Step 1 Experience: The loop - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
Home
USMLE Articles
USMLE News
USMLE Polls
USMLE Books
USMLE Apps
Go Back   USMLE Forums > USMLE Step 1 Forum

USMLE Step 1 Forum USMLE Step 1 Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 1 exam


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default Step 1 Experience: The loop

Hi guys, took my step 1 on september, just got my score and wanted to talk about something that my friends and I struggled with on preparation for step 1. Long post, read all before commenting

I'm a FMG (studied in central america, so did my friends) we come from different parts of south and central america so English is our second language.

I did my preparation through Kaplan vids, lecture notes, first aid and Uworld (like many of you here), but there came a time when we got to what I called "The Loop".

I refer to it as "the loop" because you study, do a Nbme and can't get over 180-190 score, study, do a Nbme and you score still in the 180-190 range and seems that you can't get past it (or it might even get worst, happened to me). You feel that you have studied everything there is and if you go back to first aid or any other book you feel like you already know this. With this comes frustration and the feeling that you are just not smart enough for this kind of thing.

It was horrible but my country is F.U.B.A.R. and there's no going back so is either pass or..... pass!!! Here is what I did to get past the loop:

- Put First Aid aside (and any other book you studied from)
- Stop any other learning aid like flash cards, videos, etc

-This is the most important step:
Uworld is a learning tool, not to measure how well you are doing. We are tempted by it because we have lots of questions and want to use it to measure our progress but this is not for that.

Forget how many you are getting wrong on uworld and start focusing on the explanations why you got it wrong, take note of the explanation (I use note taking as a memory aid, to be honest I never read them again).

Do at least 3 blocks daily, you might think this is easier but if you focus on the explanations for why and answer is right or wrong it will take a lot of time.

I did this 3 weeks before my test, and since I got my score today I can see how it worked really well.
Here are my NBMEs (all standard pace, NEVER do offline, is a waste):

Form 16: 162 (may 10 2014)
UWSA 1: 185 (Jun, 15 2014)
Form 7: 194 (Jul, 20 2014)
UWSA 2: 195 (Jul 28 2014)
Form 15: 184 (Aug, 04 2014)
Form 11: 200 (Aug, 13 2014)
Form 12: 207 (Sept, 04 2014)

Step 1: 210 (Sept, 30 2014)

I know my score is not that good, but see my nbmes and you'll see that was almost unable to pass. I was doing the old "look at your weak subjects and study them hard" then I took another nbme, that's why I have so many, all of this before understanding I've been caught into The Loop.

For us FMG knowledge is not the only problem there's the understanding of the questions specially if English is your second language. Don't get me wrong, if you speak to me you will not believe I'm from south america, but that doesn't mean I don't struggle with the complexity and sometimes the lenght of a step 1 question, there are many other variables too.

This can all be overcome by practicing, this is the only way.
Remember Step 1 is not about what you know, is about whether you understand the mechanism/process/pathology or not.

Feel free to ask any questions
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
doc12345 (10-22-2014), DrNewB (10-22-2014), Hopetopass2 (10-24-2014), israaoday (10-23-2014), thebluespirit (10-22-2014), usmled10 (10-22-2014)



  #2  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 82
Threads: 6
Thanked 99 Times in 36 Posts
Reputation: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ykza5 View Post
Hi guys, took my step 1 on september, just got my score and wanted to talk about something that my friends and I struggled with on preparation for step 1. Long post, read all before commenting

I'm a FMG (studied in central america, so did my friends) we come from different parts of south and central america so English is our second language.

I did my preparation through Kaplan vids, lecture notes, first aid and Uworld (like many of you here), but there came a time when we got to what I called "The Loop".

I refer to it as "the loop" because you study, do a Nbme and can't get over 180-190 score, study, do a Nbme and you score still in the 180-190 range and seems that you can't get past it (or it might even get worst, happened to me). You feel that you have studied everything there is and if you go back to first aid or any other book you feel like you already know this. With this comes frustration and the feeling that you are just not smart enough for this kind of thing.

It was horrible but my country is F.U.B.A.R. and there's no going back so is either pass or..... pass!!! Here is what I did to get past the loop:

- Put First Aid aside (and any other book you studied from)
- Stop any other learning aid like flash cards, videos, etc

-This is the most important step:
Uworld is a learning tool, not to measure how well you are doing. We are tempted by it because we have lots of questions and want to use it to measure our progress but this is not for that.

Forget how many you are getting wrong on uworld and start focusing on the explanations why you got it wrong, take note of the explanation (I use note taking as a memory aid, to be honest I never read them again).

