Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need tutoring?
Whether you’re struggling to pass, or are already averaging in the 240s and are looking to get to that 260, having a previously successful person help guide you through the problem, tailoring the situation to your needs, will only help. We can and will teach you concepts and methods of thinking that will stretch your ability to answer questions and to jump through multiple steps of logic. We can and will troubleshoot your weak points and develop customized plans to address each one. This is what we’ve spent thousands of hours doing in the past with great success for ourselves and for other clients, and we’ll do it again for you.
Which is more effective, lecture review course or tutoring?
Adult learning theory has demonstrated time and again that the adult brain does not learn effectively while sitting in a lecture. Passive learning has never been shown to be optimal for adult learners. The best ways to go about preparing for this test are through active learning – memorization, analysis, repetition, and flipped-classroom models – all of which we employ in the tutoring sessions.
Who are the tutors?
At MedBoardTutors, we employ only experienced tutors with hundreds to thousands of hours working with students of all backgrounds. A requirement for our tutors is a top board score – and you’ll note that we’re a small group, consisting only of top-scoring, repeat performers. We didn’t just ‘get lucky on Step 1.’ Our methods work, and we consistently apply them for ongoing performance in our students.
What is your tutoring method?
This is variable as the situation demands. A student struggling with a concept will necessarily require a different approach than one looking to extend knowledge or integrate concepts. We frequently tutor using sample board questions as the subject material, but the way we use questions differs with the situation. For example, a student without the concept of what a question means will require more basic work to develop familiarity with material and to explain how that material is commonly tested. On the other hand, a student who seems to have surface-level mastery of a question will be pushed to draw connections that weren’t previously there, to analyze deeply, and to modify questions in ways that deepen understanding.
How long are the sessions?
The shortest session length is 1 hour. It’s up to the student from there. While we will be happy to spend several hours with you, people need time to reflect and digest material. A typical session does not last more than 2 hours.
How often do I meet with my tutor?
We recommend at least weekly. It’s important to stick to a rigid schedule to meet your goals. Consistency is one of the ingredients of high performance.
What materials do you use?
To ensure that tutoring does not create a ‘bump in the road’ for the student, we will teach from the core set of materials that the student is using for the USMLE. Mind you, these will often be the same, as the same “high-yield” materials (USMLE World, First Aid, Pathoma) are nearly universally used across students.
How many hours of tutoring do I need?
This depends on your goal. If you are a low-scorer, or have previously failed the exam, you will likely need more hours than a student simply looking for help with a difficult concept, or looking for a weekly check-in and tune-up session. An average student will use at least 15-20 hours. This is not a requirement, it’s just our experience. This tends to be the average.
How can I pay?
We use PayPal for our transactions but also accept wire transfers. This allows for increased security and protection for both parties.
How much do you charge?
Do you offer any guarantees?
Success on an exam is a multifactorial process. We can show a student the way, but even the best tutoring cannot take the place of the hard work that must be put in on the part of the student. In our experience, most of our students have scored above 240 on the actual test. In summary, we can’t guarantee anything due to the nature of the work – there are too many variables beyond our control – but our results speak for themselves.
What is the complimentary consult session?
Prior to paying anything, we are happy to meet with you over Skype, Google Hangouts or phone call to discuss your current situation. We tutor because we love it, not because of money, and we reserve this session to learn more about you and understand if we feel that we can (or cannot) help you. This session typically lasts 30 minutes.