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Thread: advice for incoming students

  1. #1
    seeker558 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    advice for incoming students

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    Actually, I'm the spouse of an AUSOM student so I can say things that I've seen. I've been around a while so everything that I'm saying is what I've seen. Here's the advice:

    Everyone has different studying styles. Here are the different studying sources: videos (pirated or bought), books (not required, but recommended by other students), class printouts (varies by class), standard review books like the BRS. Each one has different strengths. I remember getting a couple Gb of materials for my wife. Most of it was pretty old and not terribly useful. It boils down to whether you need help in basic science content or in testing on it. The weaker the science background, the more learning and review will be necessary. Learning and review can be done through videos and books, although Kaplan videos were great because they resembled actual lectures. When lectures are weak for whatever reason, Kaplan videos are a great substitute. Books are pretty dry and helpful for review (you already know a lot and are just seeking a way to organize your thinking/memory). If your science background is pretty strong, then you should get the various test banks full of questions and answers. The questions are really strange but they are what is on the different Step exams.

    Basic Knowledge
    Review (and organize knowledge)
    Practice Testing

    Repetition is the key to remembering stuff. Never can repeat enough but must organize thinking because you can't memorize everything. There are many, many mnemonics but you'll forget most of them.

    Personality types are also a key. Know what you're good at. If you aced science courses, then you might need more practice in testing. If you're weak in science, then you have to learn and test. Decide on what mix is best.
    It's really a marathon and time management is the key. You'll never have enough time. Spouses: you might as well put your life on hold to support the medical student.

    With AUSOM as a new school, lots of things still have not been spelled out. I think that a key skill is asking everyone for information and then disregarding a lot of it. That said, there is a lot of official stuff online. For example, for residencies, it's important to look at FRIEDA, OASIS, ECFMG, ERAS, and NBME. And that's just the beginning. Unless you're already in the 5th semester all but ECFMG and OASIS aren't important. . .just yet.

    And here is the most important point that I'll make. It's really up to you to verify everything that you hear or read. If you trust anyone--fellow student, teacher, administrator---without checking it out, it's your fault if things go south. And now, that's harsh but true. Just everyone is well-meaning, but that doesn't mean too much if it's your money or career. Always remember, if it sounds too good, it's probably not true.

    OK? I hope that this information is helpful. It may be basic to a lot of folks, but think of it as a review for people who have been through the mill. If you have questions, I can answer a lot of them. If I don't know, I'll say so. I guarantee that I don't know everything, just what I've experienced.

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    rspyker is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks for the great information on AUSOM. What is your wife's impression of the faculty and facilities? Also, what is the housing and school situation like for those with families? Thanks!

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    New guy is offline Junior Member 514 points
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    I recommend you get the books, some students want to study from videos but that doesn't help. Also I recommend pretest, appleton & lange, and anywhere you can get sample questions from. I have also been taking the NBME exams online and wish I knew about them from day 1.

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    love_er is offline Junior Member 513 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by New guy View Post
    I recommend you get the books, some students want to study from videos but that doesn't help. Also I recommend pretest, appleton & lange, and anywhere you can get sample questions from. I have also been taking the NBME exams online and wish I knew about them from day 1.
    Curious why taking NBME would be beneficial from day 1?
    Last edited by love_er; 03-11-2014 at 10:11 AM.
    shatteredtoast likes this.

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