There are a couple of things you need to understand before sitting for this grueling exam.
First, there will be some questions in each block that you will not recognize, so don’t spend forever trying to figure them out. Select your best guess and move on. Some of the questions are research questions that will not count, and maybe that question you’re wasting time on is one of those.
Next, Blocks 7 and 8 are going to be tough. Not only do the questions not get any easier, but during hours 8 and 9 you are going to be mentally drained. It’s important to remember that this is the time when many med students lose focus and perform poorly. This is the most important time to remain focused and take your time. You will make stupid mistakes during these hours answering very simple questions. I highly recommend leaving some break time in between blocks 7 and 8 to clear your mind because this will be a struggle. Take a deep break and move on. It will be easy to fall into a mental trap during this period, but you must snap out of it. If you don’t know an answer, go with your gut and move on.
Finally, make sure you’re well-nourished during the exam to keep up your stamina. Don’t try to power through four or five blocks without a break. Take a break about every two blocks. Don’t consume heavy starchy foods that will put you to sleep. Eat light, slow burning foods like a PB & J. If you’re a coffee drinker, stay caffeinated, if not, stay hydrated. Get some caffeine in before the 7th and 8th blocks to get you to the finish line. If you are prone to tension headaches don’t wait for the headache to come. This is a stressful time, be proactive to make sure the headache never comes.
Good luck to all those sitting for this exam, and I really hope the advice helps.