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


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  #1  
Old 12-09-2014
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Default scored 255+ on step 1

hey guys. so i got my score few weeks back but never got a chance to write back my experience as i was too busy doing nothing and relaxing after this tiring exam
i write this post for the so called 'underlings' and the 'backbenchers'.
INTRO about myself: i am an img, a slow learner with avergae intelligence and memory. nothing too special
Time: 1 year. it sounds like too much i know but for underlings like who never even knew what a mast cell is, this was much needed. i didnt want to rush and you shouldn't either because you get one chance. just one and if you screw up here you screw up big time so prepare well . take your time.
Books: i used way too many books which was a bad idea i think. all books are written differently and we all learn by different ways. some are visual learners and some need mnemonics and some need tables and charts etc. the main thing is you should pick a book not just because its popular but only if it suits your taste and you like reading it.
1.Anatomy: i studied kaplan and HY anatomy . unfortunately it wasn't enough for exam and i had a lot of weird questions from this subject.
2.physiology: i used kaplan notes and BRS. since my basic knowledge was weak i found both of these truly useful in their own unique ways and did pretty well on the exam
3.Biochemistry and genetics etc: i studied kaplan notes and it was very good. unfortunately i had only about 6 questions from this
3.Pathology: i studied Goljan and it was brilliant... brilliant .... brilliant. i cant stress this enough you MUST do it if your basic knowledge is zero you can not skip this one. my big Salute to Poppie
4.Microbiology and Immunology: well i used kaplan notes for both of these and the book is huge with a lot of info .i really had a tough time retaining all that information. but there are few pages in the end of this book that has some diseases, cases and charts that were of a big help.
5.Pharmacology: used Kaplan notes and some kaplan flashcards good stuff
6.Behavioural science: Kaplan notes are more than enough i think. Stats was a bit crazy but i think i did OKAY on this one. i also read Appleton review of stats. good book
7. FA + UW: undoubtedly the best sources for step 1 . i think i read FA about 6 times and UW 2 times .
8.DIT: this was very good on some topics. but never saw a single question on the extra info it had.
NBMEs: 13=246 15=238 16=245 FRED=90%
Exam day: i was very calm and controlled untill about 3rd block when i started getting tired and the time seemed short. a girl started typing madly and a guy started coughing so badly. all these distractions were really screwing up my thinking process. so you guys should be prepared that you won't have absolutely pin drop silence . these things happen but you should try to stay calm. The questions style was most similar to but harder than uworld and nbme 16 with a lot of twists and way too lengthy + loads of pics. there were WTF questions that i never read about in these book or UW so i just guessed there and moved on.
So as you must have noticed i did better on the real deal than nbmes and the answer to that is ' I dont know' may be its bcoz i took a few days rest before the exam so i was alert and not yawing like when i used to while doing nbme forms. also i never took a single break during these nbmes so that used to make my thinking clouded in the last block or so. and ofcourse may be i just got lucky so Thank you GOD
apologies for any typos or grammar mistakes you find as i am typing this post real quick. hit me up with questions if you have any i will be more than happy to help.
also if u know someone who is preparing for CK please let me know i dont want to study alone by myself this time
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2014
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Thumbs Up Congrtas

Congrats,,,,for marvelous score
So can you please elaborate as
how many times u revised Kaplan and other books,
How long you approx took to finish u world 1 st time & what's was ur approx % score 1st time.?
How many months before your exam,you started u world n FA?
How long it's takes to finish FA 1st time?( for me it's taking like ages.
When did you give ur 1st Nbme ?

I am sorry for asking too many questions, but really would like to gain from your great a d successful exp of step 1
Thanks
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia1 View Post
Congrats,,,,for marvelous score
So can you please elaborate as
how many times u revised Kaplan and other books,
How long you approx took to finish u world 1 st time & what's was ur approx % score 1st time.?
How many months before your exam,you started u world n FA?
How long it's takes to finish FA 1st time?( for me it's taking like ages.
When did you give ur 1st Nbme ?

