When I was a third year medical student, figuring out how to study for shelf exams was always a topic of conversation. Prior to third year, due to the delivery of a consistent didactic curriculum, having a studying strategy was relatively easy.
Not so for third year, where almost all the learning is done in the wards. Figuring out how to study for the shelf exams at the end of rotations can be difficult — often times there isn’t a consistent didactic curriculum to help prepare for shelf exams, leading to much debate between medical students.
While med student’s might debate the different types of texts available to study for third and fourth year rotations, there is one text consistently mentioned during each of these debates — the “Pre-Test” series of question and answer books. Of note, these textbooks are valuable sources for USMLE Step 2 studying as well.
These books are essentially question banks, and in the case of Pre-Test Medicine, categorized by specialties, and containing detailed explanations of each multiple choice question.
Modality, recently bought by Epocrates, is the development company that has taken these McGraw-Hill textbooks and transferred nine of them to mobile app form. The transfer of a question bank to mobile form makes complete sense — you can use a timer, choose categories of custom questions, track how you are performing on questions, and many other levels of functionality that Modality brings in the app form.
However, we have some serious issues with the the Pretest series of apps, something we’ll discuss in this full review.