The year of the Boards

Happy 2008! Ok, so it's January 3rd, but I haven't really been in the mood/had anything to write about until today. It's hard to find something to write about when you're sleeping 10 hours a night and catching up with the family and friends that are still close to home. It's been nice but far from entertaining to read about. I feel like my time off has helped me get my head on straight again and get my life back into perspective. I finally feel balanced again, which should last all of 3 weeks, but at least I'll have that going into one of the busiest/most challenging semesters of my life thus far.

Anyway, I finally got around to ordering all of my Step 1 materials, registering for the exam and laying out a schedule (over $1000 later). Here's my current plan of attack:
  • Mandatory mock board in April at school and taking a look at where I stand after that
  • The free NBME exam the day after classes end to give me an idea of what I am weak in to guide me in my overall studying.
  • 6 weeks of studying with 1 integrated catch-up/Qbank day per week to allow for some level of flexibility/sanity/mixing it up.
  • A goal of doing 50-100 random Q-Bank questions per night with explanations to get into the groove of answering questions
  • 1 timed NBME exam per week to show me where I stand (in place of the Qbank/catch up day) for the final 4 weeks leading up to the exam
  • 2 days of focused review based on Qbank/NBME indicated weaknesses right before the exam
Hopefully, that will be good enough to get me a 230, but my confidence in my academic abilities has been pretty much crushed over the past semester in Path since I rode on the back side of the curve for most of the semester. I'm a SD above average in all of my small group sessions, but I'm just not testing well and I'm not exactly sure how to remedy it.

I've taken a look at how I studied for the exams thus far and it looks like I'm getting bogged down in all of the nitty-gritty details and losing sight of the big important themes. Putting off studying for way too long between exams hasn't helped either. If I stay on top of my stuff and incorporate Rapid Review/BRS/First Aid as a frame work to fill in the nit-picky details from Robbins and Cecil, I should be able to kick myself over to the other side of the curve. Between that and doing questions before the exams, I should start doing better. But only time will tell

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