LuluLovesMe

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My school is pass fail. (No rank, no high pass/low pass ect.) 75% is a pass and that's it.

I got back the results of our first exam today. I got a 82% on it. I overheard other people talking about it and they all got between 93% to 100%. Everyone else also seems to be studying more than me because I seem to be the only person with free time. On the other hand a lot of second years told me that coasting is fine and many people purposely ride very close to the 75% cutoff.

I'm worried because I'm wondering if I should be studying harder. Is it ok to just coast through preclinical years? Should I be working harder to remember the minutiae?
 

NotYou20

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What I've heard from almost everyone is that if you want to do well on boards you should work your ass off in the first two years. So if you're cool with just passing boards, you're fine. If not, step it up
 
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njtrimed

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My school is pass fail. (No rank, no high pass/low pass ect.) 75% is a pass and that's it.

I got back the results of our first exam today. I got a 82% on it. I overheard other people talking about it and they all got between 93% to 100%. Everyone else also seems to be studying more than me because I seem to be the only person with free time. On the other hand a lot of second years told me that coasting is fine and many people purposely ride very close to the 75% cutoff.

I'm worried because I'm wondering if I should be studying harder. Is it ok to just coast through preclinical years? Should I be working harder to remember the minutiae?
First of all, I wouldn't worry. But @LuluLovesMe, I thought you were already in med school last year? I was following your posts. Regardless, I wouldn't "coast," since you're attempting to learn as much as you can to be a great physician. Just don't fret over your grades if you are passing.
 

solitarius

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M1 is no big deal and low-yield for Step. Probably a good idea to refine your study habits though.
 
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failedatlife

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This largely depends on your IQ. For instance, I broke my back publishing and studying 12 hours a day. I failed miserably on Step I. Some people probably put in 1/2 the effort and kicked my butt. We all have strengths and weaknesses in life. If you are very smart, and good at MC exams under pressure, yes you can coast thru medical school and still rock Step I. If you aren't like me, you can't.
 

Donald Juan

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I think it should only be a worry if you are studying all day to just be coasting on the exams. But no, if it's true P/F then this crap doesn't matter. What you should do is refine your study habits where you can study for 4 hours a day to maintain that B average. That way, when next year rolls around and you really start stepping up your step 1 studying you can manage to juggle the two. In the meantime, enjoy this year while the pressure is low.
 

nm825

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M1 is no big deal and low-yield for Step. Probably a good idea to refine your study habits though.
This is HIGHLY school-dependent. We do all of GI, neuro, and reprodo first year and never touch the material again.
 
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Goro

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A) People lie about thier grades
B) You're in a good zone. Just try to improve a bit more and you'll be in an even better zone.
C) It's still very early in your medical education. You have lots of time to improve.
D) If you try to learn everything, especially minutiae, you'll learn nothing. Start with Big Picture, and then work earthwards.
E) Don't merely memorize...you have to be able to apply!
F) In our experience, the people who are only too happy to merely pass will end up at HIGH risk of failing Boards (problem students are the same at DO and MD schools).


My school is pass fail. (No rank, no high pass/low pass ect.) 75% is a pass and that's it.

I got back the results of our first exam today. I got a 82% on it. I overheard other people talking about it and they all got between 93% to 100%. Everyone else also seems to be studying more than me because I seem to be the only person with free time. On the other hand a lot of second years told me that coasting is fine and many people purposely ride very close to the 75% cutoff.

I'm worried because I'm wondering if I should be studying harder. Is it ok to just coast through preclinical years? Should I be working harder to remember the minutiae?
 
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OP
LuluLovesMe

LuluLovesMe

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A) People lie about thier grades
B) You're in a good zone. Just try to improve a bit more and you'll be in an even better zone.
C) It's still very early in your medical education. You have lots of time to improve.
D) If you try to learn everything, especially minutiae, you'll learn nothing. Start with Big Picture, and then work earthwards.
E) Don't merely memorize...you have to be able to apply!
F) In our experience, the people who are only too happy to merely pass will end up at HIGH risk of failing Boards (problem students are the same at DO and MD schools).
Thanks for the advice Goro! I'll aim to work a bit harder at improving my study habits so I can hopefully score higher next time.
 
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hmockingbird

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I think it should only be a worry if you are studying all day to just be coasting on the exams. But no, if it's true P/F then this crap doesn't matter. What you should do is refine your study habits where you can study for 4 hours a day to maintain that B average. That way, when next year rolls around and you really start stepping up your step 1 studying you can manage to juggle the two. In the meantime, enjoy this year while the pressure is low.
Agree with this, and also I would say it depends on your priorities. If you really want to get a competitive specialty even if your school is pass-fail you might want to study harder or start step 1 prep earlier. Personally I went to a pass/fail school and I could have studied harder than I did and consistently gotten >90% (we still got grades on tests but official grades were P/F only) but I decided that I was going to make free time/family/friends an equal priority because I was extremely stressed out after my first test. I think it really helped me stay balanced. (One of my biggest challenges in residency so far has just been not really having time to relax.) I did know I wanted to go into peds and had no interest in a surgical specialty so I wasn't super concerned about my step 1 score though (did average). Of course, that's a risk I took not knowing if I would suddenly fall in love with something more competitive though. My grades went up in the clinical years just b/c I feel like the critical thinking/synthesizing information part of learning is more my strength, and... I'm at a competitive peds program now.

