View Full Version : "Board Stiff CRNA" review course
Just took the "Board Stiff CRNA" mock written exam course.
A TOTAL WASTE OF $650.!!!
As a student with limited funds, I felt the need to pass this along to hopefully prevent someone else from making the same mistake I did.
I suggest doing your homework regarding board preparation courses.
Good luck to all new graduates.
05-19-2009, 12:52 PM
Been waiting for a review of this class. Moved to the review section and made a sticky
05-19-2009, 12:53 PM
can you elaborate more? What was bad and was there anything good? Did you take other classes like valley to compare?
Thanks MmacFN for your reply.
First off I would like to say I really contemplated commenting on this course as I was taught "if you can't say anything good, then don't say anything at all". However, as a new graduate I understand the time and money limitations associated with our education. Therefore, I felt the need to hopefully prevent another SRNA from making the same mistake I did.
The only good things I can say about the "Board Stiff CRNA" review course is that the class size was small (4 students) and the faculty were nice people (one CRNA and one MDA). However, we only saw the MDA long enough to express our displeasure with the course.
All four students registered and paid the $650. for the course, and never got as much as an e-mail to say they had received our registration and payment. All of us arrived for the course not even knowing if the course really legitimate (granted, dumb on our part).
The course consisted of nine "mock" exams. We took each test in a given hour, and then the CRNA gave us the answers (all of which are in the book they give you). Many of the "distractors" were ridiculous. Following is an example of a stem and four distractors:
Renal dose dopamine
a. Is bullshit
b. Is bullshit
c. Is bullshit
d. All of the above
Their answer and rationale to this question is:
"Answer D. Reference-If you don't know this by now, then it's time you woke up and smelled the coffee, my friend".
This is just one of many examples of the 900 questions and answers. Not quite like boards, my friend! (Yea, I'm getting ticked off again)!:focus:
It was my impression that the CRNA would help me with test-taking skills by pointing out reasons for missing questions and improving my test taking ability (which was not the case). Unfortunately, she was unable to answer many of our questions.
The course introduction states "You'll be able to wrestle with the tough questions, find out exactly where your weak points are, bounce around a few ideas with the instructor and other classmates..." Yeah, well...look at the above distractors :aargh4:
Yes, I took Valley and it is a REAL review course. I highly recommend it. Also, I am taking the R&R board review in June. Hopefully it will be worth it. Now I am scared!
OK MmacFN...sorry you asked me to elaborate?
05-19-2009, 02:26 PM
Any input regarding the R&R board review? I would hate to waste more money!
05-19-2009, 07:44 PM
Like KKD, I was also scammed into taking this course. The Board Stiff website looks legitimate. It has published many other review books as well as hold review courses for other professionals—so it seemed like a great review course from people who know what they are talking about. However, come to find out once we got to this course, the CRNA exam review is new, and this course has only been around since August 2008 with about 4 students/class. Though they promote to have small groups for individualized attention, it’s only because 4 students hear about it and attend.
My experience: I did not get an email confirmation that I paid, not a schedule, not a phone call, I called many times with no answer and when I left a message no return call, no one told me that no materials would be mailed either. In addition, it says the course ends at 3pm on Sunday on the website, however, once we got there the instructor informed us the course ends Sunday at 12pm but we had the option of finishing Saturday night if we wanted. My flight was already booked for Sunday evening!!! Thanks for letting me know. (ALL RED FLAGS , how did I miss it?)
I was excited and had high expectations for this review course, I mean 9 mock exams?! Someone is there to time me and review answers. I expected 1000 questions similar to those like Core Concepts, Prodigy, Valley practice questions and the sample board questions found at the end of the handbook (those are all great practice questions by the way). NOPE.
Instead of explaining it here are actual examples (FYI, KKD’s question in their post was verbatim, #538):
437. The colloid Dextran 40 is used primarily for
a) Volume expansion
b) Treatment of hypoglycemia
c) Maintaining patency of microvascular anastamoses
d) Reversing heparin
Rationale: answer C. Supposedly this stuff decreases blood viscosity, so all those weird flaps and stuff stay patent. I don’t know.
