By now you should know the importance of seeking reliable information on the internet. Unfortunately, unreliable information is everywhere, even when it comes to study materials. Though it’s important to research content regularly, this is especially true when studying for boards.
You have many choices on study materials, methods and supplements. In the digital world, you now have access to an endless amount of resources online that can be found with the click of a button. In fact, you can get an answer to a question in seconds with a quick web search. Though it may be tempting to click on the first link when you search “NBEO® Part I study questions”, here are some examples of unreliable vs. reliable information you can use to filter your study materials and content.
You’ll be surprised that some of these resources may be websites you’re using on a daily basis.
Sources that may contain unreliable content:
Online flashcard platforms: Online flashcard platforms are great for studying, but only when you’re feeding them the content that you need to be studying efficiently. There are thousands of flashcards and study questions saved on online flashcard platforms from thousands of users across the globe. These users are students just like you, preparing for examinations. Some students share their information with classmates and others on the web. If you search common terms or topics, these online platforms will usually pop up with sample questions. Be careful and cautious when using these flashcards as they have not been proofread adequately and many contain errors! There is no way to know where the information initially came from if you are using flashcards somebody else created. Again, these are great if you would like to set up flashcards for yourself from different courses and come back to them when it comes time to study for boards. However, be wary of studying flashcard decks made by others because they may contain unreliable information that has not been fact-checked or can be outdated. The problem here is that the information you find is not vetted, and cannot be confirmed to be reliable. So, for all you know, there is a chance you can be studying information that's incorrect, obsolete, or even non-existent on the NBEO Part 1 Boards content outline. This resource can be great if you want to make your own content, but it’s not useful when you’re looking for material to test your knowledge.
Sources that contain confirmed reliable content:
The NBEO® Website: The NBEO website is quite underrated when it comes to studying for boards. Most students only log on when they are registering for an examination or checking their scores for boards. However, this website has tools that are very important for effective studying. For example, the NBEO website contains content outlines that tell you exactly what topics will be covered on the examination. This resource is extremely useful when studying because you will find that some topics that you may have learned about in class won’t be covered. Reading this in advance will save you a lot of time while studying. There are also actual sample questions that may have been used in past board exams. By looking at these, you will be able to understand the format and level of questions that will be asked on NBEO Part I.
OptoPrep: OptoPrep is a great resource for reviewing information that you may have already studied but want to test your knowledge. All of the questions in OptoPrep have been written and fact-checked by experts in the field so you know you will be getting the most valuable information in a quiz format. With OptoPrep you will have access to NBEO style questions, practice exams, and detailed explanations for each question and topic. You will also be able to track statistics to see how you’re doing in each topic which can help you tailor your study schedule. The best part is, if you complete the program and don’t pass the exam, your next subscription is free!
Even if you use other sources available on the internet, question the sources that were used to write the question. There is a lot of content on the web, so it makes it harder to filter out the useful from the unreliable. Find a reliable source that you like and enjoy, and you’ll be on the road to acing NBEO Part I in no time!
~ Dr. Amadian