Just opened my score report after putting it off all day during my clerkship due to being filled with
dread – hopefully my experience serves as some encouragement for those who didn’t score too
hot on practice tests!
Baseline CBSE (12/2016): 60, which correlates to 175
NBME 15 (3 weeks out): 221 with 35 incorrects
NBME 19 (10 days out): 223 with 30 incorrects
UWorld (1st pass, timed, random): 71%
I finished all but 4 blocks of UWorld; I only did one pass and did not review incorrects. I started
with scores in the 40s and by the last couple of weeks was scoring around an average of 78% with
a range of 68% – 90%.
Actual Score (4/6/2017): 242
I did USMLERx casually for about six months before dedicated and finished about 50% of the
question bank; I also did one pass of FA and Pathoma before dedicated. Dedicated was 5 weeks
long for me, during which I did the majority of UWorld, went through two additional passes of
both FA and Pathoma, and listened to all of the Goljan lectures once. I didn’t take any other
NBMEs or any UWorld Assessments because after NBME 15 and especially after NBME 19, I
realized that practice tests were only severely stressing me out since I wasn’t meeting my
expectations. At that point during dedicated, I decided that having a positive mindset was more
important than what I could gain by doing additional tests – so I just stuck with UWorld and did as
much as I could until the day before my exam.
I thought my actual test felt almost exactly like doing 7 blocks of UWorld, and I was weirdly very
relaxed during it (like 100x more relaxed than when I was doing NBMEs) because I was just ready
for it to be over and to experience fun again. My test was fair, with a healthy dose of both gimmies
and WTF questions (don’t let these stress you out; just guess and move on). In my opinion, I think
doing UWorld in timed, random blocks was the most helpful because one of the hardest aspects
of this exam (at least for me) is the constant recall of random information, especially information
that I reviewed weeks ago. Pathoma is a must – I can remember at least several questions off the
top of my head that were ONLY in Pathoma, so I was really glad I did that 3x. FA was used mostly
as a checklist rather than for rote memorization, and Goljan was very fun to listen to and really
good for morale. I also used Sketchy Micro during the school year and Sketchy Pharm during
dedicated as needed.
Hope this helps someone, and I’m happy to answer any questions!