Board exams are notoriously difficult, but as you prepare for your second try on the Pediatric Board Exam (PBE), you feel like there’s a bigger chance of passing than ever before. You’re cautiously optimistic about this latest attempt and want to do everything possible to ensure you feel confident going to the exam room. From picking a study group to taking advantage of practice tests, here are some ways to prepare yourself for the best possible results.
1. Have a Study Time Table
Of all the things you can do before the exam, having a study timetable is one of the most important. It keeps you on track and ensures that you use your time wisely. You need to have a specific time of day when you plan on studying rather than wasting valuable time. Understand your weak areas and focus your study time accordingly. For example, start spending more time in those chapters if you need to improve your immunization and nutrition knowledge. It would be best to revise your areas of strength because you never know when you will be tested on them.
2. Know Your Weak Spots and Get Professional Help
Knowing where you tend to fail is important in achieving your goal of passing the next exam. Rather than trying to revise everything, focus on the subjects where your errors are most common for effective studying. This is because revising an area during your second try will be more efficient than if you hadn’t gone into it at all. Asking for help from the certified advisors of the Pediatric Board Review is highly recommended, especially for those with experience in PBEs. When you get extra tutoring from an expert board reviewer, you automatically benefit from the extra help. If your failed pediatric boards score is really low, you will want to find places where you can get a study guide for extra help as well.
3. Start a Study Group
Many people feel more comfortable studying in a study group before taking their board exams. If this is you, consider joining one that uses a reading scheme to help them prepare. A study group can also provide motivation and laughter to keep you motivated. If you don’t have a study group, you can always form one. You can search for others online and set a time to meet and plan. Being in a study group also helps with explaining topics better to one another and preventing isolation, which can make the exam difficult to get through. Creating a study group is one of the best and most efficient ways of preparing for an exam because it mixes social and academic activities. Study partners motivate you to give your best in the exam room.
4. Take Advantage of Online Practice Exams
Nowadays, using technology to study is practical and effective. There are several online practice tests that you can take from your home, which are free or at a very low cost. Online practice exams allow you to get comfortable with the PBE format and become a better test-taker. This is also beneficial for those who tend to be nervous taking tests or those whose first language isn’t English. Practice tests also ensure you stay on top of problems and check your progress. Taking online practice exams also ensures you know what to expect on the actual day of the PBE. It’s common knowledge that the more often you take a test, the better you’ll do on it when it counts. Practicing before going into the exam is crucial to doing well when it matters.
5. Avoid the Stress of Cramming and Study to Learn
When studying for your exam, you should understand that cramming too much information into your brain before going into the PBE is not a good way of preparing. Cramming can lead to “over-learning,” which means that the information you memorize is not retained. Cramming also causes stress and can lead to a mental breakdown on exam day. Cramming makes you feel like you’ve studied all the material, but since it’s not retained, the information isn’t there for you when you need it. The main reason is that cramming doesn’t give your brain time to rest and process the information. When studying for exams, your goal should be to learn information rather than cramming and memorizing information.
Studying for board exams in any field is no easy feat. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging and requires much effort and dedication. It would be best if you were organized and motivated to pass the exam on the first try. Doing everything you can before exam day can make a big difference in your performance when you need it most.