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Official ABIM 2015 Thread

Discussion in 'Internal Medicine and IM Subspecialties' started by ABIM MD, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. ABIM MD

    ABIM MD

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Hi Everybody,

    With ABIM 2014 over, let's start discussing ABIM 2015.

    Registration is already open
    • Internal Medicine Certification Exam: December 1 – February 16, 2015
    • Late Registration Period: February 17 – March 2, 2015

    Exam Dates (http://www.abim.org/exam/certification/internal-medicine.aspx)
    2015:
    Aug. 3, 5, 7, 11, 12 or 18, 2015

    Exam Fees (http://www.abim.org/exam/cert-cost.aspx)
    • Internal Medicine Certification Exam: $1,365
    • Non-refundable Late Registration fee: $400

    As has been done in the past, please give your input on:

    1. Prep material, including new ways of learning.
    2. Study tips.
    3. Board Review Course(s) likely to attend
    4. Review question bank
    5. High yield topics
    6. Any tips which may be beneficial for 1st time takers?
    7. Your experience and suggestions, if you've taken the exam before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
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  3. DOk1ng

    DOk1ng 2+ Year Member

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    Tentative plan that i came up with over christmas. Taking test august 3rd NO plans for board review course. FIRST TIME TEST TAKER.

    May, June, July and August 2015:
    • BB3 342 pages. Read 23 pgs/day to get through whole book twice in 30 days.
    • Repeat MKSAP Q bank
    MKSAP book and Q bank: plan is to do Q bank and read content tested in questions that i got wrong
    UPDATE: NOT reading MKSAP books because too much to read and remember. reading medstudy for heavyweight subjects like cards, gi, pulm, id, genmed.
    Feedback welcome.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
    RustBeltOnc likes this.
  4. IMhospitalist

    IMhospitalist 2+ Year Member

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    I asked this in the 2014 thread without response so I'll ask here as well:
    I am about to re-take the ABIMs in 2015, I have used MKSAP as well as UWorld in the past without success. I was wondering if anyone used the NEJM Knowledgeplus questions and if they found them helpful?
     
  5. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    No exerpience with NEJM questions sorry.

    Plan to take test on August 3: Did not put a plan yet and have been so slow in reading MKSAP.
    I need to get my Slit together.
     
  6. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    @DOk1ng when you say MKSAP questions: are those the ones in the book or are those other questions that are on the net? I wonder if there is a difference in number? Thanks for shedding some light.
     
  7. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    The questions at the end of each chapter in the review books are a subset of the ones in the MKSAP QBank.
     
  8. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    Thanks a lot @gutonc
    Can you share your studying experience if possible? :)
     
  9. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    I did MKSAP questions. I probably read 10 or 15% of the actual text. I passed. YMMV.
     
  10. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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  11. lynnmb731

    lynnmb731 5+ Year Member

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    What is the ********* question bank? I keep seeing it in the ABIM 2014 posts.
     
  12. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    Its the MKSAP question bank. google it and you can subscribe to it online.
     
  13. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    On a different note, did anyone hear about the usmle world internal medicine qbank for ABIM? any thoughts?
     
  14. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I believe that is ********* (k*n*o*w*m*e*d*g*e), but I have no idea why it is being blocked out. Maybe they somehow broke the TOS?
     
  15. butterfinger

    butterfinger 2+ Year Member

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    I have MKSAP 16 books in print and BB3. Where is this MKSAP 16 question bank? I cannot find it anywhere, even when I google "MKSAP question bank." All I can find are MKSAP 16 print, MKSAP 16 digital, MKSAP 16 complete, BB3, MKSAP 16 updates, and MKSAP 16 audio companion. Am I missing the link for the question bank? Would appreciate if someone could provide a link. Thanks!
     
  16. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    The QBank is part of the full MKSAP product. You can't buy it separately.
     
  17. CharlesDarnay

    CharlesDarnay

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    Read through MKSAP 16 information once, Did MKSAP 16 X2 (read through all the answer choices understanding what I got wrong), MKSAP 15 X1, Read through Green Board Basics book 2-3 times .
     
  18. ABIM MD

    ABIM MD

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    The ********* question bank is "Know medge". No idea why it's appearing this way. I noticed it since I had referred to it in a couple of previous posts and it is now like this.
     
