Qbank easier than the real deal???

Discussion in 'Step I' started by tjmolly, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. tjmolly

    tjmolly Junior Member

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    I have read over and over again that the Qbank is harder and more specfic than the actual Step 1. I'd really like to know if that is only the case for US students. My experience with foreign students leads me to believe that the NBME gives the US students an easier version of step 1 and foreign students tha impossible version. Do I smell a class action suit in the works?
     
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  3. LoneSEAL

    LoneSEAL Senior Member

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    Qbank simulates the actual Step I exam, not exactly or perfectly. I don't see why Kaplan would make the Qbank questions harder for only the US students and not for IMGs. Why would Kaplan go through the trouble of writing two sets of questions?


    As for the second part of your message, what do you mean by your "experience" with foreign students? And I don't understand how you jump from Kaplan's Qbank to the actual StepI exam. Can you define the relationship between the two?
     
  4. Grohaila

    Grohaila Junior Member

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    What can I say, IMG paranoia (I am an IMG, mind you). IMGs get EXACTLY the same test as USMGs.

    Not that Bush et co won't soon degrade this nice country at the level of other countries, but this is not the places to discuss this issue.

    My gripe with Kaplan is that their questions and materials, are somehow in a world separate from the world of the USMLE test. In spirit/approach moreso than in content, but without approaching the questions the right way, even passing becomes a trial. NMS question books are the real deal, IMO (although they shoot themselves in foot with stoopid subject books).
     
  5. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    Grohaila, could you elaborate on that a little? Approaching it wrong how?

    I'm doing medrevu right now (soon heading into qbank) and I believe NMS and medrevu use the same questions. I have to say some of those questions are VERY hard. I've seen the same thing written here a few times - that medrevu is too picky. But you're saying the format is better, eh? Can you explain?

    tjmolly, I've actually heard the same about Step 1; that it's a different test for IMGs. I don't know about that. I think it depends on whether you're an American studying in the Caribbean or an actual foreigner. Taking a foreign test will always be harder with or without a bias. There are so many weird rumors about this thing. Someone said something a while ago that he believed the test was easier in the summer months. Wow, I just want to get it out of the way.

    Good luck.
     
  6. mamadoc

    mamadoc Old Member

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    I forget where I read this, but it is my understanding that there is a distinction made for IMGs vs. American students, and it is NOT in the exam that they're given - everyone takes whatever version of the USMLE happens to be on their computer on that given day.

    But the passing score has been set based on the performance of American school students - which is presumably a higher score than you'd get if you factored in all students. So American students set the pass score, and IMGs have to achieve it.

    i swear I read this somewhere reputable but sorry, I can't conjure up a reference right now!
     
  7. shag

    shag Supreme Procrastinator

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    My experience was that the actual test was more difficult than the Kaplan questions, and MUCH more difficult than the USMLE practice items. I don't know if it was just the stress of taking the actual test, but I felt that my test was "impossible". I just did the best I could, and ended up with a good score in the end.

    I'm sure it must seem exceedingly difficult to IMG's who don't have english as their first language. USMLE is difficult enough without adding a language barrier.
     
  8. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    Shag, what did you get in qbank and what was your final score (approximately)? It scares the **** out of me that the real deal is harder than qbank - I had heard just the opposite. I'm getting high 60's on qbank right now. Could press that into low 70's in the coming weeks but no way more than that. If the real deal is harder........ Then that's just slightly better than passing, isn't it?

    Must study. Later.
     
  9. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Bell, you'll do fine.

    I had a 70% QBank average and ended up with a 246/99.

    I found the QBank questions to be more difficult than the USMLE questions, but the USMLE questions did have a lot of questions that were longer than the QBank questions. This wasn't true of all of them though.

    Good luck!
     
  10. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    Just do like geek medic, just do like geek medic, just do like geek medic.

    (a little worse would be fine, too!)
     
  11. Peeshee

    Peeshee Senior Member

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    Bell Kicker,

    when are you planning to take the exam? I know it's torture until that exam is overwith, but we will feel good once it's done....I am postponing it a little bit because I am not yet completely confident in my knowledge level.

    I am also surprised to learn that some people have found the actual exam much more difficult than Q Bank, etc. I have heard that the actual exam qu. are pretty lengthy.

    Good luck!
     
  12. Renovar

    Renovar Senior Member

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    The deal is, if you can consistently do the questions in the passing range on Q bank you should do fine.

