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  #1  
Old 07-14-2011
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Show Teeth 273/99 Experience

Hey all,
I've never posted here before, but have done lots of lurking and learned a lot from reading all of your experiences. Thought I'd pay it forward by posting my own:

273/99

Test date: June 15

The summer after 1st year, I reviewed the material that had been covered that year in First Aid. Just light reading, nothing at all serious. I didn't touch anything boards related again until winter break of 2nd year, during which I read First Aid in its entirety. When school resumed in January, I started listening to Goljan audio lectures as I walked to and from school. I also subscribed to Kaplan Q Bank and would try to do 2 random timed sections per day. At this point, there was still lots of material that I hadn't covered in school yet (like all of Neuro, Repro, and Heme), but I did random sets anyways. I finished Kaplan Q Bank in early April. As soon as I finished, I did sets made of the questions that I had missed, until I made sure I could answer every question in that Q bank correctly. I also did sets made up of questions that I had gotten right, but wasn't sure about (I had been marking them the whole time). So really, I ended up getting about 1.5x coverage on the Q Bank. Then I moved onto USMLEWorld and did the same thing, again covering it about 1.5x. I did the NBMEs when I felt up to it, and did the USMLEWorld self assessments after I had finished USMLEWorld Q Bank. Then I took the thing, that's about it. Ha.

Here's a summary of my numbers:

Kaplan Q Bank, 78% (This is the first pass, obviously it went up when I started repeating questions.)
USMLEWorld Q Bank, 82% (Same thing as Kaplan Q Bank)
NBME 3 (7 weeks out), 261
NBME 5 (6 weeks out), 268
NBME 6 (5 weeks out). 261
USMLEWorld SA1 (4 weeks out), 265
USMLEWorld SA2 (3 weeks out), 265
NBME 7 (2 weeks out), 268
NBME 11/12 (back to back, 1 week out), 268/268

Really, there's tons of good advice on this website. I think the best piece of it I came across though was do it your own way. You know how you learn, so don't get unnerved because people who are different from you do things different from you. The next best thing I learned here was do TONS of questions. If you want a great score, I think it's vital that you do more than one Q Bank. Finally, as far as books go, the ONLY one I used was First Aid. If you know every word in that book, then you're good to go. Granted, First Aid is not the place to go learn things for the first time, so if you need help understanding concepts then review in other sources that you like. I like Goljan Audio. But once you get it, switch to First Aid and don't look back.

Remember that even though it's a painful phase in life, studying for this exam has real value outside of getting a great score. This is a rare opportunity, to have designated time to consolidate and integrate your medical knowledge. Best of luck to everyone preparing!
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2011
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Wow, really nice score, congrats =)
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Old 07-14-2011
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Default WOW!!!

This is an AMAZING score!!! Congratulations.....really, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

This is a really high score! Good luck on the others also. Thanks for the great advice and thank you very much for posting your experience. Experiences make these forums what they are today. Cheers!
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Old 07-14-2011
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your a beast...did you get a call from nbme asking for their dignity back? loll...congrats dude
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2011
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WOW sir u r a GeNiUs...........Congratulations ur parents must be so proud of u! And thanks for ur advice
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Old 07-14-2011
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WHOA!! dude thats a crazy high score! CONGRATS!!
Thanks for the post and wow ur scores have been pretty high and consistent throughout! GOODLUCK in the future!
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Old 07-15-2011
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wow well donee!! i didnt know 273 exists!
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Old 07-15-2011
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Default congrats for great score

can u just tell how many questions u marked/ dought full in each block during exam
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2011
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WOW best score I ever seen in my life. Congratulations
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2011
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OMG amazing
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan25 View Post
can u just tell how many questions u marked/ dought full in each block during exam
Thanks everyone for the very kind words! It means a lot! So titan, on average I marked 5-6 questions per block. On my exam, though, I felt like the sections varied widely in difficulty. I had a couple sections where I marked around 10 questions and a couple where I only marked 2. One caveat to this though, is that I'm sure people have different threshholds for marking questions. I'll mark questions that I'm pretty sure that I know the answer to but just want to think about a little longer. I usually missed 10-15% of questions that I marked. There were usually 2 or 3 questions per section that I felt I was going to miss more likely than not.

