FAQs

Is the M5 divided into Basic and Advanced?

The M5 content is divided into general sections, all of which you will have access to with a single subscription. There are sections that are designed specifically to address the Basic Exam and others specific for the Advanced Exam. However, the majority of the content lies in a continuum between the two which are not purely Basic nor purely Advanced, which we have subdivided into three further subclasses to help you focus your studies most effectively. See here for more info.

Is there a monthly or shorter-term subscription rates?

Currently there are three subscriptions, 1-year, 6 months, and 3 months. It is our philosophy that the question-based learning is more helpful over a longer period of time, not used as a traditional question bank just before an exam.

My membership automatically renewed. How do I request a refund?

Refunds may be available for 12 month memberships whose accounts have automatically renewed after the 1 year term, and are no longer in need of the M5 question bank beyond that time. If you're within a month of your automatic renewal payment, your automatic renewal payment will be fully refunded with no questions asked. Refund requests after the month's time of your automatic renewal will be personally reviewed by the M5 and may be granted, as well, depending on the circumstance. To request a refund, just click here and fill out the contact form. Please type "Refund Request" in the subject line, and the reason for the refund request in message area.

Quick favor: contesting the charges with your credit card company (chargeback) will delay your refund, so we ask that you please email us first so that the transaction can be completed immediately without third party delays.

Do you keep my credit card information?

No, all billing is done securely through paypal and we do not keep any of your credit card information on our server. On the other hand, personal information such as your contact information, address, and email can be obtained by anyone with your username and password.

I was billed by Daystrom Creative Group

Daystrom Creative Group, LLC built the web interface for the M5 and your credit card bill may show their name, not M5. You will not be billed twice.

Why do I keep being redirected back to the payment screen?

The M5 uses a secure payment and fraud detection system, and may sometimes take longer to approve payment transactions. The M5 membership is activated immediately after a successful payment, however, in the event that the payment takes longer to pass through the security measures, the M5 membership will remain unapproved and inactive, thus, sending the member to the payment screen when logging in. Normally, the pass through security is an extremely quick process and you can start using the M5 immediately, but if you experience a delay please feel free to contact our support department and we will manually activate your account during the approval process so you can begin using the M5 as soon as possible.

Can the M5 be shared among a group of individuals?

We highly discourage this for multiple reasons. First, we would consider this stealing, as it is priced for individual use and would constitute a breach of our internet handshake to use it for personal use only. Second, your personal information can be accessed by any user with your username and password. Finally, tracking which sections you have done poorly on and need more work would be impossible, as all users would contribute to the results.

Do you use “remembered questions?”

No. Remembered questions are a gimmick as well as being unethical. The chance of having a remembered question on your exam is very, very small and a poor boards prep strategy. Repeating concepts (or remembered concepts, if you will) are high yield and general concepts do repeat themselves from year to year. The M5 is specifically designed for learning of concepts that can be extrapolated to your specific question.

Do you use key words?

Again, no. Key words are ambiguous and lead to an unstructured, almost frantically disorganized, style of study. That being said, a comprehensive array of key word topics are covered within the M5 question bank, its just that the questions weren’t written specific for each key word (if that makes sense). Don’t waste money on key word study material, when OpenAnesthesia.org is free!

Are the M5 questions based on old exam questions?

No, they are all original questions, specifically written for comprehension of important topics to pass the boards.

Are the M5 questions a lot alike the actual boards?

The point of the M5 is not to replicate the ABA examination, but to teach essential subjects in a way that, for most people, allows for better understanding and recall than traditional paragraph or bullet point books. There is not a concerted effort to make the questions as much like the boards as possible. That being said, we’ve been told that some of our questions had an uncanny likeness to in-service and board questions. This is because the concepts the ABA stresses are recurrent and in many cases predictable.

What percentage score is consistent with a passing grade on the actual boards?

The M5 is best used for a tool to enhance learning with self assessment, but we do not have a correlation of scoring on M5 to passing the boards. The best correlation of this is probably your performance on the in-service.

What is the best way to use M5 Board Review?

The M5 was created primarily as an ongoing tool for study over a long period of time, just like a book. What this means is that, in our humble opinion, doing 10 questions a day, everyday of your residency is better than 100 a day in the month leading up to the boards. That being said, if you’re in a situation for a Hail Mary, the M5 will give you the best shot!

How many questions are in the M5 question bank?

Currently, a little over a thousand are available on-line, with more being added periodically. Particularly important concepts are often stressed or hidden in multiple different sections within the M5.

What are the sources used for the questions?

