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Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by 2ndyear, Sep 18, 2008.
They're on the ABA website. No scores, just pass/fail.
SWEET! Now as my reward......I get to take the oral boards. Congrats to all who passed.
I passed. Yahoooooo!!!!
And I passed with Morgan & Mikhail
onward to the orals!!!!! Yes!!!!
I am so excited that I can get rid of my board preperation material. I am convinced that you can pass the written boards without a review course.
I did thousands of questions on my own. I read Morgan and Mikhail four times.
The one thing that I would have done differently would have been to have focused more on critical care.
I did poorly on in-service exam the start of my CA-3 year. I got distracted and started to read many different sources. For the ABA exam I focused on Morgan & Mikhail early on . I then bought every question book on the market. A lot of people ignore the keywords. I checked them off as I read. I googled the ones not in M & M. I read the statistics section in Big Miller.
I did take a review course but it wasn't Jensens.
The ABA exam seems to test for a global knowledge of medicine. This seems to be different from past test.
I am interested in hearing the views of others who took the exam.
I did not take a review course either. I read M & M once during my CA-1 year. Big blue x 1 prior to the exam. ACE booklet. Lots of questions. Reread baby Miller. I will post more a little later when I have more time. I am no smarter than the average bear and I managed to pass thank god.
read through big blue a couple of times, read a few question books. havent read M & M. went through barasch and Y&A during residency though. Planning to do the Ho course for the orals though. Already feeling the paranoia
Does anyone know if you get the numerical result when they send you the paper version of the results? I would just be curious to see how I did compared to last year. Either way, at least I'm halfway done.
Congrats to others who passed.
Those of you who took the computer exam for credit this year - did you feel the questions, whether in content, format, scope, area of emphasis, whatever were significantly different than the #2 pencil ITEs you've taken?
I thought Big Blue was extremely high yield for the ITE both last year and this year, but as someone else pointed out in another thread, its strength comes largely from remembered and released questions.
Mostly I'm curious whether or not you guys think Big Blue will remain as relevant as it has been, or if it needs a big overhaul and update (which Jensen is apparently not inclined to do).
despite some inaccuracies here and there, I found Big Blue to be extremely high yield as long as its not your primary source of information.
I spent major $$ on Jensens material. I had the massive binders and cds. Last year I went through stuff and did not find it helpful so I did not use it at all to study for the actual exam. It seemed like everyone else in my program except for a few of us were carrying around those massive binders. A book focusing on remembered questions may be good but if you understand concepts you don't need it.
I am against spending major $$$ for info that is in every major or minor text.
The orals is another thing. I was told that you need to understand how present your view. Practice helps with that. Ho may be helpful in that situation.
Congrats to all those who passed!!
Now would someone be willing to sell/donate some study materials? I am especially looking for anything AUDIO!! PM me or post here.
If this is gonna turn into a "how did u study" post, then time to pay back for the SDN Karma...
Passed. Was a point away last year.
As a CA-1-3, studyed on a case by case, then rotation by rotation basis using MorganMikhail. Started BigBlue in Jan this year. Took course in March, 1/2 way through the material. Finished material x 1 in May, then two more times before the test. Did Hall's Q book, then the ACE booklets and the Medtext exams. Of all these Halls were the most challenging and representative of what I expected to be on the test.
So through the years, those who monitor such things at our program had been noticing a trend on the ITEs for multiple order test questions and an increasing emphasis on molecular biology. In fact, Jensen added questions specific to receptor upregulation, second messengers, etc to beef up the molecular stuff. Also, there were years where random topics were stressed. Stats in 2006, pain in 2007. I always took these tips with a grain of salt since most ppl remeber topics they feel were 'stressed' due to the fact that they were weak on them, the 'easy' ones are those that they know, they just answer 'em and move on.
For this exam, as Cambie MD states, lots of questions about general medical knowledge. I left feeling that I might have done better if I had studied for USMLE step 3. Some Pain, Lots of Neuro. Pharm questions were the gimmees. BTW, day 1 test was different from day 2 test, and the question orders were different during the same day tests. Not many pictures, I guess they were hesitant to use the computer for graphics in case there were problems.
IF I had to do it again, I would memorize Faust rather than Big Blue, more compete. Oh, and dont pay for the material, get it from upperclassmen. I would definately do the same amount of questions. And not CRAM.
