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A Pediatric Board Study Schedule with Step-By-Step Instructions

Why You DO Need A Study Schedule for the Pediatric Boards

Calendar for the Pediatric Board Study Schedule

Introduction

Developing an effective Pediatric Board Study Schedule is crucial for success in the pediatric boards. In this article, we'll outline a comprehensive strategy tailored to your needs, whether you're juggling a busy practice or an unpredictable fellowship schedule.

I often get asked questions along the lines of…

Can you give me a general pediatric board study schedule?”

I'm in practice and very busy. Can you provide me with a pediatric board study plan that's going to work for me?

Can you provide a pediatric board study schedule for those of us with an erratic schedule because we're in fellowship?

The answer to all of these questions is “yes.” But, when you’re preparing for your pediatric board exam, the most essential first step is to map out a dedicated amount of time for your studying based on your personal availability and the recommendations in this article. If you are a first-time test taker, and you:

  • Graduated from a US medical school
  • Have done well on prior board exams
  • Scored above 222 on the USMLE Step 1
  • Come from a residency program with a high passing rate, and
  • Have done well on your most recent In-Training Exam

Then you are likely at low risk for failing the pediatric boards, and this is the study plan for you! For low-risk test-takers, I recommend finding a MINIMUM of 300 hours to block out in your schedule, with plans to go through your Pediatrics Board Review material at least THREE times.

Click Here Now & Go Through the Full PBR Risk Calculator

Pediatric Board Personalized Study Schedule

Please remember, though, that a schedule is only as valuable as your DETERMINATION to follow it. In this article, I break down those 300 hours into a manageable, concrete schedule that you can use to guide your studies and PASS the pediatric boards.

Pediatric Board Study Schedule 300 Study Hours

Since it’s impossible for me to know exactly what your commitments are, what I’ve tried to do below is map out 14 weeks of study time based on the goal of studying approximately 300 hours.

Even if you do not agree with everything I recommend, keep reading to get some ideas that you can incorporate into your own board preparation plan. At the end of this article, I also share some pearls of wisdom to help you manage all of the study time that will be needed to pass your boards!

What If I'm at “Moderate to High Risk” of Failing the Pediatric Boards?

If the risk calculator helped you realize that you are at moderate or high risk for failing the boards, don’t worry! I've created a 16-week study schedule to help you succeed on the boards! The recommendations in the other article are tailored towards graduates who were told that they were “at risk” of failing the boards based on their in-training exam scores, and those who have already failed the boards at least once.

What Should I Review to Pass the Pediatric Boards?

In this article, we will reference PBR’s core content for the studying resources, which refers to the PBR’s Course Study Guide and PBR’s Q&A book. We strongly recommend that you review your board materials using a multimodal approach. Doing so has proven to increase learning retention. The different modalities should be congruent; they should all work well with each other to reinforce your knowledge base. This strategy has helped thousands of pediatricians pass the boards – from first-time test takers to those who have failed up to 7 times.

While these two books are what we use in this study schedule, the most common bundles that our members use are the All Access Pass and the No Brainer. The All Access Pass includes:

  • PBR’s Core Study Guide (Hardcopy and Online Editions)
  • PBR’s Question & Answer Book (Hardcopy and Online Editions)
  • Virtual Atlas of Pediatric Picture (Online and PDF Editions)
  • Audio Course (Streaming and Downloadable Editions)
  • Online Video Course
  • Live Summertime Q&A Webinars
  • And more…

The No Brainer includes everything in the All Access Pass, but it also includes:

  • PBR's Full Online Test-Taking Strategies Course
  • Personalized Study Schedule creation services by Team PBR (up to 3 schedules)

Click here to get the full pediatric Dermatology and pediatric Gastroenterology Chapters From THIS YEAR's Edition of the PBR. “Try Before You Buy!”

Download the Pediatric Dermatology and Gastroenterology Chapters Now

A Pediatric Board Study Schedule For First-Time Test Takers

Pediatric Board Study Schedule for Success Ahead

This comprehensive pediatric board exam study plan is based on committing to an average of 23 hours of studying per week. If you follow the schedule below, you will go through the PBR materials three times, and answer over 500 practice questions. If you stick to the plan, you’ll be done in 14 weeks or LESS (based on your personal life commitments).

A successful study schedule is comprised of both learning and application. Which is why this article will focus on helping you go through the PBR materials and practice questions. I usually recommend AAP PREP ® questions. Below you’ll find a guide that breaks down how you should consider spending your time.

When you go through AAP PREP ® questions (I recommend going through about 3 years of questions), you should NEVER get bogged down with any individual question. Those questions should only be used for practice as I’ve mentioned in the article titled “How Many AAP PREP Questions Should I Do?

Spend a maximum of 5 minutes on each question. That's 75 seconds to answer each question, and then no more than 3.5 minutes to review each answer. That comes out to about 40 hours of practicing questions. Approximately 240 hours will be spent going through PBR's “core content,” with 20 hours of buffer time to account for additional content review, additional questions, and even mock exams.

What If My Board Exam Is Less Than 8 Weeks Away?

If you have less than 8 weeks, it is still possible to use this schedule. Think of the study schedule as a guide. This outline was created based on the assumption that most people would begin studying at least 14 weeks prior to test day.

