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Study schedule for PACKRAT using UWorld

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Hey everyone! I am currently a clinical year PA student. I wanted to share my thoughts on using UWorld as a didactic student, namely, to study for the PACKRAT. I wasn't originally going to use anything other than SmartyPance and my class notes to study but now, looking back, I would definitely recommend it for PACKRAT prep! I ended up scoring above my class average and left didactic year feeling prepared for my upcoming EORs. UWorld seemed to have more difficult questions compared to SmartyPance, so it really helps you figure out how to solve even the toughest of questions. I also loved their in depth explanations because this helps you to see not only why you got a question right or wrong but also why the other options didn't fit. UWorld does a great job of helping you to become more familiar with PACKRAT style questions. It also has the option to take timed tests so you can better prepare yourself for the 1-minute time constraint on the PACKRAT&PANCE. Here is how I studied for the packrat:

1. Every 2 weeks during the semester leading up to the PACKRAT I reviewed a system that we had previously been tested on (Ex: 2 weeks of Cardio studying, 2 weeks of Pulmonary studying, 2 weeks of GI studying). I spent about 4-6 hours per week reviewing this old material (in between studying for my other courses) just to keep my mind fresh. I used the PANCE blueprint, class notes, and SmartyPance for this (At this time I did not know about UWorld, otherwise I would have used it!). 

2. A month before the PACKRAT, I started using UWorld. I did about 20-40 questions a week until the week before the PACKRAT when I amped it up to 30 questions per day. Using practice questions significantly helped me retain information and I wish I had started using UWorld sooner!


I hope this helps!


Disclaimer: I am receiving a 90-day full access subscription for posting a review on my experience using UWorld. The statements in this review are my own and are my true feelings of my experience using UWorld. 

Edited by NCAPA21
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I'm not a huge fan of didactic students studying for the first PACKRAT, as it's supposed to gauge how much information you've retained over the first year. In some ways, it's gaming the system and may not truly reflect where your knowledge base is going into clinicals. In addition, if you take PACKRAT a second time it won't truly reflect how much improvement you've made over the course of clinicals.

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