Do at least 3 blocks daily, you might think this is easier but if you focus on the explanations for why and answer is right or wrong it will take a lot of time.

I did this 3 weeks before my test, and since I got my score today I can see how it worked really well.
Here are my NBMEs (all standard pace, NEVER do offline, is a waste):

Form 16: 162 (may 10 2014)
UWSA 1: 185 (Jun, 15 2014)
Form 7: 194 (Jul, 20 2014)
UWSA 2: 195 (Jul 28 2014)
Form 15: 184 (Aug, 04 2014)
Form 11: 200 (Aug, 13 2014)
Form 12: 207 (Sept, 04 2014)

Step 1: 210 (Sept, 30 2014)

I know my score is not that good, but see my nbmes and you'll see that was almost unable to pass. I was doing the old "look at your weak subjects and study them hard" then I took another nbme, that's why I have so many, all of this before understanding I've been caught into The Loop.

For us FMG knowledge is not the only problem there's the understanding of the questions specially if English is your second language. Don't get me wrong, if you speak to me you will not believe I'm from south america, but that doesn't mean I don't struggle with the complexity and sometimes the lenght of a step 1 question, there are many other variables too.

This can all be overcome by practicing, this is the only way.
Remember Step 1 is not about what you know, is about whether you understand the mechanism/process/pathology or not.

Feel free to ask any questions


Good stuff YKZA5. Congratulations! Doesn't it feel good to be on the other side?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebluespirit View Post
Good stuff YKZA5. Congratulations! Doesn't it feel good to be on the other side?
It does, feel like I got all my good emotions back, also my heart was racing so hard when I saw the ECFMG email on my inbox saying that my score was ready (like doing p90x its was)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
  #4  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 64
Threads: 13
Thanked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Reputation: 25
Default

so, how much time did it took you to preper for the first step?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeleton View Post
so, how much time did it took you to preper for the first step?
5 months, and I had to stop in between for going back to Costa Rica for the graduation ceremony, family was there (that I haven't seen in years) so that was 2 weeks of no studying.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
skeleton (10-22-2014), usmled10 (10-22-2014)
  #6  
Old 10-22-2014
DrNewB's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 115
Threads: 16
Thanked 54 Times in 32 Posts
Reputation: 64
Thumbs Up

You did awesome! Congrats

Bottleneck for me right now is that I cant read fast. . I would miss questions while doing even UW blocks.

Would that be a big problem during the test? How big are the questions? Please can you tell me how did you manage time during the test?

Thanks Enjoyyy
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNewB View Post
You did awesome! Congrats

Bottleneck for me right now is that I cant read fast. . I would miss questions while doing even UW blocks.

Would that be a big problem during the test? How big are the questions? Please can you tell me how did you manage time during the test?

Thanks Enjoyyy
I had this problem too, I found 2 things to overcome this, first practice, practice, practice, do lots of questions a day (not matter if you get them right or wrong) this will help you developing reading skills (specially if you're like me and English is not native language).

Second thing is, after doing that many questions you start seen a pattern on them, not all of the info in a question is related to the answer, for example: a female comes with pain on urination, they give you blood pressure, Po2, HR and respiration, these are completely useless for you to find the answer, so just skip them.

Recognizing the type of question helps you to skip content on the question that you are not going to need, but this only comes with practice and doing lots of questions

Will that be a big problem during the test? YES off course.
I had planned during the test for 3 breaks, 20 minutes each. At the tutorial just adjusted the headphone volume and click that next button like I wanted to kill it (here my FPS gaming experience comes into play) so I ended up with 58 min of break time.
During blocks I was having 5 to 10 minutes left after reviewing my marked questions so I ended up taking a break on each block (that really helped) took a big 25 min break after 3rd block for lunch and the rest were mostly 10 to 15 minutes each.

**Just a little side note, I have a 27 inch monitor so questions on uworld appeared on 2 lines most of the time, at the prometric center you have a tiny monitor so 2 lines at home ended up been a whole paragraph at the real deal, just bare this in mind is and optical ilusion if you have a big monitor