I guess I probably should have commented a little more on the exam itself. My personal preferences when taking these exams is to finish a section with enough time to take a good hard look at the ones I wasn't sure about plus quickly read through the entire section again. Usually I got to the end of a section with about 15-20 min left, this was plenty of time to do those things. On those harder sections, I finished with only about 5 minutes left. In any case, I always let the time run all the way down at the end of each section, even if I was satisfied with all my answers. That was a nice way to give my mind a few extra minutes to rest.

I really think the best advice I could give about taking the actual exam is just figure out a way to stay calm. By losing your nerve you can really hurt your score. I felt myself losing it a few times during those harder sections, so I would just close my eyes for a few seconds, take some deep breaths, and say a quick prayer. Again, just figure out what calms you down and do that.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2011
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about how many times you went thru the First Aid in your whole preparation for the test???
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2011
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Question

Congrats!!!!great score
I want to know if first-aid is enough for behavioral sciences, microbiology and immunology. I'm doing Goljan RR path and planning to review again. so do i need to do first aid path or can i skip it? Which edition of first-aid did u read?

Last edited by priyanka.N; 07-15-2011 at 11:23 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2011
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WOW that's like the highest score I've ever heard of! congratulations first aid is the one you need to know in and out eh
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Old 07-15-2011
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Congratulatins..Awesome score..May we all hit the same score..
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  #16  
Old 07-15-2011
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Congrats......first .....i didn't believe my eyes ...never heard of anyone scoring above 265.... I had a small query...u didnt read any other reference books like BRS or Kaplan notes or anything??? if NO , then probably i wasted my time studying those....
also i have my exam in 45 days , and m done with like 80% of UW, but not a great cumulative , so should I do UW second time, or do Kaplan Qbank which I wasn't planning to do.... thanx in advance....
also how many read did you go through FA...
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorylopezm View Post
Congratulations!! great score!!!

Can you tell how many times you went thru the first aid in the whole preparation for the test??
Hey lory. So I'm not a systematic studier at all. That one time I read through First Aid was the only time I covered it entirely. I did spend a lot of time with it though. I would try to find patterns and specific concepts that I was missing based on my Q Bank results and I would study those topics. Some things I only read once, others I had to study probably 20 times. I don't think it's all that important that you make it all the way through X number of times. That strategy results in a lot of wasted time because you're reading stuff you already know. I pretty much only studied my weaknesses until I felt I knew every word of that book.
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priyanka.N View Post
Congrats!!!!great score
I want to know if first-aid is enough for beh sciences ,microbiology and immunology.I'm doing goljan RR path and planning to review again.so do i need to do first aid path or can i skip it?Which edition of first-aid did u read?
For me, First Aid was enough for everything. I literally did not read anything else. I used the 2009 version that I got from a friend for my post 1st year reading, and then used the 2011 version from winter break 2nd year onward. I wish I could give you an informed opinion about Goljan RR, but I can't cause I didn't use it. My understanding, though, is that it's much more than you need to know for the Step1. Best of luck preparing!
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  #19  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savleem View Post
WOW thats likee da highest score ive ever heardd congratulations first aid is da one you need to know in n out eh
Every word Good luck!
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnirajmavani View Post
congratss......first .....i didnt believe my eyes ...never heard of ne1 scoring above 265.... i had a small query...u didnt read ne other reference books like BRS or kaplan notes or nething??? if NO , then probably i wasted my time studin those....
also i hav my exm in 45 days , nd m don wid lik 80% of UW , bt nt a gr8 cumulative , so shud i do UW second tim , or do Kaplan Qbank which i wasnt plannin to do.... thanx in advance....
also hw many read did u giv to FA...
Nope. Nothing other than First Aid. No BRS, Kaplan, Goljan, nothing. Just First Aid. About the Q banks, I would say repeat the questions you missed on USMLEWorld, then if you still have time to kill get Kaplan. World is definitely the best resource out there for the boards, if you ask me.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2011
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Default finally one more advice

my exam is on 26th july so pls tell me ..what u did last 5 days and what u ate during exam . i little nervous guy i dont know how i will manage...did u use red bull or energy drinks
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2011
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congratulations!!!
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  #23  
Old 07-16-2011
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Thumbs Up Wowww

it is simply impressive. congrats to u. i should start doing questions asap. thanks for sharing...
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Old 07-16-2011
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Default help needed urgent exam on 27th july

first of all congratulations on such a great score. can u plz tell from
where did u do CT scans and patho pics ?secondly wht were ur scores in UWSA 1 in each block just want to estimate ?thanks
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  #25  
Old 07-16-2011
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Congratulations on this excellent score
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  #26  
Old 07-16-2011
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Star wow!!!!!!!

