Passed?"Written Boards 05 Insights and Reviews
Subject: Guess what?
Date: Tues, 30 Aug 2005 22:53:27
Dear Coach Jensen:
Tonight I announce Victory over
the Written Boards!!!! Thank for coaching me through this incredible
obstacle. I failed last year by just a few questions and thought I had
worked hard. I had been through my study materials (mostly textbooks)
two times. I was extremely disappointed and dismayed.
I purchased Big Blue and went
through it 5 times starting in January. I attended your course in
Boston and was scoring in the high 50s to 60s in March. I continued to
do questions while reviewing Big Blue. I left a good job, moved in
early July, started a fellowship, and took the Boards, which I thought
that I had failed again when I left the exam room.
Guess what? I PASSED! Dr.
Jensen, thank you so much for your very hard work in preparing this
material for the Rangers and for traveling great distances to help us
succeed. Your words encouraging discipline are inspiring and hope you
realize that you have helped many of us on the way to acquiring our
With deep respect and my
Subject: Board Results
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 22:53:27
Organization: Big Blue Validated
Just thought I would let you know
that I passed my Boards.
I've been quite worried about it
but knew I had studied hard and mastered Big Blue. Still, I was worried
and skeptical that this job could be done with just one source.
This being said, I passed using
little else but Big Blue. I outlined it, went through it orally with a
partner, read it four more times on my own, listened to the CD's
times, went through Baby Blue four times and went to three of your
courses. I am sure that is less than some people, but quite a bit more
than others-but it was what I felt I needed to do to pass.
Last year I scored in the lower
20% of candidates-barely scoring what first year residents were
scoring. My program director pulled me aside and told me they had NEVER
had anyone score that low and pass it the next year. But I worked,
really worked, and now history shows I studied the correct material,
BLUE". Each time I went through Big Blue
the concepts became clearer and clearer until they were cemented in my
brain. I could feel my knowledge thickening-like corn starch had been
added to my neurons. I awoke at 4 am on test day, went over key
concepts and equations from Big Blue, and then it was off to the races.
When I got to questions that
looked unfamiliar, I just pulled on what I knew or could reasonably
infer from Big Blue. One such question was a matching where you were
asked to match the ABG with the clinical scenario. Many of my
classmates found this difficult-I just started graphing the ABG's and
came up with the answers. Similarly, equations that others ignored, I
memorized from Big Blue and USED on test day. I am sure that being
able to virtually reproduce sections of Big Blue helped me score.
I certainly owe you much thanks.
I know it has taken you years of hard work and labor to create Big Blue,
and it has not been without family sacrifice. It really helped me. YOU
really helped me.
Thank you so, so much. On to the
next challenge, I抣l be ordering Big Red, also known by some of my
colleagues as, 揃ad Boy? soon.
Subject: Big Blue
1 Sep 2005 07:00:30 -0500
I passed my Written Boards on my first attempt. I
recently completed my anesthesiology residency this past June. My
program was a place where resident education was last on the order of
importance. The mentality is that if you call an attending to the OR
for help it is a sign of weakness. Luckily, I was strong clinically in
the OR and ICU therefore I was not fired. My new chairman was only
around 3 days a week. He was not interested in helping my class;
are some one else's
During my first year I was told repeatedly by the program
director that I would never pass the Written exam. I began to question
my commitment to anesthesia and also my intelligence. I then bought Big
Blue towards the end of my CA1 year. I only had time to go through it
thoroughly one time. I took the ITE that July and raised my score by
137.5%. Again, my program director told me I needed to improve to a
passing score and that I would only pass my Written Board after three or
more attempts after graduation, if then.
During my CA2 year I went through Big Blue at least 4
times and began listening to Audio Blue to and from work (70 mile round
trip on congested highways). July came again and I raised my ITE score
47%, i.e., 250% from the original score. I did well on the Anesthesia
Knowledge Test that same year; this kept the peanut gallery quiet.
During my CA3 year I went through Big Blue another 4
times and continued to listen to Audio Blue. I took you course in
Dallas during May 2005. The rest is history.
I wanted so badly to show my former program that I could
do it on my own and without their weak but in their view wonderful
help. Since they were not interested in teaching me I wanted to do it
I want to thank you for helping me do this, to
Beast.?nbsp; I also want to let other Rangers know how important it is to
command the central source. Repetition is key. I passed in spite of
I will start Big Red and Audio Red soon, and after that,
Big Yeller. This Ranger is one step closer to going home.
Onward To Victory,
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 08:45:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Passed the Writtens!
I would like to thank you for your course and Big Blue!
I passed the test on my first try, thanks to your help! I am so happy
and I wanted you to know that you were a great help to me.
