Trajan

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A question: have you ever heard of someone with below average/low preclinical grades doing very well on step I?

I ask because I'm the guy at an honors/pass/fail school who always just barely passes everything. However, I do have an excellent long-term memory and am doing well on the Q-book so far (getting about 70% correct before even starting to study for step I). I hate taking exams every two weeks with a passion (my school operates this way) and have a bad short-term memory, however I've always done very well on cumulative exams.

Is there hope, or am I kidding myself?
 

InductionAgent

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Be warned that in your residency interviews, you're going to look like a serious slacker. I learned in my med school interviews that the combo of bad grades/good boards raises all kinds of eyebrows.

Bottom line, though - boards count for more than programs want to admit. It's their best empiric standard by which to judge future performance on specialty boards, and they want to boast a high passage rate on those.
 

Discobolus

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I have a good friend who is in the bottom quartile of his class and scored a 217, which is not great but it is the national average. He studied for the Step 1 for about 8 weeks, but only about 2 hours a day, the rest being devoted to golf and drinking beer. Yeah, he's a slacker but he's in good with the department he wants to match into, so he'll be O.K.
 

klubguts

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You can certainly do well on the boards, even if your preclinical grades aren't so hot. IMHO, med school exams are very detailed compared with step 1. Don't get me wrong, you MUST know your core stuff, but the boards require you to apply the information (i.e. think) more than my preclinical exams ever did. Just study hard and you can rock 'em. Good luck.
 

BigPimpin

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One friend of mine graduated dead last in his class but studied like crazy for boards and got the highest Step I score in his class. He had his pick of residencies.

While it's true that other things are considered by programs when it comes time to pick interns/residents, if you have the board scores, you can write your own ticket. This kind of turnaround is not only possible, it's likely -- if you put in the time studying for boards.

BP
 

bigfrank

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Second all the above. My class had several "below average students" that scored >>240 on the Step I. I've found the correlation between grades and Step I to be weak at best.
 

Back34

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On the flipside, a good friend of mine honored all of his classes and wound up with a 190 on step I.

I was in the bottom third of my class and wound up with a 224. Go figure.
 

Tedebear

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InductionAgent said:
Be warned that in your residency interviews, you're going to look like a serious slacker. I learned in my med school interviews that the combo of bad grades/good boards raises all kinds of eyebrows.

Bottom line, though - boards count for more than programs want to admit. It's their best empiric standard by which to judge future performance on specialty boards, and they want to boast a high passage rate on those.
That's right. It is better to NOT have an interview with a low Step 1 score than be considered a slacker during the interview. ;)
 

pikachu

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InductionAgent said:
Be warned that in your residency interviews, you're going to look like a serious slacker. I learned in my med school interviews that the combo of bad grades/good boards raises all kinds of eyebrows.

Bottom line, though - boards count for more than programs want to admit. It's their best empiric standard by which to judge future performance on specialty boards, and they want to boast a high passage rate on those.
I have no problem with admitting that I'm a slacker when it comes to things that are a complete waste of my time - like the preclinical curriculum at my particular school. I must have learned something though because I did just fine in my clinical years and at my residency interviews and no one mentioned the "gradient" between my preclinical grades and step 1.
 

Wrigleyville

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The absolute dead last thing that residency directors care about is preclinical grades. Survey after survey bears this out. They just don't matter. The number one thing is how you do in your clinical years. Step one score is somewhere in between.
 
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automaton

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Back34 said:
On the flipside, a good friend of mine honored all of his classes and wound up with a 190 on step I.

I was in the bottom third of my class and wound up with a 224. Go figure.
lol
 

thepoopologist

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Any thoughts? 1st year here. I feel like I walk into a preclinical test with a good grasp of the concept and an average to below average grasp of the details, mostly due to time contstraints and a crappy memory. I plan on taking a prep course next year around this time for the Step but I am scoring below the average in my classes right now and was wondering how that might reflect on my Step I if I end up continuing this performance into second year. By "below average" I mean I am scoring ~75% on average in the hard sciences (biochem, physio, neuroanatomy, etc).

