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Year 1 Cumulative Exam Studying Advice

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Sophie, May 15, 2007.

  1. Sophie

    Sophie Lead Foot 10+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    In 2.5 weeks we have the final for our current block (musculoskeletal), and then 1 week later we have our year 1 cumulative exam. They've told us that it will focus largely on concepts, and when details are tested that they will be the "important" details. In the past they've been honest with us regarding exam contents, so I'm pretty sure they are now.

    Given that I have 1 week to prepare for this exam, what would be the best way to study? I'm kind of at a loss as to where/how to begin, and I know my memory isn't good enough to remember the majority of the concepts we learned towards the beginning of the year, so I definitely need to study. Our blocks this year were: core (a huge mishmash of hard science to get everyone on the same page - e.g. cell bio, biostats, biochem, physiology, immunology, bacteriology/virology, pharmacology, histology); hematology; neurosciences; and musculoskeletal. The subjects covered in each block were pathology, gross anatomy, microanatomy, pharmacology, physiology, psychology, microbio, and biochemistry.

    I know this is probably a hard question to answer, but I would really appreciate some advice. This exam counts for more than all of the finals we've taken for each block, so I'd like to do well.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who responds. :)
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  3. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Eeek. It sounds like you're studying for 1/2 of step 1 in one week. (That's basically what it amounts to.) For your classes, did you use First Aid for Step 1, as well as the High Yield books? If not, maybe skimming through those would be a good refresher for your memory. High Yield Neuro is pretty good, and written by the same guy who wrote the BRS Neuro.

    I don't know how helpful this advice will be. In any case, good luck!!
  4. jhhotchkissiv

    jhhotchkissiv Guest

    May 16, 2007
    Some pointers:
    1. Anatomy turns basically into a clinical correlations class and pure regional/locational anatomy falls away really quickly when dealing with the larger-scale standardized tests.

    2. Embryology is never as big a deal on any standardized test as it is during the class itself; if you can find the thinnest of the High Yield Embryos {older edition, can't remember which but it's about 50ish pages long} that'd be ideal. If you can't find one of those, you could always just use First Aid.

    3. First Aid tends to be good for a few specific things: pharm, micro, behavioral medicine, EBM stuff, anatomy {though slightly incomplete with the clinical correlates}, embryo, and I think that's about it. Avoid it for path, phys, pathophys.

    4. BRS Path is pretty popular and it seems to work for most people quite well; I'd peruse the big topics in your histo atlas {whichever you used} as well.

    That's not a very complete answer - at Loma Linda we had a big slew of mock boards and in-house exams after 1st year and then there was Step 1 - this info will be MUCH more valuable for Step 1; for the year end exam I'd say use the resources I mentioned, but bear in mind that they may not line up in a very neat and sexy fashion with the arrangement of material in your courses.

    In the end, maybe not SO helpful. I hope it was useful a little though! :)
  5. cali-ob

    cali-ob 5+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    back where I belong!
    we had a comp exam at the end of first year at my school as well. My approach was to start with the exam/subject I had scored the lowest on and work my way back from there. I am more of a "pick a date to be done studyign by" person than a "study till I feel ready" person. So I just pick a date that I want to be finished studying, and then divide up all the subjects/topics by the number of days/weeks I have to study, and stick to the schedule. That is what works best for me, but you obviously will use the method that works best for you. Study the stuff you just learned last, and start with whatever you remember the least. It wasn't so bad for me, but you will be pretty much just studying for a week (or how ever long they give you). It is pretty much like a mini step 1, and it's good preparation. If you did ok during the year, then you can expect to do at least that on this exam, and probably better because the nice thing about phys is that all systems work in concert and know that you know them all, it might make more sense. I don't know if any of that was at all helpful, or just too vague, but you can pm me if you have specific questions. I used first aid, but mostly my notes, syllabus and we had old exams online to study from. Good luck, you'll do great.
  6. Sophie

    Sophie Lead Foot 10+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    Thank you all - your replies were very helpful. It sounds like I'll be getting to know my First Aid and review books very well. :)

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