Are you looking for a thorough and positive AMBOSS review? This is something that happens so frequently before we choose to buy a learning platform like this. The same thing was probably done for UWorld, Sketchy, and all other significant USMLE and COMLEX Prep resources. This review will delve deeply into AMBOSS’s features, advantages, disadvantages, and other relevant issues.
What is AMBOSS?
AMBOSS is a tool for preparing for the USMLE and COMLEX exams that includes both a question bank and a collection of what they refer to as learning cards.
Now for a description of the question bank. They’ve developed a question bank, and I think it’s pretty good. The question bank covers a wide range of topics, some of which are absent from question banks provided by other board preparation companies, which may be a huge plus.
The AMBOSS question bank has a special feature that will draw attention to the information that is likely to yield the greatest return on investment. This has not occurred to me when using any other question bank.
What does that feature mean to you, then? It will assist in teaching you how to identify the key components of a question. You will eventually be able to see what needs to be put out of the question by using the AMBOSS highlight tool.
It is a tool to assist in teaching you how to respond to inquiries. A really great concept, in my opinion.
You must be wondering how difficult the questions are, don’t you? AMBOSS has some very good questions with the right level of difficulty. You have the option to choose the level of difficulty you desire when creating your own test.
Unique AMBOSS Characteristics
Beyond just choosing the level of difficulty, the majority of the questions are actually very representative of real-world USMLE-style questions, a distinction that, in my opinion, only UWorld has held for a very long time. Now, I say “most of the questions” because some of their Q-Bank questions are utterly absurd.
However, generally speaking, you can anticipate that the questions will resemble actual USMLE-style questions.
Additionally, the learning cards are fantastic tools to have on hand. In essence, it is a sizable library where you can conduct a search for any medical topic and retrieve the corresponding learning card.
With the first drop-down menu of information once you arrive at the corresponding learning card, you will have the chance to get what I like to refer to as “a 5000 foot overview,” and as you scroll down and open up more drop-downs, the information becomes more and more specific until it reaches differentials and treatments.
A general overview, diagnostics, clinical presentation, differentials, tests to order, common signs and symptoms, and treatments are included in the learning cards, which break down the disease into all of its component parts.
I believe that the link between the question bank and the learning cards is one of AMBOSS’s best features. This information, in my opinion, might even serve as the review of AMBOSS’s main argument.
You will have the option to access the corresponding learning card for that topic after responding to a question. There is also a brief justification for each possible response.
I used all of my question banks in this way during my board preparation, and I really attribute my high marks to it. I was able to gain a thorough understanding of the information being presented by working through a question first, then connecting additional material beyond the explanations to that question.
You can overlay or highlight the area of an image that is being discussed, which is a fantastic feature.
You may have experienced the same feeling as I did in the past when you were staring at a radiological image and wondered, “What the hell?” and despite the fact that you cannot see anything the attending is describing, you simply concur and continue.
With that, AMBOSS can assist you.
Here is an illustration of it
Integration of Anki
You can add data from the AMBOSS bank to your Anki Decks thanks to this fantastic integration.
This is a recent development that seems to be a huge hit with students, based on what has been said.
This completely alters the playing field. Having access to a mobile application (APP) that allows you to quickly access the learning card library is extremely helpful for studying on the go and developing your differential.
I discovered that this was very helpful in constructing your differential and, to be honest, made you appear much smarter during rounds and other situations.
Cons/Pros of AMBOSS
We will remove the bandage and begin with the negative:
- They have some incredibly bizarre questions in their question bank. They have developed some questions that are somewhat “unique” and that most likely wouldn’t pass the USMLE. These are comparatively few and far between, and my method for determining which ones were in this category was as follows: If the questions have only a 10-15% accuracy rate and the subject has never been covered elsewhere, then there is a good chance that they are very original. The good news is that this only occurs maybe once every fifty questions. Furthermore, it is simple to ignore these and pass them by without paying much attention.
- The phase where you can create a test is the only area of the platform that is not very user friendly. It took me a moment to figure out exactly how to create a practice test because there are so many options and steps. Now that I’ve done it, I know how, but I’ve also come to the realization that this is the only aspect of the platform that will require some learning time. Everything else is very clear-cut and easy.
- AMBOSS is very helpful at all levels of medical school. They have excellent content that is relevant to both first-year students and those in their fourth year.
- Price: AMBOSS earns a gold star in this category when compared to other platforms. For the value it offers, I believe they have set the price of their product incredibly low. Even though I am done with CK and CE, I still use it, so I won’t argue the price, but hey, they could probably charge more.