Congratulations!!!! That's an incredibly amazing score!!!! The highest score i've ever heard of!!! Thank you for sharing your experience! You're a living proof that First Aid and Question Banks are enough! I should start doing Qbanks ASAP

Again, Congrats and God bless on your future endeavors! Wish us luck, too. I hope more and more people get the same score as you
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  #27  
Old 07-16-2011
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Default Congratulations

Congratulations >>> really you are awesome >>> i hope to do even better in your next exams.

but i wanna ask you if there is no problem >>>> is the actual exam contains knolwedge not included in the First Aid .
and if you can estimate what is the percentage of micro ,anatomy ,embryo and biostatistics in the exam .

Best wishes in your life
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  #28  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan25 View Post
my exam is on 26th july so pls tell me ..what u did last 5 days and what u ate during exam . i little nervous guy i dont know how i will manage...did u use red bull or energy drinks
During the last few days I mostly just kept doing my thing. I would do questions, just to keep myself in the habit (even though I'd already done them) and reviewing First Aid. I finally went through all the pictures and stuff in the back of First Aid probably two days before the exam. The day before the test, I did light review in First Aid through the day and then relaxed as best I could that evening.

The morning of the test, I did 20 USMLEWorld questions as a bit of a warm up and then drove down to the testing center. I tried to eat some yogurt that morning but took one bite and about threw it up because I was so nervous. I couldn't bring myself to eat the sandwiches I took either. The only thing I was able to eat during the test were some raspberries I brought with me. I'd pop a few in between sections.

I didn't use any energy drinks or anything. The adrenalin was more than sufficient I'd just get a small cup of water between sections.

Hang in there, and just think, soon it will all be over and you can get back to living! Believe me, life is great on the other side
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  #29  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sufi View Post
first of all congratulations on such a great score. can u plz tell from
where did u do CT scans and patho pics ?secondly wht were ur scores in UWSA 1 in each block just want to estimate ?thanks
Thank you so much! All the CT scans and patho pics you need are in the back of First Aid. That's where I got all mine from. That being said, I found that you don't really need to be able to get anything from the images they put in those questions. Everything you need is in the question stem. The images are mostly useful for confirming what you already suspect by reading the question. Of course, the obvious exception is when they show an image and ask you to identify some part of it, but I had maybe two of these on my exam.
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  #30  
Old 07-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayattt View Post
Congratulations >>> really you are awesome >>> i hope to do even better in your next exams.

but i wanna ask you if there is no problem >>>> is the actual exam contains knolwedge not included in the First Aid .
and if you can estimate what is the percentage of micro ,anatomy ,embryo and biostatistics in the exam .

Best wishes in your life
Thank you so much! Best of luck to you too! To answer your question, yes there are questions on the exam that are not in First Aid. But there's probably only 2 Most of the questions you miss will not be because you didn't read broadly enough, it will be because you didn't read deeply enough. I think some students worry too much about low-yield information. Did I miss questions because I didn't read any sources other than First Aid? Yes, I can think of 2. But people who read lots of different sources missed a lot more than me because they didn't spend time really mastering the high-yield material, being too busy chasing down extraneous details. The USMLE is like any standardized test, they want to see if you know basics.

On my test I had probably 15 micro questions, 8 anatomy questions, 3 embryo questions, and 4 biostats questions.
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  #31  
Old 07-16-2011
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On my test I had probably 15 micro questions, 8 anatomy questions, 3 embryo questions, and 4 biostats questions.[/QUOTE

thanx for releiving me as ...i am mor worried abt those analysis of variance kinda que...they always freak me out wen i m solving them on UW...

