Just knowing these will be worth several extra questions answered correctly. How important are sample questions and practice exams? Generally speaking, doing practice questions and exams is definitely helpful for many reasons: it directs your emphasis towards certain topics, identifies your strengths and weaknesses, and gets you in the right frame-of-mind for taking this exam.
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Many people have found it helpful to do questions each night to review the subjects they studied earlier in the day. As the test day approaches, it is probably a good idea to take some longer test blocks back to back to build up your mental stamina for test day. It is favored for providing a good simulation of a computer based test CBT and for having a comprehensive database of questions.
Appleton & Lange Review of Pharmacy by Gary D. Hall
There are also review books out there with practice exams, but none of them are exactly on par with the actual Step 1. A disc containing a sample test is sent with your confirmation packet, and though reportedly slightly less challenging than the actual Step 1, it is also very useful in preparing you for the computer format.
Regardless of how you approach it, practice questions of the proper caliber will be a big help in your review, especially in regard to timing and mental endurance. Also, if you count yourself among the computer-phobic, it may be wise to get some other computer testing resources just to get used to reading off a screen rather than a book.
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- Appleton & Lange Review of Pharmacy by Gary D. Hall.
How has computer testing changed the exam? Many people have wondered about how administering the test on computers at Sylvan Learning Centers has changed the boards experience. Though there was much concern among students about the transition from paper to computer, there have been few complaints about the computer format.
In fact, many find it much easier to point and click than to fiddle with finding the answer booklet and filling in the bubble. For those of you who like to circle every word in the question or cross off every wrong answer choice, you will be given a dry erase board, though you may be surprised at how readily you adjust to life without a pencil. There are also relatively easy mechanisms to review unanswered questions or to mark a question to which you want to return, and you should familiarize yourself with these beforehand by using the CD practice test and tutorial you will get in the mail.
If you have had little experience with computers, it would probably be a good idea to use computer based testing resources in your studying so as to familiarize yourself with the basics of answering questions on the computer. Also, as mentioned already, the CD that comes with your packet mirrors the format of the exam and will help you be more comfortable as you approach the test.
Pharmacy: 1000 Questions & Answers (A & L's Quick Review)
For the motivated or concerned among you, it is also possible to schedule a practice exam at the Sylvan Centers. What is the testing day like? There is no denying the fact that the testing day is long. Just be sure to remind yourself that it used to be two days!!
There are seven one-hour blocks of 50 questions, and you are allotted eight hours to complete the test. In addition to the exam blocks, your test experience begins with a 15 minute computer tutorial. However, this is identical to the one on the CD sent in your packet, so it is best to skip it on test day and take the 15 minutes as break time. If you do this, you begin with 1 hour of break time, which you are able to take between sections at any point during the day.
Some people complete a couple of sections at a time and then take a prolonged break, while others choose to take a 5 minute break at the end of each section. You can always access a screen on the computer which tells you your total time remaining both for your current section and for the test day as well as how many sections you have left, so time management is not a major issue as long as you pay attention. There are tons of review books and sample test question books available for your preparation but money and time are two factors you must consider.
Do not stick to one series of review books because you like the format — in every series, there are good books and bad books, and the best strategy is to use the best books from each series as appropriate. Le, and Arnin We have listed only one reference in this section because this is the best single comprehensive reference for the boards. The book is separated into three sections: the guide to efficient exam preparation, database of high-yield facts, and database of basic science review books. The book was written by med students and continues to be updated every year by med students.
First Aid will answer all your picky questions about the exam of questions, time per question, scoring, etc. The high-yield section is very handy and is a great review of all the topics.
Reading this section over for the second or third time days before the exam will definitely score you some points. We recommend you use it as a supplement in your study effort. While no one book works for everybody, this book consistently receives the best reviews from students who have taken the boards.
First Aid has no sample questions so other references are needed as well. Strong sections: Micro, Pharm and Behavioral Sciences. Many people also add important facts in the margins as they study subjects so that during the final few days First Aid becomes the only thing you need to read. Bottom line: this book should become your best friend for the few weeks leading up to the exam, however it is not recommended as a stand- alone reference. It does the high-yield approach by organ system, rather than the by-discipline approach of First Aid. Great organization, but has too many errors.
Good as a supplement if you like the style.
All books have a similar outline format, lots of charts, sample USMLE-style questions with annotated answers, and a comprehensive exam. These are not textbooks; they are intended for review. Appleton-Lange Series: Included in this series are an excellent review book for microbiology and immunology Levinson and Jawetz and a pharmacology review book that is the companion to your text Katzung and Trevor. The formats vary.
Appleton & Lange Review of Pharmacology
Both the microbiology and pharmacology books have excellent cases and sample questions. There is much more information and detail, with a "dense" format that makes them rather formidable. Ridiculously Simple: 6. Minimalist approach as the name suggests with silly, but helpful, mnemonics.
Biochemistry is popular as a textbook; it is well-written and well-illustrated, but long for board review. Pharmacology also is excellent to use as a text, but long for a step 1 review book. These books distill the content to an irreducible minimum. No indices, no questions. You can use this to your advantage by spending more time on other topics.
(ebook) Appleton & Lange Review of Pharmacy (Book)
Stay away from Chung and Moore. BRS Gross is much too long for board review. You must have a neuroanatomy review book in addition to First Aid. Neuroanatomy is much too long for board review. We strongly suggest you review your neuroanatomy before Brainard's review session: it is a great session but don't worry if it scares you--it scared all of us.
There are a fair amount of neuroanatomy questions. Make sure you have a decent understanding of the main topics in biostats. Biochemistry is a topic that is easily forgotten by the time boards roll around. Going back over all the major metabolic pathways will take time. Choose between Lippincott's and BRS. Both have too much depth and detail. High Yield Biochemistry has a concise, no-fat approach; We recommend it only for those with a very strong background in biochemistry. Costanzo does an excellent job summarizing a topic that is high-yield on the boards. You will do well on this subject if you review physiology with the ICM portion of your second year courses; this is essential for doing well in the courses and on USMLE.
If you have a firm understanding of everything in the book you will definitely score solid points on the exam. The book is reader friendly and has great clinical correlations that briefly go over ICM topics. By May, you should have been through a review of physiology at least once. Know this book COLD! It is important to choose a reference that has brief and concise descriptions of all the microbes so you don't waste your valuable time.
High-Yield Immunology is a fairly quick read and covers most of the high points for the exam. Levinson and Jawetz has a great section called "Brief Summaries of Medically Relevant Organisms" and a must-read page section on immunology. You want a reference that doesn't waste your time but gets to the point as this topic is high-yield on the USMLE step 1.
Tables, outlines and index cards are very helpful in studying for pharm.
Related Appleton & Lange Review of Pharmacology (Appleton & Lange Review Book Series)
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