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  #1  
Old 08-05-2011
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Star Complete Step 1 Exam Experience!

Hello all!!!
So I finally managed to give the exam 2 days ago, finally managed to get back to a screen to post back. Firstly, thanks to everyone for the wonderful help (yes, you!). Some truly amazing people here posting truly amazing questions which really helped me keep things going.

So now to the exam, first things first. get a good night's sleep, I tried, managed a bit. sleep by 9 pm before the exam night, it'll take you a while to get some shut eye. But its probably one of the most important things you can do. Get to the center well in time and factor in the traffic situation,etc etc etc. In my case, I had to wait for an hour before they started my exam, which in retrospective might have fazed me a bit.

About the exam, I though that it was do-able. It's very very similar to Uworld, let me rephrase, it is exactly like uworld. The questions were not too hard initially and then progressively got harder. Though I suspect that something had to do with the fatigue factor as well. If you're looking for the exam level, I think its between uworld and nbme, though I really shouldn't say till I get my score! In my exam, I felt there were a few questions/concepts directly from NBME 11 and 12, so be sure to do those. There were a few odd ones from nbme 7.
I hadn't managed to finish uworld and perhaps should have done my FA once more. But, if you do your uworld well, if you put what you read in uworld into the FA and then revise the FA twice after, you'll have more than 90% of the exam content covered (easily!). I felt I had seen most of the concepts before, though since I hadn't revised uworld completely, wasn't able to completely remember stuff.
The biostats wasn't that hard, mostly straightforward but the behavioral (ethics) had really close options so id say read that carefully! Pace yourself well and do enough questions because it is inevitable that your mind will go into autopilot mode and you want to be prepared for that. I am worried about what I did in those 2/3 blocks...The micro had a few curve balls as well.
Genetics and Immuno had a fair amount of curve balls and many of those questions were entwined with each other. I didn't get as much biochemistry as I'd have liked , it was one of my weaker spots and had worked hard on it to improve. The exam itself was fairly visual, there were graphs, pictures for quite a few things! And some without too many clues which leaves you entirely to the pictures. In terms of subjects, I think cardio was heavily tested (even had an ecg), Respiratory was also well tested, cant remember much more but if you ask me specific questions I'd prob be able to answer. Good amt of pathphysiology. I also had 2 heart murmurs, but I don't think the quality of the murmurs were too good..wasn't able to make a definite diagnosis. So...
All in all, uworld and FA (especially the combo by putting the uworld into the FA), in my opinion is the gold standard to improve points on this...

Sorry for the disjointed note, too much noise around. would be happy to answer any questions. and will be posting my prep and long saga soon (after result!).

best of luck everyone, and hang in there! you have no idea what a high it is when you finish!
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2011
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congrats for finishing ur exam ... thanx for sharing and questions with pictures were difficult ? and u have used any website for preparing these types of pictures ? and tell me about behavioural and biostats first aid was sufficient?
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2011
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Default Random or subject wise

First of all congrats on getting it done . I am sure you will do very well in the exam. Mine is quite near already . I was wondering if you did U world Subject wise or Random . I am fairly confused at this . Thank you
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2011
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thanx buddy, i am sure u will do great...all the best for the result
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2011
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Hey congrats on finishing your exam! Thanks a lot for your tips as well.

A few quick questions if you don't mind answering :

1) How was anatomy tested?

2) What about Pharmacology? How twisted was it tested?

Thanks a lot in advance.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2011
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hey, thanks for all the wishes! though i have to say there are some really great people on this website who you should follow (i did!).

yasir - I didnt use any special websites though i did browse through some links i found here off and on. i used to mark all the image questions so in the end when i had like half a day before my uw ran out, i used that to revise 2/3 blocks. besides that, i think FA has got most of it covered. i looked at the diagrams of the GI slices carefully and the neuroanat diag from a seniors notes (some compass notes) to understand them better. but nothing too much beyond that. I have to say that my behavioral has consistantly been my weakest, didnt finish the entire kaplan either. but read FA and felt that mostly youd still have trouble with the ethics sometimes coz it usually comes down to 2 very close options. Have heard many good things about the BRS series, but haven't done it. Biostats were easy in the exam (unlike uw) so i think a combo of uw and Fa should be good. though if you have time theres always more to do!