So I think it just depends on your priorities but if it works for you to be an average student in med school that's totally fine! You are still performing really well to do "average" in med school lol.
 

madchemist89

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You are thinking about this all wrong. Why are you even in medical school? You're not here to pass exams. You're not here to secure a residency position. You're not here to ace Step 1. While all these things are important, they pale in comparison to what should be your primary focus right now. The first two years of medical school are the foundation upon which you will build your entire house of medical knowledge. You went to medical school to become a doctor, and I hope that you aspire to be a great one. Work hard. Live a balanced life but dedicate yourself to your education. You will never have the opportunity to study like you do now. Don't get caught in the trap of thinking that what you are learning is worthless. It is not. You can't see how the pieces fit together yet, but one day you will look back, and you will see how everything fits into the bigger picture. Focus on learning medicine to the best of your ability. Everything else will fall in place.
 

alfredo24pr

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Based on my experience from MS1 1st semester, I did better than everyone else on all classes, at the cost of barely reviewing First Aid, while mastering the professor's lectures. For MS1 2nd semester, I started using FA more and still got the highest possible grade in all my classes, but some students that mostly used the professor's lectures did better than me on some tests.

I did Qbanks (Uworld, and USMLE-RX) during vacation, and was very unfamiliar with many of the questions from 1st semester MS1 and it wasn't because I had forgotten the material, but because I had never seen the corresponding topic on FA.

If my school had that system, I would definitely spend a lot more time using First Aid instead of the professor's lecture, which may include details irrelevant for the Step 1. To answer your question, if you are going to "coast" through the classes just to get a pass, then I would highly recommend covering in full the material that is in First Aid, corresponding to that class.

By the way, you're doing good for the first exam. On my 1st test, I didn't do great compared to some classmates, but I made the improvements and never looked back.
 

Anicetus

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This largely depends on your IQ. For instance, I broke my back publishing and studying 12 hours a day. I failed miserably on Step I. Some people probably put in 1/2 the effort and kicked my butt. We all have strengths and weaknesses in life. If you are very smart, and good at MC exams under pressure, yes you can coast thru medical school and still rock Step I. If you aren't like me, you can't.
Lol this guy again.

OP, always try. Always. It will do you good down the road and you can die a happy man/woman.
 

mcloaf

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Based on my experience from MS1 1st semester, I did better than everyone else on all classes, at the cost of barely reviewing First Aid, while mastering the professor's lectures. For MS1 2nd semester, I started using FA more and still got the highest possible grade in all my classes, but some students that mostly used the professor's lectures did better than me on some tests.

I did Qbanks (Uworld, and USMLE-RX) during vacation, and was very unfamiliar with many of the questions from 1st semester MS1 and it wasn't because I had forgotten the material, but because I had never seen the corresponding topic on FA.

If my school had that system, I would definitely spend a lot more time using First Aid instead of the professor's lecture, which may include details irrelevant for the Step 1. To answer your question, if you are going to "coast" through the classes just to get a pass, then I would highly recommend covering in full the material that is in First Aid, corresponding to that class.

By the way, you're doing good for the first exam. On my 1st test, I didn't do great compared to some classmates, but I made the improvements and never looked back.
If you're doing UW and Rx as an M1 in a regular 2 year preclinical curriculum (over vacation, no less)...that's an impressively aggressive way to waste your time and money.
 

mehc012

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If you're doing UW and Rx as an M1 in a regular 2 year preclinical curriculum (over vacation, no less)...that's an impressively aggressive way to waste your time and money.
I feel like it's becoming more and more 'regular' to not have a 'regular 2 year preclinical curriculum' anymore.

Would your recommendation change for someone attending a school with an integrated curriculum?
 

mcloaf

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I feel like it's becoming more and more 'regular' to not have a 'regular 2 year preclinical curriculum' anymore.

Would your recommendation change for someone attending a school with an integrated curriculum?
Yeah, I think if you're getting exposed to pathology and pharmacology as part of an accelerated integrated curriculum it's probably reasonable. In the "classic" curriculum as an M1 you have exposure to probably less than half of the info you'd need to answer most qbank questions, so undertaking them is kind of just a waste as unique step 1 practice questions are not a bottomless resource.
 

mehc012

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Yeah, I think if you're getting exposed to pathology and pharmacology as part of an accelerated integrated curriculum it's probably reasonable. In the "classic" curriculum as an M1 you have exposure to probably less than half of the info you'd need to answer most qbank questions, so undertaking them is kind of just a waste as unique step 1 practice questions are not a bottomless resource.
Gotcha, thanks. I feel like that part of the question doesn't get addressed much on here, so that was very helpful to hear!
I'm considering waiting until Rx goes on sale and snagging that to follow along in my blocks...right now organization is the worst part of med school, so it might be nice to have a qbank letting me know what I didn't look into in enough depth.
 

GoodWillShunting

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"STUDENT, you do NOT study to pass the test. You study to prepare for the day when YOU are the ONLY thing between a patient and the grave." -Look it up


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

Cyal

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Some students do average or slightly worse in the 1st 2 years but on Step 1 they outscore others who have significantly better grades. I still don't understand the discrepancy, because it is not easy to score in the top 25% on in-class exams.
 

Spectre of Ockham

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Yes. If you asks yourself that question the answer is always yes.