UW steadily bombing

Discussion in 'Step I' started by suarad32, 09.21.14.

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  1. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    My UW percentages started off at around 60% per block when I just started, but peaked to about 75-85% over 10 blocks last week. Come the weekend, and over the last 6 blocks I've gradually been slipping down to 70s, 60s and now finally bottomed at 57%. I'm a very panicky person, but would appreciate some insight on how to get back in the game. On FA 2nd run, UW 72% (70% complete, first run). My main problem appears to be linking descriptions of pathophysiological processes to diseases. That, and biochem/microbiology. Step 1 in 3 weeks' time, hoping for a 250.
     
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  3. SBR249

    SBR249 7+ Year Member

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    Have you done any NBMEs? That would be your best predictor, especially so close to the real thing.

    You may need to go another run through of FA or pathoma or another review source. Sometimes materials just get stale in your mind if you keep doing practice problems and then your averages start slipping. It's always good to pair questions with review material.
     
  4. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks, will be going through FA again along with Goljan RR. Did an NBME about 6 weeks out - got a 234. Think I'll do another couple over the weekend. The curve on the NBMEs is really steep though, I didn't think getting 85% correct would get my only a 234 haha. I really hope that the real deal allows for a greater margin of (human) error.
     
  5. SBR249

    SBR249 7+ Year Member

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    You also have to remember that something like up to 10% of the exam questions may be experimental which changes the grading scale. But that's something that you can't really account for. Given that you are 3 weeks out, you should be doing a practice test (UWSA, NBME, etc) at least once a week to track your progress and if you haven't been doing them I'd say maybe even twice a week from here on out.
     
  6. suarad32

    suarad32 2+ Year Member

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    Gotcha. Thanks again. But I've heard a lot about how UW simulates the real exam more than the NBMEs do and yet the NBME scores are supposed to reflect your final score. Isn't that a sort of contradiction, or am I reading too much into this? Or is it true that IMGs score lower than AMGs on NBMEs despite doing just as well on Step 1, thus confounding any interpretation of practice test assessments?
     
  7. SBR249

    SBR249 7+ Year Member

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    I think the format of UW is closer to the real thing than the NBMEs, however, my impression of UW questions is that they are actually a bit more detail-oriented than the real test. In that regard, UW is best used as a teaching tool as you are going through the review material. Overall, I'd say that a typical random UW block probably has a higher proportion of difficult questions than the real thing.

    Speaking from personal experience, my UW timed, random, 1st pass averages toward the end were in the 80s whereas my NBME average toward the end were generally in the 90s. The real thing was probably in between in terms of difficulty but the NBME compensates for that by not having experimental questions and have a harder curve.
     
  8. usmleswot

    usmleswot 2+ Year Member

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    Try Quizlet flashcards? There are lot of them which are based on Step 1. They've helped me quite a bit. Good luck!
     

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