Hope this helps...
30% percent of questions gimme, 30% some idea and the rest were test taking skills, although luck is involved
Congrats to all who passed. My prep was Big Blue x 2, and Hall. Thought I did very poorly on Hall questions but the answers are very well explained. Jensens is good, but the main point is pick a primary source and commit to it. You really do need the breadth. And things like regional and pain are high yield.
I did not take a review course. I did tons of questions. I felt like the retired ABA exams were most helpful. I would answer questions, then go to sources to verify answers..Barasch, M&M, Baby Miller, Big Miller, Chestnut. I felt like Big Blue was too outlined for me. I also paid for Etherprep, which I did not feel was very helpful. I do not think any one style of studying is right for everyone. Find what feels right for you and stick with it. Now on to orals...
Prep was just
-the practice q's that the aba puts out to let you get familiar with the software interface
-Michelle Star's keyword book (from back in the day) only focusing on the 3-5 star keywords
-recent 07 keyword book
wish i had done hall q's, but doesn't matter, I passed.
Passed. Now, let's fork over $1,850.00!!!!!!!!
I used Barash, Big Blue x 3, Michelle Starr. Questions from Hall and ABA released board exam questions.
The old ABA released exams are not even close to the current format.
These question stems were focused and mostly short, but at times tricky!
I passed by basically just doing old questions:
Chantigian & Hall Book-Awesome book
Old ABA exams
(One time read through Big Blue)-worthwhile for some minutia
I guess Im the only one here. A FAILURE!
I was absolutely devastated at the news. I mean anything can happen but not to me! I passed the ITE last year, was always in the upper 1/3 of my class on all exams!
I studied diligently....mostly Big Blue, lots of questions but somehow I failed to measure up.....in fact I am still shell shocked at the results.
I was one of the guys who was suppose to pass the exam easily. Post exam I felt pretty good, no different than the last ITE and BAM last night I got ran over by a MAC truck....I am in total disbelief and emabarassed, I feel like a failure.
Im not sure what is next but at this moment I cannot make heads or tails of the situation
Just out of curiosity for those that took the exam on monday 8/4 on the results page does it report your exam date as 8/5? As I took the exam on 8/4 and the screen says 8/5 with a dreaded fail right next to it
Sorry for the hot air but I am feeling like crap and needed to vent
Wow I passed did not know if I would pass. Did bad on ITE exam last year but did not study for it. Took the 5 weeks before boards to hammer through big blue 4 times and did ace questions and some old ITE exam questions. Agree that one central source was the Key for me. Big blue definetly got me to narrow down to at least two choices on questions. Gassed I am surprised you did not pass if you passed ITE last year and studied big blue. I feel for you. I know some people like the medtext questions as a good source as well.
This is not hot air and this is the perfect place to vent. All of us who have completed residency and taken the exam for real can have at least some measure of sympathy for you - we all feared we might be in your shoes. I feel awful for folks in this situation because you did all the right things and unfortunately things did not work out for you. Once you get past the shell shock (which you will) you just gotta pick yourself up and devise a game plan to pass this miserable test. I know that one of the most well respected docs in my residency failed his boards by a very slim margin the first time and now he is VERY well respected.
Based on the recent pass rate in the mid 80th percentile I feel that of the small percent that fail they fall into a few categories:
-persons that English is not their first language
-folks who just are not too intelligent
-those that blow off studying for the test (!)
-those that don't have the time to study for it
-such as new job across the country immediately after residency with kids and stuff to deal with
-folks who have historically done poorly on the inservice
and finally a very small subset of folks who study just as much as the rest of us, are pretty smart yet unfortunately have a bad day and do not pass the test. Based on your limited info. I would guess that you fall into this category.
To answer your question I took the exam on the 5th and my ABA screen reported that date next to my results section.
Since someone publically admitted their result, I will post mine. Mine said I failed as well last night online. I was predicted by my residency department to pass on first attempt with 95% certainty, based on my performance on the ITE. I came through smashing my way through big blue, and chantigan/hall, etc etc. Covered all the big topics, felt rested, even went through the exam on the computer twice since I felt I had plenty of time, and felt good leaving the test.
