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  #1  
Old 11-04-2014
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Default Img step 1 experience

Hello everyone,
I am posting this as my way of saying thank you to USMLE Forums.
I took alot of help from the Step 1 experiences posted by others, and I hope that I can be of some help to people who are preparing for this exam now.

Let me start off by saying that this was the best study experience of my life!
I first studied using Kaplan Lecture Notes along with videos for all subjects except Pathology for which I used Goljan Rapid Review along with the audio lectures. This took me around 4 months. As I was reading from these materials, I was also referring to my favourite textbooks to consolidate everything (Dr. Guyton's textbook of physiology, Robbin's textbook for pathology).
Once I completed this, I moved on to reading First Aid and solving Uworld. Also, I was annotating all the explanations from Uworld into my First Aid. For Microbiology, Immunology, Genetics, and Pharmacology- I annotated my First Aid with notes from Kaplan too. This helped me convert my First Aid into a giant comprehensive review source. You may be wondering how I fit so many notes into First Aid.. I got this idea from a senior on USMLE Forums- ie I divided the binding on my book and made it into loose sheets which I then kept in a 2 ring binder. This way I could add extra pages.
This whole process took me about 3 months.
After this I took 1 month to revise my First Aid and solve Uworld again (about half the Qbank).. The second run through was done just to stay in touch with questions. While doing this, I also did 5 NBMES, ie 1 nbme after every 6 days.
NBME 11 (5 weeks before the exam): 256
NBME 12 (4 weeks before the exam): 260
NBME 13 (3 weeks before the exam): 260
NBME 16 (3 weeks before the exam): 262
NBME 15 (2 weeks before the exam): 269
On the exam day, I made sure I took about 2 minutes to refresh after each block, with about 20 minutes for lunch and 10 minutes between the 6th and 7th blocks. On that day, the hardest part was to focus for so many hours at a stretch. I was tired and exhausted by the time I reached the 5th block.. So please train yourselves well for this..
All the very best.. I hope you do great on your exam!
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The above post was thanked by:
darbi (11-21-2014), deariederaa (11-12-2014), dr.pain (11-04-2014), Drsouheyla (11-04-2014), fido256 (11-04-2014), Helena (11-04-2014), shahzeenmurad (11-22-2014), shashi singh (11-24-2014), usmlerun (11-04-2014), zh3298 (11-04-2014)



  #2  
Old 11-04-2014
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Thank you for your post! I hope you get a great score. My exams in 3 weeks.. What did you do in the last few weeks between nbmes ?
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zh3298 View Post
Thank you for your post! I hope you get a great score. My exams in 3 weeks.. What did you do in the last few weeks between nbmes ?
Hey.. In the last few weeks, it is very very important to keep revising the material and also stay in touch with questions. I would solve about 3 blocks of uworld (without reading the explanations- I would just solve the questions to make sure I didnt lose my reflexes) and read First Aid.. Try to do the memory intensive chapters towards the end eg; Microbiology, Biochemistry
Each person has some things that they find difficult to remember.. Try to make a list of these and keep reviewing them- that would be vital.
And questions questions questions.. You must keep solving questions until the very end..
Try to take the day before your exam off..
All the best!
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2014
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Thanks a lot!
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2014
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Hey you have some amazing NBME scores there.

I need some advice regarding doing the old NBMEs. I've done 1-6 already, but it's been a month now since I last did them and I don't really remember them much. Do you think I should go over them again? I just know if it would be a waste of time.

I've also done NBMEs 11-13,16 so far but I don't remember much of 11 or 12 as those were the first NBMEs I took early in my prep, so i'll definitely try doing those again.

Lastly, I have a month left for the exam, what do you recommend I do?

I'm currently doing my 7th read of FA, doing some UW q (2-3 blocks) every day, working on topics like anatomy, Neuroanatomy etc. Did Pathoma 2x, doing some other question resources (FA Q&A etc.) I'm thinking of starting Goljan audios, if not doing the whole book. Do you think this plan is good or should I make any changes?

Unfortunately, I was supposed to take the exam on the 30th but due to family issues couldn't. So now I'm having to wait for a month as I need to make a new application and start the process all over again. I only have 1 more NBME to assess myself and that's form 15. I'm thinking of doing that 10-15 days before the exam but I have no other ways to assess myself during this one month :-S

Thanks in advance!
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qirkergaard View Post
Hey you have some amazing NBME scores there.

I need some advice regarding doing the old NBMEs. I've done 1-6 already, but it's been a month now since I last did them and I don't really remember them much. Do you think I should go over them again? I just know if it would be a waste of time.

I've also done NBMEs 11-13,16 so far but I don't remember much of 11 or 12 as those were the first NBMEs I took early in my prep, so i'll definitely try doing those again.

