So after that mini-mental-breakdown of a practice test, I regrouped. I montage-ed. I set out to target my lowest-scoring subjects, grudgingly relearned them from scratch, ultimately spent more time alone in my room listening to morose music than I did during my last major break-up, and then proceeded to score, on two separate tests, just flat-out ridiculously higher.
… which – thanks in part to my newly-acquired Biostats knowledge (see: “lowest-scoring subjects” above) – I now know says more about just how poorly designed this test truly is than it does about how talented I may or may not be at short-term memorization.
(Okay, calling the USMLE “poorly designed” might sound a little harsh and high-minded – but when the NBME is purposefully distancing themselves from the notion that it’s an “achievement” test – in other words, that the exact scores mean anything – preferring instead to categorize it as “minimum competence”, and then still steadfastly reporting 3 significant figures? At the steep end? All while knowing that they’re handing out these career-determining judgements to the most self-absorbed, breakdown-prone students in the world?
… if that’s not poorly-designed, it’s at the very least disturbingly cold-hearted.)
And while I’m relieved as hell about scoring better, the relief is transient and the tiredness is a slow burn. I’m forgetting more and more while caring less and less.
The result of adding this kind of burn-out to the general theme of my Step 1 study plan (which, FYI, would be most appropriately titled “Ways In Which I Helpfully Verified Common Wisdom By Ignoring It Entirely” – subtitle, “Somehow, It Went Poorly”) is a schedule for the last three days that looks something like “do stuff, but not too much or too little”.
I guess I will probably go through my flashcards again. Or my notes? Or re-listen to the recording I made of me reading First Aid. Or learn to juggle.
I DON’T KNOW. THERE ARE OPTIONS. It’ll work out – and someday, as a commenter recently reminded me, there will be happiness again. (Seriously, thanks for reading/tolerating self-absorbed posts like this, you guys. Thursday can’t come soon enough.)
Meanwhile, Here Are Some Awesome Step 1 Resources Buried Deep In The Depths of The Internet:
- – Compiled USMLE Step 1 Mnemonics
- – Protein Synthesis Inhibitors: Never Mix Them Up Again!
- – Virology Cheat Sheet – pretty great starting point, and well-designed to boot.
- – The Ultimate Guide to Gastrointestinal Hormones – Dude, seriously, this guy can make a table.
- – Confidence Intervals vs P-Value
- – Everything I Need To Know I Learned From USMLEWorld – Where has this blog been all my life?
- – Goljan Flashcards (or here, a more selective set strictly from the Goljan High Yield document everyone raves about but never links to.)