timurx

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Hey all, its getting to be that time when residents all over the country and planning on finished residency and study for the ABIM boards. I realize MKSAP questions are the gold standard, but if people (including prior test-takers) can post any other tools which proved valuable/helpful, please share!

Also, if you have a question regarding the utility of a certain resource, feel free to ask here as well

I'll start --- anyone use the MKSAP 17 Flashcards? Feel like these were good or not really?
 
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gutonc

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I guess I'll sticky this. No need for eleventeen clone threads.
 

Imdur

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Can anyone weigh in on Uworld for ABIM prep? Fairly new and I'm not sure if it's the same standard as it was for USMLE
 
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gutonc

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Can anyone weigh in on Uworld for ABIM prep? Fairly new and I'm not sure if it's the same standard as it was for USMLE
It's not the "standard" but it appears to be pretty good.

If you look here, here, here and here, you'll probably find several dozen (hundred?) people talking about it.
 

Raryn

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Can anyone weigh in on Uworld for ABIM prep? Fairly new and I'm not sure if it's the same standard as it was for USMLE
I've been using it off and on the last few months. Harder than MKSAP (score ~10-15% worse than my first pass through MKSAP) but seems like a pretty decent educational tool.
 
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Mksap17 questions don't seem to be as good at Mksap16. It feels like it was hastily put together. The explanations are copy/pasted from the text and sometimes don't directly address why other answer choices are incorrect. The GUI is not fluid and not similar to the ABIM testing software. There are no diagrams or tables. I'm quite disappointed by the lack of quality.

UWorld on the other hand has been pretty stellar.

I'm scoring around 65-72% in Uworld (tutor, unused) and 60-66% in MKSAP17..
 

dozitgetchahi

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Just got done with MKSAP 16 and starting Uworld. My main thoughts thus far are that these question banks have very, very different styles of questions and reasoning. MKSAP is very much 'you know it or you don't' - it's challenging in that it tends to get out into the weeds and deals with obscure (and sometimes barely relevant knowledge, IMHO) but the questions are fundamentally good. MKSAP explanations are a bit dense and can take some time to read through. Uworld is much more focused, but the questions also feel much more like the USMLE - mind games revolving around relatively common issues.

Uworld questions feel a lot more like the ITE questions, for what it's worth.
 
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which is the best board review course: ACP Board Review (live or offline) vs Awesome Review vs MedStudy vs other that you think is even better?
 

thierryhenry

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Did MKSAP throughout the years in residency. Bought UWorld in February for 6 months; had 200 some questions left. Just doing random untimed tumor mode. Going to Awesome first week in July; Test 08/22. Thats my prep.
 
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which is the best board review course: ACP Board Review (live or offline) vs Awesome Review vs MedStudy vs other that you think is even better?
I passed the initial certification exam last year. I took ABR and used MedStudy and MKSAP to study (did not do the in person MedStudy course, but used the videos). My best friend did the ACP course and she thought it was useless. I personally think ABR is more helpful if you already know the material and want to solidify it, but MedStudy is good if you want to really learn things thoroughly. I had used MKSAP during residency and felt the questions to be too easy and predictable. I read the MedStudy books twice (some sections/topics three or four times) and took notes, made flash cards, etc... I did MedStudy questions as I went along. After I was done reading once, I watched the MedStudy videos as a review (they were really great) and took some notes off of those. I also did the full length (all day) Medstudy Moc exam (online), went to the library and reserved a computer (did not take it on my laptop) to be able to simulate the actual exam as much as possible and this was super helpful for me. I read some sections of boards basics 3 as quick review towards the end. I did not use MKSAP to do hardcore studying for the boards, other than having read the books and done the questions during residency. That's what worked for me. Whatever you do, I would recommend sticking with one or two resources and not jumping from one to the other. Every one has a different study and learning style. I have friends who did just fine with MKSAP, but that's not what worked for me in the end. Hope this helps and good luck.
 
