Frequently Asked Questions About UBP
The Top FAQ's
The Ultimate Board Prep is a program of preparation for one of the most stressful events in your life…the Standardized Oral Examination (SOE) component of the Applied Exam. While the BASIC, ADVANCED, and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) can be challenging, they pale in difficulty when compared to the Standardized Oral Examination (SOE). Most of us have never been exposed to an environment where we are expected to propose and defend complicated anesthetic plans clearly and concisely, under significant stress, and with only a couple of seconds to think about our response.
There is a unique set of skills required to walk out of that second room of the oral board exam confident that you passed. Unfortunately, most candidates prepare for the orals the same way they prepared for the written exam. They spend countless hours building and reinforcing their knowledge of anesthesia and do very little to develop the other areas of emphasis on the oral boards (judgment, adaptability, communication, etc.). Do some of these people pass the exam? Yes. Do some of them fail despite a more than adequate fund of knowledge and intense study prior to the exam? Unfortunately, yes.
Our course is designed to help candidates develop the skills they need to master the Standardized Oral Examination. Developing these skills will serve to reduce your stress, increase your confidence, greatly enhance your chances of passing the exam and, ultimately, make you a better anesthesiologist.
The short answer is, “Now!” In order to maximize your chances of successfully passing the Standardized Oral Examination (SOE) component of the Applied Exam, you should begin your preparation earlier rather than later. Evidence suggests that learning and long-term retention (and exam performance) are vastly improved with a measured approach to preparation that involves shorter and more frequent periods of study over a longer period of time, rather than “cram session” type study periods occurring just prior to an exam. Therefore, we recommend you begin utilizing our preparation program as early in your exam year as possible in order to obtain the study material, learn our strategies and techniques, identify any significant areas of weakness, and ensure adequate preparation time. We encourage you to look at the time you invest in preparing for this exam as more than “exam prep”. While your short-term goal is to achieve board certification, it is important to keep in mind that the gains you make in clinical knowledge, judgment, and communication will serve you far beyond your board exam date. So, while this process can be demanding, the fruits of your labor will be long-lived.
Like many questions posed to candidates during the Standardized Oral Examination(SOE), this question does not lend itself to a simple black and white "yes" or "no" answer. Most candidates have the knowledge base and communication skills to pass some questions from some examiners. You could be one of the fortunate souls that is questioned on a topic that you reviewed the previous night...or maybe the hotel had your examiner’s favorite cereal on the breakfast bar and he wants to spread the joy. This may have been the situation for those physicians who proudly report that they studied a mere 45 minutes for the oral board and passed without a hitch.
No two oral board exams are the same. Questions and scenarios vary from easy to difficult. You may be asked to discuss an anesthetic for a procedure you have seen a million times or for one that you have only read about….once….your first year of residency. Likewise, no two examiners are the same. The examiner sitting across the table from you may feel his or her mission is to gently coax the pertinent information from the sweaty palmed, stammering, but “obviously trying very hard” candidate. Then again, he or she may think that the only candidates who should become board certified are those who can maintain their composure and communicate their anesthetic plan while under extreme duress (This type of examiner is likely to incredulously exclaim, “Are you serious?” or “You're going to do what!?” while the junior examiner sadly shakes his head in mock disappointment.) Since there is no way to know what sort of questions or examiners you will be facing, it makes sense to be prepared for the worst possible scenario.
The Bad News:Preparing for the SOE component of the Applied Exam is a lot of work. It is particularly difficult to dedicate substantial amounts of time to preparation while working full time in a busy anesthesiology practice.
The Good News:All the sacrifice pays off. The extra time and effort you invest in preparing for the SOE will undoubtedly reduce your stress, increase your confidence, and greatly improve your chances of passing the exam. Moreover, the skills you develop in preparation for this exam serve to make you a better anesthesiologist. Remember, you will never be sorry for over-preparing. Under-preparing, however, can lead to significant regret.
Every candidate needs to practice verbalizing their knowledge. Many courses provide a forum for practice but, unfortunately, the vague feedback and superficial clinical discussions provided at many of these courses often fails to improve your test-taking skills beyond that which would have occurred had you spent the same amount of time practicing at home.
First, it is important to understand that, while some physicians fail the exam because their knowledge base is insufficient, many fail because they have insufficiently developed their ability to access, organize, and communicate their knowledge in the extremely challenging and stressful environment of the Standardized Oral Examination (SOE) component of the Applied Exam. The difficulty arises from the speed with which candidates are expected to consider a very complicated anesthetic scenario, weigh all risks and benefits, and then organize and communicate their thoughts clearly and effectively to the examiner.