I am sorry for asking too many questions, but really would like to gain from your great a d successful exp of step 1
Thanks
i didnt revise any of the kaplan or other books except physiology , biochemistry and the statistics chapter. but i always kept them side by side if i needed to look up something quickly
i took about 50 days for first pass of UW . i think % was around 75 to 80%
i started fa about 6 months before exam and uw 4months before exam.
first read of fa took me ages too as i was reading other books as well and also i am a slow learner
my first nbme was when i finished first read of fa before starting UW but i would suggest you to finish UW at least once before doing any nbme
Do NOT worry about the time. Do not walk into the exam unprepared. for IMGs score of steps is a big deal so do not compromise on it
goodluck
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2014
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Thanks for prompt reply and solving my all queries so patiently,
Your post indeed is too helpful.
so what I understood is ur basic revising material for FA and Uworld,.... Did you annotate UWorld in ur FA ? Or revising both of these sources is good enough.. M asking this because I have read some posts where people say they took too long to finish UWolrd coz there was so much to write from it in FA
Thanks again and good luck for ur next steps
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia1 View Post
Thanks for prompt reply and solving my all queries so patiently,
Your post indeed is too helpful.
so what I understood is ur basic revising material for FA and Uworld,.... Did you annotate UWorld in ur FA ? Or revising both of these sources is good enough.. M asking this because I have read some posts where people say they took too long to finish UWolrd coz there was so much to write from it in FA
Thanks again and good luck for ur next steps
yes i did annotate FA from uw. there is so much to write down in FA but you dont have to write down all things. for example some stuff you know is written in kaplan or goljan so no need to note down. i would even take out important pages from different books and attach them in FA to fill up any gaps. its really a big pain but its worth it in the end.
thanks for the good wishes. goodluck
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2014
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congrats on great score.Im doing both kaplan and brs for physio,should i annotate firstaid or leave space for uworld questions?next I'm planning to read kaplan anat,hy neuro,hy gross anat(only for abd & pelvis) is it sufficient for anat?Is kaplan enough for embryo & histo?
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by step123 View Post
congrats on great score.Im doing both kaplan and brs for physio,should i annotate firstaid or leave space for uworld questions?next I'm planning to read kaplan anat,hy neuro,hy gross anat(only for abd & pelvis) is it sufficient for anat?Is kaplan enough for embryo & histo?
Leave all the space for uworld . Unforunately the way anatomy is being tested none of these books can save u but then again may b i just got unlucky on exam so u shouldnt b focusing too much on this subject, learn as much as u can and leave the rest to fate.
For embryo nd histo even just fa and uw are enough :-)
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2014
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Add me please: +966504247783 .
Favorite subjects pathology, pharmacology & immunology.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2014
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Smile Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker.mle View Post
hey guys. so i got my score few weeks back but never got a chance to write back my experience as i was too busy doing nothing and relaxing after this tiring exam
i write this post for the so called 'underlings' and the 'backbenchers'.
INTRO about myself: i am an img, a slow learner with avergae intelligence and memory. nothing too special
Time: 1 year. it sounds like too much i know but for underlings like who never even knew what a mast cell is, this was much needed. i didnt want to rush and you shouldn't either because you get one chance. just one and if you screw up here you screw up big time so prepare well . take your time.
Books: i used way too many books which was a bad idea i think. all books are written differently and we all learn by different ways. some are visual learners and some need mnemonics and some need tables and charts etc. the main thing is you should pick a book not just because its popular but only if it suits your taste and you like reading it.
1.Anatomy: i studied kaplan and HY anatomy . unfortunately it wasn't enough for exam and i had a lot of weird questions from this subject.
2.physiology: i used kaplan notes and BRS. since my basic knowledge was weak i found both of these truly useful in their own unique ways and did pretty well on the exam
3.Biochemistry and genetics etc: i studied kaplan notes and it was very good. unfortunately i had only about 6 questions from this
3.Pathology: i studied Goljan and it was brilliant... brilliant .... brilliant. i cant stress this enough you MUST do it if your basic knowledge is zero you can not skip this one. my big Salute to Poppie
4.Microbiology and Immunology: well i used kaplan notes for both of these and the book is huge with a lot of info .i really had a tough time retaining all that information. but there are few pages in the end of this book that has some diseases, cases and charts that were of a big help.
5.Pharmacology: used Kaplan notes and some kaplan flashcards good stuff
6.Behavioural science: Kaplan notes are more than enough i think. Stats was a bit crazy but i think i did OKAY on this one. i also read Appleton review of stats. good book
7. FA + UW: undoubtedly the best sources for step 1 . i think i read FA about 6 times and UW 2 times .
8.DIT: this was very good on some topics. but never saw a single question on the extra info it had.
NBMEs: 13=246 15=238 16=245 FRED=90%
Exam day: i was very calm and controlled untill about 3rd block when i started getting tired and the time seemed short. a girl started typing madly and a guy started coughing so badly. all these distractions were really screwing up my thinking process. so you guys should be prepared that you won't have absolutely pin drop silence . these things happen but you should try to stay calm. The questions style was most similar to but harder than uworld and nbme 16 with a lot of twists and way too lengthy + loads of pics. there were WTF questions that i never read about in these book or UW so i just guessed there and moved on.
So as you must have noticed i did better on the real deal than nbmes and the answer to that is ' I dont know' may be its bcoz i took a few days rest before the exam so i was alert and not yawing like when i used to while doing nbme forms. also i never took a single break during these nbmes so that used to make my thinking clouded in the last block or so. and ofcourse may be i just got lucky so Thank you GOD
apologies for any typos or grammar mistakes you find as i am typing this post real quick. hit me up with questions if you have any i will be more than happy to help.
also if u know someone who is preparing for CK please let me know i dont want to study alone by myself this time

