WTGGrl

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
19
0
Status
Anyone else got a school where you don't take shelf exams? We don't have them until our clinical years. We just take a final at the end of each block.

To be honest, I'm not even really sure what shelf exams are (ie if they're a replacement for the final in the course or an additional test, etc? Will this be poor preparation for the boards?
 

dkwyler94

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 12, 2002
129
1
Visit site
Status
WTGGrl said:
Anyone else got a school where you don't take shelf exams? We don't have them until our clinical years. We just take a final at the end of each block.

To be honest, I'm not even really sure what shelf exams are (ie if they're a replacement for the final in the course or an additional test, etc? Will this be poor preparation for the boards?
I go to a DO school, so we have no shelf exams. Personally something I disagree with. As I understand, they are for your third year core rotations. Basically a final at the end of the rotation. They are nationalized and purchased by the schools to be able to administer to their students. I think they are a great way to keep your focus in studying during your rotation and help prepare for boards.
If you go to a school without them, I assume your school decided it wasn't worth the cost and has professors at your school write the end of rotation final (mine does). If you have nothing, you can purchase old ones, and I would encourage people to do so to help focus your studying and board prep. My thoughts.

David MSIV 11 days until match, but who's counting.
 

ms. a

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2003
449
2
Houston
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
At Baylor, we do not have them, at least in pre-clinical years. I have no idea about during clinics, although I have never heard of them before. The only time I've heard of them is on this site.
 

Radiohead

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2002
174
2
GA
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
A shelf exam is written by the NBME, and usually administered to students as a final exam for a preclinical course or clerkship. Most course/clerkship directors use your curved score on the NBME shelf exam as a percentage of your grade, i.e. 30-40%. The NBME will report only a 2 digit raw score on the exam (0-99), with the mean being 70, and SD=8. Different course directors use different scales to curve the "raw" scores to actual course grades. Think about it, if the mean is 70, then 1/2 of test takers will fail if the raw score was your actual grade. Thus, a 70 raw on the shelf will correlate to a low B (80-83) curved. Most clerkships require a minimum score on the shelf to qualify for honors, usually 80-83 raw which correlates roughly to 90th %ile. The shelf exams are alot like USMLE steps I and II. The questions are long and require multiple steps. Most people, including myself, can correlate their shelf scores to their USMLE scores, assuming the same amount of preparation for both. I hope this helps.
 

Benzo4every1

Wine Ho
10+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2005
278
1
Status
Attending Physician
My school has them. They're yucky!
I think we had one for path, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, and physical diagnosis (ICM).
 

bony_bones

New Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2005
1
0
Status
Benzo4every1 said:
My school has them. They're yucky!
I think we had one for path, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, and physical diagnosis (ICM).

They're tough, but i think they're good practice for the boards!
 

felipe5

Fingerpickin' Good
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2002
1,230
4
Status
Resident [Any Field]
ugggg, i have 3 coming up next week along with 4 other tests.............arggggggggggh
 

12R34Y

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2000
1,678
2
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
My school has them for both preclinical and clinical years.

I think they are invaluable for the clinical years in particular because you ave such little time to study you need to see NBME written questions over and over to kind of prep for step 2. i will have taken 700questions worth of NBME written exams by the end of my third year. not bad prep for step 2 in my opinion. you'll definately be used to the style of question the boards will have and content as well.

later