Why AAP Prep Questions are NOT the Best Study Questions

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP) PREP DISCLAIMER

AAP PREP® QUESTIONS – WHEN YOU SHOULD (AND SHOULD NOT) USE THEM!

A question I’m often asked is “Ashish, what makes your pediatric study guide better than prep questions?” Whether they are talking about general board prep questions or the American Academy of Pediatrics PREP® questions, my answer is always the same (read on).Shhhh it's a secret!

THE SECRET NO ONE TALKS ABOUT WITH AAP PREP QUESTIONS

The AAP PREP questions 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!

Yet, the AAP's annual question series has somehow become the “go-to” Q&A resources for the pediatric boards.

Many pediatricians tend to use AAP PREP questions exclusively as their 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 Continuing Medical Education (CME), or for any non-board certified pediatrician trying to simulate an ABP practice session, these questions should NOT be used as a primary study resource while studying for the ABP initial certification exam.

THE MOST COMMON REASON PEDIATRICIANS FAIL THE PEDIATRIC BOARDS

Here is a note I received from a PBR alum, now a Board Certified Pediatrician, who made one of the most dangerous test-taking mistakes the year that she failed her pediatric boards:

Hello Ashish, Last year I failed my boards. I spent countless hours studying using prep questions but didn't have one good source to use to really learn from and I thought using questions would be my key to success. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I was so lost and frustrated after I received that FAIL, and I thought there is no way that I was going to pass. I had spent hours and months studying… What more could I have done?!? I googled ‘failed pediatric boards' and PBR came up. It was an answer to prayer. It was exactly what I needed. I was blown away by the help that PBR gave me. From the PBR book itself to the videos, audio and online portals – I am so incredibly thankful. I think PBR should be adopted by residency programs nationwide as it would be a great resource to have to study for in-training exams and to use alongside rotations. Just my two cents!! If there is something that I could do to help you and the PBR membership, please let me know!
Dr. Stephanie Moses, Board Certified Pediatrician

Learn from Stephanie’s experience; it takes more than questions to pass the pediatric board exam. There are three pillars I like to refer to when it comes to successfully passing the boards:

  1. CONTENT: How well you know the material.
  2. TECHNIQUE: How to quickly and effectively process board-style questions.
  3. COMMITMENT: How disciplined you are to the process.

You can read more about these pillars in my article covering the 3 must-have ingredients to passing the pediatric boards.

In order to succeed on the boards, you have to separate your board prep time into two buckets. Your CONTENT TIME (the time to develop your knowledge base) and your TECHNIQUE TIME (the time to develop your test-taking strategy).

“Click

Failed But Then Finally Passed With PBR TTS and Coaching

Again, the AAP has put together a GREAT resource. I actually think it stands above all others in the marketplace for simulating the board exam experience. It's also wonderful for pediatric continuing medical education (CME). However,  it should NEVER be used as a standalone resource for board study. I simply cannot imagine that the AAP would ever cover all of pediatrics as a comprehensive board review in a set of 200-300 questions.

STEPHANIE FOCUSED ON QUESTIONS, AND FAILED THE BOARDS

Dr. Stephanie Moses is now a board-certified pediatrician practicing emergency medicine. But, that wasn't always the case. In the video below, she talks about the advice that she received and how she focused on PREP the first time that she took the boards. Her second experience was very different. What she says is amazing. Watch the video below now, and be sure to watch until the end.

HOW MANY AAP PREP QUESTIONS SHOULD I DO?

In short, you should do at least 5 practice questions per day in addition to your studying materials. These should be from PREP as well as from other Q banks. This way, you are able to get a taste of various question flavors and have a broad understanding of how questions can be written for the boards. Read my article called “How Many AAP Prep Questions Should I Do?“and learn more about why I recommend this.

