Archive for April 2010

One Step Back

April 26, 2010

Still toiling away, gripped by fear as my test date approaches. I took another NBME Self Assessment this weekend and unfortunately, I seem to have gotten dumber since the last practice exam, scoring a 194, which is just barely a pass – I’m talking skin-of-the-teeth. Needless to say, it was very discouraging, so much so that I decided I’d rather clean the basement than deal with any more review on Saturday. However, I created a new intensive study schedule and looked at the historical data (which one can see if one has taken two or more NBME self assessments) so that I could focus this week’s efforts on the weak spots. The good news is that I’ve improved in physio, pharm and micro; and am doing much better with renal and nervous systems-based questions. The bad news is that I’ve been getting steadily worse at reproductive and endocrine system questions, gross anatomy and embryo and I pretty much suck at cardio. それから、this week will be heavy on those areas. I also need to improve in the nebulous category of General Principles of Health & Disease* so I’ll try to focus on that as well.

There is a question I remember from the practice exam that sort of makes me question whether I’m really getting my money’s worth for these tests (more…)

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Progress Report

April 12, 2010

Slowly but surely, I’ve been making strides to rock the COMP and it would seem that my efforts have not been without fruit. Today I took a USMLEworld Self-Assessment Sim Exam and, despite my utter befuddlement with some of the questions, I managed to score a 206. Now, a 206 isn’t a 220 but it’s not that far and it’s definitely not failing. Granted, the score report came with a disclaimer that the UW assessment tests aren’t actually meant to be indicative of one’s Step score* (why then, are they created so similarly?) but I’ve taken two prior assessments on USMLEworld and have been able to see a pattern of improvement. In short, so far, so good.

Admittedly, I haven’t been as focused as I should be these past few weeks but today, I crafted a hardcore study schedule to better structure my efforts and maximize my productivity. Ideally, I’ll be getting in 8-10 hours of quality study time each weekday and using the weekends to hone my skills with targeted subject review (or make up any time I missed during the week). If I stick to the schedule, perhaps I’ll be able to increase my score by a score (or more?) of points by May 14th. The clock is ticking, so wish me luck!

*According to the fine print (or, actually, the small font), the self-assessments are meant to identify a student’s areas of strength and weakness for targeted review with practice questions from the question bank. My biggest weaknesses are physiology and pharmacology (2 of the 3 Ps! Thank goodness I’m decent in path!)

Scalpel-Wielding Robin Hoods of the Night!

April 5, 2010

So, now, we have healthcare!  I guess. Sort of. Well, actually, I know that I have healthcare because I just paid my $250 fee for it (and I’ll have to pay another $250 deductible and another $250 next semester…) so…good for me. But for ‘us’ as in, Americans? I’m glad that the legislation was passed (in spite of some of the truly ridiculous opposition to it) but it’s kind of just a rough draft to me and revisions will have to be made. Or else I might have to go out harvesting organs at night…

More info on healthcare reform:

the basics

what HCR means for us NOW (requires Medscape membership – if you are a med student or medical professional, you should sign up. It’s free :D)

back to studying…