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Does anyone think doing USMLE world questions over and over will be enough to game this exam? I did that exclusively for all my USMLE's and did decently well (using no other sources). I just dont like the idea of messing around with too many different sources and spreading myself thin. Please comment on if you think UWorld alone is insufficent to pass. Thanks.
 
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Does anyone think doing USMLE world questions over and over will be enough to game this exam? I did that exclusively for all my USMLE's and did decently well (using no other sources). I just dont like the idea of messing around with too many different sources and spreading myself thin. Please comment on if you think UWorld alone is insufficent to pass. Thanks.
If you're referring to only doing questions (from whatever source) and not reading the books (whichever set of books that fits your learning style better), no, it will not be enough. Some people have studied throughout their residency and for a small percentage of those people doing only questions as review might be enough, but this is a tough exam and really requires studying. If you feel comfortable with the amount of studying you've done already, then doing questions over and over again as review, will most likely be sufficient. I'm personally not familiar with UWorld for ABIM, so I can't comment on that specifically.
 
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Any comment on how medstudy videos compare to Awesome Review?

How many pages is the Awesome review notes?
 
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futronius

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If you're referring to only doing questions (from whatever source) and not reading the books (whichever set of books that fits your learning style better), no, it will not be enough. Some people have studied throughout their residency and for a small percentage of those people doing only questions as review might be enough, but this is a tough exam and really requires studying. If you feel comfortable with the amount of studying you've done already, then doing questions over and over again as review, will most likely be sufficient. I'm personally not familiar with UWorld for ABIM, so I can't comment on that specifically.
Untrue and potentially dangerous advice. If you've gotten this far in your medicine career using a particular studying method, either by doing questions or reading a textbook, then that strategy will work just as well for the ABIM. Someone who doesn't retain information effectively using one method shouldn't feel forced to change their study habits because it'll end up being counterproductive. I did UWorld questions exclusively throughout my med school and residency career and it's been my absolute go-to resource. Obviously a large chunk of your residency experience is self-directed learning, but UWorld helps to synthesize concepts very well (reading the explanations is a critical aspect).
 
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guptaboi

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Untrue and potentially dangerous advice. If you've gotten this far in your medicine career using a particular studying method, either by doing questions or reading a textbook, then that strategy will work just as well for the ABIM. Someone who doesn't retain information effectively using one method shouldn't feel forced to change their study habits because it'll end up being counterproductive. I did UWorld questions exclusively throughout my med school and residency career and it's been my absolute go-to resource. Obviously a large chunk of your residency experience is self-directed learning, but UWorld helps to synthesize concepts very well (reading the explanations is a critical aspect).
Thanks for your reply. I guess I am more concerned as to will UWORLD ALONE be enough to pass this beast of an exam? Uworld has only 1185 questions. Is that enough to cover EVERYTHING you will be tested on, or do I need to supplement with MKSAP 17 Questions also to cover enough material? The question isnt books vs reading, its how many questions do you really need to do in order to PASS.
 

futronius

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Thanks for your reply. I guess I am more concerned as to will UWORLD ALONE be enough to pass this beast of an exam? Uworld has only 1185 questions. Is that enough to cover EVERYTHING you will be tested on, or do I need to supplement with MKSAP 17 Questions also to cover enough material? The question isnt books vs reading, its how many questions do you really need to do in order to PASS.
Possibly, IF you read the explanations thoroughly. I did only UWorld for the two months leading up to the exam and actually did pretty well, percentile wise. I was not a stellar resident by any means, but had done the MKSAP once throughout residency. Attempted to read the Core Curriculum and Board Basics but they were too dry and I wasn't retaining any of the information. Overall I'd say the UWorld approximated the difficulty of the real test better than MKSAP.
 

