Each year there are thousands of people who take the medical board exam, yet not all of them pass their first attempt. The first-time test taker pass rate, according to the American Board of Internal Medicine, was 83 percent in 2012. In prior years, this pass rates were 87 percent, 88 percent, and 91 percent, pointing to the fact that there has been a decline in medical board exam pass rates over the years. This situation has prompted many to wonder what they can do to try and improve their chances of passing the test.
“It’s more important than ever to do all you can to study for the medical board exam,” explains Daniel Lambert, chief executive officer of BoardVitals.com. “With the right tools and study skills, you can improve your chances of passing the first time around.”
Here are some tips for studying for the board exams:
1) Know the distribution of content in the exam. This can usually be found directly on the board association websites. It’s not uncommon to hear about an esoteric question from friends or colleagues – but it stands out because it’s unique. Focus on the more common cases and stated categories on the exam.
2) Understand the difficulty of the exam in your particular specialty. Boardpassrates.com is a great resource that has aggregated pass rates by specialty, school, and performance on the USMLE exam. Knowing the relative difficulty of the exam can help students determine the total study time needed.
3) Take a break right before the exam. For at least a few days before the exam, stop testing and reading. A lack of sleep can show up two days later, so keep that in mind.
4) Embrace adaptive learning. BoardVitals offers an adaptive learning approach that helps physicians jump directly to the right content. Their record also shows that those who use the site to study experience an 8 percent higher pass rate, compared to the national average.
5) Form a discussion group. The questions can be very complex in some of the board exams. Having a small study group can help physicians not only answer the questions, but also opens up the discussion about related information, as well as important tangents.
6) Keep good habits. It is important to get proper sleep and eat nutritiously. This will help people to feel good and be physically and mentally prepared to take the exam.
“Following these tips will give test takers that edge they need to help boost their performance on the exam, as well as reducing the amount of time they need to study by 18 percent,” added Lambert. “Being in the 85 percent who pass, or helping to raise that rate, is not only possible, but it is easily within reach.”
BoardVitals offers 24-hour access to a database of peer-reviewed medical board exam review questions, and people score an average of eight percent higher on their exams by using the board review site for studying. Currently, there are thousands of paying physicians who are using the platform, which is part of First Growth Venture Network and was part of the Blueprint Health Accelerator.
The site allows users to create practice tests and uses advanced statistics that will help people be able to identify where their weaknesses and strengths may lie. They also offer a 100 percent guarantee on the service. All questions in the BoardVitals.com database have been reviewed by experts in the field. The questions, which are aimed at helping people score higher on their board reviews, are accessible by phone, tablet, and computer.
People in a wide variety of medical and health fields are using the site, including those seeking board reviews for practicing physicians, residents, and medical students. It serves those working in the fields of psychiatry, pathology, emergency medical, neurology, pediatrics, cardiology, and family medicine, surgery, among others.