Ashish Goyal, M.D.
Ashish Goyal, M.D.

Author Archives: Ashish Goyal, M.D.

How Many AAP PREP Questions Should I Do?



I love the American Academy of Pediatrics' PREP series of questions for PRACTICING test-taking skills, but NOT as a substitution for studying for the boards form a board-focused study guide.

The difference can be confusing! That is why it's IMPERATIVE that you understand my thoughts on why PREP questions are NOT the best study questions before you read the rest of this article. The gist is that it's almost impossible for any question bank out there to give you a comprehensive, board-focused review of what you need to know for the pediatric boards. Therefore, you should focus on one, primary study resource for the CONTENT, and then use question banks for PRACTICE of board-style questions.


Where does the real value lie in PREP questions as they relate to your preparation for the American Board of Pediatrics initial certification exam or MOC exam? Or perhaps a better would aim to address that misperception that you “must” go through PREP questions in order to pass the boards.

While I do feel that they are the BEST pediatric board review questions to simulate the boards, I also believe that ANY pediatric board review question bank will help you PRACTICE your test-taking techniques.


I also believe that you SHOULD use other question banks to practice your skills as a test-taker so that you can gain exposure to a VARIETY of question styles and question-writers. The ABP's questions were not developed by one person. They have been slowly created over decades by MANY questions-writers, including myself.

Dr. Robin Scott, a PBR Alum, summed it up VERY WELL in her message below.

I did not look at PREP at all. I passed the 2013 exam after multiple prior attempts by reading PBR, taking the [Test-Taking Strategies] course and practicing hundreds of questions (from Board Vitals). I used questions just for practice, not for content. I asked Ashish about using other sources outside of PBR; I wanted to study/memorize all of MedStudy pediatrics. He dissuaded me. I was skeptical, but I had nothing to lose so I did what he recommended. That's my story, and I'm here to say it worked!”

– Dr. Robin Scott


Again, PRACTICE is the absolute best reason to use any board-style prep questions. You must NOT confuse practicing test questions with building knowledge, but since we all have a desire to review the answers (discussed more in detail below), this particular series of questions is probably the BEST pediatric question bank you could use. The AAP's questions have likely been vetted to the nth degree, and you can usually be sure that the correct answer is in fact correct. They also seem to be a good mix of short and long questions.

  • PRACTICE TIMING: Since the questions are often LONG, they are perfect for allowing 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. Once you have broken down and “processed the question” to the best of your abilities, if you still can't narrow down your search to a single answer then GUESS, MARK IT, an GO on to the next question!
  • PRACTICE 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. You must get comfortable with the idea of processing questions in a systematic manner so that you always have an endpoint to the question in front of you. Getting to that realization is CRITICAL in allowing you calmly move on to the next question without frustration and anxiety.
  • PRACTICE AVOIDING TRAPS: You have to be able to look for Click Here And Continue Reading…

Answer: Can You Name This Uniform Pediatric Dermatology Rash?

QUESTION: Can you name this rash?

CLUES: It might be described as a rash on the extensor surfaces, uniform in color without central clearing. It can scale, ooze and/or crust.

ANSWER: Find it below the image.


NUMMULAR ECZEMA: Coin-shaped eczematous lesions usually on the EXTENSOR SURFACE of extremities. As mentioned, lesions are uniform, without any central clearing and may ooze, crust or scale. Treat with steroids.

PEDIATRIC MNEMONICS: Click Here And Continue Reading…

Pediatrics Board Review: A Resource for Pediatric Residents and Pediatricians

  • Are you a pediatric resident?
  • Are you a pediatrician?
  • Have you failed the pediatric boards?

I've really been surprised at how many orders have been placed from pediatricians in the United Kingdom (UK) and Asia.

But, who is PBR written for? Well, the goal for PBR is to help anyone studying for their pediatric boards. It's a course written for pediatric residents and new pediatricians who are going to be taking the American Board of Pediatrics Initial Certification Exam.

  • ARE YOU A PEDIATRICS RESIDENT? I firmly believe that PBR would have saved me hundreds of hours of grief during my peds residency. It also could have helped me do well on my in-service exams so that I wouldn't have to have the walk of shame out of my program director's office each year. It's concise, includes tons of memory aids, exam pearls and it covers the highest yield information you'll be expected to know for the boards, and in residency. I wish I had it as an intern, so I've made sure that even pediatric interns can benefit from the 100% money back pass guarantee. Buy it now, use it in residency, and take your boards. Even if you're in a combined program, take your exam within 5 years of purchasing the study guide I'll still guarantee that you will PASS on the ABP exam for 5 years. The longer you have a good study guide, the more familiar you'll be with it, and so of course you will pass!

AAP PREP QUESTIONS – Learn How You SHOULD (and Should NOT) Use Them!



I often get asked, “What makes your pediatric study guide better than prep questions?” By “prep questions,” Regardless of whether pediatricians are referring to the questions released by the American Academy of Pediatrics every year (called PREP(R)),  or general board “prep” questions, my answer is the same (read on).

I also get asked, “I have 3 years worth of PREP questions of my own, and my chief resident gave me another 4 years worth. Is that enough? How many questions should I do?”

Shhhh it's a secret!


So here's the “secret” about the AAP PREP questions as they relate to the peds boards… they are NOT written by the American BOARD of Pediatrics (ABP). They are written by the American ACADEMY of Pediatrics (AAP). The names of these organizations are so similar (American ______ Pediatrics), that MANY pediatricians believe that they are one and the same.

THEY ARE NOT! But, the AAP's annual question series has somehow become the “go to” Q&A resources for the peds boards.

Many pediatricians also try to use it EXCLUSIVELY as their only source of study for the boards. I'm baffled by this. While PREP is a GREAT resource for anyone who is a board-certified pediatrician looking for CME, or for any NON-board certified pediatrician trying to simulate an ABP practice session, these questions should NOT be used as Click Here And Continue Reading…

Welcome to Pediatrics Board Review!

Ashish Goyal, MDHi! My name is Ashish Goyal, and I'm really excited to work with you as you prepare to pass the initial certification exam given by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). I created Pediatrics Board Review (PBR) to do one thing… help pediatricians and pediatric residents pass the boards on their FIRST try. PBR is a blog, a study guide, a social media study tool, and best of all, it's a community that you rely on for all of your pediatric questions.

I've heard so many stories about pediatricians failing the boards up to 3 times, and it's horrifying. THERE'S NO REASON THE AVERAGE PEDIATRICIAN CAN'T PASS! Trust me… I didn't do so well the first time, but I'm an average guy with an average brain, and I ended up passing the pediatric boards by  130 points.  Click Here And Continue Reading…

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