Monday, December 4, 2017

Comprehensive Exam Guru Review



When I entered my fourth year, it was like the floodgates of obligation burst open. ERAS, Step 2, CS, CK, interviews, and etcetera were quite overwhelming. After navigating the first half of interview season, I finally completed Step 2-- it was as if a large weight was lifted off my shoulders.

In order to prepare I used ExamGuru, Uworld, and attempted to used Step-up to medicine.
 Exam Guru was by far the most comprehensive and useful tool that I used. My first impression was that the website was visually pleasing and extremely organized. It was clear that the program designers intended to alleviate any frustrations and/or nerves associated with using ExamGuru software. Exams created enough stress.


Pros:
Software: The Software was organized and easily navigable. Also, the fact that the program is website also speaks to the software’s ease of use and access. Creating test was simple. No download was necessary allowing me to pick up and study on any device.

Explanations: I found that Exam Guru was superior to other aids including physical books. I discovered this through my studies, where I found it difficult to retain the information when using the books. However, ExamGuru's explanations were easy to read and comprehend.

More control over test: In ExamGuru, in addition to choosing the regular topics of concentration (cardiology, pediatrics, etc) for each exam you can also choose specific tasks, allowing you to really fine tune your exams to address your weakness. Task you can choose to focus on through each exam including Diagnostic Technologies, Healthcare Delivery, Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, Management, Establishing a Diagnosis, and Scientific Understanding of Mechanisms. I also liked that you are not limited to 40 questions a block.

Duplicate Exams: The "Duplicate Exam" feature was essential. As a mom with a toddler,
studying between naps and meals was a way of life. Often times I would get distracting mid-block to attend to Levi, letting time run out and not thoroughly going through the explanations.  The “Duplicate Exam” feature is like a reset button for the question block.  No more wasted questions!

Guess feature: In addition to the traditional "Mark" feature, Examguru also allows you to label a question as "Guessed" and provides you with additional feedback on your guessed percentage. This allowed me to really fine tune my studying based on true knowledge instead of gaining false confidence in questions I only guessed correctly.
.
Difficulty: Exam Guru classifies its questions based on difficulty and complexity. This allows more insight into my knowledge of the materials. Additionally, it built my confidence when I correctly answer questions that were marked as difficult.

Check out all the other features:

Cons:
Overall I was very pleased with Exam Guru and my complaints are relatively minor. I believe the mobile app could be better designed. Taking practice exams was cumbersome because it required constant scrolling up to submit the answers and back down read the explanations. I would have preferred the "submit my answer" button to be present at the bottom of the question instead of the top. Lastly, I believe subscribers would benefit from practice in abstract and statistical questions. These were present on my actual Usmle Step 2 CK, but I did not feel that I had practiced a large amount of those.

Uworld vs. Exam Guru
After completing approximately 50% of the Exam Guru program, I registered for Uworld, and would alternate back and forth between both banks. I was able to properly compare and contrast the features of both programs. My preference was for Exam Guru as it allowed for more customization and control over my studies. Also, I found that Exam Guru was easier to navigate and use. I feel the in-depth and well-organized explanations of Examguru laid a strong foundation.  At the end of my study period, my average between the two programs only differed by 3 points.

Update January 5, 2018:
I Opened my exam scores Wednesday morning and was in absolute shock! I scored significantly higher than my goal and my score was way higher (like double digits) than my highest practice exam. My score from first practice exam increased by over 20 points. I could not be any more elated!

Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to ExamGuru in return for this review. All information in this review is my true and honest opinion


Additional information:
-On my final score report my Examguru percentage correlated with the Uworld percentage column of the commonly used score predictor: https://usmle-score-correlation.blogspot.com/