Last edited by ykza5; 10-22-2014 at 08:23 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
darbi (11-27-2014), DrNewB (10-22-2014), usmled10 (10-22-2014)
  #8  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 70
Threads: 5
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
Reputation: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ykza5 View Post
It does, feel like I got all my good emotions back, also my heart was racing so hard when I saw the ECFMG email on my inbox saying that my score was ready (like doing p90x its was)
congratulations ykza5. i gave my exam on 29th september at hyderabad prometric centre india. i m waiting for my score to come. many r saying that they got score now. i dont know wts wrong with my score reporting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drneelema View Post
congratulations ykza5. i gave my exam on 29th september at hyderabad prometric centre india. i m waiting for my score to come. many r saying that they got score now. i dont know wts wrong with my score reporting.
For me it was 3 Wednesdays after I took the test exactly, I've heard sometimes is four depending on what day of the week you took your exam
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 70
Threads: 5
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
Reputation: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ykza5 View Post
For me it was 3 Wednesdays after I took the test exactly, I've heard sometimes is four depending on what day of the week you took your exam
its my 4th wednesday ykza5 as i took my exam on 29th september
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drneelema View Post
its my 4th wednesday ykza5 as i took my exam on 29th september
You don't count the wednesday of the week you took your exam on (so I've read)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 70
Threads: 5
Thanked 17 Times in 12 Posts
Reputation: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ykza5 View Post
You don't count the wednesday of the week you took your exam on (so I've read)
so mine is also 3rd wednesday then.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 10
Threads: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Reputation: 12
Default congrats

I am from CR also & did my Step 1 in Aug.. when are you planning to do Step 2?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old 10-22-2014
DrNewB's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 115
Threads: 16
Thanked 54 Times in 32 Posts
Reputation: 64
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ykza5 View Post
I had this problem too, I found 2 things to overcome this, first practice, practice, practice, do lots of questions a day (not matter if you get them right or wrong) this will help you developing reading skills (specially if you're like me and English is not native language).

Second thing is, after doing that many questions you start seen a pattern on them, not all of the info in a question is related to the answer, for example: a female comes with pain on urination, they give you blood pressure, Po2, HR and respiration, these are completely useless for you to find the answer, so just skip them.

Recognizing the type of question helps you to skip content on the question that you are not going to need, but this only comes with practice and doing lots of questions

Will that be a big problem during the test? YES off course.
I had planned during the test for 3 breaks, 20 minutes each. At the tutorial just adjusted the headphone volume and click that next button like I wanted to kill it (here my FPS gaming experience comes into play) so I ended up with 58 min of break time.
During blocks I was having 5 to 10 minutes left after reviewing my marked questions so I ended up taking a break on each block (that really helped) took a big 25 min break after 3rd block for lunch and the rest were mostly 10 to 15 minutes each.

**Just a little side note, I have a 27 inch monitor so questions on uworld appeared on 2 lines most of the time, at the prometric center you have a tiny monitor so 2 lines at home ended up been a whole paragraph at the real deal, just bare this in mind is and optical ilusion if you have a big monitor
Thanks a lot for the tips. This is indeed very helpful. I like how you managed time in the test. And loll FPS gaming experience..Haha
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarot View Post
I am from CR also & did my Step 1 in Aug.. when are you planning to do Step 2?
I'm in Houston, TX going to take the Kaplan course for step 2 here and hopefully the exam too. PM me
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message



  #16  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 57
Threads: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Reputation: 16
Default

Congrats and thank you for sharing your experience..when do u suggest starting UW and did u do kaplan qbank.. thanks once again .. GOOD LUCK on STEP2
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #17  
Old 10-22-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 22
Threads: 6
Thanked 18 Times in 7 Posts
Reputation: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by passusmle786 View Post
Congrats and thank you for sharing your experience..when do u suggest starting UW and did u do kaplan qbank.. thanks once again .. GOOD LUCK on STEP2
Review the high yield material once and start uworld, by high yield I mean Patho, bioquem, fisio, micro, and use tutor mode from the beginning, I made the mistake of using uworld to check my progress, try not to do that, is a learning tool.

I did not do kaplan qbank.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
usmled10 (10-22-2014)
  #18  
Old 11-27-2014
USMLE Forums Veteran
 
Steps History: ---
Posts: 292
Threads: 5
Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts
Default

Thanks for sharing your experience. Will take into account your advices.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message



Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Location
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
loop diuretics and decreased absorption of ca and mg britesky89 USMLE Step 1 Forum 1 05-06-2014 12:17 PM
Why alkalosis in loop & thiaziades medicalbiology USMLE Step 1 Forum 3 05-28-2013 08:26 AM
FSH and the Estrogen Feedback Loop Mhd. USMLE Step 1 Forum 1 11-26-2012 12:09 PM
Calcium in the ascending loop 587964 USMLE Step 1 Forum 3 12-07-2011 08:07 AM
Ventricular pressure-volume loop MedicalExaminer USMLE Step 1 Forum 0 09-20-2011 10:26 PM

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)