Hi
Firstly would like to congratualte on your awesome score...
I am IMG aiming for high score. I have around 50 days for exam and done with kaplan second read, goljan second read, uw first read FA fiirst read.. Do u think i will be able to appear on target date? When do u recommend me to start delf assesment exam??
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmle.2016 View Post
Hi
Firstly would like to congratualte on your awesome score...
I am IMG aiming for high score. I have around 50 days for exam and done with kaplan second read, goljan second read, uw first read FA fiirst read.. Do u think i will be able to appear on target date? When do u recommend me to start delf assesment exam??
you will be ready before ur target time . Andsince u have done uw once the right time is now to start seeing where u r and gauge ur progress accordingly.
Goodluck
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2014
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Default Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker.mle View Post
you will be ready before ur target time . Andsince u have done uw once the right time is now to start seeing where u r and gauge ur progress accordingly.
Goodluck
Hi
Thank you for your kind words.
Alot of people were telling me i wont be able to complete it by that time so i bot scared.
Thank u so much
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2014
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great score congratss
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmle.2016 View Post
Hi
Thank you for your kind words.
Alot of people were telling me i wont be able to complete it by that time so i bot scared.
Thank u so much
ok let me tell you something dear friend. in this world and today's time alot of people wont be honest with you , alot of people do not want to see others succeed a lot of people keep pushing others down , man.... a lot of people will tell u alot of things. you listen to ur own heart and if u really want it just go for it giving your 100% . cheers
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2014
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Congrats for your score Doctor.
Does DIT help boost-up my score if i do it to revise FA 1 month before exam? Thank you
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2014
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Originally Posted by wangminh12 View Post
Congrats for your score Doctor.
Does DIT help boost-up my score if i do it to revise FA 1 month before exam? Thank you
DIT 1 mnth before exam is not a good idea. u would probably get bored hearing the stuff that u already know by now. but it has some extra info which i wasnt tested on but someone else might. but still i dont think now is the time for that. you can do more questions or if you really want DIT you can do some selected portions that you find yourself weak at.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2014
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Default congras

hey! Congras and thanks for sharing ur experience. I am unable to find Appleton review of Biostatistics online. Kindly email me the pdf if you have it. Thanks
Also anymore details with regard to pictures showing up on exam. You did tell me a lot of micro images. What else?
Thanks.
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker.mle View Post
DIT 1 mnth before exam is not a good idea. u would probably get bored hearing the stuff that u already know by now. but it has some extra info which i wasnt tested on but someone else might. but still i dont think now is the time for that. you can do more questions or if you really want DIT you can do some selected portions that you find yourself weak at.
Hi congratulations. So when did you use the DIT course? Beginning of your prep?
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2014
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Originally Posted by usmled10 View Post
Hi congratulations. So when did you use the DIT course? Beginning of your prep?
No i wish i had done that. I used it near the end of my preparation and i found it helful for memorizing some things that i wud have never ben able to remember otherwise. And also when we are appraching the end of our studies we tend to overlook the more 'general' highyield stuff that we find easy but it also needs revision so dit also helps in revision of those things that one would not look back again in last few weeks.
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmathew View Post
hey! Congras and thanks for sharing ur experience. I am unable to find Appleton review of Biostatistics online. Kindly email me the pdf if you have it. Thanks
Also anymore details with regard to pictures showing up on exam. You did tell me a lot of micro images. What else?
Thanks.
There was absolutely no area where pics werent included. Patho micro neuro anatomy all major areas were full of pics.
Apleton and lange review is more of an overkill in my opinion so dont worry abt it. And i dont hav the pdf currently but i will look it up if u still want it
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  #20  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slacker.mle View Post
DIT 1 mnth before exam is not a good idea. u would probably get bored hearing the stuff that u already know by now. but it has some extra info which i wasnt tested on but someone else might. but still i dont think now is the time for that. you can do more questions or if you really want DIT you can do some selected portions that you find yourself weak at.
You are absolutely right. I intended to watch these video at the end of prep (i still have more than 3 months) and annotate it on FA but you changed my mind. I start using it with first aid and Uworld now. Thank you

