Shelf exams as Finals

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Gear, Nov 22, 2001.

  1. Gear

    Gear Junior Member

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    A friend at the Mayo is going to be tested from the Shelf Exams for finals. Can anyone tell me more about these exams, and where to find examples and study materials for them? Thanks for any and all help!
     
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  3. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    All I know is that shelf (board) exams suck. They are physically exhausting. For example. You get a clinical vignette that is 4 paragraphs long then when you think "I know whats going on" you get to the answer section which asks which is the MOST appropriate next step in treatment...you glance down and see eleven (thats right not four or five but eleven) options that are all appropriate...but which one is MOST appropriate? Fortunately you do learn a lot during rotations so they are not completely impossible. As far as where to find practice exams I don't have a clue.
     
  4. Elvis25

    Elvis25 Member

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    And I thought I was the only one that got pissed off at the "MOST appropriate" questions. Or the other one that says which test should you order next, for a condition that needs a rather complex workup. Not only have I never ordered tests one at a time, I've never seen any residents or staff order them one at a time either. And when the staff don't agree, it makes me wonder who gets to decide which answer is indeed the right one?
    Ok, enough venting. The shelf exams, as you know, are written by the same company that rights the boards. Therefore, any board review book, especially those with a practice test, are definately the way to go for studying for them.
     
  5. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    I'm still not sure I understand exactly what a shelf exam is, or why it's called a 'shelf exam'. It's good to know that it's written by the same folks who write the board exams--that should help guide my studies.

    The little I do know is that I have to take and pass a surprise-topic shelf exam as a part of my year-end final in order to continue to the M2 year.

    If anyone can shed some light on WHAT these things are, I'd appreciate it. My searches haven't turned up much, but if they do, I'll post it here!

    Thanks!

    --kris
     
  6. kris

    kris Senior Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I have a link below that goes to the "subject exam" area of the NBME website.

    Is the subject exam the same thing as a shelf?

    <a href="http://www.nbme.org/programs/medsch.htm" target="_blank">http://www.nbme.org/programs/medsch.htm</a>

    --kris
     
  7. e2k

    e2k Member

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    Shelf exams are difficult, but they are good practice for the boards.

    Where I go to school, professors tend to write untintelligable questions about obscure topics, so I appreciate shelf exams very much. We have all shelfs for our third year, so it's like taking five practice exams for Step II.
     
  8. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    shelf exam = board exam = subject exam (what they are called depends on your school)
    they are standardized tests written by the NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners). NBME also administers the USMLE...although if my step I was as difficult as the shelf exams I've seen this year I would have climbed up on the roof of the Sylvan Learning Center and jumped off.
     
  9. Gear

    Gear Junior Member

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    Can any of you who've taken these shelf exams tell me where to get copies or samples? Thanks!
     
  10. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)

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    Great words of encouragement Tonem...not only do I have to pass the Anatomy Shelf Exam next Friday to go on to MS2, but it also counts towards 12% of my final grade. :(
     
  11. yigit

    yigit Senior Member

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    The haven't said anything about shelf exams at my school, but I'm thinking that it is a good way to determine just how much I've learned. Our final exam isn't even cumulative. Where do I find them?
     
  12. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    Don't worry Cobra, you'll do great!
     
  13. srlondon

    srlondon Member

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    I agree what some of the other posters have mentioned. I foudn that the shelf exams, while difficult, were in some ways a blessing in disguise during the 1st two years, as you're given a _standardized_ exam which was written to test your knowledge of high-yield topics, not the crap that your professors pull out of you-know-where to keep the average down where they like it. And, in terms of the originator this thread, I'm sorry to say this, but you're going to have to get used to this question format. Step 1 is basically 8 hrs of questions just like those on the shelfs. But, on the other hand, they give you a chance to show that you can actually think and reason answers out, rather than just being hit-or-miss knowledge questions.

    In terms of preparation, I've had a good experience with the Pre-test series. They make them for most of the major courses,and the explanations for the answers are usually pretty good. Sometimes they have questions from way out in left field, so try not to get flustered by those, though.
     
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    AJM SDN Moderator
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  15. SocialistMD

    SocialistMD Resident Objectivist

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  17. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member

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    Just took the Biochem shelf this morning. Wow!
     

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