Second year podiatric students are required to take the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam (APMLE) step 1. This exam tests the students on the knowledge that they have acquired through their first two years in school. General Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology, and Lower Extremity Anatomy are covered by AMPLE standardized test. After having gone through the whole process of taking multiple boards exams myself several years ago, I compiled some pointers to direct current students in the right direction and hopefully to a passing grade.
Focus on the Main Three
Although there are seven categories in total on the exam there are “The Big Three.” These three categories will be where the largest percentage of questions originate from, therefore spending the most time on “The Big Three” will be the best use of your time. Lower Extremity Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Microbiology are known as “The Big Three” will be the largest percentage of the test.
The percentage of questions are broken down as reported
· Lower Extremity Anatomy: 25%
· Pharmacology 15%
· Microbiology and Immunology 15%
· General Anatomy: 13%
· Physiology 13%
· Pathology 12%
· Biochemistry 7%
Make a Schedule
With your study partner choose deadlines for yourself that are obtainable to stay on track. Even if you and your study partner do not study together as a team they can be someone to show-up at the library and hold you accountable for being present for a study session. Having a schedule will show you how far out it might be necessary to study, and when it is ok to take study breaks. Many students make the mistake of starting too late because they underestimate the amount of time needed to get through their study material. No student has ever said “I started studying too early.”
Choose Your Resources Wisely
Pick 3 or 4 strong resources to learn the material from. When you start jumping around and using multiple resources for different subsections there is a higher chance that you will miss necessary topics and that you will be wasting time going between different sources. Listen to upperclassman, do a quick online search, and follow guides set-up by your professors to narrow down what you want to use for your study materials.
From my experience the following materials are worthwhile for boards part 1 studying.
- Take Advantage of resources made available by APMLE which include study tools, an outline by topic, and practice questions
- Anatomy TV is a free online resource for helping you visualize the structures for lower extremity anatomy.
- First Aid USMLE for Step 1 is a concise book that over views all of the necessary topics. The book is well organized, includes mnemonics, and includes pictures. Although obviously written for those taking the USMLE it works great for APMLE.
- Pathoma is a great book and video content combo for studying anything pathology associated. Sign-up for the free trial first to see if it will work for your studying style.
- SketchyMedical is for all you visual learners out there. SketchyMedical includes a story along with a picture full of mnemonic devices to help you remember microbiology, pathology, and pharmacology topics. Follow the website below to view a free trial and potentially purchase the subscription.
https://www.sketchymedical.com/#!/homeTo all the medical students out there Frederick Foot & Ankle wishes you the best of luck in your studies!
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