If your exam is less than 8 weeks away and you have just started your board preparation, then you will need to study approximately 37 hours per week in order to reach the 300 hours mentioned. We've helped pediatricians pass their board exams even when they waited until the last 4-6 weeks to study! But you must be committed to adjusting your personal and professional obligations in order to put the time in.

And if you need some additional help to stay on track, visit the Discord Channel and find an accountability partner! Or, reach out to Team PBR to see if we are currently offering our Personalized Study Schedule creation service.

Highlighter Study Tip for Passing the Boards

One final tip before you dig into the schedule! This is a great highlighter trick that I teach my PBR members as a focus tool. If you can master this, you will have a more efficient board preparation experience.

For each round of the material, you highlight (or underline) only the areas you are interested in reviewing again. If it feels like you know a topic well enough to recall it on the day of the exam, don’t highlight it.

First, start with your lightest color. Then, with each read through thereafter, use a slightly darker color to highlight sections that you want to review again.

Here are my suggested colors to highlight with each read:1st Round: Pale Yellow2nd Round: Pale Pink3rd Round: Pale Orange

For your first pass, you may end up highlighting 80% or more of the book in yellow. By the time you start your 3rd pass, you should only have to read the areas you highlighted in pink, which could be as little as 30% of the books. In your final weeks, you can focus on just the areas that you highlighted in orange and go through that material again and again.

This will allow you to curate your studying to focus only on items you DON’T understand, as opposed to continually spending time on topics you understand well.

Now let's get started with more details on each week of this 14-week study schedule!

PEDIARTRIC BOARD STUDY SCHEDULE: WEEK #1 – WEEK #6

These first six weeks are all about getting a deep understanding of the materials. Go through PBR’s core content (the Core Study Guide and the PBR Q&A book) at a pace of 18 minutes per page.  Take 6 weeks to do so and allot 120 hours in your study schedule for this (20 hours each week).

Cross-check facts, create mnemonics, and make notes in the margins so that you never have to go outside of PBR for additional knowledge or clarifications, and pay close attention to challenging areas. Aim for an average of 18 minutes per page within the two PBR books.

Break up your studying with an average of 5 AAP PREP ® questions per day as directed by PBR. Aim for 5 min per question (including the review of the answer). Over these six weeks, you should complete 210 questions. Questions will take about 3 hours of your time each week.

Listen to your audio board review course EVERYWHERE. Listen during your commutes, listen at the gym, and even listen in the shower. Save the video course for later.

Free Video Training for Pediatric Board Style Questions

PEDIATRIC BOARD STUDY SCHEDULE: WEEK #7 – WEEK #10

Since you have gone through the material in painstaking detail once, this round will be much faster! At most, you will need about 80 hours over the course of these next four weeks to go through your core content. Aim for an average of 12 minutes per page as you go through the PBR core content and try to only highlight/underline areas that you think will need more review and repetition.

Break up your studying with an average of 5 AAP PREP ® questions per day as directed by PBR. Aim for a maximum of 5 min per question, including the review of the answer. By the end of week 10, you will have completed a total of 350 questions in 12 hours (3 hours per week).

Since you will need 80 hours to review the core content and 12 hours spent practicing questions, you will again need to block off 23 hours per week (92 hours divided by 4 weeks is 23 hours/week). Again, listen to your audio board review course EVERYWHERE. You can choose to build in the Online Video Course during this round, or the next (it follows our core content almost EXACTLY).

PEDIATRIC BOARD STUDY SCHEDULE: WEEK #11 – WEEK #14

The Final Round of Core Content Review

Stick to the schedule and stay disciplined! You should now have a strong foundation of pediatric knowledge and your goal for these four weeks should be to complete your last round of PBR's core content. This final round of review should focus on helping you refresh your memory of familiar topics, and finally cement your knowledge of the difficult ones. For this reason, I recommend that you rely on the Online Video Course heavily during this time.

The Online Video Course is approximately 26 hours long and it covers the core content at a pace of approximately 4 minutes per page. This schedule has budgeted an additional 6 minutes per page for this final round so that you can use the Online Video Course with your Core Study Guide. So pause where needed, and take your time.

To be clear, you must read along in your hardcopy books as you watch the videos in order to count this as one of your 3 rounds of review. This multimodal way of preparing will ensure that you:

  • See the highlighted content that you struggle with most
  • See the slides in the videos
  • Hear a board-certified pediatrician teach you the material that you've been reviewing for 10 weeks, but in a slightly different way
  • Force you to review 100% of the content, including anything that you think you know very well and might have otherwise skipped during this crucial time leading up to the boards. And, this system will ensure that you…
  • Pass.

Maximizing Final Study Days

Continue to actively read through the core content (take notes, make mnemonics, and continue to highlight using the above strategy). It's quite possible that you will have additional time to study in the final few days before the exam. If so, the content that you highlight during this round (in orange) will be the sole focus of your attention in those final days, and that content will be extremely beneficial for you. It's likely the material that you would otherwise struggle with on the exam.

Make SURE you know the PBR Core Study Guide and the PBR Q&A book inside and out. I simply can't stress this enough because this will be the key to your success! And if you are still uncomfortable with your knowledge base, then it's time to focus on “core pediatrics” that has not changed in the past 10 years.