#1-My private practice partner tells me not to worry until the written report is in my hand. He tells me that there was a time during his residency that a bunch of seniors were told by email that they had failed, and this was later changed.
#2-Personal experience here. Nine months ago I took the Texas Jurisprudence Exam at PearsonVue for TX licensure. This was also the first time they had administered the exam for the State of Texas. They told me I failed twice, causing a lot of stress and anxiety for me. The State of Texas later informed me I had scored a 97% both times, and obviously did pass.
#3 So this is a first time administration. There is a real possibility for error on someone's part. Maybe I did fail, and it couldn't be by much. At least my contract to work doesn't hinge on the test. Hopefully this will all come out in the wash.
I passed although I did not perform well on ITEs. To study I used previously released ABA exam questions, Hall questions, and EtherPrep. I also used Barash as my primary reference and attended a review course offered by Rashad University. Any recommendations for oral boards?
since others posted the truth - I will as well - failed
and to the above poster, I took the exam on 8/4/08 and it also said 8/5/08 next to my name - i didn't really notice it until you pointed it out - not sure if means anything or not.
as for studying - i think the above poster (different poster) is a little naive stating his reasons for people not passing. I speak English fluently, studied my ass off (Big Blue at least 5 times, Audio Blue daily for a year and half driving to and from work, review courses, old ABA exams, remembered questions - the works) I steadidly improved in each of my ITE exams.
I still left that exam thinking that the exam did not test my fund of knowledge and was more a game of trivia pursuit. Some questions were fair, some were easy as pie, others were from left field. I'm not someone who does well on "standardized exams" - but i've managed to pass everything to get to this point in my life - so this obviously is a big kick in the stomach.
The hardest part is the embarassing factor to your friends, coworkers, fellow residents who call you saying "did you get your results..." what do you say to them? Unfortunately there are those of you who did pass (and I congratulate you whole-heartedly) who will pass judgement on those of us who didn't pass. Like the above poster you might come up with a list of reasons why people fail this exam. Please don't - I studied just as hard as you, worked just as hard as you, and am as good as an anesthesiologist as you. Just because you were able to correctly answer more of the random 250 questions than I was - doesn't equate with "being better".
Even worse than that is dragging your family through more months of studying, trying to explain to your kids why daddy or mommy can't do this or that with them today because he or she has to study...again.
I do think the exam has a purpose - but at the same time I don't think it should entail failing nearly 20-30% of the people who take the exam. From my understanding its one of the highest fail percentages of all the medical boards. Maybe I'm just digging for rationalizations and looking for a place to direct my frustrations when I should just look in the mirror -but honestly - I can look in the mirror and say that I gave it 110% - somehow I'm going to have to double down my efforts as the 5-year time clock my hospital gives me to become board certified is ticking.
I also got the f bomb... I could not believe it, I passed it two years in a row and to see this.. I did the speal big blue x5 , hall... m a m , and starr... Totally in depression and am in a fellowship... I agree with the texas juris prudence... I got a fail which then resulted in a pass on email.... (great system)... I just dont know how to come over such a confidence killer...I agree with telling family and coworkers, it is tough to know that i have done three years of anesthesia, pull off a reputable fellowship and to see an email that just says u fail without being able to contact the center. I took the test on day two and two of my fellow friends who also passed last year, failed this year. Nothing like being a guinue pig at 1 grand. excuse my frustration
Stories like this are disturbing to hear.
I passed the ITE as a CA-1 by a large margin. I took the ITE as a CA-2 this July and I thought it was, dare I breathe the word ... easy ... finished over 90 minutes early ... and though this year's ITE scores aren't out yet I have little doubt that I passed it again. Add in scores in the high upper 90s on the AKTs, I've honestly felt for a long time that my 2009 written exam is in the bag. To the point where since July 12th my daily studying has been what I want to read, or what sounds interesting - a lot less textbook time and a lot more journal time. The context of my reading has shifted from "what might the board ask about this" to "how will I apply this to being a better anesthesiologist" ... but I'm starting to wonder if I should revert to test-prep mode.
Your experience has me concerned that the paper-to-computer shift was more than just a format change, but a content change as well. Problem is, if this is the case, I have no idea what to do to prepare differently for this new test. I'm glad the ITE is moving to March and that I'll get a run through the new format before the real thing in Aug 2009.
