Trying to decide if I need USMLEWorld.

Discussion in 'Step I' started by lilnoelle, May 16, 2008.

  1. lilnoelle

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    I currently have Kaplan Qbank that I got through their webprep program and Elsevier's qbank which I got through my school. I've found Kaplan to be way to frustrating and difficult and I like Elsevier but I'm not sure that Elsevier is enough. Everyone seems to talk about how great USMLEWorld is.... I'm beginning to think I should subscribe to it for the next month. What do you think? Is one question bank enough? Part of me thinks its a waste of money to buy another question bank since I have one bank that I like AND access to Kaplan if I need it.
    So what do you think? Is it worth spending $90 for a month of World - or should I just put up with what I have?
     
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  3. -Goose-

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    I have both UW and Kaplan and I think that UW >> Kaplan. Better questions that more resemble what I have experienced from NBMEs.

    I've spent so much $$ on medical school, whats another $90? I do regret spending as much money as I did on Kaplan, though. Its waayyy too expensive for what it is.
     
  4. zedx

    zedx Drifter...

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    Based on my personal experience using UW and taking the test; UW Q's level of depth and format are very closely resemble the real thing. I'd say that getting UW, even for a month, would be worth the extra expense.
     
  5. lilnoelle

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    But if I already have a decent question bank (Elsevier) and have access to Kaplan if I need it, is it worth getting another one?
    I might get frustrated with USMLEWorld because I won't be able to take notes on my computer while using the question bank. I sort of like being about to write down what I don't know when doing questions.
     
  6. gouda

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    If you don't get it you might regret it, and even if you don't end up liking it is only $90 (I know $90 is variable for some people, but med school and board prep is already $$).

    You may want to consider taking your notes in FA or whatever your main source will be. I initially thought I was going to keep a separate notebook to take notes in, but I felt overwhelmed, so I just kept a running log of notes in relevant subjects in FA.
     
  7. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    Had a similar question:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=520568

    But in your circumstance I would definitely get UW. It is recommended by the majority of people I've talked to online and at school. Spending $90 doesn't seem like a whole lot of money if you'd have to compare it to +$480 to take the exam again because of insufficient preparation.

    Not saying you need UW, but if you have the opportunity to advance your knowledge base on questions, thereby increasing your chances of getting a higher score....why not do that?
     
  8. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    What is decent? And I am not familiar with this qbank either.

    Yes.

    If you have 2 computers, set them next to each other. Or use the old-fashioned method of pen-and-paper. For me, I just annotate directly into my FA so this doesn't affect me as much.

    Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
     
  9. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    It's probably the best 90 dollar investment you'll make in medical school.
     
  10. muscles

    muscles student of the month

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    i agree, go with UW. I had the same dilemma when studying for step II - i bought kaplan firs,t then realized how great UW was so I bought it. It was much more realistic than kaplan. spend the money - you'll thank yourself later...
     
  11. DOCTORSAIB

    DOCTORSAIB Ophtho or bust!

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    Let me make it easy for you...

    Get UW or you may spend all of 3rd/4th year thinking "what if."
     
  12. lilnoelle

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    Oh, and I've heard Elsevier mentioned on this website as "studentconsult", maybe more people recognize that name. At this point I've been using Elsevier and Kaplan and they prepared me pretty well for the pharmacology shelf. I've averaging around 70% on both q-banks and managed to do better on my last exam (pharmacology) than I have in my first two years of med school. Elsevier's questions seem to be similar to what I saw on the shelf. I'm taking an NBME tomorrow as my "starting point". I feel pretty good about the one question bank.... I'm just wavering on whether its worth throwing Kaplan out the window and picking up UWorld.
     
  13. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    Now studentconsult I'm familiar with.

    Which one are you planning to take? G'L whichever one.
     
  14. lilnoelle

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    I think either 1 or 2. I haven't really put a ton of thought into which one I'll do yet. I'm pretty sure my school has already set us all up to take #3 the week before the exam. We've also paid to take another mock step 1 two weeks before the exam. I've got 1 practice (full length?) through Kaplan, so that gives me an exam each week till I take Step I. (June 16th.)
    I'm guessing I'll do poorly tomorrow because I feel like I've forgotten a lot - yet somehow I feel relatively confident about how I'll end up performing in the end. I doubt I'll have a "SDN score", but I'd be happy with average or a little better and would be exuberant if I scored somewhere in the 230's.
     
  15. osli

    osli Senior Member

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    It isn't that difficult to takes notes from UWorld. In the review mode after taking a test, when you stop the review it goes back to a list of tests you've taken and you can toggle to any application to take notes. Click on the review for the test in question and the number where you left off and you're right back to reviewing. Takes about 5 seconds to toggle from the question to word/excel/whatever or vice versa. The biggest problem is that you can't copy/paste, which would sometimes be quite useful for a nice summary table. The vast majority of things I feel like writing, however, consist of a couple of words or maybe a sentence at best.
     
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  17. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat

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    To make note of questions you wish to make note of you could mark them during your session then review them later. They won't let you copy and paste or use another window while the test session is running though.

    So, I'm advocating for UW too. It is a pretty sweet set-up.
     
  18. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
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    if there is a table you want to copy, you could use the Print Screen function on your PC or the Apple, Shift, 4 command on your Mac to top the screen as a picture, then I guess you could paste it into word. I'm not sure however if UW disabled this too, but its worth a try
     
  19. leagueelbow

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    USMLEWorld is a lot better. And when I was comparing prices, it seemed a lot cheaper too. (Don't know if that's changed)
     
  20. Blesbok

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    i honestly pity people that take the step 1 without using UW.
     