Practicing Questions In the Final Weeks

The amount of time that you spend on questions during your 14-weeks of preparation can vary quite a bit. Understanding how to fully process a board-style question is a skill. Once you have mastered your test-taking technique, you only need to maintain that skill.

So if you feel like you're now an excellent test-taker, then you may only need to do a handful of questions per week in order to maintain your skill. But if you are still working on improving your test-taking strategy, you'll need to continue practicing questions daily.

When practicing questions, aim for a maximum of 5 minutes per question including the review of the answer. At this pointconsider batching questions and doing at least 40 questions in a single sitting per week. Keep in mind that each block in the ABP Initial Certification exam contains over 80 questions, and that you should pace yourself at a pace of 75 seconds per question when answering the question. The remaining time of approximately 3 minutes and 45 seconds per question should be used to review the answers.

Where Do I Go If I Need Help?

The PBR system is designed to ensure that you do not have to do this alone. During this entire experience, you will have multiple ways of getting help.

  1. Reach out to fellow members of the PBR community in our private Discord channel with any questions or trouble spots. It's an extremely supportive area, and it's for members only.
  2. Reach out to our content experts using our ASK THE EXPERT! buttons within the Online Video Course and get your questions answered during our live, summertime Q&A webinars.
  3. Reach out to the PBR editor (and me) by submitting a content error, or a request for content clarification, through our dedicated page for error submissions.
  4. And if you're just confused about how to move forward, just email me and I'll see if I can point you in the right direction.

The system created by PBR is meant to provide you with a streamlined and supportive approach as you prepare for a very challenging exam. If you follow the advice in this article, you shouldn't need any outside resources to support your knowledge base.

Setting Up Your Pediatric Board Mock Exams

While studying is a crucial part of passing the boards, getting familiar with the test environment is just as important. That’s why I recommend that moderate to high risk test-takers go through at least two pediatric half mock exams before the actual test; one 6-8 weeks prior, the other 4-6 weeks prior. A mock exam allows you to not only test your knowledge thus far, but it also gives you a good understanding of how the very long day of testing will go.

Here are a few key tips to keep in mind if you decide to setup a mock exam:

  • Use multiple question banks. Several people write questions for the boards, meaning every question has a different personality to it (I would know, as I have written some for the ABP). Getting familiar with the many different ways questions can be written ensures that you will not get blind-sided on test day!
  • Recognize that taking a mock exam is about much more than your score. It’s about understanding the challenges and barriers that come with a very long day, and then optimizing your behaviors to ensure that you are the best version of yourself from the beginning to the end. Start working on your test day habits now, and replicate them on test day!
  • If you need help setting up a mock exam, be sure to read our article on the exam structure of the ABP Initial Certification exam so that you can create a mock exam of your own.

You're Almost Done!

By the end of this 14-week study guide, you will have gone through 300 hours of board preparation. All by simply scheduling 23 hours of study time per week. If you are at low risk of failing the pediatric boards and you were able to push through and make the above happen, I have a Money Back First-Time Pass Guarantee that says that you will pass the pediatric boards.

At the end of the day, YOU must be the one to have the commitment and self-discipline. But, I can GUARANTEE that if you follow the study schedule outlined above, and couple it with a strong focus on test-taking strategy, you'll put yourself in an excellent position to pass the pediatric board exam.

By the way, if you are not a PBR member yet, then what are you waiting for?

The No Brainer package is the most common bundle used by our members to prepare for, and pass, the Initial Certification Exam. It provides you with a comprehensive and multimodal approach to studying. It also includes three 90-Day Personalized Schedules created by Team PBR and our Full Online Test-Taking Strategies Course.

Here is a list of everything you get in this very inexpensive bundle:

PBR’s Core Study Guide (Hardcopy and Online Editions)

PBR’s Question & Answer Book (Hardcopy and Online Editions)

Virtual Atlas of Pediatric Picture (Online and PDF Editions)

Audio Course (Streaming and Downloadable Editions)

Online Video Course

Live Summertime Q&A Webinars

Three 90-Day Personalized Schedules Created for You by Team PBR

PBR's Full Online Test-Taking Strategies Course

And more…

Pass the pediatric boards on your FIRST TRY.

Click here now and learn more about the No Brainer and our other proven products.

Pediatric Board Study Schedule with PBR's No Brainer Bundle

Are you still unsure? Download the entire Table of Contents, the PBR Roadmap to Success and the PBR Memory Pegs chapter absolutely free! Click HERE and download.

Failed Pediatric Boards? Find Success with Our Blueprint

If You Failed the Pediatric Boards, It’s Time to Study Smarter (Not Harder)

Failed Pediatric Boards? Follow our blueprint for successA failed pediatric boards attempt is devastating. Although I'm now the author of the Pediatrics Board Review (PBR) study guides, I failed the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) initial certification exam the first time I took the boards. I know what you're thinking, but before you throw yourself back into the depths of studying, here are two things you need to understand:

  1. Failing the boards doesn’t make you a bad pediatrician.
  1. Passing the pediatric boards will have more to do with having a comprehensive strategy than studying harder.

