Wondering how to study antibiotics for the NAPLEX or for your ID rotation as an intern or resident? This article is here to help. The following identifies how to use the tests and cheat sheets at LearnAntibiotics.com to study antibiotics.
Written by: Timothy P. Gauthier, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID
[Last updated: 23 April 2019]
Studying for an upcoming exam or clinical rotation can be challenging, but having a robust set of resources for the task can help. At LearnAntibiotics.com you will find numerous cheat sheets and practice tests to add to your study toolkit. Developed for a variety of learners, these resources can be helpful for identifying knowledge gaps and reinforcing information you are already familiar with.
Prior to studying it is always important to review the syllabus or criteria provided by the assessment administrator. For example, the 2019 NAPLEX competency statement and test design information can be found here provided by NABP. Relevant to infectious diseases and antimicrobial pharmacotherapy take note that competency area #1 accounts for 67% of the test and includes such things as:
- 1.2.1 Specific uses and indications and dosing for drugs
- 1.2.4 Pharmacologic classes and characteristics of drugs
- 1.2.5 Actions and mechanisms of actions of drugs
- 1.2.6 The presence of pharmacotherapeutic duplications and/or omissions
- 1.2.7 Drug interactions
- 1.2.8 Contraindications, warnings, and precautions
- 1.2.9 Allergies
- 1.2.10 Adverse effects and drug-induced illness
- 1.2.11 Pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacogenomic principles
- 1.2.14 Routes and methods of administration, dosage forms, and delivery systems
Once you are aware of the expectations for the assessment, it is time to begin identifying knowledge gaps, filling them, and reinforcing content you are familiar with. The resources at LearnAntibiotics.com are not promised to ensure a passing score on any specific assessment, but if you need to study antibiotics for the NAPLEX or for your ID rotation as an intern or resident, the tools provided can certainly be of assistance.
There is a low cost student membership that gives access to a focused set of resources we feel are most likely to help students, cheat sheets only membership, practice test only membership, and then all-access membership that gives complete access to all content on the website. You can choose the membership right for your needs.
Once you decide on the membership you want, here is how I suggest using LearnAntibioitcs.com to study…
Step 1: Use the “Rapid Fire” tests to review fundamentals
Rapid Fire tests are designed in a simple 2-step format (question then answer) for a quick review, focusing on your ability to define and identify content. Use these to test your knowledge on things such as antibiotic toxicities, brand/generic names, and core antimicrobial spectra.
If you are getting a lot of these test questions wrong, you can always practice them more during 5 minutes of down-time, since they are simple to navigate and straight to the point. These tests can also be fun to do with a friend, having them quiz you on the spot!
Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the cheat sheets and study them a bit
There are many cheat sheets and each is provided in a concise 1-page format to make studying easy. Take a quick look at each cheat sheet so you know what is covered, then focus study efforts on the topics that you are least comfortable with. One way to do this is to read over each cheat sheet daily for a few days. Repetition is key towards memorization.
Step 3: Take the “Quick Fire” tests to review more advanced material
Quick Fire tests are more advanced than Rapid Fire tests, but are still in a simple 2-step format (question then answer). These tests are in a multiple choice format and provide some limited explanations and notes. They begin to go beyond simply defining and identifying information, and are meant to help learners with analyzing, assessing, and differentiating content.
Step 4: Take the “Practice” Tests
Practice tests are the most advanced and time consuming to review. They are multiple choice and provided in a 3-step format (question then answer then explanation). Expect that these will take considerable time and attention to go through. These tests focus on analyzing, assessing, and differentiating information. The format employed allows the learner to see why each answer provided is right or wrong.
Step 5: Identify knowledge deficits and write down what you need to study more
By this point it is likely that you have identified some areas where you are still weak and could use more exposure. Take some time to identify these areas and write them down. Use this to create a written plan with a timeline that can direct your study strategies.
Step 6: Focus studying on the tests and cheat sheets where you have yet to master the content
By this time you should know what you need to study and you should be familiar with all of the content available to you. Take the remaining time you have to focus on areas where your knowledge deficit was the greatest. Remember as you do this to consider the syllabus or criteria provided by the assessment administrator.
Infectious diseases is an extremely difficult topic that many people struggle with. The resources at LearnAntibiotics.com have been developed to help people with their studies of this field. If you are wondering how to study antibiotics for the NAPLEX or for your ID rotation as an intern or resident, LearnAntibiotics.com may be the just the resource to help!
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