Also r we supposed to diagnose only on the basis of Histopath slides nd H&E stains like some of the ques in UW.? or do they always mention significant history in the stem??

also UW gives like around 5-6 ques wid multimedia(slides/CT/MRI/audio)ques per block??how many ques shud we expect of these kind in the real exam??
thanxxx in advance
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  #32  
Old 07-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnirajmavani View Post

thanx for releiving me as ...i am mor worried abt those analysis of variance kinda que...they always freak me out wen i m solving them on UW...

Also r we supposed to diagnose only on the basis of Histopath slides nd H&E stains like some of the ques in UW.? or do they always mention significant history in the stem??

also UW gives like around 5-6 ques wid multimedia(slides/CT/MRI/audio)ques per block??how many ques shud we expect of these kind in the real exam??
thanxxx in advance
They almost always mention pertinent history. I think I remember 1 question that the image was crucial, but other than that they were just supplementary. There were a few where I didn't even look at the image (Disclaimer: I'm not actually recommending this as strategy )

If my memory serves me correctly, I had three audio questions, 2 CT, and one MRI on my exam. Good luck to you!
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  #33  
Old 07-19-2011
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hey that's an awesome score congrats..........are u an AMG.......or IMG??????????
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  #34  
Old 07-19-2011
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Originally Posted by eshaan View Post
hey thtas an awesome score congrats..........are u an AMG.......or IMG??????????
Hey! Thank you. I'm an American medical student.
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  #35  
Old 08-09-2011
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Holy eff. What a ridiculous score! You going to do plastics or derm or something like that?
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  #36  
Old 08-10-2011
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Congratulations, that's the best score I've ever heard of!
Did you use any Qbooks? Like Kaplan Qbook or First Aid Q&A?
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Old 08-15-2011
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Holy eff. What a ridiculous score! You going to do plastics or derm or something like that?
I like neuro actually...
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  #38  
Old 08-15-2011
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Congratulations, that's the best score I've ever heard of!
Did you use any Qbooks? Like Kaplan Qbook or First Aid Q&A?
Thanks, val! I didn't use any Qbooks. I only used FA, Kaplan Qbank, and USMLEWorld.
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  #39  
Old 08-15-2011
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How much of your background knowledge gotten in med school helped u in aceing the exam?

+

Do u think an average student, if remembers FA can score 90+ in about 3 months?with Uw OFCOURCE
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  #40  
Old 08-16-2011
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Originally Posted by Crimsonboy View Post
How much of your background knowledge gotten in med school helped u in aceing the exam?

+

Do u think an average student, if remembers FA can score 90+ in about 3 months?with Uw OFCOURCE
I think that most medical school curricula do a good job in covering what you need to know for the exam. In fact, you learn more in your medical school classes than they ever test on the USMLE. For me, the hard part was sorting through the information I learned in class and picking out the nuggets that were valuable for Step 1. First Aid probably helped me do that more than anything. If there was something in lecture that was also in FA, then I made sure I understood it very well. If lecture material wasn't anywhere to be found in FA, then I stored it away as "intellectual edification."
Any student, average or otherwise, with a solid knowledge of FA, 3 months, and USMLEWorld can score 99, not just 90. I have no doubt about that. Best of luck to you in your preparations.
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  #41  
Old 08-16-2011
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greattttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
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  #42  
Old 08-23-2011
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I like neuro actually...
Cool. I want to do plastics, so hopefully I get a score like you!
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  #43  
Old 08-23-2011
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very happy for u bro seriously u give me hope
btw i was wondering is molecular biology THAT important as in classified high yield Question content ?
thx again
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  #44  
Old 08-23-2011
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Really congrates a lot!! An awesome score.
just a question!
Do we really need a study partner or we can get through the exam all alone??
And do you have the one??
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  #45  
Old 08-24-2011
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Really congrates a lot!! An awesome score.
just a question!
Do we really need a study partner or we can get through the exam all alone??
And do you have the one??

