Summer has finally ended and you’re back in the grind of optometry classes, labs, and seeing patients in clinic. Although the Part 1 NBEO® exam is several months away in March, the time to start preparing is now! Each year, we see a trend of successful students starting their Optometry boards prep at or near October 1st!
There is so much information on the Part 1 NBEO® matrix. How should you approach studying? How should you work through the KMK Part 1 material to make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time to learn the material and then stretch your knowledge so you can confidently apply it to the test (and most importantly, to your patients)? We are here to help make this process less overwhelming so you can study with confidence and low stress. Backed by 14 years of research and feedback from over 18,000 optometry students who have used KMK in the past to help them pass the Part 1 NBEO® exam, KMK has developed a 3 phase study plan designed to help you dominate boards!
PHASE 1: Now to January 1st is all about building an awesome FOUNDATION!
The first phase of the KMK Part 1 study plan is focused on building your FOUNDATION of knowledge – it’s all about making sure that you understand the basic facts in key subject areas covered on the Part 1 NBEO® matrix. The first step in phase 1 is to watch the online HD videos available through the KMK Part 1 online review course. These videos are designed to help you focus on the most clinically relevant and applicable points of knowledge within the KMK Part 1 review textbook, which covers all areas listed on the Part 1 NBEO® matrix. We’ll guide you through the KMK Big 8® subjects first, which make up 80% of the exam, before helping you learn the most relevant points in the KMK Non-Big 8® subjects.
Each video ends with a 5 question quiz that helps to reinforce the information you learned in the video. After watching each video and reading the corresponding textbook pages, we encourage you to work through the basic flashcards that correspond to that particular subject area to further reinforce the concepts you learned about in the video and the textbook. Watching the videos, reading the KMK Part 1 review textbook, and reviewing the basic flashcards will help you solidify the basic knowledge you have worked hard to learn during optometry school! We recommend completing this phase by January to ensure you have plenty of time for phase 2 and 3 of the KMK Part 1 study plan.
PHASE 2: January 1st to March 1st is all about STRETCHING your foundation!
The second phase of the KMK Part 1 study plan is all about STRETCH – now it’s time to connect and integrate concepts you have learned across multiple subject areas. We know that what you learn in ocular anatomy ties into ocular physiology, and both ocular anatomy and ocular physiology help us understand ocular disease. Phase 2 will help you weave all the key facts together to form a big picture that you can apply to your patients in clinic! The KMK Booster Course® series, available with the KMK Signature plan or as an add on course to the KMK Part 1 Core or Plus+ course, is designed to help you dominate Phase 2 of the KMK Part 1 study plan. The KMK Booster Course® series contains 15 hours of advanced video content that focuses on the 3 key areas students struggle with the most on boards – anatomy/disease, optics, and pharmacology.
In addition to online videos, the KMK Booster Course® series includes the KMK Booster Course® textbook, newly released in 2018. Illustrated by KMK’s Director of Visual Education, Dr. Nicole Theiss, and curated by KMK’s Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Kendra Null, the Booster Course® textbook takes a visual approach to breaking down the most difficult subjects on boards. Working through the KMK Booster Course® series will help you integrate multiple subject areas into a framework that you can apply when you are providing care to your patients. In addition to the KMK Booster Course® series, the KMK Precise Practice® questions are designed to help you stretch your knowledge during phase 2. KMK Precise Practice® questions are specific to each subject and increase in difficulty over 3 levels. Scoring a 70% or higher in one level unlocks the next level so you can work up in difficulty as you solidify and stretch more of your knowledge.
PHASE 3: March 1st to the Exam is all about making sure you are “EXAM-READY!”
The third phase of the KMK Part 1 study plan gets you EXAM READY – now it’s time to make sure you are rock solid on your knowledge so you can dominate the Part 1 NBEO® exam! Boards are challenging because a single concept can be tested by asking many different types of questions, and the question subject areas are mixed together – you may have an anatomy question followed by physiological optics followed by microbiology! Many students are intimidated and concerned that they won’t be able to switch their focus between different subject areas or they won’t understand the main focus point of a question. Phase 3 is all about helping you feel confident applying your knowledge to a question format. In order to help you get exam ready, phase 3 introduces the KMK Part 1 Crash Course®, available with the KMK Signature® plan or as an add on course to the KMK Part 1 Core or Plus+ course. The KMK Part 1 Crash Course® is an 18 hour on-demand video course that includes 750+ new questions on the most critical topics for the Part 1 NBEO® exam.
Questions are presented in a rapid-fire format to help you prepare for the presentation of questions on the Part 1 exam. Phase 3 also includes the KMK Evolve® Practice Tests, which are designed similar to the Part 1 NBEO® exam. Each KMK Evolve® Practice test contains 185 questions in all subject areas of the Part 1 NBEO® matrix, with the percentage of questions in each category matching the percentage of questions on the Part 1 NBEO® exam (for example, if 25% of the questions on the Part 1 NBEO® exam are ocular anatomy, 25% of the questions on a single KMK Evolve® Practice test are ocular anatomy!). There are 6 KMK Evolve® Practice Tests that increase in difficulty. You must score a 70% or higher to unlock the next level of difficulty. You’ve put in the time and the hard work to advanced your knowledge – now we’ll help you show off that knowledge by acing even the most difficult questions on the exam! We recommend you work through all 6 levels prior to the Part 1 NBEO® exam in March.
The 3 phase KMK Signature® Part 1 study plan is designed to help you feel confident and less stressed as you study for the Part 1 NBEO® exam. With the addition of the KMK Booster Course® series and the KMK Part 1 Crash Course®, you’ll be able to build your basic FOUNDATION of knowledge, STRETCH that knowledge across multiple subject areas, and then get EXAM READY so you can dominate the Part 1 NBEO® exam!
As you may know, all three phases above are automatically incorporated into the KMK Signature Course, which includes a daily schedule to gradually take you through each phase and insure that you are solidifying and stretching your foundation to become exam-ready by the big day in March!
Dr. Null graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a B.S. in Biology and graduated summa cum laude from Southern College of Optometry. She completed a residency in ocular disease and low vision rehabilitation at the Kansas City VA Medical Center.