superchango

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2006
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The hellish land of boards study...
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Medical Student
I thought I would write a post encouraging any of those still studying for this year's boards who are worried about the test. I think it's been said a million times that this forum is hugely skewed, and probably only represents one personality type. Before (and after the exam) reading this board gave me nothing but heartache, and I was hoping I could give those who were in my position a few words of encouragement.

First of all, I'm not a great test taker. I definitely thought I would fail - I actually DID fail the first two practice tests I took, so I don't want to hear about how EVERYONE feels like they failed after they took it. I really was legitimately worried. So worried, that I didn't even bother to take another NBME after getting the hugely disappointing F's - I know this doesn't sound smart, but I figured my psyche literally couldn't take another blow, and that practice test or no practice test, I was going to just study as hard as I could as long as I needed and fricking take it. I took the free USMLE test with the answers offered through Kaplan and got a borderline passing score.

Well, I got my score today, and I got a 226. I believe I got the equivalent of a 170 or 180 something on my first NBME, which makes for a 50 point leap. People on this board make it out to be that the almighty NBME will predict your score fairly well, but it did NOT do that for me. I think a lot of the people on this board are anal retentive, minds like steel f***ing clamps, and have perfect study habits where they sit and study for 14 hours straight for 3 months. Studying for me was unbelievably painful - I hate memorizing random factoids and will forget something I learned ten minutes ago easily. I'm lucky I'm 1. MSTP because that means I have something else going for me and 2. hoping to go into Psych, where the pressure is a little off as far as board scores go. I crammed like a mofo the last week - as much as I could - up until 10 pm the night before. Even so, I didn't end up studying 14 hours a day EVER. I could barely handle 6 with several breaks (although I will sit coding doing research for easily more than 14...weird). But you know what, I am unbelievably happy to have my score, and wouldn't change a thing if I had to do it again. I'm especially proud of my special **'s in Behavioral Science that were at the very high end of the spectrum. :)

So anyway, if you're despondent and worried of failure (I had nightmares of my classmates stoning me to death in the quad to remove my board score from the schools average), there is hope. If you're a bad test taker, with even worse memory and crappy study habits no matter how hard you try, there is still hope. Don't let these 260-scoring people discourage you. YOU CAN DO IT!
 

PsychoDan

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2006
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Congrats... how much time did you ahve to study after your first two NBME practice tests?

Many people on here that have scored 250+ have done poorly in NBME assessments with 4-6 weeks to go, which is why I ask.
 
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superchango

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2006
5
0
39
The hellish land of boards study...
Status
Medical Student
PsychoDan said:
Congrats... how much time did you ahve to study after your first two NBME practice tests?

Many people on here that have scored 250+ have done poorly in NBME assessments with 4-6 weeks to go, which is why I ask.
I think I had 2-3 weeks after the second one I took.
 
3

39094

Congrats on a great score. Stories like this show that people really can do a lot to bring up their scores in just a few short weeks of dedicated hard work.

Best of luck to you! :thumbup:
 
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