I just finished evaluating a study aid for National Board of Medical Examiners shelf examinations. It’s called ExamGuru, an online question resource for the major specialty rotations encountered by a third-year medical student.
The surgery shelf exam has a total of 395 questions. You can create your own multiple-choice tests of any length, timed or not, and you can focus on the subsections of surgery you want to emphasize.
What makes this set of examinations unique is that you not only get the answer, you also can see whether the question is easy or difficult and how you compare to your peers who have answered the question previously.
Questions that are too hard or too easy are revised or replaced.
In addition to the metrics, the answers are discussed in three parts—a short, straightforward explanation of the correct answer, a deeper look at why the answer is correct and the other choices are not, and the take-home message emphasizing the point of the question and the answer.
If you disagree with an answer, you have the opportunity to explain why in a comments section. I had concerns about two of the questions on my practice test and received immediate feedback. One question was discarded, and the other was revised to make it clearer.
The site is easy to navigate, and the questions are well-constructed. A number of questions might even be challenging for surgical residents. There are separate tracks available for both allopathic and osteopathic students.
The cost of each individual shelf exam is $37 for one month, $79 for access to one exam for a total of 3 months, or a package that gives students all 6 exams with access to each exam for 3 months (18 months total) for $299.
As thanks for my reviewing the product, ExamGuru has established the promo code SCALPEL50, good for 50% off any length subscription. You can purchase individual subscriptions or use the discount toward the 6-pack. If you buy now, you can activate your subscriptions at a later date. The clock does not start until you create an exam and begin answering questions. The promo code will be in effect until October 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM EDT and cannot be used for previous purchases.
Good luck with your exams.
Disclosure: I was given access to the program without charge.