The ideal SOE preparation course would address all of these issues. Unfortunately, the vague feedback and superficial clinical discussions provided by most courses often fails to improve your test-taking skills adequately for the exam, especially if you happen to face a difficult examiner wielding a complicated stem question. Even candidates with extremely strong fundamental knowledge bases will fail this exam if they are unable to communicate their knowledge effectively.
So, Why Choose the Ultimate Board Prep?
Because our system of preparation works! I have been teaching the Ultimate Board Prep method of preparation to my residents for the past 10 years and our resident’s first-time oral board pass rate has been 98% since initiating the program.
When participating in one or both of the Ultimate Board Prep Online Courses, you will be exposed to multiple mock oral exams addressing a multitude of difficult and controversial clinical scenarios covering all the high yield topics associated with the Standardized Oral Examination. At the same time, our curriculum, personal coaching, and practice exams will show you how to:
- access your knowledge quickly and efficiently (many people require a great deal of prompting to communicate their thoughts, which can be a significant problem when facing an impatient or aggressive examiner),
- organize your thoughts (which is extremely important due to the speed of the exam and the complexity of the clinical scenarios), and
- communicate your thoughts clearly and effectively. In short, you will learn how to deliver a substantial amount of relevant information, with clarity, and within a very short period of time, thus making an impression of competence and sound judgment during this important and subjective examination.
Our Goal at The Ultimate Board Prep:
Our goal at The Ultimate Board Prep is to do more than simply provide a forum for practice. Our goal is to show you how to master the SOE component of the Applied Exam. We strive to prepare you to excel even when presented with the most challenging clinical scenario, and when facing the most difficult and unforgiving examiner. For this reason, our mock oral exams tend toward the more difficult end of the spectrum when compared to actual ABA board questions. Each of these mock exams includes a detailed clinical discussion, with emphasis on the management of the most difficult and challenging issues within the exam. At the same time, we show you how to utilize and apply the various strategies presented at the course to better communicate your knowledge and defend your anesthetic plan.
We know how important it is to you that you pass this examination. We also understand that the time you have available for preparation is often limited by practice constraints, family, and other obligations. And, we firmly believe that participating in one or both of the UBP Online Courses is the best way to maximize the investment of your time and effort. The Ultimate Board Prep is simply the most effective SOE preparation course available.
The "UBP Online" program provides you with the opportunity to avoid the cost and inconvenience of travel, and prepare for the Standardized Oral Exam (SOE) component of the Applied Exam while in the comfort and privacy your own home. It is a great way to learn the techniques and develop the skills needed to master the SOE.
The UBP Online Program offers three different ways to learn the techniques and develop the skills needed to master the Standardized Oral Exam:
I. The UBP 2-Hour Online Coaching Session
II. The UBP Online Courses
Registration for one of the UBP Online Courses includes:
III. UBP Private Online Exams
The UBP 2-Hour Online Coaching Session offers a concise presentation of the various techniques and strategies introduced during our course.
We believe that the way you practice has a significant impact on your ability to successfully pass the Standardized Oral Exam (SOE). Therefore, the UBP 2-Hour Online Coaching Session is designed to introduce you to our techniques and familiarize you with our approach to mastering the SOE component of the Applied Exam.
The coaching session can be viewed for free under the "Free Trial Products" tab on the main menu bar above.
There is nothing wrong with practicing with friends and colleagues and we encourage you to practice as much as possible with whomever you can find. However, the way you practice does matter. Therefore, the UBP Private Online Exams are designed to maximize your invested time and effort as you prepare for the Standardized Oral Exam (SOE). In order to familiarize yourself with our techniques and strategies, we recommend you view the "UBP 2-Hour Online Coaching Session", which can be accessed for free under the "Free Trial Products" tab on the main menu bar above. You can purchase as many private exams as you would like based on availability.
The primary advantage of taking UBP Private Online Exams is twofold:
1. The exams offered through the "UBP Online” program are designed to provide a review of the most relevant information; expose you to some of the most challenging clinical situations encountered during the SOE; and greatly improve your ability to organize your thoughts, weigh risks and benefits, and apply sound judgment.
2. Our examiners in the "UBP Online" program are trained to provide feedback and advice that is in keeping with our approach to the exam; this serves to help develop and reinforce the skills and techniques introduced during the course and 2-Hour Coaching Session.