Raryn

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Thanks for your reply. I guess I am more concerned as to will UWORLD ALONE be enough to pass this beast of an exam? Uworld has only 1185 questions. Is that enough to cover EVERYTHING you will be tested on, or do I need to supplement with MKSAP 17 Questions also to cover enough material? The question isnt books vs reading, its how many questions do you really need to do in order to PASS.
It depends on the person.

If you studied along with your hardcore residency at a quaternary care center and got above the 90th percentile on the ITE three years running, you'd almost certainly pass without any dedicated study time at all. But if you're that type of person, you'll probably study anyway.

On the other hand, if you never studied at all, barely scraped by in BFE where getting a septic patient was an event you're still talking about, and averaged 10th percentile on the ITE... uworld alone won't be enough. Hell, MKSAP+Uworld would probably not be enough. Take a board review course, or two.

I'm much closer to the first than the second (but not as crazy as that first guy), but the general advice I've received is most people use at least two sources, for the stylistic changes if nothing else. Thus I'm using MKSAP+uworld. I'm not taking any board review courses or otherwise doing anything crazy, but I figured that was reasonable for likely the second to last big test of my life (last being my fellowship boards, and I'm fairly happy that they're nixing the recert exam).
 

TBone

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I used MSKAP 15 + MedStudy and did fine, studying throughout 3rd year of residency mostly.
I have a copy of the paper MSKAP 15 + Board Basics (I know it's kind of old), if anyone wants it, PM me I'd be happy to donate to the cause!
 

disorder

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ITE 60-65-71 % correct
MKSAP first pass 61% correct. I know the magic number is 65%....
Re-doing my wrongs in MKSAP. What else?
 
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- Took Awesome Review in the middle of PGY-3 year
- Currently going over Awesome Review notes (hopefully more than once)
- Doing MKSAP 17 x2 total
- Trying to insert the latest Board Basics in there somewhere as well

Hopefully it will be enough!
 

DrDudeMD

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Just wondering--- In MKSAP 17, they have a section for "Practice Exams." Are these entirely different questions from the Q-bank or are they the same as the questions that I generate with Custom Quizzes?
 

Raryn

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Just wondering--- In MKSAP 17, they have a section for "Practice Exams." Are these entirely different questions from the Q-bank or are they the same as the questions that I generate with Custom Quizzes?
They're the same as the questions in the rest of the qbank, but the practice exams are explicitly made in ABIM proportions. So 14% cardiology, etc. I'm not sure if it will also pull from questions you've already answered in the main qbank as I've only used it like once.

On the other hand, the MKSAP 17 pretest is a completely separate set of 120 questions that unfortunately don't have the associated full explanations, but works as a decent assessment of where you stand to start.
 
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Anyone know the if the actual ABIM test will make you look up normal lab values or will the numbers be in the question.
 

gutonc

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Anyone know the if the actual ABIM test will make you look up normal lab values or will the numbers be in the question.
IIRC you have to look them up. But borderline abnormal values (that impact the case/question) are rare. If you can't figure out that a Na of 120 or a Cr of 3.6 is abnormal, having to look up lab values is the least of your worries.
 
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DrDudeMD

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Ah.. debating whether it's worthwhile to get UWorld.

I'm finishing up MKSAP questions (my second run through). Avg 66% overall on first run. Second run through hitting 78%-80%. My plan is to finish up my 2nd run in the next few days and then redo my wrong questions. Then hit Awesome review books one more time.

Realistically don't think I'll have time to effectively go through UWorld... but should I?

My ITE percentiles have been okay.. mid 60 (PGY1), mid 70s (PGY2-3).
 
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gutonc

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Ah.. debating whether it's worthwhile to get UWorld.

I'm finishing up MKSAP questions (my second run through). Avg 66% overall on first run. Second run through hitting 78%-80%. My plan is to finish up my 2nd run in the next few days and then redo my wrong questions. Then hit Awesome review books one more time.

Realistically don't think I'll have time to effectively go through UWorld... but should I?

