Whether or not you should use a previous PRITE exam to study for your ABPN Boards is a legitimate question for those seeking certification from the ABPN. Some may answer this question a quick “yes,” stating that the PRITE covers critical psychiatry topics so, of course, it’s a great resource.
We don’t dispute that. However, we strongly recommend you do not rely solely on previous PRITEs to prepare for Psych Boards. Here’s why:
EXAM BLUEPRINTS DIFFER FROM PRITE TO ABPN BOARDS
At the core of any high-stakes medical exam is the blueprint, which is decided on by the administering body. While there is some correlation between the PRITE and Psych Boards, the exams are administered by two different organizations with two very different blueprints.
The PRITE blueprint is very small and covers higher level topics, while the ABPN Boards blueprint is considerably more exhaustive, covering more than 20 pages. Why does this matter? If you rely on previous PRITEs to study for your ABPN Boards, you likely won’t be covering the vast array of topics that the Boards blueprint covers.
User ‘chameleonnight’ from Student Doctor Network shares this opinion: “The ABPN exam was different from the PRITE, but not really harder. It is very, very broad. You will likely see 2-3 questions on every possible topic in psych. Good luck!”
QUESTION STEMS ARE DIFFERENT ON EACH EXAM
Secondly, the question stems between the two exams are different. The PRITE features shorter and more succinct stems covering higher level topics (as described above).
On the other hand, the ABPN Board exam contains questions items that are longer vignettes and require different problem-solving skills that must be practiced and developed.
User ‘whopper’ on Student Doctor Network gives their opinion on using PRITE results to study for the Boards: “The PRITE is not a good primer for the board exam. The style of the questions are very different.”
THE PRITE GIVES NO EXPLANATIONS
While previous PRITEs tell you the correct answers, the exams don’t go into detail as to why each answer choice was correct or incorrect. Knowing WHY a choice is/isn’t appropriate is critical in truly understanding the material you are studying.
Using a resource like a question bank, or QBanks, that includes explanations is a great way to not only practice, but also learn from every single question. Reading explanations will help you understand your own misconceptions as well as help you get the most out of your study time.
PRITE GIVES NO ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS
Finally, previous PRITEs cannot give you insight into how you are progressing through your studies. Reading over old exams will not directly help identify your strengths and weaknesses, testing trends over time, or insight into your decision making. In contrast, by using an interactive question based resource and taking advantage of the analytics, you’ll not only be more knowledgeable on psych topics, you’ll be a smarter test taker too!
USE QBANKS OVER PRITE EXAMS TO STUDY
So, should you use a previous PRITE to study for the Psychiatry Boards? Sure, but don’t make it your primary source of review. Use it to supplement learning through text and practice questions.
And if you’re using QBanks to prepare for the Psychiatry Boards, it’s critical you use one that covers both the extensive blueprint as well as the longer question stems. TrueLearn’s QBank for the Psychiatry Boards does just that. Learn more about TrueLearn’s QBank subscription program to get started!