I think it's up to you if you need/want a study partner. It depends on how you study best. Having a study partner might be helpful for example to discuss topics you are not sure about, to ask questions, or to find out if you have covered everything in one subjects. Also you's (hopefully) get valuable tipps about study methods, etc.
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  #46  
Old 08-25-2011
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Originally Posted by yazz View Post
very happy for u bro seriously u give me hope
btw i was wondering is molecular biology THAT important as in classified high yield Question content ?
thx again
I definitely had mol bio questions on my test. There weren't a ton, granted, but enough to keep you from getting a great score if you didn't know your stuff.
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  #47  
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Originally Posted by dr.aysa View Post
Really congrates a lot!! An awesome score.
just a question!
Do we really need a study partner or we can get through the exam all alone??
And do you have the one??
This really depends on how you study. If you prefer to study alone, do that. If you learn better by studying in groups, do that. I'm a social studier but unfortunately my class was too stressed about this exam to want to study together. It's understandable, if your classmate knows somethings that you don't, that can make you freak out a bit. So yeah, I mostly just studied on my own. I did have a friend that I would gonon runs with and we would quiz each other on our runs. I thought that was very helpful.
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  #48  
Old 08-25-2011
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thx really for ur respond although i got an odd question but it makes me think about it alot.
should i memorize by heart the supplementary books ?
or just add my annotations to first aid and memorize fa plus my notes only
cuz in the first thing it will take for ever man ..
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  #49  
Old 08-26-2011
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Originally Posted by yazz View Post
thx really for ur respond although i got an odd question but it makes me think about it alot.
should i memorize by heart the supplementary books ?
or just add my annotations to first aid and memorize fa plus my notes only
cuz in the first thing it will take for ever man ..
No, I don't think you need to memorize everything in the supplementary books. Memorize First Aid, and use the supplementary books to add depth to your understanding of the facts in First Aid. Same with your notes, they help you understand better why the facts in First Aid are what they are, but the only thing you need to memorize is First Aid.
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  #50  
Old 08-26-2011
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thx man really appreciate it
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  #51  
Old 08-26-2011
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!
best of luck to all
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  #52  
Old 08-27-2011
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Default Thanks a lot

Congratulation for your amazing score and thanks a lot for your precious posts and support !!

You're advices finally showed me they way, I was confusing btw sources and now, I am pretty sure that I could get better results with FA instead of reading Kaplan lecture notes,

Although I am an IMG and I think I should work more on concepts in compare with you, as you were expecting to sit this exam and you were working on it while studying in classes, How much do you think it may affect my score ?

I have one more question please, when should I register for Usworld? I mean how many days before the exam is sufficient for it?
Thanks for your time

Last edited by tahami_81; 08-27-2011 at 02:46 AM.
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  #53  
Old 08-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahami_81 View Post
Congratulation for your amazing score and thanks a lot for your precious posts and support !!

You're advices finally showed me they way, I was confusing btw sources and now, I am pretty sure that I could get better results with FA instead of reading Kaplan lecture notes,

Although I am an IMG and I think I should work more on concepts in compare with you, as you were expecting to sit this exam and you were working on it while studying in classes, How much do you think it may affect my score ?

I have one more question please, when should I register for Usworld? I mean how many days before the exam is sufficient for it?
Thanks for your time
I would say it depends on what your goal is. If you are expecting to score around the average or slightly above, then the conceptual understanding may not be as important. If you want to get an excellent, curve outlier kind of score, then that conceptual knowledge is vital. You are right that I was fortunate enough to have that taught in my classes. If you need those concepts taught to you, then maybe employ resources other that First Aid. Sorry, I hope that answers your question. I was a little confused on what you were asking. If that doesn't help, ask again and I'll try to do a better job of answering.

It took me about 4 weeks to do USMLEWorld properly. So I would recommend subscribing to it 4-6 weeks before the test. Best of luck to you!
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  #54  
Old 08-31-2011
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WOW!

Hard to not to get unnerved

Awesome score......USMLE master
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  #55  
Old 08-31-2011
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Originally Posted by kirurg View Post
I would say it depends on what your goal is. If you are expecting to score around the average or slightly above, then the conceptual understanding may not be as important. If you want to get an excellent, curve outlier kind of score, then that conceptual knowledge is vital. You are right that I was fortunate enough to have that taught in my classes. If you need those concepts taught to you, then maybe employ resources other that First Aid. Sorry, I hope that answers your question. I was a little confused on what you were asking. If that doesn't help, ask again and I'll try to do a better job of answering.

