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Thread: Houmd's "How To's": Step 1

  1. #1
    houmd's Avatar
    houmd is offline Elite Member 7229 points
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    Houmd's "How To's": Step 1

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    The main reason that it takes windsor students so long to take the step is because even though they have all that free time to study in MD5, they don't know how to utilize it.

    The main mistake I see is people doing is spending their entire MD5 going through the videos and annotating into their kaplan books then realizing after 3mos they haven't retained much of anything and didn't really learn too much. I have seen this time and time again and always advise against it.

    After md4 you should never use anything kaplan ever again for step 1. Simple as that, no kaplan books, videos or qbank.

    Here's what to do with your time. This is the time tested successful way to study and be done well within the 3mos:

    1. Buy uworld, FA, DIT, & Pathoma.

    2. Follow the DIT program in order of schedule, but prior to doing whatever section they cover, do every single painful uworld question on it in tutor mode (your score will be terrible, this is normal) and try to commit the concept at the bottom of each question to memory, and try to learn and memorize the clue words in each vignette that point towards a specific differential (eg. "washing-machine murmur", a "rose-gardener", etc).

    3. Then once you have done that, watch the correlating DIT videos and fill out the booklet, it is good at active learning and it will be easier to remember pertinent information from DIT when they teach you something that you've seen a question on.

    4. Do all of those same questions again in tutor mode, this time try even harder to pick up on clues (by highlighting them) that you may have not seen before, and once again commit each concept to memory. Your score wont be perfect but it will be higher than before and that is what we're looking for.

    5. Continue doing 1-4 and incorporate pathoma as needed (make sure to finish it though, it only takes a few days) until the DIT program is complete.

    6. Start doing uworld timed, random a third time over. Use this opportunity to practice your timing skills in finding clues, ruling out wrong answers and getting the right one within the time frame. Also at this point you should be doing around 3-4 blocks per day to build up endurance and make it through UWorld a third time in a relatively short period of time. This test is not just a test of knowledge but one of skill and endurance as well in which you're trying to get as many points as possible within a limited time period. This time only review questions that you got wrong, and don't waste times on ones that are now already cemented into your mind.

    7. Take the exam.


    PS: Remember to periodically evaluate yourself with NBME's (I recommend every 3-4wks), don't think that these are the exam, they are just to measure progress and to inform you as to whether or not you are in fact getting better. If you haven't yet covered neuro, pharm and embryo don't worry about it. Take these on a scheduled basis (not a subject completion basis) and you will watch your scores slowly but surely increase over time. This should be your indicator and your reassurance that you are in fact doing well. Save a UWSA exam for a few days before your exam to be the indicator of how your step will likely come out.


    How to do uworld questions:

    I. First thing is to scroll down and look at the last sentence. Use that to tell, is this a:
    1) Diagnosis question
    2) Treatment Question
    3) Pathophysiology Question
    4) Biostats question
    5) Ethics quesiton
    6) Direct Question

    Sometimes it is the only sentence that matters in the entire vignette. Occasionally there will be questions that are designated for wasting your time, giving you paragraphs of information and then ending with: What is the mechanism of metoprolol? Then you realize you just wasted 25-40s of your life reading useless info. Always start by reading the last line and designating what type of question it is. This will allow your clue searching to be more efficient since you know what type of things to be looking for in the first place.

    II. Skim the answer choices quickly, sometimes you can immediately knock something off of the answers just by looking at them with the last question and that alone makes your job easier and takes some weight off of your shoulders. Knowing what they're looking for, and what the answer choices are will give you a clear picture what what clues you're looking for in the vignette.

    III.
    Read the Vignette, isolate the clues by highlighting then re-read the last sentence as a reminder and then either pick an answer choice, or if you can't immediately do that then start marking out things that aren't correct. Narrowing it down to 2-3 answers is not a bad thing at all, greatly improves your odds of making a correct guess. Also, don't be concerned because on the real exam you will feel a lot more calm knowing that you WILL have questions that you narrow down to 2-3. This is to be expected and it happens to everyone, this is not novel to you and you are not alone and doing so is not a bad thing. So don't panic, just move on and if you have time later you can come back to it if you need to but don't waste your time on any one question when you can get points on others. Remember that this is also a time/endurance test, they want you to crack but you can't.


    Many have done this before you, many will do it after you, but now it's your turn.
    Good luck,
    -Houmd
    devildoc8404, SWOLL68 and thxleave like this.

  2. #2
    TylerMD is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Very well written post, thanks

    Could I add a few things if youre ok with it?
    houmd likes this.

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    Brown_munda is offline Junior Member 49 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by TylerMD View Post
    Very well written post, thanks

    Could I add a few things if youre ok with it?
    Thank you Houmd.

  4. #4
    houmd's Avatar
    houmd is offline Elite Member 7229 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by TylerMD View Post
    Very well written post, thanks

    Could I add a few things if youre ok with it?
    absolutely, we should all be contributing to help those who come after us

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    columbus is offline Junior Member 523 points
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    I agree everybody says FA is enough (including almost everybody in SDN too) to review all sujects except Path, for which you use Pathoma. Having done two NBME and multitude of Uworld I am not sure FA is enough. CONFUSED!!

  6. #6
    PnS11 is offline Senior Member 6123 points
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    Some lost souls say "memorize FA and you're guaranteed a 230." It's a bit misleading. You do not memorize FA. You look at the concepts listed and understand them to a tertiary level (as seen in UW questions) and then you've learned it. Rinse and repeat for all 600+ pages of FA, and you've got yourself a 230.

    Looking at FA and seeing "tetralogy of fallot" and thinking "oh yeah, I remember that" and moving on is not "memorizing FA" nor is it utilizing it properly. You need to understand why a patient is taught to crouch down, why that alleviates symptoms and what causes the varying degrees of the disease. Why is there a discrepancy in blood pressure between upper and lower limbs? All that comes from knowing more than what FA tells you. That's anatomy, embryology, pathology, and biochemistry all in one disorder.

    That is your mistake as well as many other students'.

    SDN is the opposite of VMD. It is a cesspool of gunners and scare tactics by students. Just like VMD, there are plenty of trolls. They tend to troll about NBMEs, score correlation, etc., instead of retakes, professor relationships, and student criminal records. So take that forum with a grain of salt as well.

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    and just keep doing uworld again and again. You will eventually get to a point that scares students, which is where they remember the answer after seeing a question several times. For these questions, go through and treat it just like any other question in the pattern I described, define the question, look at options, go through and find all the clues, and then don't try to put the answer but rather try and think of WHY that answer is right. If you can't answer WHY any answer is right then you don't really know it well enough and need to re-read the concept to remind yourself. Rinse and repeat
    SWOLL68 likes this.

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