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Time spend doing questions:Time spent reviewing the answers

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Solarium, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Solarium

    10+ Year Member

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    I'm trying to do 2-3 hours of goljan audio everyday, as well as 100 UW q's per day. Most of the time I spend about 2 hours reviewing the answers per 1 hour block of questions, but this doesn't allow me to read through the explanations fully. I feel that I may need more time to review the questions, but doing that will sacrifice the number of questions I can do before the test. I got 3 weeks left, more questions or more time reviewing?
     
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  3. LadyWolverine

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    Personally, I learn from reading and thinking through the same things over and over again. I benefited immensely from doing a block of questions and taking the time to read through every single explanation, even if I got the question correct, and even if I had had a similar question before. Each block of 48 questions took me about 3 hours, maybe 4 if I was not feeling 100%. I ran out of time towards the end of my 6-week prep period and did not finish the UW Qbank (I think I was somewhere around 70% complete?), but I'm happy that I found the time to do this.

    My method was to review a subject in Goljan and/or FA, and then do all of the questions in UW pertaining to that particular subject, annotating my books with notes from UW questions as I reviewed the explanations. If I had it to do over again, but still had the same time constraints, I would not have exhausted all of the questions in one subject before moving on to the next one. I would have given myself a set amount of time or questions, after which I would have simply moved on to the next topic. For example, I would have done 2x48 blocks of pulmonary questions, and then moved on to heme/onc, even if there were pulm questions left in the bank.

    In the end, I ran out of time and did not cover certain topics (neuro, MSK, derm, pharm) as much as I would have liked. But, I'm a completeness nut and just had to exhaust each subject before moving on.

    But this is just me. Some people can't stand reading all those explanations. :)
     
  4. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan
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    I have a little under 2 weeks left and try to divide my time between questions and reading.

    1 hour to do questions, 1-1.5 hours to review a block. If you review right after, you can pretty much recall which questions you were either:
    1. 100% sure about and got right, then read the summary and move on.
    2. Had some uncertainty, but managed to get right-so learn the piece of information nescessary to completely comprehend the question.
    3. Got wrong-so fill in the nescessary information.
    -Missed a key piece of information in the question stem-attention problem. Reread the stem, pick the right answer, and read the summary.
    -Didn't recognize the presentation or didn't have enough info to answer the question-knowledge problem. Read the whole question answer, annotate in first aid, review resources until information is understood and can be recalled from memory.
    -Understood what was being asked, but used incorrect logic-though process problem.

    If you go over your wrong answer choices at the end you will have time to
    1. practice paying attention to what the question is asking.
    2. Recall the information nescessary to answer the question.
    3. Practice your logic.

    As for reading I am spending 6 hours dividing it up as per Taus' plan.

    That makes my day 10 hours in theory, even though its usually 12 or more with breaks.
     
  5. mudphudwannabe

    mudphudwannabe Senior Member
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    I would say continue doing 100 questions per day, and do limit yourself to 2 hours reviewing per block. Questions are important, but so is time spent reviewing from books (or audio, or whatever you're using).

    While reviewing the answers is important, it's not necessary to read everything word for word. For questions you got correct, how about just reviewing the 1-sentence "objective" at the end? If you understand that, move on. If you don't, spend a couple minutes reading the answers. For questions you got incorrect, spend a little more time reading why the answer you chose was wrong, and why the correct answer is right. If you made a guess (whether you guessed correctly or not), you might find it useful to read the answers for the options your were deciding between. In general, you can focus on the answer you chose, the correct answer, and the objective of the question, and skim over the rest just to make sure there isn't something useful you're missing.

    Hopefully focusing your review a little can help you cut down the time. When I first started studying, I would spend about 2 hours reviewing answers per block, but towards the end (I spent 3 weeks total) I got that down to 1 - 1.5 hours and still felt like I was learning a lot.
     
  6. Solarium

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    I feel like if I skip out on time I spend reviewing questions, I don't learn anything at all. For some reason I need to constantly open FA and the relating subject in my Kaplan notes in order to get it fully in my head. It took me 3 days to fully review all 200 questions in the UW simulated exam 2, and that's with 8 hours of pure studying per day.

    I feel like I'm learning a great deal, and begin to understand why they put certain questions on the exam to highlight what they want you to know. I'm understanding how the exam writers think, and what each question is really trying to ask. Perhaps when I get to the 65%+ correct stage in UW, I will finally begin to pick up speed. Until then, one 4 hour exam per week, and maybe a 5 point increase per test.
     
  7. FutureInternist

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    My take is that it is much better to know 100% of some of the material, rather than 80% of all of it. USMLE Qs always seem to be one step beyond what you would understand with a cursory reading so not knowing EVERYTHING about Marfan's etc could come back & bite you in the butt.
     
  8. Solarium

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    My thoughts exactly. It's better to thoroughly understand all the high-yield concepts, than to try to know a little bit about everything. It seems that only certain concepts are asked over and over, though different ways, in varying amount of details, and that it's more efficient to understand these concepts in detail before trying to memorize every enzyme in every pathway. UW opened my eyes on the amount of depth they can drill you, and how they can twist a simpile concept to something completely incomprehensible right in front of your eyes. Perhaps it's better to understand something completely and extrapolate that knowledge and apply it to things you don't know.
     

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