With the New Year rolling around the corner, many second year medical students are readying themselves for an intense few months of studying in preparation for the USMLE step 1 and COMLEX level 1 exams. For a profession that prides itself on evidence-based practices in real-world clinical scenarios, medical education is certainly lacking when it comes to evidence-based board preparation strategies.
In my first post for the First Aid team, I dive into two studies that analyzed the study habits of high-scorers on the USMLE and COMLEX exams. More specifically, these studies address the correlation between early initiation of board preparation and number of practice questions with test scores.
An excerpt from the post:
“Speaking of questions, just how important are doing practice questions to scoring high on boards? An analysis of the 2013 class at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, found students completed an average of 2,850 questions (SD=919). Controlling for academic variation and motivation, the study designers found a one-point increase in USMLE score per 100 questions completed. By this study’s design, the difference between a 228 and a 250 on the USMLE Step 1 correlates roughly to a difference of 2,200 practice questions.”