MORE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Here are a few additional key points about using the AAP's questions, as well as any other board prep questions:

  • If you insist on using questions to study, pick a company who creates study materials for the boards as well. This will (hopefully) ensure that the questions actually correlate with the content you need to know for the boards. This way, the answers/explanations tie in seamlessly with the core content necessary to pass the boards. However, finding this magical batch of questions that will give you everything you need to know for the boards typically does not exist. That’s why it's IMPERATIVE to study from a well-written and easy-to-understand study guide and to use questions for the practice of your test-taking TECHNIQUE.
  • The boards are not always current! PREP does a great job of staying current, but the ABP questions you'll see on the boards are not always that up to date. So BE CAREFUL.
  • PREP answers/explanations often go into excellent detail to explain all possible viewpoints. When you're studying for the boards, EFFICIENCY IS KEY so SKIM the answers. If you answered the question correctly, pat yourself on the back and MOVE ON! If you answered the question incorrectly, focus only on the answer that you chose and also on the answer that was the correct answer. Figure out where you went wrong. Was it a TECHNIQUE problem, or was it purely a CONTENT problem? If you felt like you had a good handle on the subject matter but still answered the question incorrectly, it was definitely a TECHNIQUE problem and you must figure out how to strengthen your test-taking strategies.

PREP is a great tool when used correctly

So, to answer the question posed in the title of this article, “Ashish, what makes your pediatric study guide better than prep questions?”, it’s near impossible to find ANY board prep questions that would do a good job of serving as a stand-alone STUDY resource.

Yes, you will undoubtedly learn some information about pediatrics by going through board prep questions. But your primary goal should be to use prep questions for PRACTICE and refinement of your test-taking TECHNIQUE rather than a STUDY resource.

THEN, HOW DO I STUDY FOR THE PEDIATRIC BOARD EXAM?

Set time aside to specifically grow your knowledge base and work on your test-taking technique. If you aren’t sure how to create such a schedule, I have two articles with step-by-step directions on how to set up your study schedule. Regardless of how much time you have left before the boards, these articles are great resources!

If you consider yourself to be a great test-taker, or if you are taking the boards for the first time, follow this schedule.

If you have failed the boards before (welcome to the club!), or if you are not a great test-taker, then follow this study schedule.

For those who are wanting to take that next step to pass the boards, the go-to resource is Pediatrics Board Review. As a PBR member, you’ll have access to high-yield board review questions and our test-taking strategy resources!

So, what are you waiting for? PBR offers, online, hardcopy, audio, and video resources. Click here now and find the PBR resource that’s right for you!

Pediatric Study Guide, Pediatric Question Book, iPad

2020 Pediatric Board Review Sneak Peek

Your 2020 Pediatric Board Review PREVIEW (and Discounted PREORDER Code) Is Here!

Published in 10/2019

Pediatric Study Guides, Laptop, SmartphoneUnlike 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, and more secure board exam experience. This is one of the many reasons why members recognize PBR as the best pediatric board review course in the industry.

For non-members who are trying to figure out how they will approach the board exam, or for anyone preparing for the MOC (or for MOCA-Peds), this is a great opportunity to essentially have a sneak peak into the 2020 edition.

In this article, you will:

  • Get a preview of the most EFFICIENT 2020 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 2020 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 weeks), but it’s worth it.

Although the information in this guide SHOULD NOT make or break your test-experience if you have followed, THE PBR EFFICIENCY BLUEPRINT, several test-takers have previously said that these corrections and clarifications have helped them correctly answer questions that came up on the exam.

Click Here And Continue Reading…

Creating Memorable Pediatric Mnemonics

Pediatric Mnemonics that Stick

Overwhelmed by informationCreating pediatric mnemonics can be a lifesaver for the boards. Did you know that most memory champions in the world do NOT have a photographic memory? They actually TRAIN their brains to remember lists, names and other random facts. So trust me when I say that you can too!

As doctors, most of us were in the top 10% of our class until we hit medical school, but that doesn't mean it’s easy for us to retain the vast amounts of knowledge necessary to pass the pediatric boards. I remember the overwhelming feeling of being crushed by all of the information I was being bombarded with during my studies.

It wasn't until I learned how to create pediatric mnemonics and memory aids that I was finally able to feel comfortable with the idea of housing all of that information in my brain. The mnemonics I created were essential in helping me retain information and pass the USMLE Step exams as well as the pediatric initial certification exam.