After failing the pediatric boards, your chances of passing decline by almost 50%. Having helped pediatricians pass the boards after as many as NINE prior failed attempts, I'm confident that you can increase your chances of passing with an effective study schedule and the right study guides in place.

What Do My Pediatric Board Results Mean?

There are a number of factors that led to your pediatric board examination results being less than 180. It could be due to 1 factor or it could be due to 10 factors. Meaning, that if you are only focusing on the board scores in isolation, you are likely to repeat your mistakes and fail again in the board exams. While you're familiar with some of the factors that can lead to success on your pediatric board exam, there are many that you probably haven't considered.

One important factor is creating a study schedule to ensure you cover all the necessary material. By following a study schedule, you can increase your chances of achieving high scores on your exam. These scores will play a crucial role in shaping your future as a pediatrician. Before you begin studying, consider all of the factors that could have led to your failure and strategize around them to create a comprehensive pediatric boards study plan.

Success Factors Related to Passing the ABP's Pediatric Exam

  • Tailoring your study schedule is crucial for achieving high examination scores. Personalized preparation, with the guidance of mentors, can help mitigate the risk of failing the boards
  • The pass rate of your pediatrics residency program is directly linked to the risk of failing your examination board scores
  • Your USMLE Step 1 pass/fail scores in med school are related to your personal risk of failing
  • Your in-training exam scores are related to your personal risk of failing
  • Repetition of study content breeds reinforcement of difficult concepts
  • Your available time and the density of your study materials will impact your ability to have repetition, which can greatly improve your scores
  • Studying from multiple resources prevents repetition of your core resource and helps improve your understanding and scores
  • Board review questions should be used to assess your test-taking strategy, not build knowledge
  • Study sessions should be long and uninterrupted
  • Multimodal studying at key points of your board preparation is crucial
  • The ABP Content Outline and prior ABP score reports should not be the basis of your study plan
  • Sleep hygiene should be excellent
  • Personal, professional, and social obligations must be limited
  • Distractions must be eliminated in order to have a “Deep Study”
  • The time of day, when you study, is critical
  • Abortive techniques for test-taking anxiety require practice
  • Investment of time, energy, and money into success factors is required to pass

Study Schedule for Repeat Board Exam Test-Takers

Personalized Study Schedule for Board Success

This article outlines a detailed schedule that will help you pass the boards if you have failed the pediatric boards. Specifically, how to do so with materials that will help you (not fail you) during your next pediatric board exam. Remember, there are 3 pillars to passing the pediatric boards: Content, Test-Taking Strategy, and Commitment. Your failure(s) on the boards may have been due to a lack of knowledge or a lack of test-taking strategy. For most people reading this, failure was a result of a combination of both. For many, the commitment to spend the time, energy, and money to help secure the pediatric knowledge and test-taking strategy needed to pass the exam was also a major contributor.

The 16-week schedule provided below will give you the pediatric knowledge that you need to pass the boards. For help with test-taking strategy, poor attention to detail, falling for traps on the board exam, challenges with pacing, and problems attaining high-quality studying, the PBR article on test-taking strategy is a must read.

Throughout this study schedule, you’ll find references to the AAP PREP® series of questions. Note that while those questions are well-structured and thorough, you should use multiple question banks this year. Use each question to help you develop, or refine, your test-taking strategy. Do not use questions as a source of study material. You can learn much more about this recommendation in a PBR article on how to best use the AAP PREP® questions.

If you are a first-time test-taker, and you consider yourself a good test-taker, you have done well on prior board exams, and you come from a residency program with a high pass rate, then this schedule isn’t right for you. Read the PBR article discussing a less rigorous 14-week study schedule for first-time test-takers.

THE “ASHISH GOYAL” HIGHLIGHTER TRICK

Highlights of the 2023 Pediatrics Board Review Edition Before you dive into studying, it's important to understand how to best use a highlighter to increase your efficiency as you go through the schedule. As a high-risk test-taker, you should aim to repeat your core material (the PBR Core Study Guide and the PBR Q&A Book) at least 5 times. With a little help, this is absolutely doable.

For each round of the material, highlight (or underline) only the areas you are interested in reviewing again. If you believe that you know something well enough to recall it on the day of the exam, don’t highlight it. If you believe you need to review at least 1 more time, highlight it.

How using different colors can aid in information retention and organization

For the first round, use a light-colored highlighter. In subsequent readings, switch to a slightly darker shade each time and focus only on the content highlighted in the latest round. If it wasn't highlighted in the latest round, skip it. There's no need to revisit familiar material and waste precious study time at this point in the process. In one of your later rounds of going through the material, you should skim through any information that has not been highlighted in the latest round.

For my highly successful second attempt at the boards, I used these colors during each study pass:

  1. Pale Yellow
  2. Pale Pink
  3. Pale Orange
  4. Pale Green
  5. Pale Blue

On your first pass, you might highlight up to 80% of the book in yellow. That's normal. By the 5th pass, you might only need to review 20%-30% of the content marked in green. In the final weeks, focus only on the blue-highlighted areas and go through those sections as many times as possible before the exam. This approach will help you curate your study sessions to concentrate on areas that are specific challenges for you, rather than wasting time reviewing familiar topics.

