Ace the BASIC: Tips for Preparing for Your Anesthesiology Boards
Looking to complete your anesthesiology residency training after June 30, 2016? Then you’re looking at taking the BASIC on a different schedule than those before you.
As you may know, the ABA exam schedule has changed. And now, in the middle of your residency (July of CA-2 year), you’ll take your BASIC exam. And then, after graduating, you’ll take the ADVANCED Part 1 written exam.
Yes, the BASIC exam will come at a time when you have no time. So it wouldn’t hurt to know what to expect and how to make studying for BASIC a bit more, shall we say, efficient.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: BASICS ABOUT BASIC
The BASIC exam is the first one in a group of new staged exams by the ACGME.
According to the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the computer-based BASIC exam focuses on pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, anesthesia equipment, and monitoring.
BASIC is designed to test your knowledge of the objectives for the clinical base and CA-1 years of anesthesiology education. And, its 250 single-best-answer multiple-choice questions could take you 4.5 hours to complete.
If you’ve graduated from a U.S. or Canadian medical school (ACGME accredited residency training program) and also have completed (satisfactorily) 18 months of clinical base and clinical anesthesiology training, you’re ready to register and take BASIC. You must pass the BASIC exam before you can graduate from residency training.
The change in the exam schedule is meant to encourage continuous studying throughout your residency. Translated, that means ‘no cramming’ and we support that theory!
HOW TO STUDY FOR BASIC WHEN STUDY TIME IS LIMITED
Preparing for BASIC doesn’t mean committing facts to memory and then regurgitating the information, but rather truly ‘knowing’ it. This knowledge will come from a continuous and long-term approach, and we suggest starting with strategies for practicing the content you are learning. What better way to practice than to be quizzed periodically and comprehensively with questions similar to the BASIC exam?
Our SmartBanks aren’t just loaded with hundreds of practice questions, but are a comprehensive study program, giving you feedback along the way and the comfort of the BASIC exam before you even sit down to take the test. It offers 625 ABA-style practice questions – all mirroring the style and format of the ABA exam questions.
Three features residents tell us they love about it are:
We explain the WHY behind the WHAT. Residents like that we explain the answers to the practice questions. This way, you’ll learn from both correct and incorrect answers given.
We simulate the test environment in a number of ways. Going into exam day, you’ll, no doubt, be nervous. However, being prepared about the structure of the questions will help bring familiarity to your day and give you one less thing to worry about. Also, because you’ve been taking practice questions online in a digital format that is similar to how the test is administered, you’ll already be one step ahead.
Wouldn’t it be helpful to know how you’re performing next to your peers as you practice questions? We provide this information to you along the way, in real time. Since we aggregate the success of all those taking practice questions, we serve it back to you and plot you next to your fellow residents. This will give you an idea of how much more or less to devote toward studying.
While each person’s study habits are going to be different, there is real research behind the methodology of using practice questions as the base. As one resident recently posted online that his/her key study strategy was “just doing questions until my head explodes.” While we wouldn’t exactly go that far, we encourage you to try out the comprehensive way in which our SmartBanks prep you for BASIC.