Board Exam Strategies:

Performing well on the exam will depend on the resident's knowledge and test-taking skills. Here are some recommended strategies:

  • Determine the pace for the exam by calculating how much time can be devoted to each question. Allow an additional 10 to 15 minutes to review difficult questions. Maintain the calculated pace throughout the test.

  • Time can be saved when answering lengthy clinical review questions by reading the question first, scanning the answers, and then looking back at the introductory information.

  • Identify multiple-choice questions as either easy, difficult but answerable, or impossible. Answer the easy questions, budget time on the difficult but answerable, and make quick intelligent guesses on the impossible ones. Cross out incorrect choices to avoid rereading them

  • Avoid the temptation to dwell on questions that appear do-able but might take excessive time. Make a best guess and code the answer as tentative. Come back to it when the other questions are answered.

  • For the most difficult questions, it is best to guess and move forward.

  • Try the batch fill-in method to maintain the planned pace. Put answers in the margin of the test booklet, and then transcribe the answers of the two open pages to the answer sheet before turning to the next page.

  • Make sure that all questions are answered.

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