Reference texts (Miller, etc), popular review texts (M&M, etc), ASA guidelines, review papers, and occasionally primary research. The explanations will help you decipher when multiple sources disagree with each other and what answer we feel is the most likely to be used or offer a short discussion regarding the controversy of the subject. Also, of note, these are the exact references that the question writers for the ABA written exam use as well!

What other sources should I study?

No single source for an exam as important as this should be used, instead at least three sources should be relied upon. The M5 is a great foundation for learning material as well as assessing strengths and weaknesses. In addition to this, you should have a solid review book (M&M, etc) and one reference book (Miller, Barash, or Longnecker). There are no question-based books that have the depth, comprehensiveness, or quality of explanations comparable to the M5 that could be used as a foundation; but, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be helpful adjuncts. Focus on taking this exam once!

What if I disagree with the explanation given in the M5?

First, re-read the question and explanation. Second, review sources (literature, texts) to support your view. Third, please, please, please contact M5, with references to your findings. This is how the M5 differs from everyone else!

When should I start cramming for the ABA written boards?

Generally speaking the ABA written exams are not crammable. The breadth and detail of knowledge you are expected to master simply cannot be reliably obtained in a couple months. As stated above, if you are in that situation, the M5 with its question-based approach will likely give you the best chance to pass.

At which point in residency should I start using M5?

We would suggest about the 3 to 5 months into your CA-1 year is a good time to start. By that time your mind is becoming "primed" for what’s important and relevant in anesthesiology. At that point, soaking up new material is categorized and stored away in your brain more efficiently for recall (not a mish mash of random facts floating around). Repetition of questions are very helpful in learning concepts, and the second and third time you read the questions you’ll often see that there were pearls there that you missed your first go around (as your mind is better primed to recognize and remember these concepts).

There are no questions on halothane or methoxyflurane where as they are mentioned extensively in my texts?

Although much of the understanding we have regarding concepts such as anesthetic vapor uptake comes from older anesthetics, specific pharmacologic knowledge of these drugs simply aren't asked anymore.

The example questions the ABA released for the basic exam have a copper kettle question on them. Do we really have to now know this kinda stuff?

Its hard to know for certain, but they are practice questions only and we think their intention was illustrative and not meant to focus you on technology generations of anesthesiologists have not seen outside a glass case. We are focused on the traditional concepts the ABA has been testing on more recently, not diluting our material with hundreds of questions that are unlikely to be asked... such as copper kettles and drop ether. Besides there are other great resources you can use for this. https://archive.org/details/Opendropether1-wellcome

How often is the M5 updated with new questions?

The addition of new questions is a continual process, and does not have a set schedule.

Do we really have to know what acid-base disturbance comes with furosemide usage or understand the pathophysiology of myotonic dystrophy?

Yes, you really do. There are more anesthetic considerations to myotonic dystrophy than simply avoid succinylcholine, and if that is news to you, sign up now... you need to enter the boards with a full breadth of knowledge, not just enough to skirt by anesthetizing healthy patients.

Why do you spell some words in a British fashion?

Long story, needless to say, the questions were written in their entirety in the good ole' US of A.

Can the M5 be used for the FRCA or European Board exams?

The M5 question bank was written specifically for the ABA Board exam, but almost certainly could be used as an excellent source for the FRCA exams as well.

Can the M5 be used for MOCA?

Absolutely, although it’s a bit like bringing a gun to a knife fight. It appears, however, that the ABA have their eyes on the MOCA now, with finding ways to make the examination process not only more expensive and complicated, but harder. We will see what the future brings, but the M5 remains an excellent way to brush up on a wide spectrum of knowledge.

Can the M5 be used for the AKT?

Yes, but the material goes far beyond the scope of that exam. The AKT is a more-or-less straight forward exam focusing on traditional anesthesia subjects; whereas the boards integrates a wide breadth of medical knowledge into the setting of anesthesiology.

Can the M5 be used for the CRNA certification exam?

With the depth of understanding and knowledge base that can be obtained from utilizing the M5, you will own that exam.

How do I opt out of automatic renewal?

If you have a 3 month or 6 month account, your account will not renew. All one year accounts automatically renew for convenience and is easy to change. Simply click "Automatic Renewal" under "My Account" on the home page, and your subscription will end according to its terms.

Where did you get the name M5?

It is an appropriate name that only two (seriously) nerdy friends could have come up with. Rest assured it is not in reference to anything as cool as a high performance German sports sedan or as boring as a communications company. Since its inception, however, the M5 has continued to grow and assimilate more minds into the mix to deliver an ever-growing and perfected source for study to pass the boards. But, no matter how many generous and brilliant minds join our project, we will always be the M5!

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