So, unless you’ve got a photographic memory, I’d highly recommend spending some time learning memory techniques.

The [PBR] mnemonics were stellar, if not a little goofy , but that just added to their utility. I will likely remember some the mnemonics for the rest of my life, especially the autosomal dominant diseases. – Dr. Kristen Macleod” – Read Kristen's full testimonial by clicking HERE.

WHAT ARE MNEMONICS?

Use ROY G BIV as an example of how to start thinking about creating pediatric mnemonicsIn a nutshell, mnemonics are memory aid devices that can help you to remember difficult to absorb information.

Does the name ROY G BIV sound familiar? 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.

Click Here And Continue Reading...

Pediatric Board Review Online Video Course – A Solution to Broken, Live Conferences

Traditional Live Pediatric Conferences Are BROKEN!

Live Pediatric Conferences Are BrokenIn this article we'll talk about:

  • Learning from board-certified pediatricians through an ONLINE version of a pediatric board review dvd course
  • The 7 Reasons Why Traditional Pediatric Conferences Are Broken
  • AT HOME or ON-THE-GO, mobile-friendly, alternative board review solutions
  • WEBINAR-BASED question & answer sessions that allow you to learn from content experts instead of doing all of the homework on your own!

The SOLUTION is a BLEND of proven strategies that allow for:

  1. Self-paced studying
  2. LIVE learning through a series of online webinars
  3. The ability to ask questions from content-experts!
  4. A MULTI-MODAL approach to studying

Pediatric Board Review Online Video Course - Like a DVD Course but BETTER!

So, I'd like to start by simply stating a fact.

Live pediatric board review conferences ARE BROKEN! 

The traditional board review courses surely served their purpose in the past, but given how much technology we have at our disposal these days, they no longer make any sense.

Here's the kind of feedback I’ve heard from former Pediatrics Board Review members who went on to pass the pediatric boards after they had previously failed the pediatric boards while using other board review materials, including 3-6 day live conferences:

I spent $2000 or more on the conference alone, plus airfare, hotel, and car rental. Not to mention the time off I had to take from work. That was one expensive headache!

Do I really need to know about the 5 subsets of eczema? The subspecialists talked about so much random stuff that it left me lost.

I was essentially being forced to consume eight hours of content per day for three days on their schedule, and in their environment.

The material was so broad that I had no idea how to summarize it into just what I had to know for the boards. And if I zoned out for a few minutes, I had no idea if I missed something crucial or not.

The 7 Reasons Why Traditional Pediatric Conferences Are Broken

To summarize some of the above sentiments, and some of my own, I’ve put together this list of reasons why traditional board review conferences are so flawed.

Click Here And Continue Reading…

American Board of Pediatrics Accommodations for Extra Time

Getting Special Test Center Accommodations for Your Exam

Running out of Time? Get American Board of Pediatrics Accommodations for Extra Time!

Are you aware of the various American Board of Pediatrics accommodations that are available? These test accommodations are designed for pediatricians who have specific needs, and they can result in you getting twice the amount of time to take the test.

Do you have specific needs when it comes to taking tests? Do you suffer from a condition covered by the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act and subsequent ADAAA guidelines? Perhaps a condition which is going to leave you struggling for time on the boards?

If so, you might qualify for some amazing special accommodations, such as:

  • Extra time to take your exam
  • A private testing room away from all other test-takers
  • Extended break times

This article will give you the steps you need to pursue to get the special accommodations. We’ll cover important details about why the ABP offers test accommodations, which accommodations are available to you, how to apply, and most importantly – when you must apply to receive test accommodations for your board exam.

Why Does the ABP Offer Test Accommodations?

Like many standardized board exams, the American Board of Pediatrics exam must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) for people who have documented disabilities or a need for test accommodations.

Many people suffer from some sort of medical or neuropsychological condition which creates a hindrance to test taking. Test accommodations are intended to give everyone an equal chance at passing the board exams. 

American Board of Pediatrics Accommodations - Balancing the Scales

If you believe that you may qualify for a test accommodation, Click Here And Continue Reading…