The first-step involved with being identified as an “at-risk” student is being aware you are at a higher probability for failure. Being characterized as “at-risk” to fail your medical licensure exam does not mean you have already failed. What it does mean is that you have been identified as an at-risk candidate for one of many reasons.
For example, studies have shown class rank to be a good predictor of exam failure. In regards to COMLEX Level 1, students ranked in the lower two quintiles account for the overwhelming majority of failures.
Being in this group already puts you at an increased risk for failure. Becoming self-aware of different performance indicators that favor high or low performance on your exam is tremendously valuable and can mean the difference between obtaining a “passing” or “failing” score on the examination. We advise students to focus on their weaknesses early in the preparatory period. By filling in learning gaps, one can greatly enhance his/her performance capacity.
GET HELP FROM YOUR SCHOOL
If you fall into this “at-risk” category for any reason, it is imperative you work with your faculty advisor to get help early. We recommend you follow the direction of faculty who may advise an in-residency board preparatory program before you sit for the actual exam. We have found that different institutions handle “at-risk” students in various ways. Some provide classroom assistance, while others offer specific recommendations for testing support.
In one published article, an on-campus intervention was performed to help improve the performance of osteopathic students thought to be at risk for failure of the COMLEX Level 2 CE, thereby improving the likelihood for success (Agostini, Stano, and Parente, 2002).
In general, the way in which institutions handle “at-risk” students appears to differ significantly. The one commonality we have discovered to be universal amongst all institutions is the desire for students to pass and willingness to assist in the process of promoting success.
Your faculty, administrators and others vested in your education want you to pass, and more accurately, to perform to your highest ability. No one knows you better than the individual faculty members that have been working with you since the beginning of medical school – so do not hesitate to utilize them as a resource. These individuals are often very eager to help and have expertise in this area. It is our position that the single most important aspect of being an “at-risk” student is having an honest awareness of this status.
GET HELP FROM TRUELEARN
TrueLearn’s study platform full of SmartBanks and analytics can also help. We’ve dissected study techniques and have created a learning platform that will enable you to prep for your exams and give yourself the best change of passing.