  21. lankysudanese

    lankysudanese antibiotics fetish

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    pity is a strong word, don't u think? it is possible to do well without using UW (my 2 roomates got 253 and 260, without having to use it)

    it is a good resource, but like everything - it's what you do with it that counts.
     
  22. Hurricane95

    Hurricane95 Senior Member

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    UW is a beast. Plus their interface looks just like the real FRED testing program for the step 1. I've looked at kaplan's q-bank from a couple of years back and was not at all impressed. A lot of the questions are really dumbed down. UW is tough, but I'd rather study with the harder materials and be ready for the big deal when it comes than be babied through and smacked down during the exam.

    I annotate first aid as I go along through the Q-bank (reviewing the Q's i've worked on). By the end of this week i'll be done taking and reviewing all 2034 Q's and have a super-annotated first aid with everything in it (also material from other sources). I'll spend the last 3 weeks just reading it over and over while doing 100 Qs or so daily.
     
  23. Blesbok

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    strong word but i stand by my statement. it is possible to do well without but why not take the advantage when it is presented.
     
  24. doc20

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    plus UW platform is more like the real USMLE , and I always got tired of doing the same qbank so it was always a good change to do another qbank and had more fun with UW
     
  25. lilnoelle

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    I ended up buying it today although I haven't gotten the chance to try it out yet. Are you guys taking their assessment exam as well?
     
  26. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    I took one this past thursday.
     
  27. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic

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    I believe she is referring to the UW sample exam, not the NBME exams.
     
  28. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    Oops! :oops: Right you are.
     
  29. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    I'm thinking about it, but I think I'll stick with the NBME tests for a mock test.
     
  30. lilnoelle

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    Yeah, I may be overtesting.... I took one last saturday (2), I'm taking the Kaplan practice test this next Saturday, then one put on by my school the next Saturday, NBME #3 the next Saturday (week before exam) and then I guess I'll take the USMLE World assessment exam 4 days later - at which point I should be done getting through everything and will just be focusing on my weaknesses. Hopefully 4 days will be enough :laugh:
     
  31. standup man

    standup man Member

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    A little out of topic but I have about 5 wks to study for this thing, and I started USMLEworld recently and am doing terrible 44% yesterday and today:(:( I don't know what's happening, I was doing Kaplan Qbank uptil now and was doing fairly well with increasing scores. I'm just so depressed right now and :scared::scared: I was hoping to score in the 230's don't know if that's possible anymore...anyone in the same boat??
     
  32. lilnoelle

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    If I were doing random questions, I'd feel (and would be performing) the same way. I'm picking questions in whatever category that I've already studied. Maybe thats not the best way, but I get really discouraged when I am trying to test over material that I haven't looked at in forever.
    I think doing it this way works best for me.... and I should have enough questions (after all, I have three question banks) that I should still be able to do random questions as I get closer to the test date.

    Have you taken any practice NBMEs? My decent performance on #2 last Saturday makes me feel pretty good about how I'll do in 4 weeks.
     
  33. indo

    indo Feed me a stray cat

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    What happens if, say, 60% of people studying for step 1 use USMLE world? It seems like, since the scores are based on averages 'n such, the relationship between UWorld %ages and USMLE step 1 scores would change. Now, 60% is 230ish but if most students use UWorld will the real exam become harder and make, maybe, 80% equal to a 230?
     
  34. standup man

    standup man Member

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    I haven't taken one yet, plan to do this friday. Hopefully it will boost my confidence. thanks
     
  35. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic

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    When you go back and make tests just with incorrect answers, does UWorld sort "unused incorrect" answers? I mean, the question I am asking, if I have 1000 incorrect questions to get through will it get done in 20 blocks, or will it take more because of repeats?
     
  36. alpha06

    alpha06 Senior Member
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    Well I'm asuming since they are incorrect, they are already repeats since you would have had to answer the question beforehand. And if you wanted to do your 1000 incorrect Qs, you would get done in 20 blocks of 50qs each. But "unused incorrect" doesn't make sense to me. If you didn't use them,how can they be incorrect?? Either way, you can only choose one category to do either unused, incorrect, marked, or all.

    Don't know if that answers your question...
     
  37. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    Don't worry. This is normal.

    I used Kaplan during the school year to help me study for exams. I could get 80-90% on subject-based exams. When I switched to mixed timed, and I got 35%. I'm not that smart (or dumb, depending on how you look at it). The random questions don't have a sign on them helping you narrow down your thought process.

    All of the 4th years I spoke to all experienced the same thing.
     
  38. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor?
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    Maybe if USMLE grading responded quickly, that would be a problem. As it is, the biggest change they've made recently is make 185 passing (up from 183). If you are taking the exam soon, they won't be able to change the exam quickly enough.

    Heck, the "multimedia" portions they're rolling out this June have been talked about for the last two years.
     
  39. lilnoelle

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    What he means (I think) is once he's gone through everything once and wants to go through those questions that he missed, will he be able to move straight through them, or will questions that he missed the first time around end up repeated the second time around because they all belong in the "missed question pool". I assume that if you go through them a second time and get them right, then they'd get out of the missed question pool, however if you get them wrong the second time through, they may still pop up again while your going through your missed questions.
     
  40. DwyaneWade

    DwyaneWade Reiging *** Cynic

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    Ah that makes sense. Hope it works that way. Thanks!
     

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