I can understand how painful it is to fail this exam. My hand was shaking when I clicked on to the link that contained my score.
I know that everyone studied very hard.
The content of the exam was very different from last years exam. There was a heavy concentration of medicine on the test.
Given what I would call new global nature of the test, I would say that past performance is no longer an indicator of future performance. I would never hang my hat on the AKT or a passing score on the ITE. That is a completely different beast.
I can't pass judgement on anyone. I may have been a question away from heartache. To everyone hurting out there, please remember that one test does not define who you are.
If anyone will be trying to sell their audio blue please feel free to PM me. Thanks.
keep your head up and knock it out next year....five years from now it will be irrelevant...
your most important point is in bold
I agree with you about the generalizations. I personally know of two anesthesiologists in my class who failed (both eventually passed). Both are now very successful and have ironically surpassed the rest of us in professional standing and net income (net income by a lot). I passed both the oral and the written on first attempts but I feel that the whole board certification process is a pile of ****. There are many outstanding anesthesiologists who fail one or both of the exams and there are a greater number of "bad" anesthesiologists who pass both. This exam does bad things to good people.
The above anesthesiologists that I alluded to are very good friends. They have both said in hindsight that their failure was due to lack of preparation. That however is their story. For those who failed keep your head up. You will need to put a great amount of time into the next year. When this is all said and done it will be irrelevant.
For those who passed, good luck on the oral.
I have been thinking about this thread all day and just how lucky I feel to have passed this exam, but also about how I feel terrible for those who did not pass it. Simply because I could have EASILY been in their shoes. I studied a moderate amount, but certainly could have spent more time hitting the books unfortunately I was feeling somewhat burned out during my prime studying time. That exam was a TOTAL roll of the dice. I am 100% certain that the folks above who did not pass studied just as hard or harder than I did. They simply got caught on an off day or didn't know enough answers to the ABA TRIVIA that this exam seemed to be largely composed of. All of the stuff that was asked was fair game but DAMN some of it was OBSCURE. I honestly can't remember the content of the intraining very well so I can't comment on the training exam versus the real thing. I do know that on the real thing the stems were very short. There were a number of slam-dunks, a number of questions I wasn't that sure about and quite a few that I was clueless. I did not specifically study keywords for the exam. I did run through my list of keywords towards the end and felt like I covered most of them. The thing is that even if you knew a keyword COLD you still might miss the question because the depth of knowledge/minutiae/irrelevancy to anesthesia practice was potentially profound.
I would not suggest to anyone that they blow this beast off. Maybe if you are a superstar but if you are a regualar old schmucko like me I would suggest studying pretty hard.
It sounds cheesy but to everyone who didn't pass try not to let it get you down, you will still be a great gas-passer despite the results of one stupidass test.
I kinda agree with ya, Arch, and kinda don't.
The boards are a benchmark.
Yeah, I agree, kinda stupid to assess an individual's total professional future on a test.
Here's an example on the stupidity of standardized tests assessing one's competence:
Dude in my med school class.....Ken T.... (he's a cardiologist now, prolly about 42 years old, very, very cool dude, prolly in Fla somewhere....anybody know him? was one of the smartest, most intellectually gifted dudes in my class at DA U circa 1988-1992.
Well, uhhh, Kenny blew off studying for Part One of the boards since his intellectual capability, and his brain were bigger than Bill Clinton's Johnson when he was with Monica.
KENNY FAILED PART ONE OF THE BOARDS.
Which put his third year clerkships in jeapordy (uhhhh....how do you spell jeapordy?)
Long story short, he studied the second time, and killed the mo-fo.
POINT BEING like Arch said, alotta great dudes can fail a test.
But then again, theres gotta be a line in the sand somewhere.
The gifted/motivated/non-lazy will find a way to breach the line.
The others will not.
Kinda reminds me of the trend nowadays in child competetive sports where everyone gets a medal for showing up. There is no winner.
Sorry, kids, that educational vehicle just isnt reality.
There are winners in every arena.
And there are losers.
In a healthy way, strive to be a winner.
I absolutely agree, there must be a line is the sand.
It can be very difficult to delineate when you do all the right things and come up short though.
