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Studying before the May-June crunch

Discussion in 'Step I' started by ZagDoc, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats
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    Now I have not been one of those notorious types who has been carting FA around with me since Kindergarten. I spent MS1 studying for... my MS1 classes. My energies in the first half of MS2 were spent mainly mastering the material of my classes, while annotating FA at the end of each block and using board review books sparingly in conjunction with class notes to make sure no gaping holes were present between my school's curriculum and common knowledge. I didn't memorize any differences, but read them and made a mental note so that if I see it again it won't be totally foreign.

    I plan on continuing said practice for awhile, but don't want to leave all of my heavy lifting of board prep to the 4-5 weeks before I take Step 1. I know when I'm taking the test and have a pretty good map of how I'm going to attack my studying in that time period, but after doing all of that, I'm kind of at a loss of what I should be doing in the few months prior.

    I'm a pretty versatile studier, lots of styles work for me, but I need a plan, or at least checkpoints to guide myself, in order to feel productive or that I'm achieving anything and don't think whimsically doing QBank questions or flipping through review books will do much for me. Our MS2 coursework is pretty low-yield stuff from here on out, we hit the gross majority of pathophys of major organ systems in Aug-Dec, already had micro, seen a good deal of pharm.

    So what are some strategies others have used to do some mild but productive board prep in the months of Jan-Apr?
     
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  3. fijianpuppy

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    good q--am also looking for an answer. i've talked to some high scorers, though, and some suggestions i've heard is take a subject you're worried about, usually heavy memorization ones like pharm or microbio and starting march or so memorize a drug and a bug every night. another told me she made it a point to go through first aid once before school ended. also, i would do the robbins review questions along the way if you haven't been.
     
  4. usarmydoctor85

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    I haven't found a strategy yet either. I managed to get a copy of Kaplan's Home Study Set, which takes up more than 1 D-ring 4'' binder, so I don't know how realistic it is to get through all of that plus practice questions in the last 4-5 weeks before the exam. I have a couple of 3rd year friends that read First Aid 3 times over, BRS Pathology once, and thereafter did practice questions on USMLEWOLRD (they didn't seem to think Kaplan's qbank was necessary as it's pricey and you probably won't get through all 4000 questions they have) All these people got 240s and up and their medschool didn't "teach for the boards" so to speak.
     
  5. spospo

    spospo Going to extremes
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    didn't want to start a new thread for this question...and it kind of applies...kind of. i am going to buy HY behavioral, and it looks like there is a 2001 and a 2008 edition. anyone know of major changes between the two?
     
  6. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats
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    Yeah I tried doing Robbins cases alongside my classes but found them too rudimentary compared to the depth we had to know things for class, so I thought it best to save them for review time.

    I guess the key for me will be finding ways to "actively" study besides simply reading a book. Saw a recommendation of going through Goljan and annotating while listening to the audio, may try that out.

    I'll keep the thread updated with my own experiences. More recommendations would be appreciated, seems like there's a few of us out there with this problem.
     
  7. Slide

    Slide Finally, no more "training"
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    I'm breaking my 6-month+ break from SDN to join you in this thread, because my situation is very similar to yours. Before, my only real prep for Step 2 was to read/listen to Goljan along with path. Now, my current thing is to read corresponding sections from BRS Phys and a few other sources that correlate with path and pharm. For instance, for female repro in path I took a few hours to look over the endocrine chapter again in BRS phys. It kinda helps integrate the knowledge and makes the 1st year stuff make more sense. I'm also starting to refer to sections in FA 2009 that were recently covered in class. Other than that, I'm waiting for major prep until February.
     
  8. Mortal_Lessons

    Mortal_Lessons H.Perowne
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    I'm also a second year thinking of different ways to study before the intensive summer studying session. I won a free 9 month subscription to Q bank so I'm trying to answer as many as possible, because I'm going to switch over to UWorld for my intensive study. I've also been reading RR Path, listening to his audio, and reading the corresponding FA sections for each block we're taking. I'm also trying to review a little anatomy and biochemistry before summer. Right now my main focus is class because that's board-relevant. I have a question for you all-what do your intense summer study schedules look like? Are you all going to spend the first couple weeks heavy on the books and light on the questions, and then rev up the questions near the end? Also are you all dedicating time to basic principles (such as anatomy, biochem) early on and then switching to organ system study, or are you just going to incorporate basic principles with the relevant organ system?
     
  9. Lamborghini1315

    Lamborghini1315 Sleep deprived
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    hmm i will do questions in short blocks along with every system i hit during my prep. I don't like to save the questions until i am done reviewing all systems. Also its easier to identify my weaknesses right away as oppose to waiting till you have done everything and realizing you have to dig back search for a topic you are not confident in making it time consuming.
     
  10. InspireMe

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    I'm currently reading the 2008 version and like it. I hear the economy is bad by the way (sarcasm) so I got it from the school library which is a very under-utilized source, the only updates it mentioned on the back were a more recent psych classification and ten new illustrations :eek:. (10)
     
  11. strv04

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    damn your classes must be crazy on the path
     
  12. InspireMe

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    There is a very popular plan for board prep known as the "Taus" plan.
    Look it up. I'm using a modified version of it tweaked to my needs and style. There have been a lot of happy people who have used it. For the final month before D-day its looking like lots of hours in front of USMLEWorld which will force me to intergrate everything :rolleyes: good luck to you
     
  13. Mdwhite

    Mdwhite MS-II, MSM

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    My thoughts exactly
     
  14. Mdwhite

    Mdwhite MS-II, MSM

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    My thoughts exactly
     

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