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Old 09-29-2014
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Default Need step 1 advice; want to get a 240; only reached 230s in practice.

Hello all,

Here's my story. I studied during July and August for step 1. In my most recent practice tests, I was getting upper 220s and low 230s. I am going for a specialty which requires a certain number (240). I would have loved to be anywhere close to that. With my practice tests, I didn't want to risk taking the test in the end and get a score which makes it infinitely impossible to match. I didn't want my 'worst case scenario' to be a score in the 220s.

I used a combination of FA, UW, Pathoma, DIT, and a bit of Goljan. I reviewed FA around 3 times prior to the test, did UW 1.5 times (with marked questions at the end). Took NBME 7, 11, 12, 13. I still have 15 and 16 and the older ones left. I probably took too many NBMEs. I didn't want to take 15 and 16 and risk getting a 220ish/230 score only to end up extending later. When taking NBMEs, I was getting some of the easier questions wrong because I was either misreading or in a rush.

I couldn't extend my test date since my rotations had started and I tried studying through them but just couldn't do it. I obviously feel disappointed, but I believe I can do it. I just find it challenging to hold the sheer breadth of knowledge in my head that is needed for this exam. I also find it difficult to memorize FA.

I honestly don't know how to re-approach this exam when I take it again in the 5 weeks I get off in January. My plan now is to go through my super weak points (such as cardiac drugs, genetics, biochem pathways, etc.) - memorize these difficult topics. I also feel like I should do more and more questions (i.e., USMLERx, Kaplan, etc.).

With all this being said, what do you guys think I should do? I really wanted to get as close to 240 as possible (with that said, if I end up getting anywhere above a 235, I would be absolutely ecstatic).

Thank you
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usmled10 (09-30-2014)


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