Lastly, I have a month left for the exam, what do you recommend I do?

I'm currently doing my 7th read of FA, doing some UW q (2-3 blocks) every day, working on topics like anatomy, Neuroanatomy etc. Did Pathoma 2x, doing some other question resources (FA Q&A etc.) I'm thinking of starting Goljan audios, if not doing the whole book. Do you think this plan is good or should I make any changes?

Unfortunately, I was supposed to take the exam on the 30th but due to family issues couldn't. So now I'm having to wait for a month as I need to make a new application and start the process all over again. I only have 1 more NBME to assess myself and that's form 15. I'm thinking of doing that 10-15 days before the exam but I have no other ways to assess myself during this one month :-S

Thanks in advance!
Hey..
wow First Aid for the 7th time! You must be quite thorough with it by now..
In my opinion, the last one month should be devoted to one full run through of the entire syllabus with focus on rote memorization stuff (eg; embryology, pharmacology drug names, antimicrobials, biochem cycles, and whatever you find tough to recall).
The old NBMEs arent exactly predictive and also they arent similar to the current exam question pool. I would strongly suggest doing the latest NBMEs especially NBME 15.
All my friends got scores + or - 5 points of their NBME 15 score.
I think NBME 15 was the closest to my actual exam experience- so I would advise you to make sure you do it (online ofcourse).
Keep doing Uworld everyday, and try to revise the entire syllabus quickly once now.
A friend of mine followed Pathoma and scored 265 on the exam- so there you go, dont have to keep worrying about Pathoma vs Goljan. Goljan audios are just 40 hours in total- u can listen to them at about 1.5x and finish them within 2 weeks, doing 1 or 2 hours daily.. You can try doing it every night before you sleep-- when you'l be too exhausted to study anymore.
Lastly, please set your circadian rhythm right- practice studying with full intensity from 7 am to 5 pm
All the best!
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qirkergaard View Post
Hey you have some amazing NBME scores there.

I need some advice regarding doing the old NBMEs. I've done 1-6 already, but it's been a month now since I last did them and I don't really remember them much. Do you think I should go over them again? I just know if it would be a waste of time.

I've also done NBMEs 11-13,16 so far but I don't remember much of 11 or 12 as those were the first NBMEs I took early in my prep, so i'll definitely try doing those again.

Lastly, I have a month left for the exam, what do you recommend I do?

I'm currently doing my 7th read of FA, doing some UW q (2-3 blocks) every day, working on topics like anatomy, Neuroanatomy etc. Did Pathoma 2x, doing some other question resources (FA Q&A etc.) I'm thinking of starting Goljan audios, if not doing the whole book. Do you think this plan is good or should I make any changes?

Unfortunately, I was supposed to take the exam on the 30th but due to family issues couldn't. So now I'm having to wait for a month as I need to make a new application and start the process all over again. I only have 1 more NBME to assess myself and that's form 15. I'm thinking of doing that 10-15 days before the exam but I have no other ways to assess myself during this one month :-S

Thanks in advance!
Also, if you are wondering about more ways to assess your readiness, go for the UWORLD self assessment tests. keep in mind that they might overestimate your score by a few points.. I didnt do them but my friends did and this was their opinion..
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2014
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Hey there, thanks a lot, that's really helpful.

So yeah, I'll focus on trying to finish all the syllabus and emphasize on the stuff that needs rote memorization.

I've done UWSA1 and am reserving UWSA2 for the last week of the exam so that it can give me a boost (however false it might be lol).

Yeah I heard that 15 was the most predictive in terms of score (even though the questions are nothing like that on the real deal).

Since I've already done UW 3 times (the 3rd time mainly focusing on marked items and mistakes) and USMLERx once, I thought I'd do Kaplan qbank (which I did for the low yield stuff like genetics, cell bio, histo, embryo, and a few other ones like Behavioral sciences) but I feel like that wouldn't help much at this point. Nevertheless, I'll do the physio q's from that qbank coz I hear they're really good.

Thanks again! I really wish you the best of luck on your next step and a great score on this step of course!
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2014
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Hey did you study all day or you have job?did you find fa and uworld helpful?
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cage92 View Post
Hey did you study all day or you have job?did you find fa and uworld helpful?
In the first few months I was busy working so I was studying about 4-5 hours a day, but soon I realised I needed to devote more time- so I delved into studying full time ie about 10 hours a day..
And yes First Aid and Uworld are gold! I found them to be of great help!
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medfreak90 View Post
In the first few months I was busy working so I was studying about 4-5 hours a day, but soon I realised I needed to devote more time- so I delved into studying full time ie about 10 hours a day..
And yes First Aid and Uworld are gold! I found them to be of great help!
Congratulations.
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