The pediatrics COMAT is a test that you will take at the end of your pediatrics rotation.
It seems like each and every school has their own formula for how these tests affect your grades and also how many points to take off the mean score and etc., etc.
Beyond the grade and all of that stuff though, the COMAT exams are great prep for your COMLEX Level 2 CE.
The questions on the COMAT’s and the COMLEX are both written by the same people, so prepping hard for the COMAT exams leads to essentially a year of COMLEX Level 2 CE prep.
As you can see, it becomes important to take the COMAT exams seriously.
Here are 5 tips to help you score above 120 on the Pediatrics COMAT exam:
- What book to study
- Best question bank
- How many questions to do
- How to study during clinic
- How to have a smooth test day
Tip #1 for the PEDIATRICs comat: What book to study
Honestly, there is no amazing book to study during the pediatrics rotation.
When it comes to a text to study during peds, I preferred two different ones and they are very different.
The first one that is fairly comprehensive is the First Aid for the Step 2 CK book. This book really isn’t nearly as comprehensive as its counterpart for Step 1. Truth be told though, it is one of the best books for a summary of the pediatric diseases and what you’re expected to know.
The bad thing about it though, is that it doesn’t go into a lot of detail for the diseases. It’s an overview of the important things you should know.
The real money in First Aid for the Step 2 CK pediatric section are the tables that it has. It has good milestone and what not tables.
The milestone table in this book is pretty straightforward and simple. It doesn’t waste your time with a ton of nonsense, it is to the point and easy to remember. Knowing the milestones can snag you a few questions on COMAT test day.
You can check out the First Aid for the Step 2 CK book by clicking here.
The next text I would recommend for the pediactic COMAT is the premium notes that come with Online Med Ed.
These notes were once again a fantastic overview and they dive into some more specifics when compared to First Aid.
The free videos are an awesome option too, but the notes were very nice to have around. The notes make it so you don’t have to watch the videos over and over again and you can quickly read over the notes.
You can go check out Online Med Ed by clicking here.
Tip #2 for the pediatrics comat: The best question bank
First and foremost, I gotta be 100% honest with you.
UWorld is hands down the best question bank as of right now.
My only concern going forward with UWorld is that AMBOSS is new and offering quite a bit that UWorld just doesn’t and at a fraction of the cost.
So, when I was in third year UWorld was the go to.
If I was going through third year now, especially with the new anki features, and the huge updated library AMBOSS offers, I think I would nix the UWorld subscription and use AMBOSS.
With that being said, if you are looking for a more Osteopathic Specific Q-Bank then go with COMQUEST.
UWorld has been the gold standard for so long, and rightfully so. Their price is fairly high, so I don’t include a ton of UWorld info here for you, just because we all know its awesome already. If you want some that don’t cost as much and are more then enough (especially AMBOSS) then check out those write ups linked above.
Tip #3 for the pediatrics COMAT: How many questions to do
The sweet spot for questions for pretty much everything in relation to COMATs or COMLEX exams, if not in a dedicated period is right around 20 questions per day the first few weeks of the rotation.
As it gets closer to test day though it may be a smart choice to ramp up the amount of questions you are doing.
One awesome thing to do, that will make test day easier is to use COMQUEST the week before the exam. When doing this you can do around 50 or so COMQUEST questions in timed mode each day.
This will create a situation that is mirroring the real exam day. You give yourself an hour to do the 50 timed questions, and by doing this you will put yourself in a situation that your stamina, attention, and overall ability to test well will be so good that the pediatric COMAT won’t be hard at all.
To summarize how many questions to do per day.
Shoot to do around 20 a day until one week before the exam, then crank it up to 50 per day in timed mode.
COMQUEST questions are perfect for that week before. You can check out a full review of COMQUEST here.
Tip #4 for the pediatrics COMAT: How to study during clinic hours
This is potentially the hardest thing about studying during third year of medical school.
You go from having complete control over your schedule and your studying, to not really having a whole lot of control over your schedule.
The best way to study during really any rotation is to take advantage of the down time you have inbetween patients or cases throughout the day on your rotation.
No matter what the specialty, and this holds true for pediatrics too. You will have time throughout the day that the preceptor is charting, at lunch, late, or whatever be the case, you will have time that you are basically just waiting.
The most efficient thing to do is to take a book with you and read it during this time.
There is one issue though, who wants to read a textbook or something like that sporadically throughout the day?
The key to deal with this then is to find a good summary book that can supplement what you are studying through your practice questions and on the weekends/nights.
Here are a few good options for pediatric COMAT review books that you can quickly bust out and read during your down time on the rotation.
The Online Med Ed quick tables is a good option to use.
Another good quick review book is the Case Files Pediatrics book.
The good thing about OME quick tables is that it is just that, a quick summary organized into tables.
The bad thing about it is that the tables leave out a ton of useful information. This means you can get a false sense of completeness and miss a ton of information if you only study the tables.
It is a short and sweet book that is laid out in a way that allows you to read it pretty quick and you don’t have to be actively engaged for it to stick in your head.
It’s a book that you can easily read, put down, and come back to, which makes it great for studying during clinic because that is exactly what you will be doing.
Tip 5 for the pediatrics COMAT: How to have a smooth test day
The first key is to practice, practice, practice.
If you plan on studying hard and doing questions as mentioned above, then your test day will be smooth, in terms of your ability to answer the questions.
The other important things to know about COMAT test day is the format of the exam.
It is typically 125 questions and 2.5 hours long.
The timer is in the upper right side of the screen, make sure you watch it and that at roughly questions 70-75 you have 75 minutes left. This assures you that you will have plenty of time to finish the test.
Last and certainly not least, make sure you have some scratch paper and a pencil/pen for the exam. Some testing sites provide it and others don’t, so be prepared and bring your own with you.
For any of you that have or do use Anki for your studying, I have a question for you.
I am trying to put together a large post with all of the best Anki decks for the first 3 years of med school.
I don’t know much about Anki, since I didn’t use it. I know a ton of people live and die by Anki, so I want to put together a great resource for them.
If you have a favorite Anki deck or have any recommendations on the good ones let me know in the comments.