For the benefit of future examinees, I would like them to
know that Big Blue works! I followed your advice and read it 3 times,
cover to cover. Once during my CA-2 year and the other times in my CA-3
year. I then made EXTENSIVE personal notes of each chapter on my 3rd
reading. I then read my own notes 2 more times before the test. And,
that did it! The key for me was I did my best to MEMORIZE Big Blue, not
just read it.
Thank you again. I抦
sure you are getting lots of happy
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 10:22:07 EDT
Subject: Thank You So Much
Dear Dr. Jensen:
The results are out and I passed!! Thank you so much for
providing me with the tool-kit for success. I recently graduated from a
program, where education of residents was a tertiary concern- we were
simply a private practice group in a University setting. In our third
year, what little lecture schedule we initially had was canceled, and we
were routinely kept late in rooms that were deemed "senior cases." (You
know those long, boring cases where so much hyper-vigilance is required
that a person can抰
even get a bathroom break because staff is
Thanks to you, I was able to figure out a way to get
around all that and despite the format change of the exam, I passed. I
had done little studying in my first and second years, and was in a
panic, when I saw my in-service scores heading into my third year. (I
thought that being able to provide anesthesia, and having a good working
knowledge would help. Sadly, no, I got the same score as my first
year.) I went through Big Blue 4 times. My first time through took a
couple of months, but I started in September. By January I was at your
course in Florida, and you put me through the wringer. This helped
immensely, letting me know where I stood.
I have a four year old child at home, and a husband who
was, although morally supportive, practically useless when I needed
uninterrupted time to study. I found that going to bed at nine PM, and
waking up around three thirty AM to study before I got to work, worked
well for me. As I have a 40 minute drive, and love audio books, I
listened to Audio Blue nonstop from September to July. I got to know
your voice too well, but must say I actually enjoyed Audio Blue very
In addition, I supplemented my study here and there with
Faust, and took the time to copy all the graphs and charts out of the
Lange book which resulted in only one graph being foreign to me.
Thank you so much, your course and rigorous study plan
saved me, and at least three of my classmates that I know of. You'll
find you will be seeing a lot of our residents, as for the last couple
years, we have had very high pass rates, which we all attribute to you.
As soon as my first paycheck comes in, I'll be ordering
Big Red, and will see you at the course.
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 14:06:02 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: pass 2nd attempt
I passed the Written on the 2nd attempt. Thank you for
all the encouragement, motivation, excellent materials and personal
belief in me.
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 12:37:16 -0700 (PDT)
Dear Dr. Jensen
I am writing to you with sincere thanks and good news. I
just found out yesterday that I have passed my Written Boards on the
first attempt, and have you and Big Blue to thank for it. I completed
my residency in July and am now a pain fellow. I went through Big Blue
three times, and also used Anesthesia
and Co-existing Disease as a reference. One again thank
you, and I hope to tear through the Oral Boards with your help and just
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 16:36:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: exam results
Hey Dr. Jensen,
You may remember me emailing you immediately after the
Written exam about how difficult the afternoon session was. You told me
to stay positive and hope for the best.
I am happy to report that I passed. I am currently doing
a critical care fellowship and I plan on taking the April Oral exam. I
heard that your course is excellent. Thanks for your time and great
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 03:06:23 +0000
Dear Dr Jensen,
I want to share good news with you. I got my Board
results today and I passed on my first attempt! I appreciate your
efforts in helping so many anesthesiologists pass this exam. I attended
two of your courses, which got me in that exam mode. I also studied Big
Blue 7 times and heard Audio Blue 3 times. I did everything I could to
get this exam out of the way. Even my 2 kids used to call me a '
Ranger'. By the way, they like the Ranger song and they developed a
regular song and dance routine to it. It was fun!
See you for the Oral.
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 22:07:30 -0700 (PDT)
To: niels jensen
I am on my way to the Oral exam. I PASSED.
Subject: Board results
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 05:38:06
I had written to you before about my performance on the
in-training exam and my use of Big Blue on CD. I received word I passed
The only source I relied on was listening to Big Blue on
CD during my drive to and from Pittsburgh. I ended up listening to it
from start to finish 12 times梐
lot of repetition, but well worth it. I
will start getting ready for the Oral with Big Red after I order it
The Written Exam results came back today. I passed, and
have already applied for the Oral. With your help, we抣l kill 慹m
Thank you for your help.
"Take me to the promised land."
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 15:10:55 -0400
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the result "Pass"
on the ABA web site today. The course in New Jersey 2 weeks before the
exam was the main factor which helped me turn the tide on this difficult
and extensive test.
This is the first time I took this exam for real. My
scores during on the in-training were mediocre at best.