16-WEEK PEDIATRIC BOARDS STUDY PLAN OVERVIEW

This comprehensive study schedule includes both PBR books (Core Study Guide and Q&A Book) and AAP PREP ® questions. Set aside 500 hours to go through approximately 440 pages of core content and over 700 practice questions. Here’s the schedule breakdown:

  • Weeks 1-4: First round through the core content
  • Weeks 5-10: Second round
  • Weeks 11-14: Third and fourth rounds +/- practice exams (aka mock exams)
  • Weeks 15-16: Fifth round +/- a mock exam

As a repeat test-taker, the key to your success will be to read the PBR material at least FIVE times to establish familiarity, identify patterns in the material, and promote strong reinforcement through repetition. The pediatric board exam focuses less on how much ‘knowledge’ you have, and more on your ability to select the right diagnosis or next step. By identifying the similarities and differences between diseases, you will get a deeper understanding of the material., and by learning test-taking strategy, you will be able to answer some questions with only limited knowledge.

Spend no more than 5 minutes on each of the 700 questions (an average of 75-90 seconds to answer each question and no more 3.5 minutes to review). At 5 minutes per question, that’s about 60 hours (700 questions multiplied by 5 minutes). Again, use this time to focus on test-taking strategy rather than focusing on trying to learn pediatrics by going through questions. As you get closer to the exam, decrease the time per question to 75 seconds since that’s what will be expected on the actual exam. You will spend the remaining 340 hours going through the PBR core content. Make sure you treat both PBR books (Core Study Guide and the Q&A Book) as core content that you must know. Okay… here we go!

FAILED PEDIATRIC BOARDS STUDY SCHEDULE WEEK #1 – WEEK #6: ROUND 1

Allocate 130 hours over 6 weeks in your study schedule (roughly 21 hours each week). The goal for the first 6 weeks is to read through everything carefully and make all the notes, drawings, and mnemonics you need to ensure complete understanding. Highlighting/underline/bracket only the areas that you think will need more review and repetition. Read the PBR article on creating mnemonics if creating mnemonics doesn't come naturally to you. Aim for an average of 18 minutes per page to cover approximately 430 pages of core content. Do any cross-referencing of facts needed but spend no more than 5 minutes outside of the PBR resources so you don’t get drawn into the black hole of Google. If you still struggle with some of the content, then post your questions in PBR’s private Discord group.

Break up your studying with an average of 5 AAP PREP® questions per day to work on your test-taking strategy. At 35 questions per week, you should be aiming for 210 questions over this 6-week period. Questions will take about 3 hours of your time each week. This first 130 hours is crucial to anyone who has failed the pediatric boards. Approach this as a marathon, not a sprint.

FAILED PEDIATRIC BOARDS STUDY SCHEDULE WEEK #7 – WEEK #10: ROUND 2

After having gone through the book in painstaking detail once, the second round should be much quicker (approximately 86 hours). Aim for an average of 12 minutes per page. Like the first 4 weeks, break up your studying with an average of 5 AAP PREP® questions. Aim for 5 min per question, including the answer review. By the end of Week #10, you will have completed an additional 140 questions for a total of 350 questions.

FAILED PEDIATRIC BOARDS STUDY SCHEDULE WEEK #11 – WEEK #14: ROUNDS 3 AND 4

Map out Your Study Schedule Stick to the schedule and stay disciplined. You should now be familiar with the PBR content, but continue reviewing the books a few more times to develop the solid knowledge base you’ll need to pass the exam. For the next 4 weeks, read the PBR materials 2 more times. Aim for approximately 10 minutes or less per page (roughly 72 hours per round). If the 3rd read through takes 3 weeks, that’s OKAY because your 4th and 5th readings are even faster. Also, there is built-in “cushion” time within this schedule.

For these two reads, focus on refreshing your memory of familiar topics and work to cement your knowledge of the difficult ones. If you're mentally struggling or have questions about the PBR content, reach out to members of the private Pediatrics Board Review Discord Group or submit your questions through the PBR “ASK THE EXPERT” question portals. If you find that you are moving through the content faster than 10 minutes per page, consider using the extra time to review recently visited chapters to promote even greater repetition of the challenging topics.

Continue working on questions with an average of 5 AAP PREP ® questions per day. At this point, you may want to consider batching questions and doing 12-18 questions per sitting as you aim for your 35 questions per week. If you would like to do a mock exam before the exam, this would be a good time to set one up to work on your pacing and your test day schedule (more details below).

FAILED PEDIATRIC BOARDS STUDY SCHEDULE WEEK #15 – WEEK #16: ROUND 5

By the 15th week, you should have made it through at least four rounds of the material. You should now have a solid foundation of the pediatric knowledge needed to pass the boards. During your 5th reading, VERY quickly read the topics you know well to ensure your understanding is correct and continue to focus on the more challenging topics in depth until they’re cemented in your mind. The challenging topics should be easy to identify if you’ve been using different color highlighters for each successive reading.

Since you will primarily be reviewing the difficult topics, it’s possible that your average pace could be faster than the recommended 10 minutes per page. Use the extra time to hone your test-taking strategy, review recently visited chapters, or do a mock exam. If your exam is within two weeks, the best thing you can do during this time is to repeatedly review the areas you are struggling with as many times as possible. That will be the key to your success.