The Ultimate Package provides you with the most comprehensive program of preparation for the Standardized Oral Exam (SOE) component of the Applied Exam. The package incorporates all of the Ultimate Board Prep’s educational components into one package, including the UBP Online Courses A & B, ten (10) One-Hour UBP Private Online Exams, and all 6 UBP Practice Sets. Register for this comprehensive preparation program and you will receive two free One-Hour Private Online Exams (a $440 value), and be eligible for the UBP First-Time Pass Guarantee.
Registration for the Ultimate Package includes:
- The UBP First-Time Pass Guarantee. Learn more here.
- Registration for both UBP Online Course A (covering Practice Sets #1-3) and UBP Online Course B (covering Practice Sets 4-6).Learn more here.
- Access to the UBP 2-Hour Online Coaching Session with Dr. George. Learn more here.
- Printed copies of Practice Sets #1-6. Learn more here.
- Ten (10) One-Hour UBP Private Online Exams from examiners trained to provide feedback and advice that is in keeping with the UBP’s approach to the exam. Learn more here.
- Participation in a live online small group training session with Dr. George. During this 2-hour session, Dr. George will work with participants to improve those skills most essential to peak performance during the SOE component of the Applied Exam.
We are very confident that those who utilize our various preparation programs appropriately will develop all the necessary skills to not only pass, but excel during the Standardized Oral Exam component of the Applied Exam. To demonstrate this confidence and show our investment in your success, we have decided to offer The UBP First-Time Pass Guarantee to all those who register for one or both of the UBP Online Courses or the Ultimate Package.
The UBP Online Course(s):
If you should fail the SOE component of the Applied Exam after purchasing one or both of the UBP Online Courses, just provide us with a copy of your exam result and we will maintain your access to the UBP Online Course(s) free of charge until you take your exam in the next test cycle. Moreover, we will offer you a 10% discount on all UBP Private Online Exams ordered in the next test cycle.
The Ultimate Package:
If you should fail the SOE component of the Applied Exam after purchasing The Ultimate Package, just provide us with a copy of your exam result and we will maintain your access to both of the UBP Online Courses free of charge until you take your exam in the next test cycle. Additionally, we will offer you a 10% discount on all UBP Private Online Exams purchased during the next test cycle.
Ultimate Board Prep, Inc. 13319 SW 160th St. Rose Hill, Kansas 67133Upon receipt of the books and confirmation of the prior order, we will send a check for $100 within the next 10 business days.
The best way to prepare for the Standardized Oral Exam (SOE) is to participate in the UBP Online Course(s) as soon as possible. The learning process is enhanced when study cessions are short, frequent, and extended over a longer period of time.
Finally, schedule the One-Hour UBP Private Online Exam sessions at regular intervals throughout your study cycle to allow you to continually assess your skills, note incremental improvement, and identify areas that require additional work (4 One-Hour UBP Private Online Exams are included with each UBP Online Course, and you receive two additional exams when you register for the Ultimate Package).
Examination - What to Expect
Exam Candidate Orientation
We sincerely hope that you will never need to know what happens if you fail the exam. However, should this unfortunate event occur, you may want to know what comes next. We will skip describing the emotional, professional, and financial implications and focus on the ABA’s time requirements for achieving board certification.
If you fail, you may schedule another attempt, but no earlier than four months following the failed attempt. The ABA requires all physicians who completed their residency prior to January 1, 2012 to satisfy all requirements for board certification by January 1, 2019. Those who complete residency after January 1, 2012 must satisfy all requirements for certification within 7 years of the last day of the year in which residency training was completed.
If a candidate does not satisfy all the requirements for certification within the 7 year period described above, the ABA will declare the candidate’s registration void. At this point, the physician must reestablish eligibility for certification by taking and passing the BASIC Examination. Once eligibility has been reestablished, the candidate will have four years to satisfy all additional requirements for certification, including the successful completion of the ADVANCED and APPLIED Examinations.
Cancellations of scheduled exams do inevitably occur. Both our examiners and our clients are busy physicians who are called in to work emergently at times. However, cancellations are disruptive to the often tight schedules of both groups. Therefore, UBP has developed an exam cancellation policy that has the goal of ensuring excellent service to our clients while at the same time protecting our examiners from excessive cancellations.
The UBP Online Exam Cancellation Policy is as follows:
- Should one of our clients experience 3 cancellations during their exam cycle, UBP will provide them with one additional online examination at no cost.
- Should a client cancel a scheduled exam on three occasions during their exam cycle, they will forfeit one online exam.
While we believe the cancellation policy is important to protect our client’s and examiner’s, we have found both parties to be very respectful of the value of the other group’s time and, despite the administration of hundreds (if not thousands) of examinations, we have never found it necessary to enforce the cancellation policy.