June s quiz
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June ’ s Quiz. Class of 2013, Preparation for USMLE 1 Paul G. Koles, MD Boonshoft SOM. 3 sequential steps to maximal performance. 1) Courageous Self-Assessment 2) Focused Improvement of Weaknesses 3) Global Question-Based Review. 1) Self-Assessment. Guessing vs. knowing about yourself

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June ’ s Quiz

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June s quiz

June’s Quiz

Class of 2013, Preparation for USMLE 1

Paul G. Koles, MD

Boonshoft SOM


3 sequential steps to maximal performance

3 sequential steps to maximal performance

1) Courageous Self-Assessment

2) Focused Improvement of Weaknesses

3) Global Question-Based Review


1 self assessment

1) Self-Assessment

  • Guessing vs. knowing about yourself

    • Intuition is unreliable

    • Objective assessment of your knowledge is better

    • Every school’s curriculum has “blind spots”: omissions, incomplete

    • Previous performance on BSOM exams predictive, not foolproof

  • Nationally standardized assessment tools

    1) NBME comprehensive basic-science self-assessment:200 Qs, board-level difficulty, numerical scores standardized to USMLE 1 (based on performance by thousands of students, sub-analysis of performance by discipline and organ systems

    • Strength:above national “borderline” performance

    • Needs Improvement: below national “borderline” performance

      2) Kaplan Q-bank:350 Q comprehensive test, absolute score reported, sub-analysis of performance by discipline


Comprehensive basic science self assessment cbssa

Comprehensive Basic Science Self Assessment (CBSSA)

  • Information available from NBME website: www.nbme.org/, go to self-assessment services

  • 200 questions in 4 blocks, one hour/block (4 hours total)

  • At least 6 tests available

  • Qs from previous USMLE part 1 exams

  • $45 performance feedback; $60 “expanded” feedback

  • Class 2012: CBSSA closest to the exam predicted personal score on USMLE 1 within 5-10%

  • Report allows useful self-assessment

    • Strengths: >50% of your “range bar” above borderline

    • Improvement areas: <50% your bar above borderline


Part 2 focused improvement of weaknesses

Part (2) Focused Improvement of Weaknesses

  • Content areas to improve, defined by your performance in both disciplines & organ systems

  • Double-whammy approach to personal growth:

    • Authoritative review sources to deepen your knowledge

    • Do multiple-choice questions pertaining ONLY to the content area being improved (immediate feedback)

    • 50/50 daily time split: studying content / doing questions

  • Duration of study for each content area:

    • how many areas for improvement are identified by self-assessment?

    • relative importance of content area needing improvement


Emphases usmle 1

Emphases USMLE 1

  • Behavioral Sciences

  • Microbiology

  • Immunology

  • Molecular genetics (central dogma of biology: DNA  RNA  protein)

  • Physiology

  • Pathology

  • Pharmacology


Authoritative content review resources

Authoritative Content Review Resources

  • Best resources: a personal opinion (not fact)

  • My updated list will be posted on MEDU 11/3/10

  • What works for others may not work well for you

  • Suggested list is based on last 10 years experience with Boonshoft students

  • Key factors in choosing a review source

    • Authors who are expert authorities

    • Is it compatible with your learning style?

    • More useful if multiple-choice questions included


Part 3 global question based review

Part (3) Global Question-Based Review

  • Challenging question bank(s) used to review entire spectrum of basic medical sciences

  • “Global”= question blocks of randomly mixed topics

  • Blocks of 50-100 questions at USMLE rate (50/hr)

  • Keep personal log, tracking performance over time

  • Use all missed questions to deepen knowledge

    • Not just the question bank’s explanation, but refer to primary learning sources for authoritative content

  • Duration of review: individually determined; minimum total # Qs = 2000; better if more

  • 2 weeks pre-exam: MCQs are most efficient way to learn and identify any areas of ignorance


Comparison question banks

Comparison Question Banks


Preparation jan june

Preparation: Jan -June

  • Focus on current course !

  • During 6 courses: practice Qs from bank

  • Spring Break: CBSSA self-assessment

  • Create personal schedule

  • Comprehensive term 2 exam: 6 systems!

  • Final prep: 3-7 weeks


During term 2

During term 2

  • Review year 1 content relevant to organ during 1st week: anatomy, histology, microbiology

  • “Non-test weekends”:

    • blocks of 50 questions focused on year 1 and/or term 1 courses

    • ONLY AFTER your are up-to-date on current course


Spring break

Spring Break

  • 1st CBSSA to define strengths & areas needing improvement

  • Begin focused improvement: schedule weakest areas from year 1 and term 1


Comp term 2 exam

Comp Term 2 Exam

  • Best opportunity to focus on all 6 courses, emphasizing CV, Resp, Renal

  • Lots of practice Qs from authoritative review sources—this is not our home-baked exam! (Pre-Test Self-Assesment and Review (topical), Costanzo BRS, Robbins Review, Katzung Board Review of Pharm, your favorite Q bank)


Final prep usmle 1

Final prep USMLE 1

  • Part 1: continue focused improvement of weaknesses

    • 4-5 hour cycle: 2 hrs. review source, 1 block 50 questions, study all missed answers

    • 2 cycles/day with healthy break (nap, exercise)

    • Take 2nd CBSSA: goal is >200 Step 1 score

  • Part 2: global review

    • 4-5 hour cycles: 100 Qs in 2 hours, review missed Qs

    • Additional CBSSA??: optional, for reassurance

    • First Aid: only for rapid additional review of topics related to missed Qs


Health issues

Health Issues

  • Spring Break: get some rest !

  • Comp term 2 and USMLE prep: limit study to 8-9 hours/day

  • Regular schedule vs. cramming at end

  • 6 days/week hard work, celebrate with a personal “reward day”


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