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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Day Before the Exam Is High Yield for the USMLE

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.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your advice....i'm just wondering what you'd do w/ about a week and a half left before the Step. I finished Kaplan Qbank and i'm working on USMLE World currently. I plan to keep doing USMLE world questions, First Aid and reviewing my notes on the questions that i got wrong on UW.

Mike said...

In your position not too long ago, I made sure I understood the concepts behind each one of the questions on the NBME cold. I then did the first few chapters of questions in Robin's Review of Pathology. These were good because they prepared me for the concepts and subject matter that I would have otherwise forgot about.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

thank you, i'll look over the NBME questions one more time. I already have taken 1, 2, and 3. Do you recommend doing NBME form 4?? On many forums it is stated that it is the hardest of them all...

UB said...

is it work going thru the whole review of robbins book? did you take all 4 nmbes? if not which ones would you reccomend

Dr J said...

Hi, Thanks for your dedication to helping others.

Now, help me! =)
I have a question: how did you keep yourself motivated to study? I find myself sleeping more and more and studying less and less.

Mike said...

DR J
Hang in there. If you're bored of reading do some questions and if you're tired of questions go to kaplan and watch some lectures. Have you done all the NBMEs? Sleep is important - get at least 7 hours but don't overdue it.

Mike said...

ub,

I recommend the questions in the beginning of the robin's review book. If you have time or are scoring poorly in path compared to other subjects then sure do the whole thing but make sure to really read those explanations.

Blaik said...

Wow Mike... you are really smart. Must have been that smart friend from Tennessee that you use to hang out with at de big fish and at kaplan who's spot at Brooklyn you took at Brooklyn Hospital!

And I agree with everything said.... the stuff that I skimmed. Ditto.

rodrigo said...

Thanks, thanks, thanks,...
Great page. You see, I have this friends that are amazing word memoryzers and I just can't match them, so I do a Lot of drawings and things like that.
You site is very cool. I am about to make my step 1, here in brazil, hopeing one day I can call myself a US MD.
rodrigo nardi

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小慧 said...

真正的愛心,是照顧好自己的這顆心。........................................

kats said...

gosh mike ur teribly interesting did u study with the tb,lymph drainage actually drawn on sumting,i did the same too on a tissue paper
realy dont no if u check coz ull be already into residency
wanted to no a few stuff
cudnt get u mail id mr.small
im an img taking the boards
orginal,fab,funny.....looks like ur madly in love with wat u read
ahhh.....really wish i got ur mail id

Mehran said...

Mike, I came across your Blog, and I have to hand it to you, one of the best I have ever seen. Your high yield materials, in each subject is on the money$$$. :) Literally mean that!

For now, just a BIG Thank YOU!

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