Seeking Advice- Help! Still Not Passing after 6 weeks (2 weeks from exam)!

Gutsy

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Hello everyone! It's my first post since starting medical school and since I've received so much wonderful help and advice in my premed days, I thought I'd come back to ask for help :) I took NBME18 today after 6 weeks of intense studying and am still not passing. The score was in the low 180s. I literally started dedicated to UWSA1 (scored 188) and went down after 6 weeks... Granted my school made me take NBME20 back in March and my score was in the 140s so I know it's an improvement from that but I am at a loss of what to do. I've been trying to study since April as I'm not the best-standardized test taker and have been going full speed since May after M2 year was over. My exam is 2 weeks away and I don't think I can push it back anymore as I'm losing steam and starting to forget things. My main problem seems to be question interpretation and strategy and time management. I've gone through UW, First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy but have trouble making things stick so have been Anki-ing the things that I get wrong. But I'm starting to get really worried and am wondering if I need to drop out of medical school since I suck at this so much even when I'm putting everything into this?!

I'd love any advice that you may have on how to boost my score in the next 2 weeks and if it is at all possible to go from 182 to 215/220 (just trying to pass here at this point). Or do I really have to push it back? I don't know if I'm going to do that much better even if I had more time but would love to hear thoughts.

Thank you all!
 
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Spectreman

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Gonna need to push it back. Did you do okay with m1 and m2? Are you DO or FMG? What’s the deadline on taking your step 1? If you’re this low after this much dedicated then stuff is certainly not clicking. You need to take a hard look at your focus and study methods. Are you streaming Twitch and crap while you study? Studying at home on a couch? Are you doing your anki reviews EVERY DAY!? Pepper micro/pharm and Salt deck for sketchy path alone should be enough to get you into passing territory if you’re doing cards/videos/reviews every day. Pathoma is a waste of time if you don’t understand the concepts, FA is an even bigger waste. You need to use that stuff as a reference only. Read those sections quickly after doing the anki for Sketchy Micro/Pharm/Path. Good luck to you, 3rd year helps the material make sense. Worth delaying at this point if you can.
 

calivianya

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I have the above questions (DO/IMG/AMG) and also what specialties you’re interested in. If you only need to pass, you could maybe delay an extra month or so, but if you need a good score, I’d consider delaying until at least August/September.

I would delay no matter what, and find some type of program to help you study - what you’re doing (UFAPS) might work for a lot of people, but it is clearly not working for you.

I’ve been using Doctors in Training and I love it. I had major content knowledge gaps so it’s filling in the holes for me, but if your knowledge base is good, it might be too superficial for you. You could try Kaplan, Goljan, AMBOSS, or anything else, but you need to completely give up what you’re doing (IMO) and change things up ASAP, and then give yourself enough time to finish your new resource.
 

Gutsy

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I am at a US MD school. I'm not trying to get into anything competitive so just trying to get at least 220. Study habits are not the issue for me as I've turned off all social media and what not and really focus solely on STEP1 studying. Our school is P/F for the first 2 years and have passed my classes. For me, it's a lot of question interpretation and not as much content (I don't think?). I'm a good student and will work hard but just not good at standardized test taking :(
 
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Medical_studies

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I agree with calivianya and spectreman that you have to push the test back. The reason the score is in the 180's is you haven't done enough questions, which is easy to fix. Even if you start off just getting 30% right, doing 10 hours a day of questions will put you in a passing range very, very quickly.

I would start in tutor mode (random is very important) and make sure you use some kind of stopwatch/timer app. For the throw away qbanks like kaplan and rx, just try to read the question and explanation within 4 minutes. You need to be hitting atleast 15q/hour to be covering the material at a fast enough rate. You will be shocked how fast you go from 30-40% to 60, 70 and above.

DeceetoDoc mentioned that after the 3rd qbank, you start knowing the answer before finishing the question, it starts becoming 2nd nature. I started around 35% and now am at 90% consistantly on 1 of my qbanks.

Because you are US MD, you're in a great situation no matter what, because even if you miss graduation, you will still match easily. 1 year is nothing in the long run. You will easily pass this test!
 
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Kumorebi

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Hello everyone! It's my first post since starting medical school and since I've received so much wonderful help and advice in my premed days, I thought I'd come back to ask for help :) I took NBME18 today after 6 weeks of intense studying and am still not passing. The score was in the low 180s. I literally started dedicated to UWSA1 (scored 188) and went down after 6 weeks... Granted my school made me take NBME20 back in March and my score was in the 140s so I know it's an improvement from that but I am at a loss of what to do. I've been trying to study since April as I'm not the best-standardized test taker and have been going full speed since May after M2 year was over. My exam is 2 weeks away and I don't think I can push it back anymore as I'm losing steam and starting to forget things. My main problem seems to be question interpretation and strategy and time management. I've gone through UW, First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy but have trouble making things stick so have been Anki-ing the things that I get wrong. But I'm starting to get really worried and am wondering if I need to drop out of medical school since I suck at this so much even when I'm putting everything into this?!

I'd love any advice that you may have on how to boost my score in the next 2 weeks and if it is at all possible to go from 182 to 215/220 (just trying to pass here at this point). Or do I really have to push it back? I don't know if I'm going to do that much better even if I had more time but would love to hear thoughts.

Thank you all!
Anecdotal - MD friend was scoring similar to you and wanted to push it back. He was on borderline passing and his school recommended he take it so he did. He did not pass. No matter what your school says, consider pushing it back.
 
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MerYangBey

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Something is not working with how you’re studying. Intense studying for 6 weeks should meet the knowledge requirements to pass this test. We’re not talking about a high score just a passing score.
Can you tell us more about what question banks you have used? What’s going on with UWorld? Have you used it in a timed mode? How long do you spend on each question? What’s your strategy when you approach a question? What are your weak areas?
Also I highly recommend Boards and beyond but you definitely need more than 2 weeks to make a dent in that.
 
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