I listened to the Audio Blue for approximately 6 months
or so, over and over. I sacrificed my passion for music in the car for
these 6 months. I barely read the Big Blue梞y ears did the work of my
eyes. Apparently, at least for me, my ears can take information to my
brain as well as my eyes!
I read the course syllabus 2 times just 1 week before the
exam. This was also most helpful.
Thanks for helping me pass this exam. I am looking
forward to seeing you at the Oral course.
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 15:33:23
Subject: I PASSED
Dear Dr. Jensen,
Although I can't believe it, I PASSED the Written this
July !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I can't ever thank you enough. You
helped me much more than you can possibly realize.
I first contacted you after I got a 155 on my first
attempt. With Big Blue and your "A" course in New Jersey, I brought my
score up to the mid-190's. (I was getting about 60% on the "A" course
exams.) This year I studied, although I struggled with motivation
through the late fall and winter, and took the "B" course in LA. (I
still didn't do too well at the "B" course, and was getting scores in
the 60% range, which was highly motivating for me.)
I studied NON-STOP between that "B" course and the
exam. So please don't ever say someone who gets a 57% on a practice
test a month before the exam can't actually pass. It can be done梐nd I
I am dyslexic and get time and a half on my exams.
Despite this extra time, I have never been able to finish the exam.
(This year I did OK on the first part, but didn't finish a lot of the
afternoon section.) The USMLE's gave me double time, which was a bit
more time than I needed, but time-and-a-half would not have allowed me
to finish. When I took your courses, I started as soon as I could get
the test booklet, worked through to the time when you were reviewing the
answers. (Thanks also for starting to hand out the course test booklets
an hour before the official start of the practice exam.)
Again, THANK YOU so much for everything. I抦
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 13:44:33 -0700 (PDT)
To: niels jensen
Great news! This 2nd time test taker passed. A much
longer letter will be coming to you in the coming weeks with my full
recommendation for your course. Suffice it to say this Pain grad missed
the mark with 170 on the 1st attempt. 5x through Big Blue
plus your course in Hasbruck Heights. Guess what? Are you ready for
this? Are you sitting down? I GOT 284, I just killed 'em. I just
believe it, I keep getting out the paper and I just stare at it.
284! Wow, I've never done anywhere near that well before.
I can't thank you enough. I hope we can influence these
people who "set the
standard" to making education better and patients safer.
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 02:07:48 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Written result
To: Niels Jensen
Thank you for helping me prepare for the Written Boards.
After so many tries (6) to be exact, I was finally able to pass.
It's not yet time to ease-off, rest-up, or boil coffee in
the woods. Rather, it's time to go for the last, big battle--The
ORALS. As always, patience and preparation is the key, as you continue
to say. I've wasted enough years already. I want to go home. With your
help, it can happen.
Once again, thank you very much
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 21:11:13 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Dr Jensen,
I just wanted to thank you for the effort you put into
getting the Big Blue out with up to date information. It was my primary
source of study material and I passed.
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 16:03:50 ?400
Today I realized I could view my results online. After
taking my exam last year with a horrible result (148) and an awful
amount of hard work with Big Blue- I PASSED!!!!
I feel like a horrible monkey is off my shoulders. For
the past two years I have lived with the stigma of not being able to
pass the Written and was afraid to tell my partners. I felt like a
failure and hope no one ever has to experience the feelings I had the
last two years. I appreciate your time and effort with Big Blue and at
the courses. I look forward to working with you for the Oral.
I finally passed, thanks to you Can you believe I
finally made it after all of these years? Keep spreading the
message梟ever quit, you are closer than you think. I'll see you for the
Oral Thanks again
(Many times wounded, often MIA, never dead, and now
Subject: We won
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 12:29:15 ?400
Just thought I would let you know that my score improved
by 53 pts to result in a V. Thanks for your help. See you at the Oral
Subject: Hello from Tulane
Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2005 21:34:05
I managed to get Big Blue out of
my apartment and back to Tulane on Sunday before the storm. I just
started my CA1 year and reading Big Blue before the In-service was
I rode out the storm with four
other Tulane residents and staff. I was plucked from the roof with a
load of CHNO patients who were critical care/SICU and vent dependent
last Thursday night. The shootings at the helicopters was true as well
as being out of food and water. Yet, in true Ranger fashion, we
soldiered on. We distributed laryngoscopes to use as flashlights. When
the looters came, we distributed syringes of SUX to use as weapons.
(none thank God were used).
I left a comfortable academic Ob/Gyn
practice to pursue what I was meant to do and I will, with God's help,
return to the city I love and also the specialty I am embracing with
deeper love each passing day.
Several of us are Jensen
Rangers. I am here to report that the Rangers performed with heroism
and valor under hellish conditions. (I am a vet of Iraq. It was better
over there). We will return and beat the ABA and any other SOB that
stands in our way.
