly confident in your answers I would suggest going on, after checking them over once.

    I finished every section early and consequently was out of there early - but I'm the kind of person who either knows she knows it, or knows she doesn't and can't figure it out, so am not likely to spend time agonizing over questions I can't answer.

    Good luck!
  6. Fanconi

    Fanconi Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 29, 2001
    I agree with Kimberly. I am totally a "know it or don't" kind of person, and I also am a fast reader and consequently finished early. I did Kaplan's Qbank and was able to notice that when I did change an answer, and *almost always* changed it to a correct answer, so I wasn't too scared about that.

    My strategy was this: (1)Go through each question and mark the ones that you aren't positive you have the right answer to. (2)Go through the marked items and try to tease out the right answer. (3) Go back a second time though all of the items just to double check. I still had tons of time to spare. Of course, this was just my strategy, and I haven't gotten my scores back yet, so take that with a grain of salt!

    If you want to know more about that I thought about Step 1 specifically, check out my discussion board (click the link in my signature and you'll find it). Ciao!

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