    And yes, at least on my exam I found each question to be significantly longer than those in the Q bank. IN the Q bank there are plenty of 1 sentence questions or short paragraph qusetions. On my test there were a lot more long and windy paragraph questions, and a lot more qusetions describing an experiement, with a lot of numbers embedded in the paragraph which made my life miserable. For every 50 questions on Q bank, on all subjects/ all unused+incorrect - on average I have 5-10 minutes of extra time left over per section. On the real exam I have 0-3 of extra time left per section. On one section I even ran out of time on my last question (thank god they dont cut you off on the last question, they let you put down your last answer before ending the section). I felt a little bit rushed to answer the last 5 questions or so every section because I have like 5 minutes left on 5 questions remaining so I might have not think as much as I should have if I have just a little more time.

    Content-wise I wouldn't say the real exam is more difficult, but definitely my version of the exam requires faster reading to be successful.
     
  13. tjmolly

    tjmolly Junior Member

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    I hear the same thing over and over again, "My test was not harder than the Qbank, just longer paragraphs." I found my test to be much more difficult. I was scoring in the high 60s low 70s at the end of my Qbank use. I am also a US-IMG so language is not an issue. I still believe IMGs are tested differently.
     
  14. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    Peeshee, I'm taking mine in 4 weeks. I'm actually feeling somewhat ready for it now. I can't wait till it's in the bag, I'll tell you that. I've covered what I had planned to cover. In the next 2 weeks I'll go over everything one more time. The last 2 weeks will be questions and first aid and maybe some images or something.

    Several people on here have described how happy they were for not postponing their date. Maybe that'll be you post test day!

    IT HAS TO BE THE SAME TEST FOR EVERYONE! Otherwise, what is this world coming to? Why do half the IMGs fail? Cuz they are stupid? Cuz the test is different? I choose to believe it's because it's an American test and American med schools prepare you better for it. I would challenge anyone with a 260 to a Scandinavian Licensing Exam. Now, for the Caribbean schools, I know they resemble US schools in everything they do so I don't really have an explanation there. However, I know of many "Caribbeans" on these boards with very high scores.

    OH, the nervousness. Peeshe, good luck to you, too.
     
  15. ApacheIndian

    ApacheIndian philomath

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    I was averaging 70-75% on Q-bank, 70% on MedRevu, and I got an 82% on the Released Items. I scored 244/99 on the real deal.
     
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  17. shag

    shag Supreme Procrastinator

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    Bellkicker,

    Sorry about taking so long to reply... I'm on an OBGYN rotation at a busy hospital (i.e. no time to sleep) taking q2 call...

    I also apologize for scaring you; that was by no means my intention. The real exam felt harder, but in the end, I did MUCH better on the real deal. I was scoring around 65% on Qbank, got around 80% on the USMLE practice items. I ended up scoring 236/95 on the actual exam.

    Another thing to take into account is that I procrastinated and ended up with only 3.5 weeks of hardcore study time and only had time to take 30% of the Qbank items.

    If you are eligible to take the USMLE, then you have obviously worked hard. You have most likely learned much more than you realize. Work hard, and at the very least know most of First Aid, and you should be fine.
     
  18. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler

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    Thanks for the encouragement, Shaq.
     
  19. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    q2 call? Ouch! :eek:
     
  20. Caffeine

    Caffeine Junior Member

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    I finished about 3/4 of the Qbank questions and finished with a total score of about 67%.
     
  21. shag

    shag Supreme Procrastinator

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    Sounds more like you earned the 251 instead of "receiving" it... Luck can carry you a long way, but not that far! Congrats!
     
  22. med33

    med33 New Member

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    I THINK THAT EVERYONE GETS A DIFFERNT TEST...
    I DONT THINK IT MATTERS WHERE IN THE COUNTRY YOU TAKE IT OR WHAT YOUR BACKGROUND IS! 200,000 OR SO RANDOM QUESTIONS... SOME PEOPLE GET 50 SLIDES SOME PEOPLE GET 5... SOME ONE MAY HAVE 75 BS QUESTIONS AND ANOTHER MAY HAVE 3...
    SO ON AND SO FOURTH WITH THE REST OF THE SECTIONS!

    IF YOU PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THE WORST (GETTING MANY QUESTIONS IN A SECTION YOUR WEAK ON) YOU WILL BE FINE.

    HOWEVER, FOR THE EXTREME LOW SCORES I THINK THIS MAY BE A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT SAID I WILL LET PHARM, OR MICROBES BE MY WEAK PT... AND RECIEVED A TEST WHAT WAS COVERED WITH THIER WEAK PTS :eek:
     
  23. Schlitz

    Schlitz New Member

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    I was scoring around a 90% on the qbank questions. Got a 258 on Step 1. Hope this helps!
     
  24. invitro

    invitro Member

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    Schlitz-

    What did you do to prepare for the boards?

    258....Wow!

    -invitro
     

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