With a disturbing number of resources and study plans to choose from, how can students determine what strategy will maximize their board scores? Early in my second year, I scoured the depths of the internet pouring over the study schedules and tips of past test takers. The dirty secret to success? There was no one study plan that triumphs above all. While they all varied in their day-to-day plans, study plans from top scorers all echoed the same two principles: start preparation early and do lots and lots of practice questions. This post is dedicated to when to start preparing and how many practice questions to do.
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With a disturbing number of resources and study plans to choose from, how can students determine what strategy will maximize their board scores?
Early in my second year, I scoured the depths of the internet pouring over the study schedules and tips of past test takers. The dirty secret to success? There was no one study plan that triumphs above all. While they all varied in their day-to-day plans, study plans from top scorers all echoed the same two principles: start preparation early and do lots and lots of practice questions. This post is dedicated to when to start preparing and how many practice questions to do.
A paper from Nova Southeastern University analyzed the COMLEX study habits of third-year students and sought to identify the predictors of scoring a or higher roughly greater than the 83rd percentile in While the study broke down start of exam preparation into first year 5. Given that starting studying earlier is associated with higher board scores, when exactly should you start?
My suggestion is to ideally start preparation between September to December of second year and no later than January to March of second year. Preparation in the first semester of second year allows students to get comfortable with the school-relevant sections of First Aid alongside classes while also getting early practice question exposure.
For example, during my fall semester Endocrine, Cardiovascular, and Renal classes, I would become familiar with the matching First Aid sections as well as do practice questions for those specific topics. Come dedicated board studying time in May, I already had a thorough pass of First Aid and thousands of practice questions under my belt.
Speaking of questions, just how important are doing practice questions to scoring high on boards? Controlling for academic variation and motivation, the study designers found a one-point increase in USMLE score per questions completed. While a gross oversimplification of the correlation between practice questions and board scores at the higher end simply doing 8, practice questions in no way guarantees a , it should come as no surprise that top scorers go through more practice questions than those who score lower.
So just how many questions should you complete? I suggest 4, questions as the minimum number of practice questions to have done before test day — 6, questions for those aiming for higher scores. This includes one or two complete passes of a question bank along with review of incorrects, a separate pass of an additional USMLE-focused question bank, and select questions from a COMLEX-specific question bank.
Simply put, there are only so many ways to ask questions on thyroid disorders, antiarrhytmia drugs, and viscerosomatic points. Going through thousands and thousands of questions gives students the exposure necessary to see how these topics present in a multiple-choice format. There were even multiple questions on both exams that had been asked in nearly identical ways to practice questions. Share this:.
COMLEX Step 2-PE: Black Horse of the Apocalypse
Step 2-PE is supposed to be the easiest of the 4 exams. Alright, so what does this mean for you? It means that you will be competing with osteopathic medical students from all over the US for testing slots. If you think competing with the gunners from your class is bad enough, imagine competing with gunners from all schools. Once you get the ok from your school to sign up, sign up ASAP! Or else you may not get an early enough testing spot.
FIRST AID FOR COMLEX PE PDF