And you know, other general study tips!
It’s about OPTIONS. If you want to have more of them, then yes take both. I actually paid for both and ended up too burnt out and canceled my USMLE, which is a major bummer since a TON of programs on the West Coast prefer it (prefer being code for WE NO LIKE COMLEX). But my school barely prepped us for COMLEX, and our schedule went insane during our “protected” time so we didn’t get the full unbothered 4 weeks we should have gotten.
Contrary to other Tumblrs, please know that the tests are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
- USMLE questions are very consistent, with a lot of fluff and A LOT of extra answers, with more emphasis on processes and pathways. Their questions are “harder” for us DOs because we (usually) get exams that are not like that, but geared toward our test. However, you ALWAYS know WHAT they’re asking you. Just may not know the answer. (Hence, I loved UWorld and used it to prepare for both exams)
- COMLEX questions are written by insane people. There is a LOT of questions where you NEED to know the MOST COMMON whatever (bug, drug, dx,tx). So, it’s not enough to know buzz words and descriptions, you also must know if you have XYZ signs and it could be Disease A or Disease B, which is more common in (M group). On every block there will be at least 1 question you read and are like oh yeah, i know this. Then they give you all the answers in the stem. Then you get to a “question” at the end and you’re just What are you asking me sir? What the what-ie what?! Our school provided COMBANK and it was really close to the real deal. (However, this focus on most commons helps a lot in 3rd year, soooo)
It’s $500 to have the option open, and I would still go back in time and do it. I just would have started a qBank in Sep/Oct instead of waiting until January.
I sucked at the balancing thing, but if you have access to any qBANK my suggestion is this:
- Start now. Do 1-5 questions PER DAY, tutor mode or random timed. Write NOTHING DOWN, but do those questions and review them afterward. Will take 10-15 minutes a day.
- Consider something like Picmonic or Firecracker if you learn that way (picture mnemonics vs 1st order questions). There should be a free trial. Use to study for current exams, and get a “first pass” at board type material. For bugs and drugs Picmonic saved my butt, although I couldn’t keep up with Firecracker and just quit using it too soon.
For a few months down the road…
- In January buy First Aid 2015 and get it unbound and hole punched. (Or get a 2014 off somebody who never used it)
- Also in January, reset your qBank, commit to a daily/weekly number and do ONLY random timed. Do them in small batches so you can IMMEDIATELY make notes in your copy of FA for the ones you missed, or got right by guessing. YOU WILL MISS MOST OF THE QUESTIONS YOU DO. Don’t worry just do it. If there’s no room you can add real paper, which is why the hole punching helps you.
- Survive remainder of 2nd year. Consider prep program in January, they’ll offer all the same coupons after Xmas, ignore their crazy emails.
- Figure out if you need a prep program to stay on track. DIT is way better than BBB, it’s just more professional and presents info in a logical way.
- Get Savarese GREEN book for OMT.
Also, post again in December/January and I’ll post tips appropriate for that time period.
#1 rule - practice questions.practice questions.practice questions.practice questions.
Do them, review them. Rinse and repeat. FINISH YOUR QBANK, it seriously makes a world of difference in your score.
Are people frightened of me? I don’t know. Maybe after all, my soul is just not to their liking. And so it goes. Months ago, I started observing myself more and more closely. At first there was a sense of emotionless distortion; Parts of me were refusing stubborningly to belong to myself, (I mean really belong) whereas others had not existential structure in my mind whatsoever. Loneliness is an absolute feeling and when it crawls under your skin you often lose any personal perspective and sense of self. You even come to fiercly resent your sense of self. Depression is different; evil and self-manipulative - often not distinguishable enough, often narcissistic, often mad or fully sincere. Solitude is also different. Solitude used to work for me; it carried me over unbalance, it even made pain tolerable by transforming it into artistic creativity and constant hunger for expression. But loneliness - loneliness has nothing to do with complexity or abstract emotional layers or absence of vitality and triumphing sadness. Loneliness is crystal clear, hauntingly precise and absolute. Plain as that.
“Particular Tumours Love Killing Bone”
And you know, other general study tips!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.