Month: April 2016

Fully Understanding USMLE Exam Questions

Many of those who have trouble with the USMLE are obsessed with “getting the right answer”. This focus is misplaced. An excessive focus on the answer misses an essential point. The key to getting the right answer is to be found in the question. The question stem presents the essential problem...


The USMLE Exam is Not about Memorization

One of the most common questions I hear when advising people preparing for the USMLE is how to memorize and remember all the details required for their exam.  The short answer is that if you are at the level of memorizing, you are simply not ready to take any of the Steps of the USMLE. Yes, the...


Becoming a Physician

Students excel by memorizing information and being able to recall that information in the right circumstance. The best students are the ones who can remember the most facts. On a multiple-choice exam, students make their choices based on what they can remember. Physicians excel based on their...


Time Management Tips for the USMLE Exam

“If only I had more time,” is a common lament of students as they walk out of the USMLE. The simple fact is the USMLE is a timed test. And time matters. No, time by itself does not determine your score. But the time limits that govern each exam provides a constraint that restricts your potential...


What to Focus on During USMLE Review

The key to successful exam preparation lies not in what you study, but in what you choose to ignore. If you try to learn everything—every little detail, every little fact, you will not succeed, there is simply too much material to master in too short an amount of time. A better system is to use...


Answering Based on Fear vs. Confidence

Many people preach that the goal of the student during the exam should be to be calm and as emotionless as possible. Many people will tell you that during the exam, emotions are a stumbling block. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that the exam will evoke strong emotions. Making...


Understanding How Emotions Impact Answering USMLE Questions

The Emotion of Choices All choices involve emotion. The inner sense you have that one option is better than another is the result of the emotional coloration, or valence, you give to each option. Options which trigger our most positive reactions are the ones we end up choosing. A strong positive...


Combining Content In Context for the USMLE

The thought processes required on the USMLE are different than those required on most medical school exams. The content you need to know is the same. But the way you need to think about that content, and how you will use that content in your exam, requires some mental reprogramming. On medical...


Understanding Versus Knowing

A truckload of bricks and a stack of lumber may contain everything you need to construct a house, but you will never have a house you can live in until they are all assembled in the right order. In the same vein, a pile of books may contain everything you need to prepare for your USMLE, but you are...


USMLE Problem Solving Strategies Review

The USMLE is not only testing your content knowledge, but also your ability to problem-solve on your feet. Success on the USMLE depends on identifying issues and thinking clearly. Yes, you must have memorized essential content. But, the exam wants more from you than a demonstration of what you have...


AICPA 2017 CPA Exam Changes

Thanks for joining in everyone! In this brief video I break down the latest and final changes on the 2017 CPA Exam from the AICPA. For more information than this brief overview, be sure to tune into my free webinar on 4/13 which discusses all the changes in detail and how they will affect you....