Subject: It says a lot. . .
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 20:32:48
Dear Dr. Jensen,
I was sort of surprised at what I
found on the ABA web site. I had really thought the morning of the
Written exam was pretty easy and for some reason hit a wall in the
afternoon. After a light lunch, I was feeling ill and over the next few
days developed a bronchitis that lingered for a good while.
Apparently, the morning was pretty good! I passed the exam.
2005 ABA Written Exam for Primary Certification
Jul 09, 2005
The results of the 2005 ABA Written Exam for Primary Certification will
be mailed to candidates on Sep 09, 2005. ABA staff will be available by
phone to answer questions about the 2005 ABA Written Exam for Primary
Certification beginning Sep 19, 2005. Please do not call to discuss the
2005 ABA Written Exam for Primary Certification before Sep 19, 2005.
I have to commend you on the
course and the Big Blue and Audio Blue CD抯. The information was very
good, obviously. I have been out of my residency for a good, long while
and this was my first attempt at the exam. It says a lot for the value
of your method.
Hope you have been able to put
the books that I gave you in Dallas to good use.
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 09:14:44
Subject: Sweet Victory
Dr Jensen. Thanks to your prep
courses and especially Audio Blue, Sweet Victory was mine on July 9,
Regards, Ranger Pete
To: "Niels Jensen" <email@example.com>
Subject: I Passed!!
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 14:58:48
I just got my score. Passing was 209 (as it was last
year). I made a 287 up from last year's 201. As you may or may not
remember, this was my fifth time. I scored 81% on avg w/ 88% on the
physics and my lowest score was a 67% on anatomy surprisingly. I got
all the stat questions.
I think the biggest difference for me this year was going
to course "C" just before taking the exam. It gave me confidence, but
also I saw several questions from the course which were almost identical
to those on the exam.
Following your advise and religiously going through my
keywords from the past 4 years also made a big difference. I also used
a index card system to help me memorize Big Blue. Memorization also was
helped tremendously by using Audio Blue every time I got in the car
which I started about 3 months before the test.
Thanks again for all your help. I couldn't have done it
without ya!!! I'll see ya in January for the Oral Prep. OH YES!!!
Subject: Sweet Victory!
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 22:41:25
Dear Dr. Jensen,
I wouldn't normally feel the need
to write to you to report a battlefield victory, but I cannot believe
how much my score improved when I compare my in-service exam performance
last year to what I scored on Boards. I feel it is truly remarkable. My
in-service exam score last year was a 22. This correlated to the 9th
Needless to say, I was very
concerned and felt like I had a great deal of catching up to do if I had
any chance of passing. While I admit I had not been reading and
studying very hard, I still had serious doubts about whether I could
pull this off. My concern turned to anger and resolve when my program
director discussed my performance with me. He indicated that he felt it
was "an extreme stretch" to believe I would be able to make up the
ground necessary to achieve a passing score after graduating from my
residency. After reporting to me that on average my class scored in the
75th percentile as CA-1s and only in the 25th percentile as CA-3s, he
then followed up his first uplifting words of encouragement with, "Maybe
we're just not teaching you guys anything." When I mentioned that I
planned to study Big Blue and take your Written course, his response: "I
think that is a waste of money and you should spend your money on a good
text book." Can you believe this guy?
Following my conversation with
him I became totally focused on how I would pass this test. A good
friend of mine had gone through this process the year before. He had
taken your course and studied Big Blue and done well. He gave me a game
plan which I was able to follow. I really enjoyed the analogies you
used in Audio Blue especially looking at the ABA exam like a target in a
battlefield that just sits there and waits for you to conquer it. You
said, "The exam is a fixed target, given at the same time over the same
subject matter every year" and when I realized this, I then felt
empowered and in control and knew I could master the topics necessary to
pass Boards. I became relentlessly focused on studying Big Blue. By the
time I was done I read it 5 times and knew almost every word of it. I
listened to Audio Blue times three. I went to your A and C course.
I just received my performance
report from the ABA and my scaled score was a 316!!! Not bad for a guy
who a program director said didn't have a chance of passing! Passing
again was 209 and the mean was a 250 with a standard deviation of 50.
What percentile do you think I am in with a score of 316? Unfortunately
they didn't include this in my score report.
Thank you Dr. Jensen for being a
true ally throughout all of this. I have a great deal of respect for
the fact that you help fellow physicians achieve their goals and I am
now one of the many who you have helped. See you at the Oral course in
Dallas this Spring.
Subject: THANK YOU
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 23:26:52
I know that you receive countless
emails, but I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for creating Big
Blue. I am someone who definitely needs a one stop source and direction
for what needs to be studied and mastered.