asclepius - I had done uworld random timed as i found myself guessing through some things when i knew which subject to expect. I did 3 blocks subjectwise in immuno, embryo, and GI to break the monotony in between. and towards the end in timed tutor to finish a few things (found it faster). I think random timed is good to be able to adapt to the exam pattern and pace yourself. Either way, just make sure you understand the high yields well and pick up the bits of extras that the uw offers. My scores initially were late 40s but after 2 reads of FA i jumped to mid to late 60s and stayed there till i ran out (avg of last 13 blocks or so was 66).

thanks examtaker!

donofitaly - I had only done anat from FA, uw, neuroanat from compass, embryo from FA and histo from every unit as i read it in FA (just looked at some slides, selected ones once). Although not having done much, i felt i could do or had atleast seen most questions before. there were atleast 2 questions directly from uw, which i had gotten in the exam, and im sure there mustve been a few more as well. I got one of em wrong i think - it was related to the parts of the urethra which was touched upon in a uw question. As for pharmac, I think it was well scattered, but there were a few twisted questions, hardly too many...but i wasnt too worried about pharmac. hadnt done FA pharmac unit but revised my weaks a day before so felt a bit comfortable. Mostly Side effects and a few like which drugs should not be used together as in antilipid drugs causing myopathy...i think barely 1 regarding indication. images of drug site of action, involving diuretics, also physio was asked like this too!

Thanks everyone, and best of luck to you all too!!!
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2011
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Congratulations on finishing the exam bro.
How many times have u gone through FA.
Did u first read all from kaplan or u studied stuff from FA solely
Is two months b4 exam sufficient for uw and fa revision
Thx in advance
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2011
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Congrats on finishing Bandar!!! Relax and enjoy your much deserved break.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2011
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Well spoken Banbar. Thanks, it was intense and comprehensive!
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2011
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hey thanks a lot everyone! heights, i will see u in the ck forum very soon!

Well to be honest my study was really disjointed. I had read the kaplan series and vids for most subjects last year - abt 2 months and 1 month or odd for goljan for path. Then I had a couple of months gap due to electives, finishing up internship, filling some long overdue paperwork (seriously!). So when I got back to studying I was able to reread (without the vids) the pharmac, the physio (had done mostly from PASS program which I had purchased and mixed it with kaplan reading, didnt have time to re-watch the PASS vids), immuno from kaplan, thats it. I reread goljan uptil Hemat end, and a bit of Respiratory and did everything else from FA and UW. Stuff I didnt like/wasnt sure of I reread from goljan. I think being an img, it all depends on ur level of study from med school, how long u graduated etc etc etc. I hadnt read most of this stuff in years, but have always been comfortable with anat...Deviating from topic...I think being an img, its good to read one such review material once. I dont subscribe to the thought that rereading and mugging up will bring up a great score (fingers crossed), obviously if you have time, you should do it, but i didnt. Rather its better to understand most of the stuff once form any of these review courses and then spend atleast 2 months with your UW and FA and beat the **** out of it. That I think will really take your score from a 200 to a 240. I didnt believe this till I actually saw a kid who i studied with solely study uw and fa for 2 months and manage a 248...!!! But was kind of late by then. Also, I think if you can take a day out every week or half a day and go over what youve studied the entire week, well, that itself is really helpful. I did that in med school, but as i said didnt do it through and through this time round!

As for FA, I read it once with UW ie is kept adding stuff in from uw while reading it through and another 1.5 times i think. My plan was to complete a full read in the last week of prep, but I only got halfway through...so factor in the fact that you may not be able to study as much the last week. In the end, my FA looked all tattered from corners (dont mistake it with repeated studying, rather a result of mishandling during public transport) but its safe to say every page has like some post its or notes scrambled through, such that in the end I felt confident that I wouldnt need to read any other book!

Oh, and sorry for the delayed responses. been trying to stay away from the comps for a while.

