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invitro

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Okay-

This might seem like a weird question, but I have a feeling that people (in general) who do better end to take the exam earlier.

I plan to take the exam jun 29th (7 weeks to prepare).

When did you guys who did well (>240) take it? Please provide a DATE.

Maybe there is some sort of curve....the earlier you take it, the better you score.

I know this sounds preposterous, and also I KNOW that the USMLE officially states that all scores are standardized to a mean...but I am paranoid, and I hope perhaps some of you will entertain my paranoia.

Also, at my school, I noticed this phenomenon....people who took the exam before june 15th or so, tended to do significantly better than those who took it later (june 29th).

I guess the same thing applies to the MCATs....that's why it's easier to do better (in general) on the APRIL mcat vs. the August mcat.

invitro
 

Skrubz

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June 3, 2001. Spring Finals ended April 19, though I had 3 weeks of Clinical Practicum in the hospital until May 10. I started part-time studying March 11 - went to some classes during the morning, studied for classes in the afternoon, then studied for Step 1 in the evening. The week before finals I put Step 1 studying on hold, then picked it up again during my practicum during the evening. Studied full-time starting May 11 and spent the last two weeks doing just questions (QBook and QBank).

After Step 1, I went overseas to Taiwan for two weeks to visit relatives and play.
 

doc05

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You seem a little paranoid. The phenomenon you've mentioned is a matter of self-selection. Academically weaker students tend to put off the exam until later dates, in the hopes of improving their scoring potential with an extra 2-3 weeks of studying.

This approach is probably not particularly useful. I took the exam in mid-June, after about 5 weeks of study. Even then, I experienced severe burnout during the last 7-10 days of study. I can't imagine why anyone would want to put themselves through an additional 2-3 weeks of torture.

Best of luck.


Originally posted by invitro


Also, at my school, I noticed this phenomenon....people who took the exam before june 15th or so, tended to do significantly better than those who took it later (june 29th).

I guess the same thing applies to the MCATs....that's why it's easier to do better (in general) on the APRIL mcat vs. the August mcat.

invitro
 

Skrubz

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Originally posted by doc05
This approach is probably not particularly useful. I took the exam in mid-June, after about 5 weeks of study. Even then, I experienced severe burnout during the last 7-10 days of study. I can't imagine why anyone would want to put themselves through an additional 2-3 weeks of torture.
I agree with doc05 on this one. It was really hard to focus during the last few days because I just wanted it all to be over and done with. I decided early on to take the Step 1 early because I wanted to enjoy some of my summer before rotations kicked in.
 
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jed2023

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I've noticed the same phenomenon, whereby several of the kids I know taking it early (after only two and a half or three weeks) got stellar scores. The thing is, in each case they had been preparing since February or March, so the 2 or 3 week figure at face value is a bit misleading. They were also strong students to start with.

Interestingly, I heard from an instructor that the NBME did a study a while back that showed that after 3 weeks of preparation (after classes end), average scores start to either plateau or fall. Has anyone heard of this study? Someone on another thread also brought this up but they said their school had run this study and had also arrived at the 3 week mark.

I know I can't review the basics of 2 years in 3 weeks, so I'm not even going to attempt to pull that off. But the thought that a shorter preparation time yields better test performance on average is intriguing.
 

Stinger86

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Originally posted by jed2023
Interestingly, I heard from an instructor that the NBME did a study a while back that showed that after 3 weeks of preparation (after classes end), average scores start to either plateau or fall.


Sounds good to me. :hardy: 3 weeks is what I'm shooting for
 

12R34Y

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I'm spending 3 weeks and taking it in early june......any more than 3 weeks and i'll be crispy burnt.

that also gives me 3 full weeks off before clinics and that is the most important of all!

later
 

wannaberad

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Yup, there was a study in Academic Medicine about this:

Sooner or later? USMLE step 1 performance and test administration date at the end of the second year.
Acad Med. 2002 Oct;77(10 Suppl):S17-9.

Basically the difference wasn't significant...but if anybody wants to look.
 

invitro

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Okay....you guys convinced me.

I am planning to take the exam earlier on June 15th. That should give me close to 5 weeks to finish off my prep and be done with this cumbersome exam.

-invitro
 

pxz

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I really think it is not a matter of when you take step 1 but rather how long you prepare it. I plan to take step 1 in later June just because I have to do some home improvements the first two weeks after my year two. In addition, I really really want a break after getting burn out in my second year.
 
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