For those who didn't make it this year, my heart goes out to you. First off wait until the score report comes in October. Based on what I've seen on here as well as anecdoctal reports over the last few days I think the failure rate will see a spike this year, and that sucks big time. This year of transition from written to computer will probably be looked back on as rocky. The new environment, surprises on test day (no calculator available that I could see on the computer despite being promised this, very short break times, no way to flag answers,etc.) as well as the extreme reduction in questions all may make this year a big blip that the ABA may have to look into.
After seeing some of these posts I feel lucky to have passed it also. I felt like I could have studied more after walking out of the test, but it was kind of hard to get motivated my ite was always 90%+ and I had a passing score as a ca3. But I agree the test had some differences from the paper ite.
I kinda agree with you, Jet, and I kinda don't agree. A line does need to be drawn in the sand and that line was drawn way back in college. I went to a small liberal arts school (500 per class) and we had about 280 students who wanted to be premed. By the end there were only 35 of us that went on. I am sure the attrition rate is similar at other institutions. Every one who is sitting for their boards has survived a gruelling and sometimes demeaning process in medical school and residency. In my mind no further line needs to be drawn as greater than 99% of the population would have absolutely no chance to get this far.
To say that 25-35% of graduating anesthesiologists are not competent is absolutely ridiculous. Board certification says nothing about clinical acumen or professional morality. The vast majority of physicians who eventually get disciplined or stripped of their license by their medical board/hospitals are board certified. The three most successful people that I know all failed the written/oral or both once. All of these docs now have net worths in the 5-15 million dollar range and actually chuckle at the process.
I found the oral to be exceptionally laughable as it tested one percent or less of what an anesthesiologist actually needs to know.
With all of that said board certification is viewed as almost a prerequisite by payers, hospitals, partners, etc and everyone needs to pass (and eventually will). Good luck to all.
I passed! I only took one ITE test during residency - the final one that everyone takes at the beginning of the CA-3 year (this was due to dumb registration issues).
Here's how I passed it:
During residency, I read nearly all of Faust, and just the important points in Big Blue, M&M, a some British cardiac anesthesia book (i.e. "anaesthesia"). I re-read, and re-read the important points along the way, but I cannot say that "I've read through the whole book once." However, two weeks before the test I picked up Starr's book, and I did read that throughly and made notes.
I also attended Jensen's course in Mar-2008. (It did NOT help however! I highly recommend you do not waste your money!)
My one and only ITE score was in 50th %ile, which was not a passing score - but I didn't really study for it (it's too hard if its not the real thing). So I am an average student.
For those of you who failed the test and to the residents that will be taking it, here's my two cents: know all the basics of anesthesia very, very well. Do not miss any points on the basics. Then, the rest of the questions are just clinical what-would-I-do questions and/or esoteric questions and none of them will not be found in Faust, Big blue, or M&M.
Disagree. Why have boards at all if everyone fell into the good enough, smart enough, and doggone-it-people-like-me category 10 years ago?
Are the anesthesia boards designed the best way they could be? When you've got ~10% of CA-1s passing after one year, and ~20% of CA-3s failing after three years, it's at least somewhat suggestive that there's some element of chance or unpredictability to the exam.
I don't want a participation trophy. I want the test to be difficult so that board certification means something, but consistent and fair so we don't hear so many of these stories of consecutive ITE passes followed by failure.
With all due respect, I do not understand what you are trying to convey. I think that your "why have boards at all" quote is spot on. What does board certification actually mean? The vast majority of those that fail go on to pass in the next attempt. Contrary to popular belief, hardly anyone loses their job for failure. Partnership may be delayed briefly but they will not lose their job. People who fail the boards lose absolutely nothing other than another year of their life for preparation. Board certification is nothing but a means to allow insurers, hospital administrators, and private practice partners to deny benefits to a group of individuals. There is no evidence that board certified individuals are better clinicians than the non-board certified (better test takers maybe). The most dangerous physician that I know (who subsequently lost his license) was in the 90th to 99th percentile on every standardized test that he ever took (step 1 score of 259).
"Failing" the MCAT and not being accepted to medical school has consequences and is a game changer. Even failing step III has consequences (you cant get a medical license). Failing the boards means nothing in the long run because you are already practicing. Throw the whole thing out!!!!!
There needs to be some objective measure of competence, because a remote test such as the MCAT or even the USMLE clearly isn't enough. (We all know at least a few absolute nimrods who made it through medical school.)
