Tips and suggestions

About the Progress Test

  • The test consists of 135 questions that must be answered within 3 hours. In case you do not complete the test, it will be invalid.
  • Due to the adaptive aspect of the Progress Test, you must answer every question before moving on to the next one. It is therefore impossible to save a question for later.

Preparation

  • You must prepare well for the Progresst Test. You can check your detailed feedback on the previous Progress Test in the ProF module (www.ivtg.nl) to study for the next Progress Test. You may also use the reflection form of the Progress Test (“reflectieformulier VGT”).
  • Study the questions you answered incorrectly using the corresponding book references and examine why you did answer the question correctly. Perhaps you read the question in a wrong way, or interpreted it wrong? Or did you not have sufficient knowledge on the topic, perhaps because the topic has not been discussed in your curriculum yet?
  • Analyze in which category or discipline you could make the most progress (e.g., in comparison to your fellow students). Determine whether you did not pass the Progress Test due to little knowledge in general or little knowledge of a specific discipline. What went wrong, and what disciplines do you find difficult? Try to put more effort in these disciplines by studying lectures and books.
  • Many subjects will return in every Progress Test; try to recognize these subjects and study them accordingly. For example, it is highly likely that every Progress Test contains an Epidemiology-related questions. These questions can be studied beforehand by reading about e.g. prevalence, incidence, bias and specificity.
  • Studying together with a fellow student may provide insight on your knowledge (gaps); other students may have a different study approach than you which can help to see subjects from a different perspective. Devising your own Progress Test questions may also help as preparation; especially when you exchange these questions with a fellow student. Try to explain to the other how you came up with the question and how you interpreted it.
  • It is important to have some general knowledge on the developments in medicine and science. It may be helpful to sign up for a medical journal or to read one in a library from time to time. Keeping up with scientific developments is a great way to (a) start with continuous refreshment training and (b) to remember medical and scientific subjects and concepts. In addition, this may help to see which vacancies are open if you are orientating for your future career.

Before the Progress Test

  • Making a Progress Test asks for top performance. Try to have a good night sleep before and relax before going to bed.
  • Get up on time and have a good breakfast.
  • Leave your house well ahead of the starting time of the Progress Test (don’t take the last option for the bus/train and consider some time for problems with your bike)
  • Take some food and/or drinks to the test location to make sure your brain functions optimally during the full test.
  • Ask your study advisor if you have problems with noise from fellow students that leave the location earlier than you; he or she may help you with this.

During the Progress Test

  • Read every question thoroughly, perhaps even twice.
  • After several starting questions that estimate your knowledge level, you may only receive questions that match your estimated knowledge level.
  • The subsequent question is adapted to the knowledge level that you showed in the prior questions. Don’t get distracted when a question appears easier than the previous one as this does not directly mean that you answered the previous question incorrectly.
  • The questions are calibrated. This means that the difficulty is determined based on a large cohort of students. Therefore, an individual question may be easier or more difficult than you anticipated.
  • There are no trick questions. You can thus trust all questions, also when they seem too easy.
  • Since the difficulty of all questions is adapted to your own knowledge level, there will be less questions that you can easily answer, but also less questions that you are completely unfamiliar with. This may result in a feeling that the adaptive Progress Test contains difficult questions, as they ask for the maximum of your knowledge. This feeling shouldn’t be a reason to worry.
  • In general, the following applies: make decisions and try not to “search” too much.
  • If you can’t finish your Progress Test in time, it is possible that you think too complicated about the questions.
  • After reading the question, cover the answers and think of an answer yourself. Does your answer correspond to one of the answer options? Then this is most probably the correct one (forward reasoning).
  • If you think that 135 questions is too much, try to dissect the Progress Test into four blocks and take a short break in between. In this way, your brain will have a rest frequently and this allows you to work with short attention spans. Start your short break with relaxation exercise, treat yourself with some food and/or drinks and use the bathroom. Continue with the Progresst Test after approximately 5 minutes until you’ve reached the end of the next block.
  • Try not to hurry through the test and don’t compare yourself to others who might need less or more time.

After the Progress Test

  • After completing the Progress Test, you are able to see your (preliminary) score. This will give you insight in which questions you answered correctly, and which you didn’t. You can see your score per category, per discipline or just in the order of the Progress Test. The questions are not visible, but a short description per question will be provided. If you wish you submit a comment with a certain question, you may do this during the test in TestVision or on the iVTG website.