With hard work, mastering Big
Blue, working hard at your course in New Jersey, and doing many practice
questions have enabled me to pass Boards and to score in the top 15% of
I know that this could not have
been possible without your guidance and efforts. Thanks for creating
one focused source. It may sound dramatic but I feel I could have been
stuck in this process and so, literally, your program has changed my
life for the better.
Dear Dr. Jensen
I am pleased to inform you of my
passing score on the Written exam. The first time I took the exam I
listened to the advice of my attendings and just read a textbook which
everyone thinks is the cat抯
meow. That strategy resulted in failure.
This year, I went through Big
Blue five times and did many questions. This resulted in a fifty point
improvement in my score. This is far, far better than the 15%
improvement you promised.
I was unable to attend your
course in Dallas because of my father's unexpected passing. You were
kind enough to provide a more than generous refund.
Rest assured I have informed as
many residents at my program as I can to use Big Blue as their primary
source for the Written exam. It took me to the finish line. Thank you
for all your help. I抣l see you for Orals.
Subject: Board results
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 20:37:59
Dear Dr. Jensen:
I would like to have the
opportunity to thank you for helping me pass the Written Boards. I
surely could not have done it without your help and your systematic
I was able to raise my score from
168 last year to 239 (passing score 209). I can抰
wait to get started
on the Orals.
To: Niels Jensen
Subject: Exam scoring
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 16:11:08
I'm sure there's a deluge of
emails to you right now!
They've made it next- to
impossible to figure out how you did on this test. They give a
"standardized scaled score" based on a "benchmark scale", whatever that
is, with a mean of 250 and an SD of 50. I had a standardized scaled
score of 270.
Now, you can count up the "items"
they give on their question break-down and you get 288. Then they tell
you that you need a 209 to pass, but they don't say that's a
"standardized scaled score" (how could it be, it's almost a full SD
below the mean).
I counted 68 "items" that they
said I had trouble with, so 288-68=220, which is a pass and maybe a
pretty good one. My scaled score of 270 is way above their mean of
250. What does this mean? How did I do? And heaven help the poor guy
who barely failed but can't tell why!
What does all this translate into
in percentage terms? I get 209 out of 288 being 72.569%! That would
mean they raised the pass level a little bit over 72, and I got a little
over 76! Remember, before I took the course and worked with Big
Blue-Audio Blue I took the I-T exam a couple times and I got 25 or 26
when you needed 32 to pass, & I got a 37 last year (again, what was
that?) I think I was scoring in the high 50% or low 60% before we
started out together.
This year's exam was harder than
last year's. I really appreciate everything you did to help me. I
passed after all these years! Still hard to believe.
Hi Dr Jensen,
late 3 am and I am I am
listening to your Audio CDs. Thank you for your effort and the hope you
Dear Ranger I:
I appreciate your hard work in
trying to beat the Beast. As has been said,
揟he will to win is less
important than the will to prepare to win.?nbsp; Thanks for having the heart
of a lion and specifically, the will to prepare to win. Go to bed now
and hit it hard tomorrow. As William Shakespeare said, 揝leep mends the
worn sleeve of care.?nbsp; Not too bad. --NFJ
Subject: I PASSED
Hi Dr. Jensen,
You need to hear my story. I
graduated from a top program and always barely passed my in service- but
still I was shocked to fail by 1.2% last July on the Written exam. I
have never failed any medical exams.
I decided to take your course-
attending 2 reviews- one in January and another in June. I read Big Blue
5 times, some chapters I read 6 times. I made a mini Big Blue on all my
key words using Miller and Barash based on your advice. I gave up all my
vacation time to study and studied every weekend for 7 months. I read in
the OR , I read on planes, I carried chapters in my bag to read whenever
I had down time.
I am so happy to report, not only
did I pass this year, I got a 252. (my scaled last year was 204). I
jumped up 15%!!! I could not believe it.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 17:30:19
In this wake of horrible
hurricane Katrina, I now suffer another set back. I scored 31 (1 point
short) of the needed 32 to pass the in-training exam. I am at a loss.
I have no job currently due to the storm. My home is unlivable. I have
a nightmare of insurance papers to sift through. I am back living in
my parents home with my wife, son, and in-laws under one roof.
One of the few things that
survived was a black cap I wore to study in. It has only one word
across the front of it -- RANGER."Today I lay down to bleed,
tomorrow I will rise again"
I will not quit.
Subject: Written Boards
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 20:28:55
Just wanted to say thanks. I took the Written Boards for
the second time in July and passed. I narrowly missed passing last year
with a scaled score of 206 (passing was 209). I took your review course
in Dallas last year but unfortunately I didn't listen to the advise that
you were offering regarding where to focus my study efforts.
