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USMLE Stem Length?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by dulop, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. dulop

    dulop Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Hey all,

    Was wondering how UW compared to the real thing in terms of length of the questions. Time isn't ever an issue on UW for me but it def was on the MCAT at times. Just wanted to get an idea of how much time/block i'll have left over to review questions.

    drzamzam likes this.
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  3. opb

    opb 7+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    I think you're probably gonna get different answers because there is a lot of variability in the tests that people take. Personally, the question stems on my test were pretty long... comparable to UW length. Some questions were even longer (I seriously think they took up half the page). I only had about 4-5 short questions on each block.

    I usually would finish with 10 minutes to spare on UW (50 question blocks), but on the real deal I usually finished with less than 2 minutes to go (after reviewing my marked questions once), even with the smaller question blocks (48 questions).

    This was just my personal experience, and I'm sure others will say that their questions were shorter. I think as long as you keep practicing timed blocks on UW and finish early you'll be fine.
    drzamzam likes this.
  4. BrisketAttack

    BrisketAttack 2+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2008
    I mirror this sentiment exactly. exactly! longer stems on the real step!! 2-3X as long (over uworld) on average.
  5. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted 7+ Year Member

    I had one question that was 11 lines long. I counted.

    It also had a diagram.
    drzamzam likes this.
  6. doc20

    doc20 5+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2007
    there are mix of questions, like some of the above posts said there are some that are long
    and there are also some very short, like 3-4 words, the ones testing your cramming memory lol
  7. BrisketAttack

    BrisketAttack 2+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2008
    don't get me wrong, there are certainly some shorter questions, about on par with the average uworld question. however, if you average out the length of every question stem, i'd say they're minimally 2x longer than uworld, and probably closer to 3x. i wish this wasn't the case, but with my exam it sure was.
  8. SaoTo

    SaoTo 2+ Year Member

    May 2, 2008
    A majority of my questions were 3-4 lines long. I did have some that were at least 10 lines (usually split in the middle with lab values).
    drzamzam likes this.
  9. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2006

    This was my experience. I know there were a few long paragraphs, but they were by far the minority.
    drzamzam likes this.
  10. medstylee

    medstylee 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    my test was actually filled with long question stems. i had very few questions with only 2 or 3 sentences. on the whole, the questions were definitely longer than the ones on UW and much much longer than the ones in the NBMEs.
    drzamzam likes this.
  11. drcuddles

    drcuddles Zeus 2+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2015
    I assume it really depends per person
    luck plays a huge role
    But usually the exam is SUPPOSED to be all well balanced with short medium long and ultra long questions
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  12. Ophthoseidon

    Ophthoseidon 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2014
    This guy is probably out of residency by now...

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