Sounds weird but I think its true. The day before the exam you are at a set point to achieve for the day of the exam. The height of this set point is in direct relation to the amount and quality of effort you have put into the exam. The day before, you might be tempted to try to push that set point higher. I instead suggest to work on keeping the set point from dropping any lower, that is make it your duty to keep your set point stable. Don't harm your score by a little pre-test jiggers.
Make sure not to panic about any details you may not be able to remember. This exam won't be testing details as much as it will test your concepts. For example, the day(s) before the exam you might close your eyes and try to recall all you know. Some people report having a feeling of emptiness but do not panic; No one will be asking you to give a lecture on any of this stuff but only to circle the best answer. Please, DO NOT FREAK YOURSELF OUT THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAM as that is low low yield and this is a high yield blog.
This is not to say you should go into denial about tomorrow. Forcing yourself to not think about the exam on the day before is about as or more stressful as studying another day. I tried to keep my day before the exam as stress free as possible so that I could be relaxed and most importantly confident on test day. In order to keep yourself focused on the exam I have a simple solution and here it is. The day before I would do NBME questions that you have already answered and have figured out the correct answers. This will work to keep the concepts of the most important practice questions fresh but also it should further build up your self confidence as you'll probably score much more correct this time around.
Also note that I do not suggest that you do practice questions over and over again throughout your study period just to falsely build up your self confidence - to me (but many disagree and do fine their way) doing Q-bank more than once for whatever reason is a waste - how about you move on to USMLE World? All I'm saying is that a boost of self confidence the day before the exam is just what a 1st time boards test taker needs.
Thursday, May 10, 2007