You’ve probably heard me talking about why PREP questions are NOT the best study questions. Now, let’s look at what PREP questions ARE good for during your preparation for the American Board of Pediatrics initial certification exam:
PRACTICE: The absolute best reason to use PREP questions is for practice. Do NOT confuse practicing test questions with building knowledge.
- PRACTICE TIMING: They are often long and laborious to read, and therefore they allow you to work on your TIMING. Give yourself the same same amount of time you’ll give yourself on the exam. About 1 minute and 15 seconds per question. If you can’t answer it, move on! DISCIPLINE: It takes a great deal of discipline to move through questions at a regular pace. The more often you do it, the more likely this will become a habit for you.
- PRACTICE AVOIDING TRAPS: You have to be able to look for traps and avoid falling into them. PREP does a good job of giving extra and misleading information. The more questions you GET WRONG, the more familiar you will become with the types of traps question writers try to use. Trust me, I’ve written several questions for the ABP.
REINFORCEMENT: This does not mean relearning!
- REVIEW: Do NOT go into all of the details that the PREP ANSWERS have to offer. Focus on understanding the details of the CORRECT answer as well as the details of the answer that YOU chose. Hopefully they were one in the same. Doing this allows you to get a very quick topic review. For the rest of the incorrect answers, either skip the explanations completely, or give them a very quick and disciplined scan. Do NOT waste your time trying to understand every single answer. This is a huge waste of your time. Your time is precious and limited, and it would be MUCH better spent reading the PBR core study guide again… and again.
- TAKE 5: Actually, take about 60 – 90 minutes to break up your study time. Studying for me became almost like a full-time job. There’s a lot of material to get through if you want to learn all of pediatrics. So, it was actually a welcomed break to be able to take about 15 or 20 questions to change the mood for a little while.
Remember, PREP questions are not the best questions to use as your primary Q&A resource for the pediatrics board exam, but they are one component. Click here to read Why PREP Questions are NOT the Best Study Questions.