I took your review course in Los Angeles in May, and used
your study tips, reading and re-reading the answer book in addition to
notes from Barash that I took during residency.
I achieved a scaled score of 266 this year, easily
surpassing the 209 set as passing. The only difference was that I worked
harder with my Big Blue and I carefully examined the areas that I needed
to address based on incorrect responses on the practice exams given at
your course. I attacked those areas during the four weeks prior to the
exam which I am certain was the critical element that put me over the
Again, thanks for your help and I definitely look forward
to seeing you in the coming year in preparation for the Oral Boards.
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 16:42:45 ?500
I'm sure you are being overwhelmed with e-mail from your
Rangers out in the field who are letting you know that they were
victorious in the battle of July. There may be some letters from those
who were not quite prepared, as well.
This past July was my "second tour of duty". The first
time I thought I was prepared, but found out that I was horribly
mistaken. I had read Big Blue about 6 or 7 times, but still fell 36
points shy of victory. I began preparation for the second battle with
high hopes and strong motivation. I'm sorry to say the motivation did
not carry through the winter and my hopes and motivation were a bit
However, I sprang back to life, attended your course in
March and got back into the study groove. I listened to Audio Blue
three full times. I listened to it on the way to and from work
everyday. I went through Baby Blue four times while in the OR. I went
through Big Blue only 3 times. I also attended another one of your
courses in June to see if I had improved. I was aiming for that 72%,
but was falling just short, scoring in the 60's at your course. I went
to battle on that dreaded day in July not really sure if I had done
enough, thinking of all the time I had wasted during the winter,
thinking of all the extra studying I wished I had done.
When I emerged from the battle at the end of that
Saturday afternoon, I really didn't know what to think. I felt better
about the exam than I had the year before, but my confidence had been so
shaken by failing the first time that I doubted myself. I just received
my scores in the mail, and not only did I emerge victorious, I scored 66
points higher than I did last year! I don't know if that is any kind of
record, but I thought it was significant enough to let you know.
I wanted to thank you for being the motivated and
motivating leader that you are. 36 points seemed like an insurmountable
leap to make. I'm sure there are many Rangers who feel or have felt the
same way. Like you have said many times, we have passed every other
test we have ever taken, why shouldn't we pass this one, too? Again,
thank you for doing what you do. I look forward to preparing for the
Orals with you!
To: "Niels Jensen"
Subject: Re: Board PREP Order
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 16:22:28
I just wanted to take a moment to
thank you for putting together such awesome resources as Big Blue and
Ranger Blue. I passed my Written exam this year scoring 285 (not just
passing but being definitive about it, as well). In addition to using
the texts and tapes provided by you, I attended your course in Ft
Lauderdale last Winter.
The testimonials on your web page
were also an encouragement. Like some of those who had responded, I too
had never failed an exam before. I was a strong resident and chief my
last year. Respected (I think) by my faculty and peers and having come
so close to passing the year before on the in-training exam, I was
overly confident in July of 2004. Needless to say, it came as a
devastating blow to my confidence, not to mention the humiliation I felt
when I had to face my co-workers with news of failure.
Regarding the test and my
strategy, I read Big Blue several times cross-referencing it with the
M/M Clinical Anesthesia text I had used in residency, the Lock-N-Load
tapes and Ranger Blue. Once I felt I was ready, I put much of the
material more concisely and in my own words on note cards--something I
could review quickly at work. This is the strategy I used throughout
medical school and it never failed.
As I went through the exam, I was
amazed at how much of the exam came directly (sometimes verbatim) from
your texts. For future editions of Big Blue you may want to consider
discussing ventilators with regard to peak and plateau pressures,
matching ABGs with various clinical scenarios (patient with a PE, man
with COPD , respiratory depression in a healthy pt in PACU), reviewing
where to auscultate various heart murmurs, and the new question types.
Again, thanks for your help and
resources. The war is only half over-- see you in the trenches for
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 16:29:37
Dear Dr. Jensen,
William Tecumseh Sherman said on his march through the
south, "Every day I feel more in need of an atlas, as the knowledge of
geography in its minute details is essential to a true military
education". Well, Big Blue and the course was that atlas the score was a
sound 316, in the 91% range. Big Blue seven times through along with
Audio Blue in the car really helped me nail this thing.
The Boards were different yet the same as you have said
so many times. Not much regional this year--8 or so questions. Renal was
the big menace this year.
You're formula works and to stray too far from Big Blue
will lead to disaster條ike a sea captain who doesn抰
know where he is
taking the ship. Terrance said, 揂
captain who does not know to what
port he sails can never have favorable trade winds.?/font>
You are the Captain, you know the trade winds, and I look
forward to having you take my ship into port.
