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bbggw

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Does anyone know how many questions are say, path, biochem etc.. out of the 350 on the step 1? thanks
 

Law2Doc

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Does anyone know how many questions are say, path, biochem etc.. out of the 350 on the step 1? thanks

I suspect it's different for every test taker. Folks get questions at random from a bank of questions. Which is why Mr X can get a neuro heavy test while Ms Y can see a ton of biochem. All you can know is that things like pathophys, pharm, micro, path, and biochem are going to be higher yield than things like embryo, and allocate your study time accordingly..
 

PeepshowJohnny

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Couple of things to add.

Remember when people say "Oh man, I had a neuro/biochem/embryo/cell bio heavy test" that recall bias is likely playing some role in that. The person remembers the questions they missed or struggled with much better than ones they breezed through. So if you have normal amount of questions in an area like Biochem, and you struggle in biochem, you're going to remember all those hard biochem questions. And thus a normal test is considered "biochem" heavy.

Also, even if your test is embryology heavy or anatomy heavy (two traditionally lower tested subjects) you're still going to having the vast majority of your questions coming from the BIG subject areas like path and micro. So definitely give low yield stuff a look through, but always remember the high yield stuff will always be your moneymaker.
 

bbggw

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So from what you guys are saying i gather it is totally different than the MCAT where you are getting a set amount of questions per subject. hmm.. that seems unfair becuase it could favor one student over the other, but what do i know?:confused:
 

Law2Doc

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So from what you guys are saying i gather it is totally different than the MCAT where you are getting a set amount of questions per subject. hmm.. that seems unfair becuase it could favor one student over the other, but what do i know?:confused:

No, nothing like the MCAT and it is not necessarilly a fair test for a given individual, nor is it really unfair (ie what subset of questions you get can totally help or hurt you). Additionally, it is not nicely blocked off into sections like the MCAT so you can get any topic at any time in the test. And breaks are self managed, which is also a key difference from the MCAT that throws some people for a loop. I agree with PSJ that there is a lot of recall bias, so that someone who said their test was neuro heavy may have just gotten some very memorably hard neuro questions. But there will be plenty of people who have eg no (zero, nada, zilch) embryology, histo, nutrition questions, etc while another person may have had several of each, so in this case, it's not an issue of recall bias, it definitely is a different allocation. Bear in mind that there will be a bunch of experimental questions thrown in, so you don't necessarilly know which topics are being under or over tested for this reason as well.

You can certainly get a Step with a larger percentage of things in your wheelhouse, while someone else can get reamed by things they regard as harder stuff. But you are graded based on the subset of questions you had (on a question by question basis), meaning that if you had a harder set of questions and did above average of how others did on that same subset, you get a better score (i.e if you got all the questions right that eg 40%+ of people got right, on a question by question basis, you are doing fine).
If you know everything about the subjects covered, you will do well, if you are shaky, test poorly, or read slow, you might not -- so in that sense it is totally fair.

This translates to it being very important to spend the most study time with the things you are weakest on. If you hate biochem, study lots of biochem, and so on.
 

lord_jeebus

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There is a lot of variation from test to test and, as mentioned, there is a lot of bias in people's recall.

A rough guide may be to look at how much space is dedicated to a subject in First Aid. A caveat would be that molecular and cell biology are bigger topics on the test than in that book.
 
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