Continue practicing your test-taking strategy on practice questions from the AAP and other question banks. By the end of the 16th week, you will have done about 560 questions (35 per week x 16 weeks). That leaves 140 questions remaining to reach 700. By this point, you should be comfortably pacing at approximately 75 seconds per question, and you should consider doing larger batches of questions.

HOW TO SET UP PEDIATRIC MOCK EXAMS

While studying is a crucial part of passing the boards, getting familiar with the test environment is just as important for your pediatric board prep. If time allows, I recommend taking at least 1 mock exam before the actual exam. This will give you a good understanding of how the very long day of testing will go. You can consider taking one full exam in a day, or you can consider taking a half-mock exam one morning and another half-mock exam the next afternoon to gauge your energy levels at different times of the day.

Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when setting up your mock exam:

  • Use multiple question banks. Many different pediatricians across the country write questions for the boards. This means every question can have a different personality to it (I would know since I've written questions for the ABP too). Getting familiar with the many different ways questions can be written ensures that you will not get blind-sided on test day.
  • Recognize that taking a mock exam is about more than your score. It’s about understanding the challenges and barriers that come with a very long day and then optimizing your behaviors to ensure that you are the best version of yourself from the beginning to the end. Start working on your test day habits now, and replicate them on test day.
  • Set up your exam block timer and the timer for your breaks exactly as the ABP sets them up. If you need help setting up a mock exam, be sure to read the PBR article on the exam structure of the ABP Initial Certification exam.

LEARN FROM OTHERS' EXPERIENCES

Watch the videos below to see how these PBR members overcame prior failed pediatric board experiences.

DR. STEPHANIE MOSES

Dr. Moses made the common error of studying from board review questions. Watch this video to see how ultimately passed the boards.

DR. YESSENIA CASTRO

Dr. Castro made the mistake of trying to use multiple resources to study. She failed five times but got a great new job and $20,000 more in her annual pay after passing. Watch the video below to see how she did it.

DR. KERRI LOCKHART

Dr. Lockhart passed every medical board exam until the ABP initial certification exam. She even failed once with PBR because she refused to invest the recommended resources. Watch the video below to see what happened after her third failed attempt.

The members above passed after attending PBR's Live Test-Taking Strategies & Deep Study Course. If you truly want the best chance of passing, learn about PBR's VIP Bundle that helped one doctor pass after NINE prior failed attempts.

Do you have the right resources and the commitment to do what is needed to pass the boards? If you follow the study schedule outlined above, and if you use the VIP Bundle to include a strong focus on test-taking strategy, then you will pass the pediatric board exam. The Live Test-Taking Strategies & Deep Study Course is included in the VIP Bundle, and it is an absolute must for every pediatrician who is at moderate or high risk of failing the boards.

The VIP Bundle also includes the No Brainer package, which includes PBR's multimodal study materials to help you build your fund of knowledge, an Online Test-Taking Strategies Course (a great warm-up for your Live Test-Taking Strategies Course), and up to three 90-Day Personalized Study Schedules created by Team PBR. After filling out a questionnaire about yourself, your pace of reading, and your available days to study, Team PBR will take care of the rest.

Not a PBR member yet? What are you waiting for? Click HERE now and get ready to pass the pediatric boards!

HELPFUL ABP RESOURCES

What To Expect From the Pediatrics Board Exam

The pediatrics board exam is an essential component of your career in pediatrics, but, as with any standardized test, there’s more to the board exam than simply memorizing answers to thousands of questions. Successfully passing the exam comes from having a solid command of medical knowledge and test-taking strategies. This includes knowing what to expect on the day of the exam and doing everything possible to have a methodical approach to the big day.

So, here are some things that you can expect from Pediatrics Board Review (PBR) to help you prepare for your initial certification exam. For information on the ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam and MOCA-Peds, please visit our recertification page.

Risk Calculator Quiz

While the American Board of Pediatrics provides the ABP General Knowledge Self-Assessment, do not assume your results will act as a true indication of your ability to pass the initial certification exam. This assessment is more appropriate for the ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam, not the initial certification exam.

PBR’s free, online Risk Calculator Quiz will help you understand your risk profile of possibly failing the pediatric board exam and will place you as either low, moderate, or high risk.

Knowing your risk profile for the initial certification exam will give you a plan for how to move forward with your pediatrics exam. For example, pediatricians in the low-risk group will use the 300-hour study plan in the PBR Efficiency Blueprint, while those in the moderate-to-high risk groups will use the 500-hour study plan. Your plan will not only differ in how many hours you need to set aside for studying, but also how many times you'll review the material and whether improving your test-taking strategies should be a key point of focus.

In fact, we believe so strongly in the PBR Board Certification System that we offer a 100% Money Back First-Time Pass Guarantee.

For all of the risk categories, we have provided structure and guidance that will help you get to your goal of passing your pediatrics board exam. We help you with time management, community support, and we have a proven track record of success.

Did you know that PBR has helped pediatricians pass after as many as seven failed attempts? We even helped one pediatrician pass on his tenth attempt!

We can help you too.

Physician taking the pediatric boards exam

What Should You Expect from the Pediatrics Board Exam?

