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Kaplan VS AMBOSS: Which is Better?

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by Yousmle Staff in Plan

Kaplan vs AMBOSS

Question banks or qbanks can help you study for USMLE Steps 1 and 2 by providing you with sample questions that are similar to what you may find on the USMLE. You can use qbanks to review different topics and see how you understand various subjects. Two qbanks to explore are the Kaplan and AMBOSS banks. These are two banks that feature questions created by prior medical students who have passed the USMLE.

This Kaplan vs AMBOSS review shows many points to explore surrounding these two question banks. They are different in many ways, but they are also convenient for how they can help you learn more about the subject.

What is Kaplan?

Kaplan Test Prep is a group that provides test preparation materials for students planning on completing various standardized tests, including all three USMLE steps.

The Kaplan qbank includes more than 3,000 questions surrounding many aspects of the USMLE. These questions feature additional resources that provide detailed explanations on many of the subjects you’ll review. There are short videos for some questions, plus you can review interactive anatomical models for some subjects.

The Kaplan materials you read will focus more on how to understand individual topics. You’ll get a thorough explanation of each question after completing an answer, helping you figure out what you know versus what you require further help with.

What is AMBOSS?

The AMBOSS medical learning platform is a system that helps medical students prepare for the USMLE. The qbank features more than 2,700 questions for the Step 1 exam and thousands of other questions for additional subjects.

The AMBOSS platform includes separate practice exams and question banks for different USMLE subjects. You can also find various links to thousands of articles through each question. You’ll see the answers to a question and then links to additional medical phrases and other concepts you can study. This feature helps when you’re concentrating on specific study aspects.

For more on the most essential takeaways from the NBME question writer’s guide.

An AMBOSS vs Kaplan Comparison – Which Is Better?

Price – Tie

The first point to see between these two options is the price. Kaplan has a course program that provides access to the qbank for as little as $128. The program is available in access lengths from one to 24 months, so the Kaplan costs will vary over how long you’ll have access.

The AMBOSS price is $10.75 per month when billed annually, meaning the total AMBOSS cost would be $129 for a year. You can also subscribe for one month at $14.99 per month.

Videos – AMBOSS

AMBOSS has the more valuable series of videos, as AMBOSS partners with Osmosis, a group that produces medical learning videos, to help students understand more about how many concepts work. The thorough info in these videos will be helpful to your studies.

You’ll also find many explainer videos on questions in the Kaplan qbank. These videos can appear after various questions. However, some of the videos are dated and may not work well. Since the Kaplan qbank has thousands of questions, it might take a while for the Kaplan course Step 1 platform to receive all its necessary updates.

Kaplan also provides some interactive 3D models you can review after a question. These images will help you analyze different organs, body systems, and other factors, giving you a more visual approach to understanding your subject.

Practice Questions – AMBOSS

Kaplan has more than 3,000 questions in its bank. You can sort these questions by difficulty, helping you build confidence as you work through some of the simple concepts first before moving on to harder points.

But AMBOSS has a stronger bank, as AMBOSS has nearly 5,000 questions throughout its entire bank, with about 2,700 questions focusing on USMLE Step 1. You can use filters to focus on questions in specific subjects or disciplines that you want to study further. You can also highlight specific questions you want to focus on the most, allowing the platform to understand more about what you want to review.

AMBOSS also ranks its questions based on difficulty. There are five difficulty levels in this setup, and you can divide your questions between all of them to help you complete your exam and understand your subject matter.

Application of Questions – Kaplan

Your focus on questions in the Kaplan setup will be easier to manage. While you’ll find noise in many questions, the noise is necessary for helping you concentrate on the question details, helping you see what details are the most essential for figuring out an answer.

The same is also true for AMBOSS. Many questions are complex, but you can learn how to manage them through this interface. The information Kaplan provides is easier to review, as Kaplan can help you review different question trees.

Breadth of Practice Questions – Tie

The Kaplan platform covers every topic for Step 1, as you’ll find questions covering every subject. The behavioral science field seems to be a more prominent one, as USMLE has updated that segment more than others.

The AMBOSS platform also covers all the major topics, although it has content that goes well beyond Step 1. Students looking to complete the Step 1 exam might find it easier to focus on the Kaplan questions, although the AMBOSS platform can also work for all three parts.

Depth of Practice Questions – AMBOSS

AMBOSS lets you select what difficulty levels you want to concentrate on when testing yourself, plus the difficulty selection is more realistic than what Kaplan provides. The questions in the three and four-hammer range on the AMBOSS platform tend to be more likely to appear on the USMLE exam. Many of these questions also have multiple layers, requiring you to look through their stems to see what the questions are about while figuring out possible answers based on what the question incurs.

The Kaplan qbank also lets you sort questions by difficulty, although the specific difficulties of these questions are subject to debate. But many of these questions also come with First Aid book references, which helps you use the FA book alongside the qbank to review specific details.

How Do You Retain Info? – AMBOSS

Kaplan lets you repeat questions you missed to help you understand more about the subject. You can use the links and definitions in each question to clarify your understanding. But this feature isn’t as thorough as what AMBOSS uses.

AMBOSS lets you access the Anki add-on to search through the Anki article library to find reference details on individual questions. Since you’re getting more information from new articles, it’s easier for you to build knowledge on complex subjects you’re trying to study.

Practice Tests – Kaplan

Kaplan’s test platform helps you review the content well, as Kaplan provides two full-length practice tests. You can use these tests to analyze critical materials while getting an idea of what to expect in the full test.

The questions on the AMBOSS practice tests are some of the harder ones available. You can create tests based on the different subjects you want to study and focus on the most.

Content Access Periods – Tie

You can choose to access the content in each platform to your liking, although the pricing will vary over what you select. Kaplan lets you pay for services for as little as one month, but the group prefers people subscribe to the platform for at least a full year to get the most value.

The monthly and annual subscription options from AMBOSS are helpful for students who have various access requirements. Paying for a year’s subscription will be a better deal than paying by the month, especially since the platform covers all USMLE steps.

Books Availability – Kaplan

While you can find various books from Kaplan that can help you prepare for the USMLE, AMBOSS doesn’t have any available books.

Mobile App – Tie

AMBOSS has a mobile app for Android and iOS use where you can quickly look up various pieces of content from anywhere. The app also has details on questions from various accredited studies, so you won’t see anything that might be interpreted as an opinion.

Kaplan also has a mobile app for Android and iOS use. This app lets you review qbank entries, plus you can create quizzes from the app based on specific organ systems or disciplines.

Conclusion – Which Is Better?

The answer to which of these two questions banks is better will vary over your situation. The Kaplan program provides more resources for study, plus you have more control over how you can prepare for tests. You can also find more videos and interactive content with Kaplan’s questions.

Meanwhile, people who want to concentrate on certain topics will find the AMBOSS platform to their liking. AMBOSS also provides a more affordable and accessible approach to learning, plus you can find various detailed articles and reports within each question. The extensive array of questions covering every USMLE step will also help you with your studies.

Be sure to look at how these two options work when searching for a question bank you can trust for your USMLE studies. Kaplan and AMBOSS are both helpful, but they aren’t as alike as one might assume.

Want FREE Cardiology Flashcards?

Cardiology is key for impressive USMLE scores. Master cardiology from a Harvard-trained anesthesiologist who scored USMLE 270 with these 130+ high-yield flash cards. You’ll be begging for cardio questions - even if vitals make you queasy.