With this year’s exam occurring on March 21st-22nd, you have barely more than two critical weeks to make sure you pass. Since every day counts, here are four mistakes to avoid:
1) Passive learning through textbooks and videos
Decades of cognitive research has shown that the best way to learn is through active recall rather than passive learning. This means that you should be engaged in quizzing your knowledge rather than reading and re-reading a textbook which you will be less likely to retain.
Grab those flashcards and start flipping!
2) Not completing enough practice questions
Many students try to “save” practice questions, worried that if they don’t watch a certain lecture video or read a page in their book, that they’re missing out on critical information. Instead, your goal should be to get through as many practice questions as possible while focusing on the subjects where you lack confidence.
3) Not understanding why you get questions wrong
Not knowing the underlying material is just one of many reasons you may miss questions on your NBEO exam. The others include changing your answer from correct to incorrect, misreading the prompt by going too quickly, and overthinking the answer.
As you go through your practice questions, keep a running tally of the number of questions you get wrong and why. Once you understand why you make the mistakes you do, you’ll be able to correct your exam mindset to maximize your number of right answers.
4) Not taking care of your health
It’s easy to become overwhelmed and forget to take care of your mind and body. Make sure that you have a strict, regular schedule of waking up, sleeping, breaks, meals, and exercise.
The NBEO Part I is a long exam and you need to be mentally and physically ready to focus.
Want help getting organized for NBEO Part 1? Check out our printable study schedule!
About the author:
Dr. Yermie Cohen attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied mechanical engineering and biology before earning his MD from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is the author of dozens of exam-prep products and the founder of Memorang, a web & mobile study tool used by hundreds of thousands of professional health-science students. Memorang has recently partnered with McGraw-Hill Education to bring you 1,700 Optometry Practice Questions in a simple web format.