Open book FA for Step 1

Discussion in 'Step I' started by suarad32, 09.23.14.

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  1. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    Assume for a moment that you could refer to FA real-time while on Step 1, and also assume you had done UW to get an idea of how to apply the countless factoids in FA, how would well would you do? Just trying to manage my expectations as I hit FA on the home run.
     
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  3. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    I don't think you'd be able to benefit as much as most would think. It's going to take a lot of time to find the right page, turn to it, read the relevant section and the relate that to the question, even if you have gone through the book numerous times.
     
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  4. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    I understand your point, but this is purely hypothetical. In other words, what I mean to say is if you know FA cold cold cold, i.e. not forget a single miniscule detail and reproduce that knowledge on the test with a basic understanding of working out concept-based questions, where would it place you?
     
  5. Transposony

    Transposony Do or do not, There is no try 5+ Year Member

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    USMLE is not about knowing, it's about applying what you know.
    That's the reason some IMG's who cram FA get unpleasantly surprised with their results and then blame FA for not getting the desired result.
    Also, if you find the need to open FA during your test then you were not ready and should not have gone for the test.
    JMHO (Just My Hypothetical Opinion)
     
  6. SBR249

    SBR249 7+ Year Member

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    I'm usually pretty good with time management on test but even I had a few blocks on the step where I had to use every second to go back to questions and think about it. I'm not sure that open-FA would be of much help as it would be way too time consuming, especially since I'd have the urge to double check everything.
     
  7. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    I know this sounds stupid but to apply something you need to know it first right? For example if you had a situation where cerebral perfusion dropped in response to a drug (Application), you would need to know that morphine is a vasodilator through histamine release (Fact). (I made this question up, it's probably not a very good one). My question is are all these Facts for the real deal in FA? The application, is of course important, but only secondary to the condition that I know the Fact in the first place
     
  8. Transposony

    Transposony Do or do not, There is no try 5+ Year Member

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    Exactly.
    Yes, almost everything is there in FA since it is updated based on feedback from the examinees.
    However, knowing those factoids in FA thoroughly inside out (mechanisms/concepts about those factoids) and ability to apply them correctly is what that matters.
     
  9. seminoma

    seminoma 2+ Year Member

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    Pure speculation since I've only done qbanks and not taken step 1 yet, but it seems to me that everything is pattern and clinical case recognition. There are only so many ways a given concept can be tested and there are only so many ways to present the same case. Doing enough questions shows you many iterations of the exact same material. From that you eventually learn the concepts and minutiae-type factoids in such a way that you don't need to pore over FA attempting to memorize every single word. FA represents the most commonly tested topics as determined by recent exam takers. Qbanks represent those same concepts in question format. It follows then that if you really know the material that shows up in FA, then you would actually be able to fill the margins with all sorts of related (and board relevant) facts and concepts.

    I could be approaching MS2 and step 1 studying completely wrong, but my goal is to eventually be able to look through FA and recall all the different ways each piece of information could be tested. It seems like a lot of people look to FA as a resource to tell them what they know, don't know, and/or don't need to know. I look to it as a resource to tell me how I know the things that I know.
     
  10. PL198

    PL198 2+ Year Member

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    The how is going to change, the what is constant. You have no idea how they can ask you the content questions. There's limitless possibilities. All FA is, is a giant list of the stuff you should understand.
     
  11. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    I obviously haven't taken Step 1 either, but I agree with PL198. There is no end to the way they can test application of a factoid, so the least one could do is to know what the factoids are and hope (based on your experience with UW etc) that you'll be able to apply them correctly.
     
  12. Pisiform

    Pisiform Oh Crap!!! 7+ Year Member

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    First Aid is not a complete book. Complete in the sense of explanations and concepts. It steers you in the direction what you should focus on. It helps identify what is high yield and whats not but memorizing FA alone w/o understanding each tiny word of it ..a highly doubt it you will do well
     
  13. SBR249

    SBR249 7+ Year Member

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    FA is nothing more than a slightly more fleshed out outline. It's designed to jog your memory of facts and concepts that you learned and understood in the first 2 years of med school. It's not going to make the necessary connections for you. You've got to do that yourself based on your own depth of comprehension (most likely acquired elsewhere).
     
  14. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone 2+ Year Member

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    Isn't that essentially what you will do, except replace the word FA with "your brain"? FA is there to help you link and cement what you need for this exam.

    If that's your purpose with FA, then you've got big problems.
     

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