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Truelearn for the advanced exam

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by likeaboss, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. likeaboss

    likeaboss ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    May 13, 2011
    So, when I was a CA1 or early CA2 I purchased the truelearn "PART 1" qbank with academic money (the ADVANCED qbank wasn't available yet). I did questions here and there but never finished it. I just kept renewing it (because it was cheaper or so I thought).

    Now I'm one week from by advanced exam, and ALL of my studying has been from this antiquated qbank which I've almost finished.

    I just started worrying a little. What if I studied the wrong stuff by using the PART1 qbank instead of the ADVANCED?

    Anybody done both qbanks? Are they completely different, kinda similar or about the same thing?
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  3. Robotic Wis-Hipple

    Robotic Wis-Hipple ASA Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    The qbanks are different. But the Advanced exam in my opinion was basically the basic all over again with a small smattering of "advanced" topics/questions which equated to a few peds or cardiac questions that they mostly asked basic type stuff about.

    Huge caveat to my answer; I took the first advanced exam, so who knows how much it's changed since then.
  4. likeaboss

    likeaboss ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    May 13, 2011
    Thank you for the reply. I'm just hoping I'm not studying the wrong body of knowledge....

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
  5. Pharmado

    Pharmado PharmaDo 5+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    I didn't use the Part 1 Q bank, but I can say with certainty that the advanced and ITE Q banks have a TON of overlap. I'd say at least 50% of those 2 banks are identical. If I had to guess I'd say TrueLearn only has about 1400 questions (or less) total. The ITE bank has 1000 questions. The advanced has 800. The Basic q bank has 800 and the Part 1 Q bank has 1000. Actually, they probably only have 1000-1200 questions total and they make up different products from the same questions and we just shell out more money like suckers. It is likely that the Part 1 q bank is just the advanced q bank with some extra questions. You should have all the stuff you need.

    That said, I finished the TrueLearn Advanced and ITE for the second or third time recently and just started on some Hall questions because I have another week. I've been shocked so far by the deficiencies I've found in my knowledge. I'm starting to believe I should have focused on Hall and supplemented with TL rather than the other way around.
  6. Star2285

    Star2285 5+ Year Member

    May 24, 2012
    I have done the advanced truelearn bank 2x. I have started doing some open anesthesia and am definitely not doing as well and starting to freak out. Can anyone who took the exam last year comment if they think Truelearn was enough, or what to focus on. I hope there is a high pass rate again this year.
  7. bellevueperson

    bellevueperson ASA Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    Also only doing TrueLearn advanced and M5 advanced sections in studying for the exam, so hoping that's sufficient. Did anyone who took it last year find M5 useful as well?
  8. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Almost everyone I know used TrueLearn exclusively, no Hall no M5 and they've all passed to my knowledge. In fact that's about all I'm using myself.

    Deep breaths.
  9. likeaboss

    likeaboss ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    May 13, 2011
    Hahaha funny how feeling insecure and posting on SDN always backfires and leaves u feeling even worse!

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
  10. loveumms

    loveumms Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    I personally think you should never focus all your studying with just one thing - every set of questions has pros/cons. It's probably too late but mabye some reading this for next year will think about variety. It's been six years since I've taken and passed the exam however, I wouldn't expect a single qbank, book or otherwise to get me to a passing grade. Most feel like they are going to fail, luckily not that many actually do.

    I highly recommend having a review book and then supplementing that with questions. We've had several residents fail in the last ten years because all they did was questions. Questions help find deficiencies however they do not give you all the knowledge you need.

    Review book are plenty - some like Jensen, some like Ho some like Faust or whatever else suits your fancy - I personally used Jensen but added a TON of notes to it (I typed it up and added notes as I studied). I also used questions of all varieties. Some like Truelearn, others M5, Hall and/or Dershwitz are cheap and I would buy them both (or borrow them from someone who has already taken the exam). Everyone should do ALL the old ABA exams (there were several questions which were verbatim from those on my real exam) and the ACE questions.
  11. Robotic Wis-Hipple

    Robotic Wis-Hipple ASA Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    I'll give my advice which is a little different than the above.

    I hated Hall, never did more than 1/3 of it. I also never bothered with the ACE exams though many have said if you do them you'll see a handful of questions/concepts directly from them.

    But I agree with having a review book, pick the one with the format you like best. Then do questions, and when I say do questions I mean spend an hour on the block then probably 2 hours on reviewing the questions. Read all the answer choices and explanations, even those for the choices that were the wrong answer, there's gold in there. Then, for each question, flip to the concept/topic it's testing in your review book and read it and add notes from the qbank explanation that helps you get a more well rounded understanding of the topic. Review books are designed to be quick reads, and mention the most commonly tested concept, but often they are superficial or the qbank will approach it from a direction you hadn't thought of before. Write that stuff down.

    The benefit of doing this is twofold, one, you are writing things down which is more active learning and you are creating a more robust sense of a concept than either the question or the review book alone. And two, you will thank yourself when it comes to oral board studying time when you can practice stem questions and review using a familiar source with all of your own notes in it.
    vector2 and pgg like this.
  12. anbuitachi

    anbuitachi ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Failing on SDN is <90 percentile. <90% on practice questions means you'll probably fail
    acidbase1 and AdmiralChz like this.
  13. Shimmy8

    Shimmy8 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2012
    Taking it this week. My prep:

    Did TrueLearn for ITE and liked it.

    All of advanced truelearn 1x
    Pass Machine qbank 1x
    Hall questions randomly when free time
    Trying to get through old ACE now

    Agree with poster above that different qbanks inherently and unintentionally have different focus and deficiencies so I wanted to spread it out.

    I'm not as worried about "learning" material now, I feel like through my residency both didactics and clinically I learned more than enough to pass, it's just pulling out that knowledge on test day. So I wanted to be exposed to as many different test preps as I could while still retaining. With that said, I still liked TrueLearn the best for a multitude of reasons.

    We'll see how this goes on Saturday....
    AdmiralChz likes this.
  14. AdmiralChz

    AdmiralChz ASA Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    Like Robotic, I could never really get behind the Hall book. I found it frustrated more than helped for me personally, but many others have really liked it.

    A friend last week gave me a book by Matthes and Urman, pretty solid questions that hit some different topics sorta glossed over by TrueLearn (which, for the more senior members is the successor to the old AnesthesiaPrep bank). It's been hard to balance studying with starting fellowship/moving to a new city, but thankfully I've done well enough on practice questions and ITE to feel confident. Still studying when I can, though.

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