  19. Rongy_Dringus

    Rongy_Dringus 2+ Year Member

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    First time on here but long time follower, long time because this is going to be my 3rd attempt. Sick of this $hit but I have to really get it together this time around and pass this exam from hell. Interested to see what all you have to say as we get closer. Best of luck to everyone!
     
  20. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    If any of the forum veterans have experience with USMLEWORLD or NEJM Knowledge + for ABIM please share it :)
     
  21. flyingfree234

    flyingfree234

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    Hey I'm starting to study for the August exam. Confused about a couple of things
    1) I have print MKSAP 16 - I thought the books had the SAME questions as the digital but in just a print version? So there's questions that I'm missing from the books that are online? I never knew that =(
    2) I'm planning to use 2 question banks (one of which is MKSAP q's from my books ) and Board Basics. Could that be enough?
    3) Trying to pick the best second question set - Uworld versus Medstudy versus NEJM Knowledge. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of each?

    Thanks!
     
  22. DOk1ng

    DOk1ng 2+ Year Member

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    1) on this website: https://www.acponline.org/products_services/mksap/16/print.htm
    "Same-day Scoring Online for No Additional Charge
    When you’re ready to submit CME credits, answer the questions online, or if you prefer, record your answers on the answer sheet in your MKSAP book and transfer them to the online answer sheet"
    Looks like Questions are same on book and online. Why don't you open up online ACP/MKSAP account and check ?
    2) I'm going to use MSKAP and BB3 because I don't want to use too many resources and don't know them well.

    3) Because I learn by solving questions more than reading, I'm thinking about not only repeating MKSAP Qs atleast 2 times but also adding K*N*O*M*E*D*G*E and UWORLD. Qbank can be solved on the go on mobile phone at work freeing up time to read after coming home on weekdays and weekends.
     
  23. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    MKSAP is a must. the question is whether to use UW or NEJM Knowledge. I hope someone could should a light (if they tried both).
     
  24. Rongy_Dringus

    Rongy_Dringus 2+ Year Member

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    Never tried those qbanks. I've always stuck to mksap and now will be doing ********* because I've heard a lot about it. I keep hearing that the uworld questions are way too tough, and I don't know anyone who has had experience with nejm.
     
  25. Rongy_Dringus

    Rongy_Dringus 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 21, 2015
    ********* means "know!medge
     
  26. RakeshRe

    RakeshRe

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    Hi All -
    Come here looking for advice. My plan includes using the MKSAP books and a couple of QBanks (MKSAP and Know-medge). I will probably get some flashcards... undecided between Know-medge or Med Study).

    I've been considering the ACP live course but the costs are ridiculous. (Not trying to be cheap but the cost of the course + flight + hotel stay + food....it's going to be easily over $2,000).

    My question is how many people actually take the live course and is it really needed to pass? If I go through books, qbanks, and flashcards... is that enough?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  27. bruce4ever

    bruce4ever

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    anyone here using ANKII to create flashcards to study for abim?
     
  28. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    -_- ... why do i have a feeling that our page suddenly became an advertising page :D
     
  29. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    What do you mean "suddenly". The 2014 thread was stealth spammed all year long.
     
  30. bruce4ever

    bruce4ever

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    re my question on Anki, is that what you are referring to ie advertising? Sorry, guess is should have been more generic. After failing (again) I've tried to analyze my study weaknesses. Read about this flashcard system. There was a thread under the med student page. I started entering my notes into it, but before getting too far, thought I would query the group. I kinda like it, I am making my own flash cards, assuming that will help the learning process. Most of my notes are from mksap/medstudy reading and q-bank.
     
  31. RakeshRe

    RakeshRe

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    I've used ANKI before... used it for Step 2. I liked it but I think it's just a matter of time... how many notes can you take and then type in? If you've got the time, I think it's a good system.
     
  32. Rongy_Dringus

    Rongy_Dringus 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 21, 2015
    Got the MKSAP 16 audio companion yesterday. Listened to it while driving to work. Had the urge to write notes but obviously I couldn't. Hope it will help. Btw, you can get it used on eBay for a third of the price
     
  33. JustSomeMD

    JustSomeMD

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    I have a method that will save you at least $1,000.