Subjective measures are even more unreliable. Residency programs are notoriously bad at either predicting success in applicants, or in weeding out the ones who can't hack it. This is a real issue, if a rare one - residency programs operate with the advantage that ALMOST everyone who makes it that far is smart, motivated, and talented.
Failure to achieve board certification sure meant something to the people militarymd weeded out of his practice.
I agree with many of the above posters.
I do think the exams serve a purpose as I wrote earlier - but failing the percentage that the ABA fails is what is so frustrating.
Here is a link to the stats from ABEM (ER Docs) where over 90% of first time takers pass compared to a range of 60-75% over the last 8 years in anesthesia. Is there a reason for this?
Radiology - also in the low 90% for their boards
and others (though I can not find the links) but from hearing from friends in other fields have pass rates in the low 90's so why is anesthesia different - I don't think is unreasonable to think that at least 90% of people in anesthesia residencies pass their written board examinations on the first try. Like previous posters have pointed out, there was a whole lot of hoops to jump through to get this point in our lives and many did not survive those jumps and are now doing other things.
Its been 3 days and I still don't feel any better - but I guess my life could be worse - I could have been an investment banker at Lehman Bros.
Do not beat yourself up if you gave 100% effort on this exam.
Think back in your life when you may have faced adversity in some other circumstance and found a way to overcome it. You will overcome this setback too!!!
please PM me if anyone needs to talk.
Preparing for and taking tests is a part of being a physician. I think that tests serve a purpose. Unfortunately the ways that tests results are applied are often disappointing. The boards of many specialties were not happy when hospitals started using board certification as a requirement for receiving priviledges . This practice has spread. It seems to me that some specialty boards have responded to this practrice by increasing the number who pass their exams. I was told that the pass rate in IM is 90+%.
I am hoping that the new ABA exam doesn't cause an increase in the number of failures. What purpose would that serve.
A few posters related stories of people who failed the ABA exam and were great anesthesiologists. I know of a few such cases myself.
Certification exams will not go away but I hope that the process is fair and that the results are applied correctly.
On a different note, I sounded anti-review course. I did Rashads review course. I shouldn't knock it too much . His course was much smaller than Jensens,about 12 of us.He was very personable. Also, Michelle Starrs book was good. Medtext from 2007 was fairly representative of the test.
Do anyone know the percentage or have a link to the webpage that shows the percentage passing the Anesthesia written test among first-time test takers?
I can't believe someone said it is 60-75% - it can't be that low! (can it?)
I just had to share this relevant article that I found:
I know at least anecdotally, people who are bright and passed the ITE during residency, but then failed the board exam. I think this is because these people blow the real test off.
I, on the otherhand, never got a passing score on the one ITE I took during my CA-3, and therefore I got into panic mode. This means that during my one week of vacation (two weeks before the test), I sent my wife and kid away and studied balls to the wall all out for one week. This was also necessary because I procrastinated a little bit on the studying.
I agree with other posters, that test felt like a general medicine and esoteric question test. I have at least 10 memorized questions in my head as examples, but I'm not sure I'm allowed to share them (am I?).
No recent data that I can find. The percentile breakdown I got with my July 2006 ITE score suggested that the pass rate that year was (IIRC) 83%. I didn't get a percentile breakdown sheet with my 2007 score.
Anesthesiology was hurting in the mid-90s and programs were taking anyone with a pulse. The 46% pass rate in 2000 surely reflects a lot of marginal candidates and FMGs. These very low pass rates actually support their claim that a pass is based on some minimum knowledge level (at the simplest level, a certain % of questions correct), rather than a predetermined failure rate as some have suggested.
Some more about the history of the exam and how passing scores were determined in the past: http://www.asahq.org/Newsletters/2004/09_04/certif.html
Everyone who took the ITE or the real thing signed a statement agreeing to not remove test materials or memorize them. The Boards for many specialties have been known to hunt down and punish people who violate that agreement. As the rumors go, certain Boards have withheld certification from offenders. Posting them on a public forum is a bad idea.
IIRC Winged Scapula stated that SDN has been lawyer-assaulted (damn their oily hides) for the names of members who post ITE/board questions. Everyone talks about remembered questions to classmates but you're asking for trouble if you commit anything to writing.