It took me about 4 weeks to do USMLEWorld properly. So I would recommend subscribing to it 4-6 weeks before the test. Best of luck to you!
Dear Kirug,

Thanks a lot, you directly answered what I was seeking for, I meant I didn't anticipate before that I am going to sit for USMLE in future and I didn't start preparing for this exam in past years, while you have been working on it and familiarizing with its material from first years of studying medicine, and I wonder how much It helped you to ace the exam and could I get a good score without this preparation ? ...

I asked you that whether I should still work on FA materials or not ? In other words If I do some extra studying in fields that I feel I am weak in FA (selective studying ), would FA subjects cover all subjects in exam? or as an IMG I should firstly start reading other books like Kaplan lecture notes or Goljan RR pathology?

Thanks for your help,

best wishes,
Mohammad.

Last edited by tahami_81; 08-31-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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  #56  
Old 09-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahami_81 View Post
Dear Kirug,

Thanks a lot, you directly answered what I was seeking for, I meant I didn't anticipate before that I am going to sit for USMLE in future and I didn't start preparing for this exam in past years, while you have been working on it and familiarizing with its material from first years of studying medicine, and I wonder how much It helped you to ace the exam and could I get a good score without this preparation ? ...

I asked you that whether I should still work on FA materials or not ? In other words If I do some extra studying in fields that I feel I am weak in FA (selective studying ), would FA subjects cover all subjects in exam? or as an IMG I should firstly start reading other books like Kaplan lecture notes or Goljan RR pathology?

Thanks for your help,

best wishes,
Mohammad.
Dear Kirug, I really need your advice more than before !!!

a couple hours ago, I asked from a Pakistani MGs who passed this exam with score 249 ( score 99), that whether I could rely on FA to get score 99 or I should read kaplan to improve my basic knowledge before, and then to sum up all I should read FA,
he told me that FA is not sufficient alone, an I should read all kaplan lectures notes before FA, and I really got confused !!, should I postpone my exam and start reading Kaplan lecture notes ? or it is better to reinforce my weak areas by reading more in FA !
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  #57  
Old 09-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahami_81 View Post
Dear Kirug, I really need your advice more than before !!!

a couple hours ago, I asked from a Pakistani MGs who passed this exam with score 249 ( score 99), that whether I could rely on FA to get score 99 or I should read kaplan to improve my basic knowledge before, and then to sum up all I should read FA,
he told me that FA is not sufficient alone, an I should read all kaplan lectures notes before FA, and I really got confused !!, should I postpone my exam and start reading Kaplan lecture notes ? or it is better to reinforce my weak areas by reading more in FA !

No one can tell you that!! You are the only one who knows. The way to find out is to take an NBME. You will see if FA is enough or if you need to read other books as well.
If you ask a 100 ppl the same question, 50 will probably say it is enough and 50 will say it isn't. That is just because it is different for everyone and it depends on so many factors. Like how recently you studied the basic sciences, if you were a good student and studied them extensively, or if you just forgot everything after the exam. it also depends on how much you retain. So no one can really answer a question like that. Hope I could help you.
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  #58  
Old 09-01-2011
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Originally Posted by val7 View Post
No one can tell you that!! You are the only one who knows. The way to find out is to take an NBME. You will see if FA is enough or if you need to read other books as well.
If you ask a 100 ppl the same question, 50 will probably say it is enough and 50 will say it isn't. That is just because it is different for everyone and it depends on so many factors. Like how recently you studied the basic sciences, if you were a good student and studied them extensively, or if you just forgot everything after the exam. it also depends on how much you retain. So no one can really answer a question like that. Hope I could help you.
thanks val, you right, I think I should start reading and taking some test to evaluate the situation, its better for me as you said, !

thanks for your time, and thanks again kirug for your guidances !

best wishes
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  #59  
Old 09-01-2011
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how many months were you subscribed to Qbank and how many for UWorld?

