Boost Your NBME Self Assessment Scores For The USMLE, Minimize Lost Points
4 years ago
1- (VERY IMPORTANT METHOD) Read all choices in a question and CROSS OUT the other choices, don't only choose what u believe is right (even if it is so simple and obvious) we easily lose some question by not doing that, when you read the other choices, see why they r not the correct choice then cross them out (for example disease affects children and case is elderly, or the case does not have a cardinal symptom or a must physical finding is not present or ….or… etc) this exclusion strategy really made my mistakes go less. THIS ADVICE IS THE EASIEST TO DO AND SAVES U SOME MANY QUESTIONS, TRAIN YOURSELF NOW ON THAT WHEN YOU DO A BLOCK OF UW PLEASE, SO YOU CAN IMPLEMENT THAT ON THE EXAM DAY.
The long message below I sent to a member for the same reason (boost performance in the few weeks left before her exam (the more time you have the better of course) , please read it and give it a try, it helped me to boost my NBME results as I shared above.
You need to make notes of all wrong questions in each NBME (immediately after you do the NBME). So you know out of 200 total questions you have for example 30 questions wrong and 170 right. I did that & I noticed that wrong questions in NBME or any assessment are spread over 3 categories, these 3 categories are:
1-Weird Questions you going to get wrong anyway (no time to invest working on these), even those who scores 260+ have these mistakes
2-Silly Mistakes you know the answer to them but somehow you were just not focused, But you are so sure about the answer and somehow you did not notice a word, or missed a lab value, and so on, so YOUR CONCEPOTS HERE R INTACT (same no time to invest her).
3-Questions you get wrong because their concepts is not very solid in your brain.(This is where you invest your coming days, i.e. on topics you have mistaken in these questions) It will definitely boost your score). & when I say these topics, I don’t mean only the question point, rather the whole sub-subject, for example you got a question wrong about epithelial ovarian tumors (then you need to do all OVARIAN TUMERS) and ask yourself do you feel Testicular tumors are in a hazy area for you as well, then it should be a target for you as well, hammer these topics from head to toe.
How to apply the fix for point 3 above:
You need 1 full day to analyze: note the questions that were wrong in the NBME (what was the question? (CVS, Renal, Repro, Micro, Biochem, etc) and then what is the sub-section of that same questiuon ie ( Anatomy, Physio, Patho or Pharma) this is for systems, for generals (if biochem ( was it Vitamines, Hoemones, Purin Metabolism) for Micro was Viro, Bacterio, Fungi etc.
See that I count individual questions and I don’t rely totally on the performance page, because as I said some questions are just so wiered never seen in UW, and you may get similar questions on the exam wrong anyway (these are very few questions but the affect these bar performance so I can not rely on the bars of NBME report alone, some for silly mistakes in subject X for example, the bar of that subject will be low, but these are not a concept weakness issues, you are good if you implement the CROSS OUT METHOD and that is it. THAT IS WHY IT IS BETTER IF YOU COUNT AND SEE WHICH ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT FALL IN CATEGORY 3 (CONCEPT PROBLEM) TO WORK ON THEM.
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so for example when I analyzed my problem then: it was Repro (Physio & Patho), Hemato (Patho) Endo (Patho), Biosts (all equation stuff and even Bios studies), Genetics ( genetic tests ELISA and CPR stuff) and Genetics in general. After that analysis phase of the problem now we go to: Treatment phase.
Treatment phase (I will continue using my weak areas as an example here) BRS physio for Repro Pathoma Repro section Book only, UW Repro (Patho & Physio) create custom test for these subjects and finish them WITH RATIONAL, biggest mistake at this stage is that we do questions and skip rational, but you need to IMPROVE, so scan the rational with your eyes and spend time with the points that makes this topic STILL a weak area for you, it is all about UNDERSTANDING & REPETITION.
This treatment phase needs to be done with no gaps, study all using resources you respect and love in sane time fast (Dr. Najeeb cannot help in this phase cos with respect to his great knowledge and super teaching skills it will take you forever and your exam is close I assume), After the study phase do UW of these topics, here in my example UW Repro physio and Patho systems only ( to do that all you need to do is mark all questions in your UW done blocks ( if you did in the random phase, or if you are in the subject/system phase, so just go to these already done blocks of that system and mark them, then create tests using marked pool only, every question goes into a new test will be unmarked automatically by the system. So you will do them all without any question repeated for you)
To improve my low performance in Genetics I did B&B videos and then its PDF read twice and did only equation questions (cos my mistakes were here (bars will not show you that) out of all 81 genetics questions (skipped non equation ones), for Biostat (I watched B&B biostat videos I guess total 3 hours) I watched these 2 times, to understand them and went over its PDF, then did all biostat questions in UW online (created test for biosts only) and now I got 1 wrong out of 66 questions ( I did not believe that) but I read all RATIONAL OF THESE 66 QUESTIONS, scanned what I know, my eyes went over every line in the rational, this strategy improved my performance hugely in almost 10 days So if you focus on the weak areas seen by the lenses of the NBME (INDIVIDUAL WRONG QUESTIONS), you check wrong questions yourself, and put them into which subject and what system, to which topic you need to bombard heavily now, you may need to stop UW for these days, I stopped UW at 2/3 of second round to do that, and later just solved the reaming one 1/3 and only checked the rational of wrong questions and some of questions that consumed more than 100 sec, Also Leave an assessment or 2 to the end like 4 days before exam, I continued my prep as If I am going to sit the exam in its scheduled day, but I said if my score in assessment did not reach 250 I will postpone (though I was at the end of my extended period ( May - Oct) and thought to cancel, but My last 2 NBMEs 18 was 257 and 19 was 248 (which underestimates) and UWSA 2 was 272, so I thought ok I can go to the exam.
IT IS OK TO FEEL LOST, DEPRESSED, NOT COMPETENT ENOUGH FOR THIS TEST, EVEN 270 scorers feel that. JUST STAY STRONG AND KEEP WORKING HARD BUT ALSO SMARTLY, YOU WILL ACE THIS EXAM.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU..
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