One of the best ways to adequately prepare yourself for your USMLE medical board exams is by doing plenty of questions using one of the popular question banks, there is nothing new about this, but there are many things people are doing incorrectly along the way. How many times have you spoken with someone about how they do their qbanks and they tell you they do the questions over and over again, trying to get as many done as possible? Chances are you've heard this often, and maybe even done this yourself.
One of the big problems with the approach of quantity when it comes to doing your questions is that this isn't really the best way to learn, as when you repeat questions you are merely memorizing and regurgitating the correct answers. Instead of using the quantity approach when doing your questions, have you considered using the "quality" approach instead?
Going for quality when doing your questions is a great way to learn and it will also save you lots of money and time. Below I have detailed a smart new approach to doing qbanks that will definitely help you learn more in less time, as well as save you money since you won't have to do questions over and over again:
Step 1 - Start early and do them slowly
One of the best ways to prepare and do well is to start doing your questions early, preferably many months before your anticipated test date. When you start early, you aren't forced to do hundreds of questions daily and thus you can prevent burning out and becoming exhausted before the exam day.
Step 2 - Take detailed notes on each question, both the "learning objective" and the wrong answers
Get a new blank workbook and take good notes as you do your questions. Be sure to include notes about the questions "learning objective", and also be sure to take notes from each of the wrong answers in the question. Most people overlook the wrong answers but if you take notes on them, you can get 5 times more out of each question instead of just skipping over them.
Step 3 - Fill in at least 1/2 page for each question
Simply jotting down one or two words isn't enough, be sure to take adequate notes so that once you finish your qbank you will have enough information written down to study adequately. Each question should warrant at least a half of a page in your workbook.
Step 4 - If you are an audio learner, turn your notes into an MP3 and put it on your iPod
One of my most useful tips is to turn your notes into MP3's and then put them onto your MP3 player. Once I started doing this, my grades went up and my board scores were high. Simply read your notes into your computer's audio software then save as an MP3, or read them onto a audio recording device. Once this is done, simply listen to your notes when you normally wouldn't be able to study, such as when driving, working out, or grocery shopping. This helps you get in that extra bit of studying that can be the difference between an average score and an outstanding score.
Step 5 - Review often and with purpose
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to pick a topic every day (preferably in the morning), and make it a goal to get through it that day. So use your study guide to go through something thoroughly then move onto your qbank notes (or audio versions), and get through them. Making daily goals and meeting them everyday will ensure that you get the most from your USMLE preparation.
Whether studying for your USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK exam, these tips can help you get a leg-up on your competition and ultimately put you above them when it comes time to apply for a residency position.
Do you want a top quality, high-yield USMLE study guide written by someone who scored well above average on the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK exam? Or are you looking for a Live USMLE Prep Course?
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