Finding the Best Board Review Question Banks – What Really Matters

Med-ChallengerPersonal Education

How to find the best board review question banks

Medical board review question banks – they’re everywhere, but they’re not the entire solution – and beware.

If you’re a medical professional facing a board examination or seeking board exam review question content for group training program needs, you’ll find a slew of companies touting “question banks” online. The problem is… a question bank itself is not the answer to success regarding exams or knowledge improvement. The “best board review question banks” shouldn’t be judged simply by the sheer number of questions or their board-styleness. Value is really dependent on content scope, ongoing quality assurance, and WHAT YOU CAN DO with the questions in the question bank.

With basic technology available today, anyone, with a little time and effort, can assemble a set of board review Q&A in electronic form, online, and promote it as a “question bank.” They also hope you don’t ask bigger questions like, “so what?” or “how is this really going to help me?”

Just over the last few years, we have seen several new board review product offerings come to market. But, these “new” offerings, and their creators, face unavoidable challenges that seriously degrade the effectiveness of any Q&A product over time. Factor in the technical aspects of delivering online services, and the challenges multiply. The point is, questions are content. They do nothing on their own – you have to serve them, you have to use them. Having “more” Q&A also doesn’t mean the product will DO more for you. As with any product, if you pick the wrong product, you could be in for a poor or at least self-limiting outcome.

Real “question bank” value is dependent on content coverage, ongoing quality & freshness, and most importantly WHAT YOU CAN DO with the question-based materials.Mary Alice O'Brien, DNP, clinical educator

Med-Challenger has been producing and expertly maintaining the largest, most-trusted online board review question banks for over 25 years – and it’s not easy. Why? Clinical guidelines, professional requirements – AND – prevailing technologies change constantly. “Making” a question bank is tedious and demands expert attention, but it is the simplest of steps. Whatever is made, however it is technically served to customers, your product is aging the moment your QBank content is complete – and new companies are simply naive or severely limited in their approach to true quality, effect and utility. And there are other considerations as well. Here are a few tips for how to spot the best board exam question banks.

How to spot the best question banks.


Content Coverage can’t stop short. It must extend.

You’ll see question banks tout various amounts of questions. Some offer as little as 600 questions over an entire specialty. That is simply not enough. Maybe they aren’t equipped to handle more. Other options may provide more Q&A but only to address a exam topics once, one way, with one question only.

Med-Challenger provides over 2500 questions on average across each major medical specialty. That’s roughly double than other options.

Our question banks are built to follow each specialties respective content specifications, like most others. However we provide more Q&A than most to facilitate intelligent adaptive learning assessment and prescriptive remediation benefits bare minimum “question bank” coverage won’t provide. In short, we develop a product around goals, not sheer quantity, to give you a more thorough review in the shortest amount of time.

Med-Challenger provides over 2500 questions on average across each major medical specialty. That’s roughly double than other options.

Our questions include image-based questions (they matter), case-based questions, and even true learning questions. Med-Challenger question banks also come with supporting MEDIA banks. There are more ways to provide review and knowledge enhancement than Q&A.

Med-Challenger questions banks also provide one or more MOC or continuing education CME credit types with completion of self-assessments.

Authorship and Q&A focus is true to specialty.

If an EM physician is “leading” a family medicine review, that’s not ideal.

Have you ever seen a company tout an “all-new” product, say, an NP board review for family nurse practitioners, but after you try it, you sense a lack of NP awareness? And then you look and realize, “Crap, these NP authors are emergency medicine residents!” Unfortunately, it happens when a small company wants to spread laterally into other markets quickly. Copy, rename, resell. That’s blind ambition, not quality. “Physician-led” can mean many things, and Med-Challenger relies on physician expert leadership to guide our education products, but if an EM physician is “leading” a family medicine review, that’s not ideal.

Med-Challenger believes that every specialty and any review product we make can’t be some retread of “other” content. That’s why we enlist experts in each field to write for their field. Our physician authors are board certified, practicing, and the majority hold education positions at trusted universities and training programs. Our nurse practitioner products are written by NPs and NP educators; our physician assistant products, by PA educators, and so on.

Content is one thing. Look for utility, and extra benefits.

We’ve been talking about question banks as if that were a complete product. To some vendors, it is. “Here, it’s a question bank – hooray! You have EVERYTHING you need!” Not at all.

best board review question banks

The goal is knowledge review and improvement. Passing a test is a result. So, why buy a bunch of questions only, as if they are simply flashcards on a computer screen. You need tools and utilities that USE the content.

Med-Challenger offers a suite of benefits with every product. We’ve built in intelligent, adaptive features that force mastery faster than you would on your own. That saves time.

Med-Challenger offers a bevy of CME credit types – some Med-Challenger products offer multiple types. Can you fulfill CME credits and if so, how many? Med-Challenger strives to provide all MOC and CME credit requirements you must fulfill in a single purchase.

“Here, it’s a question bank – hooray! You have EVERYTHING you need!” …Not at all.

Then, there’s always NEXT YEAR. You might not have a board exam, but you have annual MOC requirements. Did you just buy a “one trick pony” only to re-buy something else to replace it later? Don’t limp along with the same symptoms year after year, cure the condition.

Med-Challenger offers a rolling membership plan that keeps every purchase ready and available year after year for a fraction of the price.

In the end, you’re better off seeking overall outcome value and a track record of proven quality.