Last edited by bandar; 08-07-2011 at 10:46 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2011
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Congrats! Must feel good to be done with the exam! lol

Good luck in the future!
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2011
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first of all congratz on completing the first part
wat are ur nbme and u world scores??
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2011
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yeah,thanks, feels good. lol, though it'd feel better with a good score...

scores - uwsa 1 before starting studying in 1st week of march was 178 (fail). uwsa 2 of 201 in first week of june, 2 weeks later (around the 20th of june) nbme 7 was 193. So was baffled. anyway, 2 weeks later nbme 11 was 207. and finally after another 2 weeks the nbme 12 was 221. Gave the exam a week after...
during these 2 week improvements read uworld and FA only, which i think helped tons...
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2011
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hey mate.. congratulations and all the best for ur good results... i guess u r from india.... m from india too.. i am in prefinal(psm, ent n ophtha) ... i started my prep in 2nd year, nt seriously though bt js to give myself a feel of USMLE... i covered most of goljan, pharma, micro, immuno from kaplan.... nw i have started with my 1st year subjects... presently i m studyn biochemistry... covered 60% ..... m in a dilemma.. i dnt knw when to appear for step 1.. i mean i can prepare for it in this year only n by the end i can appear for it bt m nt sure whether i would be able to prepare fully... secondly i dnt want to delay my exam coz year by year its getting tougher for IMGs to get residency spots( i dnt knw if its true) bt it worries me alot..... u are very experienced now... plz advise me, what should i do? i will be really thankful to u..!!! n one more thng, for uworld n nbme, do we need to register ourselves with the board officially or we can do it as such? n if we do register, do we need to mention our exam dates as well...??
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2011
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Default Exam in 3 days

Thanks for the wonderful post... I have my exam in 3days... i have done FA and Goljan twice and UW once... Doing FA 3rd read and wrong and marked questions of UW now.. Any last time tips or something i should revise?

What about time management? Are the question stems lengthier than UW?
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2011
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maitribhandari - well, im not the best person for the last week study because i didn't end up doing much. But spent the last 2 days mostly going over the weaks, the stuff i tend to forget easily like the tumour markers, oncogenes, antibiotics, antivirals, anticancer drugs and so on. And looked at some images, just before my uw expired. then mostly looked at images behind FA and goljan. Just spend the last day relaxing, and keep the faith. Sleep well the night before!

neelmed - I think its great that youve read these subjects while in 2nd year. not only would you have studied them at school but also again for your mle. that would really fortify the concepts. i dont know how 6th and 7th sem work at your place. but at most places 6th sem is lighter than most others where you can try and finish up with this. try to do 2 months of uw and FA before giving the exam. The best person to decide when to give the exam is you. You'll have to see if you can manage to finish this stuff before the finals, keep a month or 2 as buffer. I'm not a good planner and always overshoot, and thats one thing ive learnt throughout this journey so far...For uw you dont need to register with the board officially. I dont think for nbme either but im not sure, its been a while and i dont really remember. Look for threads on the forum, youll definitely find something.
As for the applying as soon as you can. true, i think its only going to get harder. Though I havent applied as yet so am not really sure of what the situation will be like when I do. But your giving exams in school is not necessarily going to make you get in...try and give the exam when you can, you have time on your hands - make sure you do well. But dont sacrifice your college record either because that is important as well. Try and get some publications, try and get some electives. And in 6th sem, you can get some community outreach program/publication. aim for that as well. just a lot of stuff i had missed out on because i wasnt even thinking of the mle till my last month of internship.
Besides that, Best of Luck!
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  #17  
Old 08-09-2011
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thanx alot mate for ur valuable advice... i wish you all the very best for ur results n ur future.... take care n have a great life....!!!!
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  #18  
Old 08-09-2011
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Thank you so much... All the best for your result....
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  #19  
Old 11-12-2011
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Default clerkship in usa

hey bandar..please can u tell me if one can scholarship in doing clerkship(electives) in usa...me cannot afford the whole cost myself...need a sponsor..can u give me insights and links of sponsors if u know neone??
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2011
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I take my Step1 tomorrow.
Wish me luck.


---
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.402008,-76.494263
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  #21  
Old 12-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b4amee View Post
I take my Step1 tomorrow.
Wish me luck.


---
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.402008,-76.494263


Oh wow best wishes to you!! Good Luck and get some sleep ...... In few weeks you will be like this after seeing your score......
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  #22  
Old 12-29-2011
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Default congrats

hi bandar....congratulations on finishing your step 1 journey... .ALL THE BEST
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