No improvement in NMBE scores. Please help!!

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Markgreen, May 25, 2012.

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  1. Markgreen


    May 25, 2012
    I have been preparing for 8 months.

    I read Kaplan notes at least twice. I watched the videos. I did Kaplan 7 weeks Live and read FA once. I have been scoring in Uworld 60% consistenly. (It is "funny" if you see my last 7 blocks all are 60%.) I complete 50% of that qbank. I also have kaplan q bank with score 57%. I dont know what to do to improve my score MY TEST IS IN 35 DAYS.

    this is the result of my simulated test.

    Kaplan self assessemt 1 ( the 7 block assessment): 59%
    Kaplan self assessemt 2 ( the 7 block assessment) 66%

    UWSA 1: 440/204 ----> April 2
    UWSA 2 : ( not done yet)
    NBME 6: 390/196----> may 7
    NBME 7: 390/196-----> may 24

    Uworld Qbank 60%
    KapQBank 57%

    What are my options? should I postpone tthe test?
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  3. Zarika

    Zarika 7+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2010

    It seems like you've done a LOT of passive learning. Reading, watching videos, going to lectures. That works great for some people, but it doesn't seem to be working for you.

    I guess I would try to maybe start cranking out a lot more questions. Finish UWorld and Kaplan. I would probably read FA another time, but maybe someone else can comment on that because I'm not sure what's in the Kaplan notes.

    Also, you really have already done a lot. 8 months is a long time. But, 35 days is still a lot left. You can make big improvements in 35 days. That's more than some med schools give their students total.

    That being said, despite what's on SDN, not everyone gets 250+ on this exam. I wouldn't post-pone your exam. 9 months is plenty of time. At some point, you've just got to accept that what you're getting is what you're getting.

    The only other thing I can think of is, you could try to take notes on the questions as you go (meaning when the timer is going on UWorld question blocks). It chews up a little bit of time, but depending on your test taking speed it's not a big deal. This really helps me. Just write out your thought process as you're thinking about the question. Then, often times, the answer you want to pick will be a choice. This isn't an option on every question, and definitely not necessary for first-order questions, but this gave me massive score improvements very quickly. It's more a test-taking strategy than a knowledge boast however.
  4. Markgreen


    May 25, 2012
    Zarika thanks so much for the advice. I forgot to mention in my post I m IMG graduated in 2004.
  5. lemonade90

    lemonade90 2+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2010
    Identify the source of your mistakes. The mistakes I make doing questions usually fall into the following categories:

    1-Test taking issue (didn't read the question carefully, rushed through it, or didn't understand it due to wording)
    2-Still need to memorize some information
    3-WTF ?

    If your problem is 1, doing more questions will probably help. If your problem is 2, you should try to come up with a systematic method for memorization of facts. You can't really prepare for 3 unless you wrote Harrisons or Cecils before entering Med School.

    Additionally nobody can really tell you how to memorize information, it really depends on your learning style. This may be useful for you:
  6. Markgreen


    May 25, 2012
    During the past month I have been trying to identify mistakes a weak areas. My particular situation is once I finish a test and review weak areas ( read the concepts again) in the following test those areas improve but then the other areas start to decrease. Thats the frustrating part of all this.

    I am wondering if DIT would help at this point....any suggestions?
  7. chiefMD

    chiefMD 2+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    sounds like youve been wasting your time for the last 8 months if youve barely finished 50% of Uworld. Finish Uworld and then start to panic if you arent doing any better. Just because youve "prepared" for 8 months doesnt mean anything. People prepare for 6 weeks and get above a 250. Quality vs. Quantity remember:cool:
  8. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    I Love L.A
    I think that the problem might be using TOO MANY SOURCES. This may have caused you to not fully learn and or understand. I mean all these sources are presenting the same information but in a different language. This may have caused your brain to integrate same information in too many different ways; leading to not integrating anything at all well enough to perform adequately on the NBMEs. Its like 10 different people telling you the same thing but in a different way and you end up being more confuse. Not sure if that made any sense.

    Also using too many sources probably took away valuable time from repetition of the content from same source.


    1) identify your weakness. And then hammer it. If you look at a different sources beside fa to review/hammer then please annotate that information into your fa unless it's already annotated.

    2) Stick to FA and do as may questions as you possibly can. And please for crying out loud do them in a times random mode. On step 1, you won't have the luxury to pick and choose questions based on a particular system. For example they can ask you mifepristone, a drug for terminating pregnancy, and give you biochem lineweave Burke plot and ask whether it is competitive or non competitive. So they just linked 2 different topics.

    3) I think DIT can be helpful because I am assuming that you have a decent grasp of information but just haven't been able to fully retain it due to 10 different people telling you the same thing but in a different way.

    4) Perhaps pathoma if you need help in path. I can assume path is weak because most of the time it yields the highest number of questions. Plus videos are very easy and really break it down. Simplicity is the best.

    Hope it helps. Keep working hard because it's not over til it's over.
  9. HelpPleaseMD

    HelpPleaseMD 5+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2011
    Completely Agree. Repetition / Q banks are the key.
  10. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    I Love L.A
    Agree with the quantity vs quality. OP, probably drove him/herself nuts with quantity.
  11. Markgreen


    May 25, 2012
    Excellent! Thanks for the advice guy. Now with 390 in NBME is probably not a good idea to take te exam right? What score do you consider necessary to sit for the test? and what percentage in Uworld?
  12. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    I don't think a 60% UWorld usually correlates to a 200 Step 1/NBMEs like your stats show. Not sure on the discrepancy...are you taking UWorld timed, random, non-tutor mode?
  13. Markgreen


    May 25, 2012
    Yes, I am taking unused questions time mode.So are you implying that 60% Uworld must correlate with a higher NBME ?
  14. LRAccord624

    LRAccord624 MSIII 2+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    As far as I know this is accurate, and shows 60% Uworld correlating with a 223. Do you do 46 question blocks?
  15. Markgreen


    May 25, 2012
    Thanks for that infromation...that table somehow help me to regain confidence on myself that I have lost after the previous NBME's. Yes I usually take two block of 46 questions. The problem may come from the fact that I tend to freak out a little during NBME since I visualize myself at thest day when I take NBME's.

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