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Step 1 is Getting Harder and Harder
by DRFP 08-28-2010, 09:48 AM

Yes the Step one is getting harder.
Passing score raised (see related news)
Questions are all longer now (read related news)
The material is updated every 3 months

Yes its getting harder, the NBME has its aim to make it difficult for non US medical Grads. The structure of questions are geared towards US students and they way they are taught and tested. That is why over 85% of them pass the first time and over 40% of FMG's fail. I truly think the NBME would like to see at least 50% of FMG's fail.

This should not scare you but should be a wake up call.

Its only a test. But too many people do not properly prepare and take very very bad advice.

The keys:
the review material to read and reread
Questions for exercise of the thought processes used on the tests

You cannot download questions and expect the same experience, you must do the online Questions through a service. Don't have the money then forget the whole thing, you are gambling with passing or getting a decent score.

I'm doing an online Qbank for step two and I have to say it helps tremendously.

To be a Doctor in the USA is to join a club.
When you go to medical school outside the US you have already bypassed some of the Hazing that is premed and the MCAT. You then must pass the same test as the US students. This test used to be about medicine but is evolving into a test that is geared more to US style of medicine and less of what is practiced around the world.

Its a test of theory and rare conditions more than everyday medicine.

A test that questions have 2 right answers, one is "More right" then the other, and at times its argumentative.

A test of not enough information and you must assume the right answer at times. Yes even though in real life you want tests and evidence for treatments on the USMLE you can have very little information, so little the at the answer is completely luck and a guess.

A test that after you pass it the Attendings tell you, Now we will teach you medicine.

We need more Doctors in the US? Sure, the US medical schools are increasing by 30% in enrollment but how many are retiring or leaving the profession?

Its a strange place the US. After 46 years being a US born native I still do not understand why its so messed up.
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Old 08-28-2010
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
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Nice article

Well written article. It reflects the current trends.
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Old 08-28-2010
 
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Great article, couldn't agree more
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Old 08-28-2010
 
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Gud one i must say. Really an eye opener.
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Old 09-09-2010
 
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nice one...it clears the latest trend of usmle!good to know it!
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Old 09-09-2010
 
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Hmmm
Very gloomy
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Old 10-02-2010
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
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yup u r rt....but still the knowledge and facts of basic sciences and clinical will be same no mater how much u r distracted by making lenthy scienerio.
anyways thank you for info.....
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Old 10-02-2010
 
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Great article ... thanks for every word in it it warns of hardness of step 1 ... which made me afraid
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Old 10-18-2010
 
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thanks for the warning. i guess we just have to work harder...
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Old 12-02-2010
 
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..

i just have little question..you mentioned to have latest kaplan, fa stuff..what if someone buys all this stuff let say 2 years prior to his exams, then will he be outdated for his exams??
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Old 12-25-2010
 
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may god help IMG

thanx it's really help me realize how things is going in US
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Old 02-04-2011
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
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It's hard, but fair.

I think the USMLE primarily assesses the way you think and the way you take actions and solve problems. There's no way a written question can simulate a real patient encounter, but the USMLE does not try to do that. It's a test of knowledge, reasoning, and IQ. Yes, a higher IQ can bring you a higher score, I think. After all the exams I've taken throughout my educational career, including those in med school (I'm an IMG), I can say that the USMLE is the fairest exam I've ever taken (I took Step 1).
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Old 02-05-2011
 
Steps History: CS Only
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i second u Haisook..
In most countries, there is limited opportunity for a non citizen to pursue his/her education. most of the exams are not open to students overseas. admission is based on how much money a person "donates" to the institution.
By making usmle an open to all exam, U.S is giving us a fair chance to compete with the students there, and prove our worth. One cant blame the country coz its exams are native student friendly.. it is meant for them! for imgs, it tests how well one can adapt to their environment, and yes! it does test our IQ.
there is only one way to ace the usmle- hard work! no other shortcuts work..
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Old 02-16-2011
 
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dude you scaring the hell out of me seriously
usmle should i say tata bye bye
man but i agree at same you are spot on
nicely written
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Old 02-16-2011
 
Steps History: CS Only
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chill

haha..come on.. we all are in this together.. giving up is never the solution we ll just need to push ourselves a lil.. run the extra mile..and hopefully soon enough, we'll be at the other end of the road...all the best
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Old 03-03-2011
 
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True

Thank u for your effort I think this article reflects the current trends.
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Old 03-14-2011
 
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Eye opener

This article is really a reflection of truth of medical entrance in US.
Thanks a lot for writing this.
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Old 03-19-2011
 
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Thank you very much

Thank you very much for this guiding article.
really, it needs very hard work, ambition, and patience to make it,,
hope goodluck for everyone !!!
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Old 04-09-2011
 
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Whoaa!!

Hmm... alright then
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Old 04-14-2011
 
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Don't listen to these ideas. USMLE has targets so you should study as you can and then do your best on exam and you'll be fine. I really think so. If USMLE was hard so It'll be hard on american and international students.

So, don't worry at all.


then =
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Old 05-18-2011
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medaae View Post
Don't listen to these ideas. USMLE has targets so you should study as you can and then do your best on exam and you'll be fine. I really think so. If USMLE was hard so It'll be hard on american and international students.

So, don't worry at all.


then =
well said...
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Old 05-20-2011
 
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Thanks friend, great article.
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Old 06-01-2011
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
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Getting harder?

My step1 exam was last week, and I don't have the result yet. But I feel it was too hard. I felt prepared before the exam by NBME score:670 and same score in UW self assessments and always had lots of extra time in every single exam I have ever had but in the actual exam hardly completed the questions.
The questions were too long and confusing.
Just wanted to know if it has always been like that or it is getting harder?
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Old 02-21-2012
 
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i m foreign medical student and i really want to know the real condition of usmle..is it hard only for the international student or for the native students as well??does it have any time limit to complete the whole usmle(all part)??how to take preparation for the part 1??and what is about the remaing parts??someone pleez tell my real condition of thsi examination..
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Old 02-23-2012
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismah View Post
i m foreign medical student and i really want to know the real condition of usmle..is it hard only for the international student or for the native students as well??does it have any time limit to complete the whole usmle(all part)??how to take preparation for the part 1??and what is about the remaing parts??someone pleez tell my real condition of thsi examination..
Ismah,
It definitely is a difficult exam both for the native and IMGs,
But is a bit harder for IMGs. First because it's been years since we studied the basic science and US graduates got it right away after their courses.
Second, because of the language barrier. The latter affects the timing in the exam day.
BTW, although i was tight in time in the actual exam and my performance was way weaker than I expected, I got an acceptable score of 224 on step1 which is a 96.
And Yes, you have a time limit of 7 years to finish all the steps and most of programs appreciate less than five years since graduation by the time you apply for the residency but it is not impossible if it is more than 5.
For preparation, I can tell what I did.
It helps a lot if you start with step1. It is not a good idea to start by step2.
It gives you a different approach in your study.
Here is what I did.
First aid ( it is a must)
Gunner Trainer, the study material and flash cards only, didn't like the Qbank. You can use the free One month trial. It helped me specialy with biochemistry and microbiology.
And definitely USMLE World Qbank. The more you do Qbank the better...
It took me 2.5-3 months of 8-9 hours a day and doing nothing but staring to the monitor.
Hope it helps.
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Old 05-13-2013
 
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Hope

Guys, Nothing is impossible in this world ! we should prove ourself and everyone of you has something in you ( thats something special) so you should discover yourself
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Old 04-09-2016
 
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this is good advice
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Old 08-25-2016
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
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good advice
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Old 10-29-2016
 
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love this. thanks for the advice
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