Congratulations on the great score!
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  #60  
Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tahami_81 View Post
Dear Kirug, I really need your advice more than before !!!

a couple hours ago, I asked from a Pakistani MGs who passed this exam with score 249 ( score 99), that whether I could rely on FA to get score 99 or I should read kaplan to improve my basic knowledge before, and then to sum up all I should read FA,
he told me that FA is not sufficient alone, an I should read all kaplan lectures notes before FA, and I really got confused !!, should I postpone my exam and start reading Kaplan lecture notes ? or it is better to reinforce my weak areas by reading more in FA !
Hi Mohammad. Val is exactly right in that no one can really know what is the best way to go. All I was saying is that First Aid has every fact that's worth knowing. If you don't understand the concepts behind each of those facts, however, then you should check out other sources. My number one piece of advice that I mentioned in my first post is that you have to find what works for you. There is no magical "one true path." I think Val's advice is solid, take NBMEs. They will let you know how you are progressing and whether or not your study strategies are working.
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  #61  
Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by val7 View Post
No one can tell you that!! You are the only one who knows. The way to find out is to take an NBME. You will see if FA is enough or if you need to read other books as well.
If you ask a 100 ppl the same question, 50 will probably say it is enough and 50 will say it isn't. That is just because it is different for everyone and it depends on so many factors. Like how recently you studied the basic sciences, if you were a good student and studied them extensively, or if you just forgot everything after the exam. it also depends on how much you retain. So no one can really answer a question like that. Hope I could help you.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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  #62  
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how many months were you subscribed to Qbank and how many for UWorld?

Congratulations on the great score!
4 months for Kaplan, 3 months for UWorld. Kaplan was longer only because I was in classes at the time, and couldn't move through the qbank as quickly.
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  #63  
Old 07-27-2016
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Hey all,
I've never posted here before, but have done lots of lurking and learned a lot from reading all of your experiences. Thought I'd pay it forward by posting my own:

273/99

Test date: June 15

The summer after 1st year, I reviewed the material that had been covered that year in First Aid. Just light reading, nothing at all serious. I didn't touch anything boards related again until winter break of 2nd year, during which I read First Aid in its entirety. When school resumed in January, I started listening to Goljan audio lectures as I walked to and from school. I also subscribed to Kaplan Q Bank and would try to do 2 random timed sections per day. At this point, there was still lots of material that I hadn't covered in school yet (like all of Neuro, Repro, and Heme), but I did random sets anyways. I finished Kaplan Q Bank in early April. As soon as I finished, I did sets made of the questions that I had missed, until I made sure I could answer every question in that Q bank correctly. I also did sets made up of questions that I had gotten right, but wasn't sure about (I had been marking them the whole time). So really, I ended up getting about 1.5x coverage on the Q Bank. Then I moved onto USMLEWorld and did the same thing, again covering it about 1.5x. I did the NBMEs when I felt up to it, and did the USMLEWorld self assessments after I had finished USMLEWorld Q Bank. Then I took the thing, that's about it. Ha.

Here's a summary of my numbers:

Kaplan Q Bank, 78% (This is the first pass, obviously it went up when I started repeating questions.)
USMLEWorld Q Bank, 82% (Same thing as Kaplan Q Bank)
NBME 3 (7 weeks out), 261
NBME 5 (6 weeks out), 268
NBME 6 (5 weeks out). 261
USMLEWorld SA1 (4 weeks out), 265
USMLEWorld SA2 (3 weeks out), 265
NBME 7 (2 weeks out), 268
NBME 11/12 (back to back, 1 week out), 268/268

Really, there's tons of good advice on this website. I think the best piece of it I came across though was do it your own way. You know how you learn, so don't get unnerved because people who are different from you do things different from you. The next best thing I learned here was do TONS of questions. If you want a great score, I think it's vital that you do more than one Q Bank. Finally, as far as books go, the ONLY one I used was First Aid. If you know every word in that book, then you're good to go. Granted, First Aid is not the place to go learn things for the first time, so if you need help understanding concepts then review in other sources that you like. I like Goljan Audio. But once you get it, switch to First Aid and don't look back.

Remember that even though it's a painful phase in life, studying for this exam has real value outside of getting a great score. This is a rare opportunity, to have designated time to consolidate and integrate your medical knowledge. Best of luck to everyone preparing!

You guys really inspire me. Thanks for the info you've shared.
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  #64  
Old 07-31-2016
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Thank you for your post! You've given me hope!
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  #65  
Old 09-04-2016
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Awesome score.Congrats
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  #66  
Old 09-05-2016
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Congrats. My journey starts soon
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  #67  
Old 10-22-2016
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congrats and best of luck for ur future
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  #68  
Old 10-23-2016
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Great score! congrats!
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