From reading SDN, I understand that the good part about my current predicament is that 1st year only covers 25% of Step I and I have decently retained what I have learned so far as the big picture+major details, but the bad part is that I cannot seem to tweak my study habits to improve my grades. Repetition of the notes and taking old tests only go so far with the time constraint I work with (I've had 1-2 tests a week since I started the semester in early Jan), and I am unfortunately one of those students that has to study my butt off to not fail.

I don't know, I guess I am wondering if the topic of this thread is a more common occurence than not? Because wouldn't it also be common that people's Step I's would have a representative correlation to tehir preclinical grades?

Thanks.
 

MilkmanAl

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Yeah, it's puzzling. I'd figure that even mass memorizing your way to honors would get you better than a 190, but that's the best I can come up with unless the dude just totally cracks when the pressure's on.
 

username456789

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Yeah, it's puzzling. I'd figure that even mass memorizing your way to honors would get you better than a 190, but that's the best I can come up with unless the dude just totally cracks when the pressure's on.
Maybe he burnt himself out so bad during the first two years that his summer studying was less-than-productive.
 
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Any thoughts? 1st year here. I feel like I walk into a preclinical test with a good grasp of the concept and an average to below average grasp of the details, mostly due to time contstraints and a crappy memory. I plan on taking a prep course next year around this time for the Step but I am scoring below the average in my classes right now and was wondering how that might reflect on my Step I if I end up continuing this performance into second year. By "below average" I mean I am scoring ~75% on average in the hard sciences (biochem, physio, neuroanatomy, etc).

From reading SDN, I understand that the good part about my current predicament is that 1st year only covers 25% of Step I and I have decently retained what I have learned so far as the big picture+major details, but the bad part is that I cannot seem to tweak my study habits to improve my grades. Repetition of the notes and taking old tests only go so far with the time constraint I work with (I've had 1-2 tests a week since I started the semester in early Jan), and I am unfortunately one of those students that has to study my butt off to not fail.

I don't know, I guess I am wondering if the topic of this thread is a more common occurence than not? Because wouldn't it also be common that people's Step I's would have a representative correlation to tehir preclinical grades?

Thanks.
I guess the class average is around the 80s and you are scoring ~ 75. That's not exactly failing but you could improve greatly by tweaking your study strategies. It's a common occurrence... somebody has to be in the bottom 50% of the class right? The most important thing is to be flexible and willing to trash methods that you may otherwise be fond of.

Figure out what kind of learner u are and try to incorporate that in your study style. Visual learner? Use pics, draw web diagrams, etc. Audio learner? Make tapes of important info and listen away. Verbal? Well, you have it easy...

Also, some good methods of remembering info are:
1- writing it down (once while looking at info and then write it again and test yourself)
2 - talking it through
3 - teaching someone else (study groups are great)
4 - flashcards (quizzing yourself)
5 - many more that I cant seem to think of right now

Take the info and manipulate it to suit your needs. Don't care about being neat/organized/pretty with your studying. Do what works best for you - and if that's a chicken scratch study guide that no one else will understand/approve of - who cares as long as u are acing the material. Everyone has a different way of doing things and u just have to try and see what works best. Think of methods that have worked for u in the past and stick to those.
 
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A question: have you ever heard of someone with below average/low preclinical grades doing very well on step I?

I ask because I'm the guy at an honors/pass/fail school who always just barely passes everything. However, I do have an excellent long-term memory and am doing well on the Q-book so far (getting about 70% correct before even starting to study for step I). I hate taking exams every two weeks with a passion (my school operates this way) and have a bad short-term memory, however I've always done very well on cumulative exams.

Is there hope, or am I kidding myself?
Honestly anyone can do well on Step I (regardless of pre-clinical grades) as long as they're willing to work hard and have the time for it. Instead of looking for reassurance here, your time is probably better spent studying. Stories are stories. And no one can give you hope but yourself.
 

DoctorCR

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It seems I'm following starkcrazy around this forum, but again, I have to agree 110% with his/her advice. starkcrazy, you're a wise man/woman!
 
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Had two close friends take it recently
1 - averaged slightly above during pre-clinical....STEP 231
2 - averaged the "average" during pre-clinical...STEP upper-high 220s

my school's correlation b/w pre-clinical and STEP is very strong.
 
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Of my classmates, the highest step 1 score I've heard of from an average/slightly above average student is 239. Everyone who scored above 250 (that I know about) was in the top quartile.