532. In response to decreased renal blood flow, the kidneys release ____, which results in the formation of ____ which goes to the lungs to form angiotensin II. This causes vaso____, and makes the adrenal cortex release______.
a) Aldosterone, angiotensin I, dilation, rennin
b) Norepinephrine, angiontensin I, constriction, aldosterone
c) Renin, angiotensin I, constriction, aldosterone
d) Dopamine, what do you think?, constriction, soft-serve ice cream
Rationale: answer C. Believe it or not you need to know this crazy daisy-chain of hormones. Renin to ang I to ang II (in the lungs) to aldosterone (from the adrenal cortex) Oy vay!
These are just a few of the many.
When we confronted them with our feedback, they didn’t listen, they chose to carry an arrogant “it is what it is” attitude and never once said “how can we make this a better experience for you.”
The staff said anesthesia can be answered in so many ways and at times is very boring, hence the name, “Board Stiff”. Therefore, in order to make lighten of the topic, cool answers like the examples were presented. They also did not want to be like another Valley, and they prided themselves on the uniqueness of only doing multiple tests to help point out your testing weaknesses as well as having small classes to promote discussion. All are good points and this was why I took this course.
However, for $650course+airfare+hotel for “lighten” questions, questions that do not even come close to the level of difficulty of the actual board questions and other review programs (that are also cheaper and can be done from home with great rationales)….SCREAMS SCAM. In addition, the instructor who is unable to explain the material in the book despite poor question rational other then read off the answer letters. I say, if you’re an instructor for a program, and you represent that program, then you better know the material presented in the text that you print.
This review course gets an “F” and should be shut down.
The board is very serious to me and I regret to have paid this much to joke around all weekend, I’m here to study, learn and pass. If you’re looking for questions with answers that challenge you to think fast and critically…this is not the program.
Funny thing is, they said we’re the first to complain…..I highly doubt that and half the class left after Lunch on Saturday- it was HORRIBLE.
Good luck to all, spread the word, I hope you do not fall in to this trap. I’d stay stick with Valley, Core Concepts and Prodigy (not familiar with that R&R course).
05-19-2009, 08:24 PM
Is that seriously their rationales? How pathetic. As someone who has recently taken boards, I can tell you they ain't like that. Yes the understanding, although very rudimentary, is there....but you better know it better than that when you sit for the real deal. You really have to be able to think through those questions. Sure some are pretty black and white, but there are some that just make you go, wtf? What a scam.
02-09-2010, 09:48 AM
I understand the frustration of review courses. I found that the materials given with the review courses (I haven't seen the board stiff materials) is usually more helpful than that of the review itself. I studied the Valley review materials and took the review 6 months prior to graduation. The exam was interesting in that it seemed multiple answers were correct so I went with my best thought. Some were just basic anatomy or patho questions but most had question marks when I was done and found out I passed I was sooooo excited. sit down and study with someone that has questions from other review courses and go through rationale and you will figure out how you would ask questions.
In the shameless plug I must put in that I have started a website called CRNAshop.com hoping to have more information on everything CRNA... I don't have anything up on review courses so it's good to know that this one may not be one I want to put up. However, even better would be to give them the feedback on how the course was both good and bad in order to have your comments taken to heart.
12-27-2012, 07:05 PM
You should put my book on your site, CRNAshop. :party: I agree that splitting up review classes with your classmates so you can learn all the different approaches to passing boards is a good idea--I took the Prodigy tests and really found them useful (and comparatively cheap!). I typed all the questions and answers and later studied everything related to all possible answer choices. I was cautious about Valley because I took a similar course for the NCLEX and slept through it at the approximate cost of $50 per nap. Of course, I also started studying for my nursing boards the night before, unlike the more studious schedule necessary for anesthesia boards!
12-27-2012, 07:13 PM
Why has this thread resurfaced? To plug another review book, or to discuss another test prep method?
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