To: Niels Jensen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Thank you
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 17:46:37 ?500
I would like to thank you for helping me pass the Written
exam this year. I am the classic procrastinator. I have been doing
this throughout my entire education. But I found myself lost with this
I was cramming/focusing on information not tested. At the
LA session I had not started studying and roughly tested 50-55% on
your exams. You mentioned a few times it may be too late but one of the
letters you read gave me hope. It was the one in which someone stated
he passed by just going over the syllabus and his key works.
I had defined my keys words for the second exam and still
had them so I concentrated my efforts on the syllabus. I took one week
off before the exam and managed to go through it two more times in
addition to the first read at the session. The morning of the test I
quickly skimmed my key word definitions and hoped for the best.
My standardized scaled score went from mid 180's to 226
on five days of 4-6 hours of studying your syllabus coupled with
skimming key word definitions.
I honesty believe that your course made all the
difference. Going through those long hours of testing for the four days
built up my tolerance for the real exam. I have had problems holding my
concentration during the afternoon tests on prior exams but I noticed I
was more mentally fit this time around. I just wish I had found your
Thank you again, and it was definitely nice having you in
my corner. I look forward to having you there for my Orals.
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 06:36:07 -0500
Subject: I doubled my score!
Dear Dr. Jensen,
I have been a little bit of a skeptic of your methods.
It took failure and direct contact with you for me to admit the error of
my ways, but that is exactly what I have done.
I failed my in-training exams and was warned about doing
better or else... When I made the suggestion to attend your course, my
former residency director told me that 1) I would not get any time off
for this and 2) many people have taken your course and still failed. In
other words, he totally pooh-poohed the idea.
May was the darkest month of my residency. I received a
letter of warning from the program stating that I was in danger of
flunking out of the program altogether if I did not show dramatic
In May and June I studied very hard from Faust and found
it somewhat helpful.
One redeeming factor was a new residency director who
allowed me to take one day off to attend your program C in Chicago.
Although I only scored 50% in all the tests that I took during the
course, I finally broke down and purchased Big Blue and Audio Blue. In
the last weeks before the exam, I lived and breathed your study
materials, mostly from Audio Blue. I enjoyed your encouraging and often
heart warning stories about past failures with eventual success. I
certainly did not have enough time to go through Big Blue enough, but I
tried and I made it through 1.5 times.
When I took the test, I did everything that you coached
me about. When I lost concentration, I would write " YOU CAN DO IT!" in
the test booklet. I thought the second portion of the test was extremely
Three months went by before I heard anything about my
results. I definitely expected to do better than in previous years.
When I received my scores, I waited until the end of the day to open the
envelope. As I did, the word " Congratulation" were hand written on top
of the sheet. In a brief period of focused study, I managed to score 31
on my in-training exam. Previously I had scored only 11 and 16!
If I can achieve that much in a few weeks, I can't image
what I can do next year when I take the real test. Thanks to you I have
regained confidence and will take your course A this coming year. By
the way, the talk and threats of me flunking out of the program have
completely stopped. Tell residents not to believe everything program
directors say about how dumb we are. Often, it is just a cover-up for
their poor teaching. The focus of your program proves this.
Looking forward to working with you again and THANKS A
Subject: I passed the written
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:03:07 ?400
Hi, Dr. Jensen -
Thank you for helping me pass the Written exam this
July. I went to two of your courses (Texas & Chicago - July), studied
Big Blue, and was Victorious. I got 246. Not bad considering last year
I was in the 10th percentile in the in-training exam.
I will now study Big Red and sign up for more courses.
See you next year...
To: "Niels Jensen"
Subject: Re: Board PREP Order
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 20:00:54
I attended your Written Board review in Boston and feel
it got me motivated and ready for my Written Boards. I am happy to
report that I aced the Boards and am now going to study your Oral review
tapes and Spiels for Oral Boards in April...If I can get the time from
my job I will definitely take the Oral Board review in Boston.
Thanks, Ranger C.
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 15:11:19 -0400
Subject: Passed the Exam . finally
Finally, I received the letter that starts with "
Congratulations.." . The hard work under your leadership has paid off.
I found out about the result on the net about 2 weeks ago, but the
suspicious part of me did not want to be happy prematurely until I could
actually see the letter in my hand. I received the letter 2 days ago.
So it is official.. I passed, with a score of 261. Not bad!
I sent my request for the Orals to take in April as you
recommended. I want to start the preparation ASAP. I know that your
courses for the April Orals start in January . I plan to attend the
January, February, March, and April courses before my April Oral exam .
S. also passed ...He is very happy, actually, TOTALLY
ELATED, just like me.