- Content: AMBOSS does a really good job of making sure that their users have access to the crucial information.
- Connection: The AMBOSS platform has incredible connectivity. I can answer a question about myocardial infarction and immediately go to the learning card to get a comprehensive explanation of whatever I need to know about the subject. From the first learning card I visited, I can then click on additional learning cards and diagnostic technique cards. In essence, I have the ability to go down an AMBOSS learning rabbit hole and come out knowing a lot more than when I went in.
How to use AMBOSS:
I employed AMBOSS in a number of different ways. The first is using any question bank, as you would. Through my third year, I would complete a set of 20 or so questions every day to keep myself informed and progressing with my Step/Level-2 board preparation.
AMBOSS served as a textbook for me in the second way. Most of the time, I had a second window on my computer open so that I could quickly access the AMBOSS learning card library. This was a fantastic way for me to constantly have easy access to a large library while I was studying.
The AMBOSS app on the wards was the third and probably my favorite way to use AMBOSS.
Several times during my Internal Medicine clerkship, I went to the emergency room to see a patient who was being admitted. Early on in my third year, I had no idea what was wrong with them. I would go in and see them and do the whole medical student thing.
My phone’s AMBOSS app came in handy in this situation. I would take it out and look in the library for whatever I might think it might be. I would then scroll to the bottom of the corresponding learning card after doing this. Many of the learning cards have a differential tab at the bottom.
I was able to develop my clinical reasoning by using the differential tab/section, and it also made me appear very smart to my attending because I could have a full list of what it could be and how to diagnose each potential pathology.
With AMBOSS, you get so much more than just a question bank; as I said earlier, it’s a tool that you can use for the duration of your medical education.
You can choose between two different packages: the standard package and the plus package.
For a month or a year, the standard package costs $9.00 to $49.00, respectively. This cost is astronomical! When I received my first standard package, I had the exact same reaction. However, allow me to explain why you shouldn’t be as easily persuaded as I was.
You can use the library at any time with the basic package, but you can only ask 50 questions per month. Therefore, if you answer 15-20 questions per day, you will definitely pass this in a short period of time! When I first started my third year, I bought a standard package, but I soon realized I needed to upgrade to the plus package.
So please, don’t make the same mistake I did and start with the plus package. The cost of the plus package ranges from $59 to $369 per month to $1,069 per year, respectively. The awesome feature of the plus package is that it includes unlimited use everywhere! You are free to use the library as often as you like and to take as many quizzes as you like. The plus package, in my opinion, is the best option.
Is AMBOSS or UWorld Better
This is the crucial query, correct?
When it comes to study guides for the USMLE and COMLEX, I’d have to say that UWorld still has a slight advantage.
AMBOSS has a vast library of content that provides you with a ton of information and really fills in the gaps. That is also a problem, as it can sometimes be overwhelming to process so much information.
UWorld concentrates on the crucial and “high yield” information.
I still advise you to purchase AMBOSS because of the features I’ve already mentioned, which really aid in knowledge development and aid in spotting important details in inquiries.
If I had to choose, I would have to say that UWorld is the best option for quick preparation.
Are AMBOSS Questions Difficult
No and yes. The majority of AMBOSS questions are fairly representative of what you can anticipate on the Step 1 and Step 2 CK, as well as the corresponding COMLEX tests.
While some of the questions are way too simple and first-order, others are way too difficult than they should be. However, about 80–85% of the questions are pertinent. The difficulty of those 80 to 85% of the questions is comparable to UWorld.
Simply put, UWorld doesn’t do many first order simple questions or the esoteric bizarre out of left field questions. Although AMBOSS questions can be challenging, this can aid in your preparation.
Ultimately, as has already been mentioned a few times. Get UWorld and AMBOSS, but make sure to focus on UWorld first.
So what is AMBOSS good for
In terms of practice questions, content, and quick learning, it truly is a one-stop shop.
The app alone is invaluable and worth the price.
The overlay and highlighting features for diagnosis are excellent!
In addition to UWorld, AMBOSS should be used because of its enormous and portable library of information and more practice questions.
My official recommendation:
However, don’t let it replace UWorld because its clear explanations are unmatched and cannot be replaced. It is an excellent tool that you can use throughout your medical school education.
During my third year of medical school, AMBOSS was unquestionably a game changer for me, and I am confident that after using it, you will agree with me that it is useful. Good luck with your board preparation and don’t be afraid to contact me if you have any questions!
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