    For those who are thinking of taking this as soon as possible after finishing residency, I recommend waiting at least 5 years before you sit for the exam (if you are going to take it at all).

    The reason is that once you pass it, your Maintenance of Certification clock starts ticking-- and once started you will have to pay the ABIM $200/year to "participate" in (so they don't revoke your certification). There's no reason to start paying them that and jumping through their MOC hoops sooner than you have you. That $1,000 that you save and put in the bank now can grow to $5,000 or more in 20 years if you don't give it away.

    You have 7 years to be 'Board Eligible' which for all intents and purposes is equivalent to being board certified; make the most of it.

    And to answer the OP, I used MedStudy and MKSAP in both 1999 (initial) and 2009 (for recert). The MedStudy Q&A's were representative of the exam question format and difficulty, the MKSAP questions were not (but were good to show where your deficiencies were and what you needed to brush up on). That may have changed but I doubt it.

    Also-- start learning about the debate over MOC now. If you agree that MOC has no purpose other than giving your money to the ABIM, join the fight. You won't be alone

    http://www.pamedsoc.org/MainMenuCategories/Education/MOC/Video-MOC-Debate.html
    http://www.changeboardrecert.com
    http://www.aapsonline.org/
    http://NBPAS.org
     
  34. IM2GI

    IM2GI 2+ Year Member

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    This is bad advice. The longer you wait the more painful it will become. Take your lumps and pay the blackmail. The way the medical community is going, I have to think that there will be changes coming to MOC. They got greedy and physicians are pissed.

    There was just a NEJM letter on this issue. Everyone knows it is a scam.
     
  35. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat Administrator Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

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    That is so true. I think there's a sweet spot at 1-2 years after which it becomes extraordinarily painful, especially if you're a subspecialist. I waited 3 years and it really sucked. I waited 2 years for my subspecialty exam and it was pretty much a piece of cake. I am just going to pay the MOC ransom and take the 20 points I get for my subspecialty exam this year and hope the rules get changed in the next 2 years before I have to do anything else.
     
  36. JustSomeMD

    JustSomeMD

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    Everyone's got to do what they need to for their own interests. If you (and by that I mean the general 'you' who may be reading this, I'm not addressing this to any previous poster) think it's better for your life to take the boards ASAP, that's up to you. I'm just saying that there's more to consider than the exam itself.

    For example: if you don't currently live in a city with a PearsonVue test center but may move to one in a year or two (or vice versa), that's something to factor in. PearsonVue doesn't have test centers set up in as many cities as you would think, so take possible travel and hotel accommodations into account. I'd recommend taking the exam when you don't have to travel far to the test center, be that sooner or later.

    If you don't already know if your city has a test center but have already decided to take the exam as soon as you can, that would suggest that you aren't seeing the big picture.

    Also, I'd guess that less than 10% of people who haven't yet taken the initial certification exam know what MOC entails (it's not just a knowledge assessment. Not at all) and that well above 70% of them think they just have to take another exam in 10 years to recertify. If that applies to you, I really think you need to read about what's going on with certification and the ABIM because it's not what you think.

    Also, look at the pass rate data for first time certifiers as well as first time MOC test takers:

    http://www.abim.org/about/examInfo/data-pass-rates.aspx

    [​IMG]

    In case you don't already know this, the initial certification exam is a different exam than the recertification MOC exam. You can come to your own conclusion as to why the initial certification exam pass rate has stayed in the 84-88% range while the recertification exam pass rate has dropped from 90% to 78% in 5 years (that's the extent of data the ABIM has available on their website. I've heard CEO Baron of the ABIM say that the pass rate for MOC was in the low 80's in one of the years prior to 2009 but they still haven't formally released that so I don't know if he's mistaken or just plain lying). And BTW-- these pass rates were all for FIRST TIME initial certification exam takers and FIST TIME MOC exam takers (that is, people who are at least 10 years post-residency but probably not much more than that) so if there are any 'hopeless' test takers who keep failing the exam year to year, they aren't being represented multiple years in the above graph. It's a pretty homogeneous group.