My ITE percentiles have been okay.. mid 60 (PGY1), mid 70s (PGY2-3).
You should be fine. I don't think there's a whole lot of benefit to doing eleventy thousand different QBanks. Pick one. Do it. Understand why you got things wrong. Focus on that stuff.

At this point, Another QBank isn't going to make or break you.

I had similar scores to you (overall 60s on pre-test, low 70s on first pass, high 70s/low 80s on 2nd pass. Passed the exam comfortably.
 

Imdur

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I started MKSAP 17 last week (first pass, test mode, timed, random) and scoring between 70-73% (completed 5 sets of 60 questions). I read through board basics 3 and finished MKSAP 16 prior to this. I'm contemplating reading board basics 4 after I get through the MKSAP 17 questions. Thoughts?

I know this is highly subjective and variable based on the individual but anyone have a sense of what percentage we should be striving for?
 

gutonc

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I started MKSAP 17 last week (first pass, test mode, timed, random) and scoring between 70-73% (completed 5 sets of 60 questions). I read through board basics 3 and finished MKSAP 16 prior to this. I'm contemplating reading board basics 4 after I get through the MKSAP 17 questions. Thoughts?

I know this is highly subjective and variable based on the individual but anyone have a sense of what percentage we should be striving for?
You'll probably be fine.
 

dozitgetchahi

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At this point, I've done MKSAP once (overall ~70%), UWorld once (70%), and about to start MKSAP 16 again while finishing up Boards Basics 3. I'm feeling decent.
 

DarlynVMD

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Study material being used:

1. MKSAP 17 Q's
2. Board Basic 4

I've completed the MKSAP Q's x 1 thus far, overall score of 71.6%; will reset the Qbank and have a second go round. The game plan is to do questions every morning, at the very most, 2 sets of 60 Q's, review the explanations again and write notes in BB4. The evenings will entail reviewing the big sections on BB4.

Wishing everyone the best of luck on the exam!
 

dozitgetchahi

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Blah - it's hard to stay motivated for this when there's mountains beyond mountains of stuff that needs to be read for fellowship (and I'd rather be reading that stuff too).
 
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dozitgetchahi

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Took this bad boy today. Thoughts:

- I went in pretty confident (did Mksap 16 x1.5 or so, uworld x1 with averages initially in the 70s on both and mid to high 80s on the mksap repeat). I did mid 70s on every ITE as a resident. I was definitely one of the harder workers in my residency class...for what its worth.

- As far as the exam itself....Two of the blocks were easy peasy. Two of the blocks sucked hard. I felt like I got a lot of questions right and felt decent during the exam...now I'm looking up answers and it seems like a got a lot of stuff wrong. Bleh.

- Don't bother memorizing equations as they literally give them to you...there's this 'IM Calculator' that will literally calculate delta ratios, Wells scores etc etc etc for you. They seemingly give you everything - all reference ranges for labs are included in the question stems. They give you RCRIs and even a generic/trade name drug list. What this means, however, is that the questions won't be asking you these things because they know they've given you the information already. I only noted one true acid-base question and maybe 1-2 stats qs that required any sort of calculations. I rarely looked at the (substantial) amount of info they give you in these different menus etc because the questions simply didn't deal with that stuff.

- Some friends had told me that they felt like their study efforts before hadn't helped much because they got a ton of crazy/obscure questions - I agree. There were a LOT of questions that covered stuff that I'd seemingly never seen anywhere before...and that was despite doing Mksap and uworld and reading through BB3 + being a dedicated resident. I'm a rheum fellow and I'm amazed at the depth of stuff they dug out on the rheum qs...just way, way too in depth honestly. And they test the BB3 material much like the USMLE did with FA previously...they usually didn't ask questions in the direction you'd learned the material before. I'm paging through BB3 now and can't even find answers to a lot of the weirder qs. There were definitely qs that reached way back to stuff I hadn't focused on since step 1.

