Academic Blocks and Question Banks

Academic Blocks  

Data suggest that students who achieve 80% or higher on their academic blocks enhance their readiness work and performance on Step 1. In addition, national research suggests a strong foundation in pathology, physiology, and pharmacology is key. In an effort to support student learning and successful block completion, students have access to faculty office hours, free Walk-In Tutoring and Appointment Tutoring, study groups sessions, exam reviews, learning workshops, and a dedicated Learning Specialist.

The Learning Phase | Kaplan Question Bank

The College of Medicine-Phoenix purchases the Kaplan Question-Bank (q-bank) for our medical students. In an effort to enhance readiness for Step 1, students are encouraged to complete all of the Kaplan questions and review missed/marked questions around December 1st of year 2. Our data suggest that this approach supports:

  • Block study
  • Works as a learning q-bank to create a strong foundation for future work in the UWorld q-bank
  • Enhances performance on Step 1

The College of Medicine-Phoenix purchases also provides students a Kaplan Diagnostic in mid-October of year 2. This feedback helps affirm or redirect independent study. Learning Specialists work with their student to develop a plan to integrate Kaplan usage within their learning system. In addition, students have the option to enroll in a Step 1 Readiness Elective during the Personalized Academic Learning (PAL) block to complete Kaplan questions.

  • "The Kaplan Q-bank provides a detailed review of content that should be used as one of the foundations to a successful study plan. The time and effort you spend early in learning and finishing these questions is an investment that will pay off as you move into more dedicated study time later in the year." - Mark Roehr, 2020
  • "I think I started to benefit the most from the Kaplan Qbank when I stopped viewing it as a tool to quantify my success and started recognizing it as a resource not only to get question practice, but also to learn content as well. I would utilize the questions I got incorrect as an opportunity to reference those concepts in First Aid, which helped me gain familiarity with this resource and solidify the content that was being tested. I also found it helpful to keep a log of my incorrect answers so that I could easily review the content I was weaker at." - Amber Sandoval-Menendez, 2020

  •  "I did Kaplan prior to UWorld, and often did it to match block material early, helped me not feel like I was ill prepped or blown away. Also, it helped going by systems to match my review. Once I switched to UWorld, it felt like my second pass. Also, it is indeed a security blanket, so don't be afraid to let go. However, you also only get so much benefit from repeating UWorld questions, so switch wisely." - Alex Cooke, 2019
  • "Kaplan QBank was a necessary resource for me. It allowed me to test my knowledge for block exams while letting me dabble in USMLE-style questions as a warm up to UWorld. Questions touched on topics not necessarily covered in class but important for Step 1. The answer explanations were thorough and explained difficult concepts in a new way. As someone who uses questions heavily as a study tool, Kaplan was the perfect bridge between block studying and UWorld!" - Lauren Auerbach, 2019

The Refining Phase | UWorld Question Bank  

Students purchase and use the UWorld question bank after they have completed Kaplan. The readiness work in Kaplan helps students maximize their learning in UWorld. The work in UWorld serves as a refining phase for Step 1 readiness. Students should plan to transition into their UWorld question bank around December 1st of year 2. Questions? Be sure to connect with your Learning Specialist. 

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If you anticipate a need for accommodation based on a temporary or chronic medical condition or disability for any board exam, please review our link on access and learning.  

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