3 days 'till V-/D- day

how would you all recommend spending the last three days before taking the USMLE? finishing up the last 15% of qbank or reading FA in the areas i’m weakest in? my sense from those who have taken it already is that the test is actually harder then qbank (which surprised me since i’d always heard that qbank was supposed to be much harder).
also - i’m now hitting anywhere from 55-60% on qbank (although my cumulative is still at 51%). is there a possibility of passing it with that score? some say i should just try and get the first block off and study since passing will be hard with those numbers. god - i so wish this was over…

Hi Kelly,
I was my experience that Q-Bank was much harder than the actual exam. Q-Bank is much pickier. With those numbers, you are definitely in passing range. Again, don’t worry so much about that numerical score or your cumulative but look at your progression. You want to practice, practice and do more practice.
You can’t know everything for this exam and remember, that there are 50 questions that you are NOT expected to know so don’t let something odd throw you off. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep and do a couple of test rides to the center.
Please read every question and every answer. There is one BEST answer to each question. Every question counts so guess if you have no idea and don’t leave any questions blank. Try not to spend too much time on any one question.
You can review the things that you feel weak in but don’t put too much stuff on that list. You are fine where you are sitting. Take something like First Aid with you to look at between blocks if you feel that you may need a little boost. Again, try to get in there, calm down and plow through. If you hit something that stumps you, mark it and come back. Don’t spend ten minutes on any one question. If you move one, something in a later question may trigger the right answer for you.
Breathe, calm down, get rid of nervous tension. Read every question completely and read every answer. Don’t get thrown off if you simply can’t answer a question, just guess and keep moving. After you are done, go celebrate and get ready for third year.
If you are sitting there saturated, can’t stand the thought of looking at another Q-Bank question or reviewing another physiology graph, you are right on track. At this point, you are at the end of your review, you have given it your best shot and you are going have this behind you soon. Don’t forget to do some powerwalking and put on your most comfortable and lucky shirt. Also, don’t let the behavior of other folks scare you. You have prepared and you are going to pass this thing. (There is always some nut who tries to unnerve everyone) Don’t let anyones pre-exam chatter put you off course. You are going to own this exam.
This is but another passage in your career and you are going to move into the clinical stuff. Clinicals are why you came to medical school in the first place. No more sitting around in class but actually seeing patients and experiencing the wonder that is the human body and spirit.
Kelly, I have no doubt that you can pass this test but I am worried that you might talk yourself into failure. There is no feedback on this test. You have to go in there, sit in front of the computer and plow through. That little “Explanation” key is just not there. (How I missed it!). You are saturated with facts and knowledge so let that work for you.
There are two common types folks who fail this exam: those who are unprepared (not you) and those who psych themselves into failure (they get so keyed up that they cannot concentrate). You are prepared because: You attended medical school in the United States and you passed all of your coursework. You have systematically reviewed for this exam. You are thoroughly familiar with the question format because you have done plenty of Q-Bank questions. The fact that you are saturated at this point is a very good sign.
Take a little break and so something physical like powerwalk or pump a little iron. Put that “Rocky” tape into you Walkman while you walk. Picture yourself sitting calmly in front of that computer screen, analyzing each question and answering each question after carefully ruling out the three or four wrong answers. Breathe and stay warm. Those test centers can be very chilly.
Now go get em girl because you are going to do fine!

Thanks for the words of advice. Kelly, Epidoc and I all take it this Thursday. I have definitely reached the point where I am sick of doing q-bank questions, and from what you say, that’s a good thing
Well, back to review the last practice block I took…uugh…lol

Thank you for the encouraging words. I know they were meant for Kelly, but I was feeling the exact same way, and I needed to hear what you told her as well. Thanks.
At least it will be over in 52 hours.

Hey Guys,
It will be behind you on Thursday evening and then you can set your sights on third year! Yeahhhh!
Again and write this on a card where you can see it:
Read the whole question and every answer. One answer is the BEST answer and it is the RIGHT answer. If you don’t read all of the answers, you might miss the RIGHT one.
I have faith in all of you. You are going to look back in a couple of months when you are slogging away at medical student scut and laugh at yourselves.
OWN that thing!

Well, it’s over.
Despite a nearly sleepless night last night, I think it went… okay. Can’t really say more than that. In some ways it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Everything at the test center went very smoothly, and the day sped by. I actually had trouble believing this was the real thing. At the end I felt like I was now ready to take the real test.
One thing that was of immense help was taking it the same day as my study partner. We went to dinner afterwards and generally decompressed. And just having the moral support was valuable.

So now, it’s on to third year, and hoping everything went okay.

Hey Epidoc,
Congratulations on getting the test behind you. I came out of the test center feeling exactly the same way that you did. I knew some things and I guessed at some things but overall, I felt that it went fine. Since it takes about 6 weeks to get your scores back, you can go on about the business of enjoying the rest of your summer (what little is left) and getting into third year with its whole new set of challenges.
Again, I am sure that you did fine because you prepared well. Now go get some well-earned sleep and take that big sigh of relief.

Well, it’s over for me now too. And I feel the same way as you all. I guess it went okay.
A weird thing happened though. When I sat down to take the test, the computer screen was flickering a lot. That just threw me off and I was a nervous wreck from then on. But then, 13 minutes into the first block, the computer locked up. At first, you would think that was a bad thing, but it gave me a chance to recollect myself and calm down as the test-center staff rebooted my computer (ironically, it’s setup that you start from where you left off an it retains your info).
After that, I just answered questions as best I could. Some I knew cold (not as many as I would have liked though), others I could eliminate 2-3 answers and make a somewhat educated guess, and others were just a guess. There was only one question of the 350 that I didn’t understand what the question was even asking much less how to interpret the graphs. I was disappointed in myself with how many points I left on the table, questions that were easy but I just didn’t know that factoid.
And good news when I came home today. A phone message from the hubby that he made it to his latest deployment alive and well.
Well, it’s over now. Time to pack the kitchen since our remodel starts on Monday.