- Boards Basics is actually clutch...read it and read it. Memorize it like you did FA for step 1, as there's going to be little sentence fragments from it showing up in the questions and if you don't know ALL of them then you're apparently going to be getting qs wrong.

I'm hoping I passed. I walked out of the test with that 'OK that was tough but I still feel like I passed' feeling...now I wonder after looking up some answers.

I'm not reassured by some of the posts from previous years, either...apparently somebody failed after getting 205 questions correct. I could easily, easily see getting 35 questions wrong - oy vey.
 
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Raryn

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I'm not reassured by some of the posts from previous years, either...apparently somebody failed after getting 205 questions correct. I could easily, easily see getting 35 questions wrong - oy vey.
Say what? People have failed with 85% on this thing?
 

DrDudeMD

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How are you guys spending the day before the test? I'm not sure if I should do some light studying or if any at all...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dozitgetchahi

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Say what? People have failed with 85% on this thing?
Somebody was saying this in the forum for the ABIM exam last year.

After some googling, however, I've learned that the ABIM has openly stated that the percentage correct required to pass (at least for the MOC exams) is only about 65% - and the initial cert exam may be lower because there's experimental questions on there. So whoever was saying that last year was FOS.
 

Hokie06

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dozitgetchahi thank you for your sharing your experience. I finished MKSAP 17 this past week and averaged 71% (first pass). I wish I had more time to read all the explanations in details but I haven't with fellowship being so busy. I'm spending the next few days re-reading board basics and it sounds like this will be most high yield (Read it slowly x1 over the past 2 years). Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
 

dozitgetchahi

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dozitgetchahi thank you for your sharing your experience. I finished MKSAP 17 this past week and averaged 71% (first pass). I wish I had more time to read all the explanations in details but I haven't with fellowship being so busy. I'm spending the next few days re-reading board basics and it sounds like this will be most high yield (Read it slowly x1 over the past 2 years). Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
Yeah I'd say BB is the most high-yield thing you could do at this point. Lots of good info in there. Another pass of BB3 probably would have given me another 10 correct answers.
 
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Took the test today. Figure I'd give my input since I gained a lot from the forum

Honestly, its a beast of an exam. You really gotta know the info inside and out and be able to narrow down 2 differentials and pick the right one OFTEN. This isnt like the USMLE where you can just do questions and walk out thinking you aced it. I did UWorld twice, usually my recipe for success.. WRONG. there are several questions that are not covered in the q-banks. so much obscure crap that shows up. Honestly, I think the question banks help you get the easy questions right. To get the HARD questions, you need to master a comprehensive reading source like medstudy, IMHO.

If youre a good test taker youll pull through regardless. For those of us that arent, godspeed!
 

Raryn

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I took it today as well.

Probably a good 75% of it was questions that were reasonably straightforward, either similar to MKSAP or uworld. 15% was them being tricky by either asking some strange extrapolation from a question or not giving you adequate information to be sure. And 10% of it was them pulling something obscure out of their butts. Your milage may vary.

Anyone know the if the actual ABIM test will make you look up normal lab values or will the numbers be in the question.
What I can say is that every question had the normal range for labs listed in the stem. In fact, there is no longer a reference sheet with normal labs b/c they're all in the questions.

In addition, there are two other things that may be handy: There's a tab full of calculators of common IM formulas like osmolar gap and a variety of random other stuff (that I didn't use at all) and there is a reference sheet giving you the brand names of any drugs you may not be familiar with the generic of.

Can't wait till October.
 
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Imdur

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Tough test. There's quite a bit of questions where you either know it or you don't, which can be frustrating. Overall I walked away feeling like I passed but with unclear margins.

I thought 70% of the questions can be answered with MKSAP and BB alone. 3/4 blocks seemed okay. My last block was more difficult. Can't wait till October.
 

disorder

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Rough test. 63% and 86% through MKSAP 16 1st and 2nd pass, respectively. Walked in confident, walked out wondering if I passed.