    A discussion about that is here:
    http://paulmdphd.blogspot.com/2014/07/dr-wes-post-is-important-but-based-only.html
    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/04/alarming-decline-internal-medicine-recertification-pass-rates.html
    and if you are on Sermo:
    https://app.sermo.com/posts/posts/224632

    and the ABIM responded
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/MedicalEducation/47601
    "Once a passing standard for a discipline area is set, pass rates differ from year to year solely because the characteristics of physicians taking the exam change each time it is given. A number of examinee-specific factors -- such as examinee motivation, training, preparation, and knowledge -- impact pass rates."

    So according to the ABIM, it's not the test's fault at all but the test takers' fault? That is patently absurd. While test takers may change year to year, their general characteristics over will even out over the thousands that take the exam every year. I understand why the ABIM is so protective about their test-- it's their moneymaker. That doesn't make them right, it just exposes their bias and conceit that they are not capable of making a bad test (try reading about what constitutes a 'passing standard' on the ABIM website. It's dressed in psychometric jargon to make it harder to understand but amounts to "we asked a few people whom we consider to be experts to decide what the minimum standard is" which is entirely subject to bias. They can tweak the difficulty level of the exam however they want by manipulating the 'experts' to make more difficult questions that have nothing to do with practical medical knowledge).

    Anyway, I hope you (the poster I quoted above) are right and change is coming; but just because physicians are pissed, doesn't mean anything is going to change. People far underestimate the degree the certification process has been perverted into a self-enrichment scheme for the ABIM. Too much money is at stake for the ABIM to change and they aren't even very clever about hiding their excesses.

    Tha ABIM-Foundation 'invested' in a $2.3M luxury condo in downtown Philly (now on sale for $1.4M. So, a nice negative $900,000 return on that investment):
    http://drwes.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-abim-foundation-choosing-wisely-and.html

    The PA Medical Society had this meeting with the ABIM to discuss/defend MOC. You can see it here:
    http://www.pamedsoc.org/MainMenuCategories/Education/MOC/Video-MOC-Debate.html

    And some of the Q&A session afterward:




    I don't think that everybody knows it's a scam. Or if they do, they don't want to think that it's that bad. I have to tell you that it is worse than you could imagine and won't change without action by younger physicians. I have colleagues who initially have the attitude of "Yeah, I know it's BS. But what are we supposed to do?" that changes to "WTF??!?! Holy cow! I can't believe that!" after they read about it and watch the videos.

    The ABIM has been working on this long con for 25+ years. They know how we think what we're afraid of and are in control of the rules. It's hard to fight back when your opponent has a long head start to practice.

    Sorry for the long diatribe. Just wanted to emphasize that this isn't just a test you have to pass and that its implications are much farther reaching than you can begin to imagine.
     
  37. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin 10+ Year Member

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    That was a really long post
     
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  38. shs00

    shs00 10+ Year Member

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    Does anyone know if BB3 can be downloaded as a PDF file? You are able to download their app to your computer, however, it is in its own unique form, not one that opens in a PDF. I would like to be able to highlight/annotate. Thanks !
     
  39. Guyton

    Guyton Internist Psychiatrist Physician Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    I was reading a little on Medscape and I came across an article called "ABIM on MOC: 'We Got it Wrong.'" I wonder what is meant by "...the organization will be updating the internal medicine exam starting this fall and will tweak exams for other subspecialties after that."

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/839178
     
  40. Thinker123

    Thinker123 5+ Year Member

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    Wow...people have highjacked the thread to argue about MOC. I have used the official ABIM threads in the past and they have been very helpful. Maybe a mod can move the MOC debate to a new thread so people who are getting advice for ABIM can find this official thread useful.
     
  41. datchado

    datchado Member 10+ Year Member

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    Looking for a study partner to take the ABIM this August. I plan to use MSKAP for questions and BB3. I not sure what other q bank to add. I am hoping to attend Awesome Review this Spring. I live in the SouthWest. I do work full time and take call but no other responsibilities ( except my crazy cavachons and cats). I am in MST. First time test taker ......any one want to join me...let's go and smash this thing!
     
  42. Md2000abim

    Md2000abim

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    Are you looking for study partner for studying?
     
  43. mochamuffins

    mochamuffins 7+ Year Member

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    Yes I am md2000....please message me if interested.
     
