Aug 25, 2017
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Hey all - long time lurker but first time poster here. I am hoping to get a bit of advice re: my study plan.

I just had my first med school exam (biochemistry). I passed, which is amazing because I'm at a pass/fail school with no rankings and no AOA. However, my score was around 80%, which is good enough to pass (needed 70%) but feels low given that I've been putting in about 100 hours per week including required lecture time. To me it's obvious that I have been putting in much more time than is necessary to get 80% and I would love to continue to get around there while freeing up some time for research/hobbies/relationships/etc.

The way my school works is primarily the flipped classroom thing with lots of materials to study before class and then group activities and such at school. I dont mind this but tbh the group learning tends to really thoroughly cover particularly topics while ignoring others (which still appear on NBME).

In light of this my general plan has been to pretty thoroughly go through the at home materials (because they end with difficult quizzes that USMLE RX / BRS may not cover, and because our tests are half NBME half questions from instructors), then convert my notes on these to Anki cards, and then constantly be flipping through either Anki or USMLE RX flashcards facts. To prep for the exam I mostly continued to run through all of these flash cards and did practice Qs from various sources (BRS, old exams, etc).

Like I said, I did fine so I suppose I could stick with what I'm doing but since my grades don't actually matter it would be nice to free up some time for research/clubs/social life/personal hygiene. I'm also concerned that biochem is not actually that hard, so when we move into anatomy and such I won't actually have time to study this way.
 

Lannister

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Since your exams are half NBME, it would probably be really helpful for you to invest in some board prep materials. Buy First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy. All three resources are 100% worth the money.
Definitely don't stick with what you're doing, you'll burn out real fast if you're studying 100 hours/week.

Oh and also, "biochem is not actually that hard"? Eff that. Biochem was and always will be the hardest class I've taken in med school.
 
OP
T
Aug 25, 2017
212
285
Since your exams are half NBME, it would probably be really helpful for you to invest in some board prep materials. Buy First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy. All three resources are 100% worth the money.
Definitely don't stick with what you're doing, you'll burn out real fast if you're studying 100 hours/week.

Oh and also, "biochem is not actually that hard"? Eff that. Biochem was and always will be the hardest class I've taken in med school.
Thanks for responding! I have first aid and USMLE RX. I will get sketchy and pathoma later when I am in the appropriate blocks.

Re: Biochem, I didn't really think it was "easy" but I assumed that medical school gets harder than the first block, not easier? Is that a misconception?
 
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Lannister

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May 21, 2013
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Thanks for responding! I have first aid and USMLE RX. I will get sketchy and pathoma later when I am in the appropriate blocks.

Re: Biochem, I didn't really think it was "easy" but I assumed that medical school gets harder than the first block, not easier? Is that a misconception?
I think it very much depends on the person. I was a Spanish major in college, no science background other than the pre-reqs, and had never taken a real biochem class. So biochem was very hard for me, especially since most of the other students in my class had already learned a lot of the stuff. So far I've found organ systems to be slightly easier than biochem, partly because I think they're just conceptually easier, and partly because the playing field is more level than it was during the basic science blocks.
 
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Aug 25, 2017
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I think it very much depends on the person. I was a Spanish major in college, no science background other than the pre-reqs, and had never taken a real biochem class. So biochem was very hard for me, especially since most of the other students in my class had already learned a lot of the stuff. So far I've found organ systems to be slightly easier than biochem, partly because I think they're just conceptually easier, and partly because the playing field is more level than it was during the basic science blocks.
That's fair. I'm the opposite - I have extensive experience in biology including genetics and cancer biology, so this block was just building on that. Anatomy will be a whole new world.
 

Lannister

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That's fair. I'm the opposite - I have extensive experience in biology including genetics and cancer biology, so this block was just building on that. Anatomy will be a whole new world.
Fair enough! Anatomy is a lot of memorization though, so if that's your strength you might find it easier. Anki is pretty useful for memorizing origins and insertions and stuff. But the best thing you can do for anatomy is spend a lot of time in the lab, looking at as many bodies as possible.
 
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