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 10:41:57 -0500
Subject: thank you
Dear Dr Jensen,
i just wanted to thank you for everything that you do. i
appreciate the trouble you go to, and the risk that you place yourself
in for the benefit of those seeking Board certification.
i recently just passed the Written portion after failing
on my first attempt. I scored 199 then, and scored 261 this time梐
significant improvement after going through Big Blue more thoroughly
than before, Audio Blue in the car, and two of your prep courses.
Needless to say, after last year, my confidence was
shattered as this was the first exam i have ever failed. After the
courses I was still feeling a real sense of impending doom. That's all
past now, and I can walk a little taller, interact with my colleagues
more comfortably, deal with non-anesthesiologists with more authority,
and look at myself in the mirror with a better sense of self-worth.
Thank you again, and I look forward to seeing you for the Orals.
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2005 16:05:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Board PREP Order
To: Niels Jensen
Dear Dr. Jensen
I passed my Written in 2005 with a score of 266. Last
year my Written score was 206. I did not manage the time well during the
afternoon test. I had over 100 questions to go with only 40 minutes
left. I was in a panic and missed most of those questions. But this
year I did my best and moved along better and the course really helped
me manage my time better. Overall Big Blue worked great for me. Thank
From: Ranger Roderick
To: "'//email@example.com'" <//firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: written boards
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 11:21:10 +0900
Dear Dr Jensen:
I took your Written Board review class in the Spring in
Chicago and was
able to pass the exam with ease on my 2nd try. My score
went up by 52 points
and this put me about 30 points over passing. Thanks for
your course and materials to focus and I'll be seeing you for your Oral
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 13:24:52 -0800 (PST)
To: Niels Jensen <email@example.com>
Dear Dr. Jensen,
I attended your C level prep for the in-training
examination last year, and I must
thank you very much for it. I had previously, as a CA-I,
achieved a scaled score of 13 on the exam, in 2004. This corresponds to
<10th percentile rank.
After studying the Big Blue and the C level prep, I
achieved a score of 30 last July, as a CA-II, corresponding to 55-60th
percentile. In addition to the fine preparation materials and excellent
course, the psychological benefit of your course is unparalleled. Thank
you very much.
Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 16:23:37 -0800 (PST)
I had the chance to stop by and say thanks at the ASA in
Atlanta recently, but I wanted to let you know again how grateful I am
for your help in passing the Written last July. I抦
sure that you
probably get a pile of these "thank-you" emails, but I抦
I would not have passed without your help.
I was always told during training that I was clinically
at the very top of my class. When it came to the in-service exam
though, I was always dragging up the rear. I knew that I would have to
know more and be sharper than most others would in order to pass, as I
have never taken multiple choice exams well. Bottom line, after failing
in July 2004 and feeling the pain of it every single day, I took the
exam for the 2nd time July 2005 and passed with an incredible margin of
4 scaled points. I know that you helped me raise my score by more than
four points. Thank you.
Others may have easily outscored me. Frankly, I would
have loved to scored a 250 or 280, but I will GLADLY take the 213
(forever melded in my mind because of the blood, sweat and tears it took
me to get it). Those who have not had to fight and who have not spilled
their blood and their hearts on the battlefield to achieve victory just
don't seem to understand. I appreciate that you do, and seem to
In reading the "Written 05-insights and reviews", one of
the letters stood out to me because the Ranger has a Chairman who seemed
to be uttering the same words that mine uttered to me: "Jensen's course
is a waste of money, and you are never going to pass the Boards at your
It seems so clear to me now that the body of knowledge
required to pass Boards is largely separate from that required to care
for patients. In addition, busy residency situations seem to by default
view the time and effort for the education which would help one pass as
secondary compared to the need to have a warm body tending the latest
middle of the night elective case. If only I had began studying Big
Blue earlier in my residency, rather than trusting that my program would
give me the tools I needed, I would have avoided a great deal of stress
and feelings of humiliation and even worthlessness.
I plan to take your oral course in Feb 2006 in LA and am
scheduled to test in Boston in April. I am wondering if it would be in
my best interest to spend my time off in January trying to hammer Big
Red into my brain, or try to attend an earlier course in Jan in addition
to the course in Feb. Any thoughts?? Also, though I have hopes of
passing my Oral on the first try, I want to be clear about my position.
Now that I have taken 2 attempts to actually pass the Written how many
attempts do I get at the Oral before I would have to re-take and pass
the Written again?
looking forward to the next leg of the journey, as
the prize on the other side seems to counter the sacrifices here and
now. I agree with what I have heard you say many times before, that our
loved ones and families need us, and that we must do whatever it takes
now to get past the Beast of the Boards so that we might begin investing
more of our time where it truly counts.
Thanks and may God bless you and your efforts,