GH DP Fall 2019 Progress Thread

I hardly have anything memorized. Mostly trying to memorize whatever you need for the problems. Trying is the key word here, not even confident in that. I do have more confidence in being able to “execute” on quantitative problems so I’m prioritizing that. The lists are overwhelming.

I’m focusing on not being intimidated by any problem and just doing it. I hate doing the tables where you spend so much time punching in the calculator and writing but if you don’t do it you don’t realize that you’re wrong and you missed something important. It’s so funny when I go through a whole problem, and I’m feeling so great, that I was able to execute it without cheating, then I compare my answer to the solution’s and I’m not even close.

I’m not as far along in even the math problems as I should be at this point though. Overall, I do not feel good about where I am less than 2 weeks from the exam.

So: I’m doing very badly in the memorization of definitions and lists even if it’s stuff I understand and can use.

Yeah the memorization is not super easy, but from some recent exam takers, I heard that even if you sorta know some of the points on the list and that the general idea is there, you should be good.

Personally, if there is a section that I am struggling with, I try to at least see which list is a MUST know vs a nice to know by looking at what the learning objectives are in the syllabus. But at this point it’s pretty much a roll of the dice.

I think that we can do this with a good fundamental understanding of most of the material and not try to learn everything 100% by heart. At the end of the day, we are trying to pass the exam so even if there are a few 1 or 2 point questions that we don’t know, we can still maximize on the other questions and pass.

And yeah to your point @kidactuary, it’s super frustrating when you actually know a list and you didn’t even realize that that’s what they were asking in the question. Also the model solutions are sometimes not realistic (1 point question so 3 mins max and the answer is practically a full page typed…) I’m choosing to remain optimistic and hoping that they don’t actually expect someone to write our all of that to get full marks.

That sounds good to me! Yes, my goal is to have a fundamental understanding, the points will work themselves out. if not, there’s always the next sitting.

I’m not terribly behind my plan. I was supposed to finish review of all of 1-3 by end of last weekend, which includes second pass at the core practice exams. I did 3 core exams and I feel that I need to do one more core practice exam. After that one measly additional core exam it’s onto an intensive review of 4&5!

I have stacks of (my handwritten) problem solutions organized by topic. I find this very helpful on any exam. At this point I think pharmacy is my strongest topic! I found myself going- pharmacy, yay! When I’d get to a pharmacy question on the old exams. Then just as I was feeling great about my pharmacy skills I got so much wrong on a pharmacy problem! Very funny.

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I haven’t done the last 10 problems in the MATE problem set that are word problems, so that’s still outstanding.

At this point I have gone through all of the mate (numerical) problems included in the presentation outline, organized by chapter. Vast majority of problems in the binder have been apportioned, but not 100% of them. At this point I will not attempt to hunt down the problems not included in the presentation (besides the word problems I already mentioned). Next sitting I’ll do the MATE problems in order (less need to do it by topic when I already know the material) so I’ll do 100% of them for sure.

Are you already throwing in the towel for this sitting? I think pharmacy is one of the more common Core exam topics, so that is at least in your favor.

Not a chance! I’m working way too hard for that. But there’s always uncertainty. I don’t know how I compare to the competition- there’s so little discussion. I also think the people with transition credit that are taking their version of the exam on 2 separate days have a huge advantage. I expect them to be sharper in the problem solving cause they can go all out and then crash the rest of the day. Meanwhile we’re going to be tired in the afternoon portion if we exhaust ourselves in the morning.

I’m also aware that my preparation isn’t comprehensive. I’m going to do my best preparing this week, and then I’ll do my best next Wednesday. If that turns out to not be good enough, I’m fully capable of being better in the spring. All that said, I’d still not bet against myself for wednesday.

Yeah if there’s no pharmacy math question I’ll be very surprised.

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Does anyone have an idea on the number of points typically required to pass?

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I do not know, so I will make the assumption that it is 65%! Preparing for this exam improved my comfort with guessing.

The exam is in a week- everybody panic!

I keep getting hung up on:
a) taking the details too seriously and not making assumptions that the model solution made -> which in my mind is very frustrating since some of the past exam questions are not worded well.
b) or missing the detailed key words (for example, question says: describe advantages to the Payer, me: describe all advantages to any party involved).
c) model solutions seem to be incomplete/incorrect 15% of the time

The good thing is listing additional details shouldn’t hurt your score, worst case is that it would just burn time during the exam. I agree it’s very frustrating when the model solution makes a subjective assumption that differs from what you would have assumed. It makes it really hard to gauge your own understanding, and it ends up creating more questions in my opinion.

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It’ll hurt you if you get stuck in analysis paralysis mode though. If you’re constantly second guessing yourself and worried about listing all the possible assumptions you may not get anywhere. So there’s some balance that has to get struck there.

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Just finished the TIA full length practice exam! Hand is cramped, but the attempt was solid. Going to take a nice long break before grading it later.

That’s awesome! I spent half the day going over objectives 4 and 5, now I’m doing all the old advanced exams I can fit into this weekend. And more review of 4 and 5.

Exam is over. You’re free!! How was it?

For the advanced portion, interesting choices were made in terms what material was completely left out. However, every question individually was reasonable and fair (except the lists, can’t judge reasonableness of that). I don’t like the lists and it didn’t seem like they were too big a proportion of the exam. Or maybe they just don’t feature too heavily in my experience because I didn’t dwell on them.

I felt/feel very confident about every single math question on the advanced. I knew what I was doing. Reasoning questions were ok for me, but it’s hard to tell how comprehensive my answers were. Lists I left for last. My lists, descriptions, definitions, etc were on the sparse side. One 2 point list I didn’t get to at all- it was blank when time was called. Overall- I left the Advanced section feeling great due to the math.

Unfortunately- only ONE problem from the advanced has been discussed and it has already been discussed to death- the TNHP.

For the core portion: I really did not recover sufficiently between the advanced and the core. I really feel a lot of whatever points I lost on core was due to that, so the people taking exams on 2 separate days have a huge advantage. This time I didn’t leave anything blank, but everything was lower quality. Still got through all the math, but with a lot less confidence. Probably made mistakes. Was very rushed throughout, just trying to get through it.

There’s one non math mostly list type question I left for last and I didn’t do great, it was definitely easy points for most people. I kept second guessing if it was a canadian FSA or an american one, I don’t even remember what I settled on.

I felt like the whole exam was a blur. I didn’t feel terrible when it was all said and done, but I didn’t feel super great either. There were SO many untested topics that I had come into the exam quite confident on, so that was disappointing. For the most part, there was nothing truly out of this world challenging, but at the same time, I struggled with recalling source material based responses to answer some of the List or Describe questions, and therefore just put down things that were common sense.

I agree that by the time the afternoon session came around, my mental stamina was somewhat depleted.

Also, I was not well versed on TNHPs so that stunk.

I’ve just realized that I answered a sub part to a question in the morning as if it was objective 3. I still think my recommendation and justification are ok, but it may not be what the exam graders are looking for.

I’m definitely with you on the common sense answers to the lists and describes! As well as the topics not tested.

TNHP is just one question. A relatively small question at that. Can you really judge your entire exam performance by one question? It’s possible you’re judging yourself too harshly and I’m judging myself too generously- cause all we’ve discussed in detail is that one question.

That is true! Here’s hoping that all of us on Fellowship Forums/AO pass.

What are your plans until they release the results? I am hoping to knock out my 2nd module. It’s a bummer that we don’t find out the results until Jan 10, and then have to prepare for the next exam being as soon as the end of April… I feel like I should start studying for something prior to the results date.