  • If you've never taken the exam before, you can go through a short tutorial before the exam begins. PBR members are trained to go through the ABP tutorial BEFORE the exam day. Keep in mind that this tutorial is technically for the ABP MOC exam. Initial certification exam test-takers SHOULD go through it because it’s almost the exact same tutorial seen on their exam day. The slight difference will be around the number of blocks that the tutorial mentions for the exam (the initial certification exam has four blocks rather than the two mentioned in this tutorial). Going through this tutorial before your exam can remove one point of stress at the beginning of a very important day.
  • According to the American Board of Pediatrics, you must arrive for your pediatrics board exam at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test time. If you arrive late, the test proctor may actually bar you from entering to take the exam, meaning that you'll have to pay a rescheduling fee and take the exam the following year.
  • When you arrive at the testing center to take your pediatrics initial certification exam or maintenance of certification exam, you'll initially be scanned for prohibited electronic devices and will need to show a valid ID to be admitted into the testing center. You'll be given a secure storage locker to stow away your personal belongings and effects. You'll also have to turn your pockets inside out to ensure that you're not carrying prohibited items, and you’ll be asked to roll up your sleeves to show that you're not wearing a wristwatch. After that, you'll be given two laminated note boards and two markers. Immediately before you enter the exam room, you'll be asked to sign your name and document the time.
  • After you've signed in for the exam, someone will escort you to a workstation where the exam will take place. You will be allowed to take in your photo ID, your storage locker key, earplugs, the two laminated note boards, and two markers. If you would also like to take something else into the room, you can check the Prometric pre-approved items list.
  • During the ABP initial certification exam, you will have four examination sections and 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete each section. PBR offers more in-depth advice on how to manage your time during your ABP exam.
  • You'll be monitored at all times while you're in the facility, and all testing sessions will have audio and video recorded. Testing advisors will also periodically walk through the exam room to monitor for any irregular behavior.
  • If you need any assistance, you can raise your hand for help. If you encounter a hardware or software problem while taking your exam, it's important to leave the message on your screen so that an exam official can determine the source of the error. You shouldn’t lose any testing time and your score shouldn't be affected because of any technical problems, but must communicate any such problems to a testing official as soon as possible.

If This Sounds Daunting, We Can Help!

So much of passing your boards comes down to not only your knowledge of medicine, but to your ability to take standardized tests under the very artificial environment mentioned above. This includes the development of your test-taking strategy, and it also includes understanding the many ways to optimize your test-week schedule, your test-day schedule, and yourself. PBR helps in all these areas with a team-based approach led by Dr. Ashish Goyal. Dr. Goyal is PBR’s author and he has coached members to success after as many as nine failed attempts.

Want to skyrocket your scores and get the greatest bang for your buck? We recommend:

PBR’s No Brainer Bundle

Increase your chances of board success to 95% with ALL of our pediatric knowledge base resources. You will get access to our hardcopy books, online editions of the books, audio course, video course, access to live ASK THE EXPERT webinars, a digital picture atlas, our Full Online Test-Taking Strategies Course, and even three 90-Day Personalized Study Schedules created just for you by Team PBR. The No Brainer is the BEST way to leverage your study time for maximum results.

What Else Can I Do?

One of the fastest ways to improve your chances of passing the pediatric boards is to develop your test-taking strategy. This isn’t a skill that everyone has, but Dr. Goyal can help you develop it.

Dr. Goyal will teach you how many questions are in each section and what kinds of questions to expect. He has also identified three major categories of questions that every ABP question will fall into, and he’s created algorithms to help you process each category of questions. He’s also discovered shortcuts to help get questions correct by identifying answer choices that are similar, opposite, contain “hard stop” words, contain “hedging” words, and those that are meant to leave you wondering why it feels like there are multiple correct answer choices.

You will learn all of this through PBR’s test-taking strategy courses. These courses have repeatedly been the key to success for professionals taking medical board exams, and they’ll help you too.

So, if you would like help preparing for your pediatrics board exam, look to the leader in this field here at Pediatrics Board Review (PBR). From helping you build your fund of knowledge the right way, to helping you with all the ins and outs of your exam day, we can help you pass your exam the very first time or your money back — guaranteed!

Become a “No Brainer” Bundle Member Today!

Test-Taking Strategies for Medical Board Exams

CAN TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES ACTUALLY BE LEARNED?

Test-taking strategy is often overlooked when you are preparing for your board exams, yet it can be the difference between passing or failing. Since there is no question that physicians are extremely bright, why is it that even great physicians often fail their board exams?

Answer: A good clinician is not the same thing as a good test-taker.

When I failed the boards the first time, I was confused. I felt like I had a good handle on the material, but I quickly realized that how you treat a board style question is very different than how you should treat a patient. But it was too late. I had the “standard” top to bottom approach to answering board-style questions, and I ultimately failed the board exam.

I simply did not know how to approach the questions on the test effectively.

And this isn’t uncommon.

However, during my 2nd attempt at the pediatric board exam, I had a strong focus on pacing and a strategic approach to questions. That led to me not only passing my boards, but I increased my score by 160 points! I scored above the national average, and after failing the previous year, the American Board of Pediatrics asked me to write questions for them.

