Aiming for a 99: Importance of the Learning Phase

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usmle 99 score

Normally if you are a fresh graduate or third year medical student, you can skip the learning phase and proceed directly to mastery phase. While it is imperative for old graduates to go through a formal learning phase.

The exception is if you are aiming for a 99, then you need a formal learning phase. The reason is that to insure you get a 99, it is important that you have no weak points. Normally a fresh grad or third year medical student has retained enough concepts that they could pass this exam with just a short prep. But if you are aiming for a 99, the concepts you have retained from past studies may not be enough. And you may need to do a formal learning phase to make sure you understood all the topics that will come out in the exam, not just most of it.

However, it is possible to have a shorter learning phase than old graduates have to go through, as it is most probable that you still remember a significant number of the concepts tested in the exam. Therefore, if you are aiming for a 99, the extra effort can pay off in a higher score in the end.

 

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One thought on “Aiming for a 99: Importance of the Learning Phase

  • October 22, 2012 at 7:49 pm
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    Dear Mike,
    Thank you again for your book (I just posted a review on amazon).
    One question (probably not the last!) I’m an old IMG who didn’t do as well as I wanted in french med school (health issues).
    I’m now super motivated and ordering the books for my learning phase, and I wanted to take you up on the offer of asking for your opinion on books.
    Anatomy (for learning) and Physio are the only two subjects where I’m unsure which book to get. Yet since they’re the starting point I don’t want to screw up.
    1. “gray’s anatomy : the anatomical basis of clinical practice”: has clinical aspects, but is 1500 pages.
    2. “Gray’s anatomy for students” : has a lot of clinical paragrafs would probably be my choice but it’s reviewed as poor on the head and neck (and neuroanatomy is a important). Also long (1100 pages).
    3. “Gray’s anatomy”: seems (i can’t compare for a given item) more precise as the other two, but less clinical, and very very tedious a read.
    Which one should I get? I suppose you were talking about the 3rd one?

    Thank you so very much,
    Ariane

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