  44. DrVanNostran

    DrVanNostran 10+ Year Member

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    Has anyone heard anything good or bad about pass machine?
     
  45. Enteroid

    Enteroid 2+ Year Member

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    Out of all the vids out there they are the best PASS Machine >>>ACP>MedStudy (i did not use any but had viewed clips from friends that had them and compared I felt like PASS machine was the better most succinct (although doug paw or something like that in ACP vids is great), but really you did not need to buy any. At the end I did not buy any. I was all stressed out because everyone was buying all these resources. I almost joined that awesome review course (which is a lot of hype), but heard the guy speak on sample lec (couldn't even understand the guy).

    Just focus on a few sources and know them well (I had memorized Basic Board 3 (a lot of questions were answerable from just this book alone).

    My focus was Board Basics memorized this and annotated into it (the first aid of step1, the secrets of step2). I remember all my colleagues reading he MKSAP books which i gave away. I was just reading Board basics on phone everywhere during third year.
    MKSAP Questions (you must be scoring 65% or more on this if you want to pass). Program gave us all MKSAP, gave my books away so low yield.
    World Questions (50-60%will pass as well; question set is a lot harder, but good for simulation as abim uses same interface)
    Kind of enjoyed know.medge (the group at know.medge is great they respond quickly and have great tips)

    so in summary Passed easily with (of course med school/residency in us):
    Board Basices 3 (annotate into it,get the iphone/ipad app and read it everywhere you go)
    Questions M.KSAP>>W.orld>> Know.medge

    If you could master cards, gi, pulm, rheum, and genmed. you will be golden.

    If you are AMG and went to medical school/residency in US do not need to worry about videos for knowledge ( about a 1/4 of questions you will just know from med school rounds/residency rounds).

    hope this helps
     
  46. adagio

    adagio 10+ Year Member

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    Super helpful review and experience. Thanks a lot.
     
  47. DOk1ng

    DOk1ng 2+ Year Member

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    you had FA for step and step secrets from medschool usmle days ?
    I'm following your plan because I found MKSAP to be too much. Medstudy books are good for reading heavyweight subjects like card, pulm, gi, genmed, id.
    Knowing Board Basics 3 COLD and mksap & other Qbank sounds like a doable good plan to me which will preserve sanity and help pass boards.
     
  48. Rongy_Dringus

    Rongy_Dringus 2+ Year Member

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    It's going to be my 3rd time taking this exam so obviously don't take any of my advice, other than to study your a** off for it because it's no joke. It's vague and you often can't get the answer from just reading the question and evaluating the information given. You kind of have to know what the concept and larger meaning of the question really is. That's why doing tons of questions and reading from multiple resources should help.
     
  49. Thinker123

    Thinker123 5+ Year Member

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    I enjoyed the Pass Machine videos. It feels like having your own personal tutor. I can't make a determination which is "superior" though but if you like videos and learn well from them then you should like these. The videos make it so you feel you have a good foundation to approach MKSAP questions. I'm not here to debate whether you should have that foundation from residency already but it's a nice way to get a base, strengthen what you already know and fill in any gaps you might have. Even with topics you know well, you are always learning something new with the videos.

    I do have a code for $52 off if you decide to get it. If anyone is interested, just PM me.
     
  50. gastromd268

    gastromd268

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    Looking for some suggestions. I failed last year and really really can't afford to fail this year. I did MKSAP and took the ACP course last year. I thought it would have been enough but I knew I failed as soon as I left the exam. I am going through the MKSAP questions again. I probably won't do the ACP course - that really wasn't all that helpful and I spent way too much money to fail.

    Can someone tell me about:
    1. Awesome review? I see a lot of good reviews on it but how is this better/different than ACP?
    2. Know-medge - I see a lot of people like the QBank. Does anyone know about their flashcards?
    3. Board Basics - Is this basically a condensed version of the MKSAP books. If I have the MKSAP books, is it still worth buying?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  51. jasminewsu

    jasminewsu

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    I am looking for a study partner. I find that i learn best like this, but with family life its a little hard to meet up with someone physically. If anyone interested I will dedicate 1 hour a day and 2 hours on weekends purely to group learning. we can skype, face time or simply talk on the phone. Im open to suggestion
     

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