The skill set needed to be a master clinician is completely different than the skill set needed to be a master test-taker and win this “board-game”. Developing this strategy requires training and education like any other skill that you have had to practice. But with practice, you can have dramatic increases in your score like this member of our test-taking strategy course.

Learn Test-Taking Strategies for Medical Board Exams

Learn Test-Taking Strategies for Medical Board Exams

HOW CAN I WORK ON MY TEST-TAKING STRATEGY?

What am I supposed to do

What am I supposed to do?

While having a strong knowledge base is important to pass the pediatrics boards, it will mean nothing if you are unable to apply what you know to the test.

If you consider yourself to be a test-taker with average (or below average) scores on standardized tests, then learning test-taking strategies can QUICKLY give you an advantage to increase your score, and pass the boards.

Plus, unlike studying for a single chapter that may be applicable to 5% of your exam, test-taking skills can be leveraged throughout 100% of this exam (and every future board exam that you ever take).

Study a ton, remember none. Sound familiar?

If you've previously done well on standardized exams, just follow the PBR “Roadmap to Success” and you will do great.

BUT, if you:

  • Struggle with standardized tests,
  • Get test anxiety,
  • Find yourself running out of time on exams,
  • Were told that you were “at-risk” of failing the boards based on IN-Training Exam scores,
  • Have taken a year off from studying for the exam, or
  • Scored less than a 222 on the USMLE Step 1

… then improving your test-taking technique is just as, if not MORE, important for you to study than the actual material.

Below you’ll find some of my top strategies I teach our PBR students to sharpen their test-taking skills before the board exam.

TOP TEST-TAKING STRATEGIES FOR MEDICAL EXAMS

  1. NEVER process a question in a top to bottom manner. Processing the information in a different order will give you much more control and clarity over the question
  2. Do not try to predict the question or answer. When you try to guess what will be asked, or what the answer will be, you waste time and energy as you think through hundreds of possibilities.
  3. Start by reading the question being asked of you, and then reading the vignette. This narrows your focus and gives you tremendous insight into what information from the vignette will be crucial to extract in order to answer the question correctly.
  4. Find your answer through the process of elimination. It’s easier, less stressful and more appropriate to eliminate weaker answer choices rather than choosing the first answer that seems to be correct.
  5. Skip “data blocks” and come back to them if needed. Most vignette-style questions can be answered by just using the text, so try that before reviewing tables of data, x-rays or images.
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Passing the Pediatric Boards – The 3 MUST HAVE Ingredients

The 3 MUST HAVE Ingredients for Board Success

3 Key Ingredients to Passing the Pediatric BoardsPassing the the pediatric boards is challenging, but it's far from magic. In this article I'm going to introduce you to the 3 main areas you must focus on to pass the boards. If you don't, then even as a good pediatrician you will be at high risk for failing the boards.

By the end, you will have a much better handle on the general framework within which you will need to focus your energy. I predict that it's going to be quite liberating for you!

Let's start with a few stories…

Each year after the pediatric board results are released, I ask PBR members for feedback. “How was it for you?” The replies vary considerably, but there are specific overwhelming emotions which come through time and time again;

Relief

a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel lighter and free.”

– “Dr. Wiseman”

Celebration

“My family and I celebrated all day long. We cried tears of happiness knowing the endless hours of studying are over AND payed off!”

– “Shy Doc”

Gratitude Click Here And Continue Reading...

Your 2018 Pediatric Board Review Books – A Sneak Peek

Your 2018 Pediatric Board Review PREVIEW (and Discounted PREORDER Code) Is Here!

2018 Pediatric Board Review Sneak Peek

Pediatric Board Review Ultimate Study GuideUnlike other board review courses, the PBR's Core Study Guide gets corrected and updated EVERY year. Many of the corrections and clarifications of the are made available to the PBR community (below) prior to the initial certification exam. This allows members to have a more secure pediatric board review experience.

For non-members who are trying to figure out how they will approach the board exam for next year, or for anyone preparing for the MOC, this is a great opportunity to essentially have a sneak peak into the 2018 edition.

In this article, you will:

  • Get a preview of the most EFFICIENT 2018 pediatric board review course available
  • Get a great review of several excellent and high-yield topics
  • Get a FREE MP3 Audio Chapter from PBR
  • Get 50 FREE High-Yield Images from PBR
  • Get a FREE Test-Taking Strategies Video Training Session
  • Get the opportunity to PREORDER the 2018 edition books for 50% off of the value of the Ultimate Bundle Pack or 85% OFF of the LIFETIME package called “PBR FOR LIFE!” Please note that the PBR FOR LIFE package is NOT typically available through the PBR catalog, so this is a SPECIAL opportunity!

A FEW WORDS OF THANKS TO THE PBR COMMUNITY

Every year I like to go through all PBR error submission and send corrections to PBR members before the initial certification exam. It’s an EXTREMELY time consuming task (takes several full days), but I believe it’s worth it.

If you have been following THE PBR EFFICIENCY BLUEPRINTthe information in this guide WILL NOT make or break your test-experience. Having said that, several test-takers have previously said that they enjoyed reading the clarifications, and that the review of the guide even helped them correctly answer several questions that came up on the exam.

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