I marked probably 20-30% of the questions on first pass. Narrowed it down and left about 10% I was really unsure about and narrowed down to about 2 answers and made the most educated guess possible. A lot of the questions were like everyone said- you either know it or you don't. Period.
 

Raryn

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Will the results be out the first week in October similar to last year?
*shrug*

ABIM gives themselves 3 months, which would put it late November at the latest. That said, looking at the last few years:

2015: Thursday, October 8
2014: Monday, October 6
2013: Monday, October 7
2012: Thursday, October 4

My bet based on those is Thursday, October 6 or Monday, October 10 for us. But that's just a guess, and it could be all the wait out at Thanksgivingtime.
 
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Hey guys. For everyone that took the test so far or heard from other people that have, how was the topic distribution?
 

thierryhenry

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*shrug*

ABIM gives themselves 3 months, which would put it late November at the latest. That said, looking at the last few years:

2015: Thursday, October 8
2014: Monday, October 6
2013: Monday, October 7
2012: Thursday, October 4

My bet based on those is Thursday, October 6 or Monday, October 10 for us. But that's just a guess, and it could be all the wait out at Thanksgivingtime.
Last year all the results were disclosed on 10/08/16 no matter when you took the initial certification date if i recall.
 

Raryn

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Hey guys. For everyone that took the test so far or heard from other people that have, how was the topic distribution?
Medical Content Category % of Exam
Allergy/Immunology 2%
Cardiovascular Disease 14%
Dermatology 3%
Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism 9%
Gastroenterology 9%
Geriatric Syndromes 3%
Hematology 6%
Infectious Disease 9%
Nephrology/Urology 6%
Neurology 4%
Obstetrics/Gynecology 3%
Medical Oncology 6%
Ophthalmology 1%
Otolaryngology/Dental Medicine 1%
Psychiatry 4%
Pulmonary Disease 9%
Rheumatology/Orthopedics 9%
Other 2%

Total 100%

Straight from https://www.abim.org/~/media/ABIM Public/Files/pdf/exam-blueprints/certification/internal-medicine.pdf

That's all the detail you'll get from anywhere here. ABIM is notorious on protecting their copyright and trade secrets and I'd really rather not get a lifetime ban or something silly like that. Also, SDN's TOS forbids us from discussing the details of the exam.

Last year all the results were disclosed on 10/08/16 no matter when you took the initial certification date if i recall.
I don't see where I said otherwise? Every year people from all the different dates get the results disclosed together.
 

madariman

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First Time taker: took the test and feel horrible. had a busy schedule through out but last 2 months, tried to go through most of the materials like ABR notes/BB/UW/MKS.
UW averaged: 60-65% ITEs scores : poor ( but never studied for ITEs) MKSAP : 60s-70s Rpt was in 80s-90s ( but thats just MKSAP memorized data recollected )

The first block was ok then it got bad. Bizarre questions with so many possibilities/weird information. Some questions totally out of scope of any material/ and I have checked atleast 20-25 answers I have gotten totally wrong so far. Sleepless and have become a mess!. There were few questions appearing straightforward which too one feels weird if there is a 'catch' or a 'nuance' I might have missed. Most questions i got wrong were not covered anywhere in any reviews/course. Memorizing did not really help at all.
Thoughts of what to do if there is a bad outcome in October, in terms of plan B: what happens if someone never gets certified. I am not anyone with great contacts , just an 'average joe'.
May be I could take the exam again next year, but I have no clue how to study/what to study?
Do everyone get same questions in a year or its different for every test taker? I already know about 20 wrong of mine from about 30 questions I remembered.
I go to work , see a patient, talk to a buddy and I remember a question then I look up the answer and I find the answer wrong/unsure why I picked some answer or some stupid mistake and then get all nervous. Is there anyone going through the same issues/feelings like me ?
 
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