I have FINALLY finished Level 1 of the boards. I still haven’t received my score, but I already know that there are some things that I wish I would have done differently. Although I can’t attest to how it would have changed my score… I definitely know that changing these things would have made my dedicated study period a lot easier and less stressful.
The first thing that I wish I would have done is focused more on the physiology and biochemistry during my systems courses. I definitely learned it… and did well in my courses… but really focusing in on these two specific disciplines would have helped me out a lot. Studying for tests is a lot different than studying for boards. The boards don’t ask simple easy questions. All of them are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order questions. This requires a strong background in physiology and biochemistry in order to answer the questions correctly.
The other thing that I wish I would’ve done is really learned the material before doing a ton of practice questions. First of all, practice questions do help you learn, so definitely use them as a learning tool. However, I felt like I wasted a lot of questions by doing them before I really understood all of the material. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have done as many questions if I didn’t start doing them as early as I did. It is hard to say which method would have been better, but looking back I wish I would’ve saved some of the questions that I was doing early on.