ps: DIT actually gives big pictures that help us memorize some hard to handle stuffs but if we don't go through Kaplan first-DIT is useless.
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  #21  
Old 12-15-2014
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Hi,
Do u have any uworld step 1 notes ? Can u fwd that to me to below
nnataliamle@gmail.com
Thank you so much
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  #22  
Old 12-16-2014
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Originally Posted by Natalia1 View Post
Hi,
Do u have any uworld step 1 notes ? Can u fwd that to me to below
nnataliamle@gmail.com
Thank you so much
I didnt make any separate notes i just noted them directly on my fa but Why would you want to have someone else's notes? You should make time to make your own notes . Other's notesmay not go with ur style and u might get confused or hav doubts on some point so it will waste ur time. Just my opinion.
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  #23  
Old 12-16-2014
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Originally Posted by slacker.mle View Post
I didnt make any separate notes i just noted them directly on my fa but Why would you want to have someone else's notes? You should make time to make your own notes . Other's notesmay not go with ur style and u might get confused or hav doubts on some point so it will waste ur time. Just my opinion.
hi, @slacker mle, I agree what you say, but m afraid that i will take too long to make my own notes,,,as some ppl said they took 3 months to finish Uworld alone..
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  #24  
Old 12-18-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalia1 View Post
hi, @slacker mle, I agree what you say, but m afraid that i will take too long to make my own notes,,,as some ppl said they took 3 months to finish Uworld alone..
Yes it takes alot of time but it will pay off big time. Dont be lazy. And 3 months is too much. I finished uworld once in exact 50 days. I noted down any important stuff i was coming across and i ws also reading books that time so i guess if u onky do uworld and fa it will take u about 40 days.
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2014
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thanks a lot for making me decide, now my target will be 40 days for uw world and i will have my own notes...thanks for getting me out of this dilemma
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  #26  
Old 12-18-2014
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Congratulations slacker.mle! very happy you scored well on your step 1 exam.

Wish you all the best on your step 2 exam and beyond

So looks like I may have to change my pathology resource from pathoma to goljan then according to your study plan. I tried reading it once before then forgot most of it. Normal or not?

Aiming to score high on my exam in the near future.

Again, congratulations on your results as I know you worked hard for this.
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  #27  
Old 12-18-2014
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Hey due congrats!! I'd like to ask you smthg... Do u think dit can give u enough concepts to understand fa? Or kaplan is absolutely necessary? I started my prep by doing dit and reading fa as it shows in dit... Im near the end know... Do you recommend reading kaplan as well? Or should i go to goljan and qbanks after? Thks
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  #28  
Old 12-18-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.JayMD View Post
Congratulations slacker.mle! very happy you scored well on your step 1 exam.

Wish you all the best on your step 2 exam and beyond

So looks like I may have to change my pathology resource from pathoma to goljan then according to your study plan. I tried reading it once before then forgot most of it. Normal or not?

Aiming to score high on my exam in the near future.

Again, congratulations on your results as I know you worked hard for this.
hey @dr.jaymd thanks alot for ur wishes. my exam had plenty of questions on pathology and some questions went too deep to understand the pathophysio that i feel pathoma is abit weak at. BUT pathoma is important in its own way. for me both were useful. yes goljan is HUGE so its a bit hard to remember but i would highly recommend you to do the basic chapters from goljan and the systems you can do from pathoma . pathoma videos are also very good and easy just do them when you are going to bed and u will be done by it in 2/3 weeks
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  #29  
Old 12-18-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduardo.Cardoso View Post
Hey due congrats!! I'd like to ask you smthg... Do u think dit can give u enough concepts to understand fa? Or kaplan is absolutely necessary? I started my prep by doing dit and reading fa as it shows in dit... Im near the end know... Do you recommend reading kaplan as well? Or should i go to goljan and qbanks after? Thks
yes DIT explains FA very well but then again you should know that FA doesnt cover your exam that much. i had only about 10% of my exam from FA. NOT KIDDING. so what was 90% about? well it was about Concepts concepts and only concepts. and for concepts kaplan and goljan are very important. you can skip kaplan books for subjects that dont require much understanding like micro and pharm but even in them there are some conceptual topics like microbial genetics and pharma dynamics kinetics curves goin up and down. decision is yours. hope that helps
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  #30  
Old 12-23-2014
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thank you slacker.mle for your feedback & you're welcome for the praise as you deserved the great score!

which chapters (numbers) in goljan do you recommend I cover?

I'm covering FA a lot so sucks to hear about that only 10% covered on step 1 exam from book and mostly concepts.

I think i'm getting information overload at times. I read kaplan with videos then a few weeks later forget what I learnt and have to refer back to the books.

Any suggestions?
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  #31  
Old 12-24-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.JayMD View Post
thank you slacker.mle for your feedback & you're welcome for the praise as you deserved the great score!

which chapters (numbers) in goljan do you recommend I cover?

I'm covering FA a lot so sucks to hear about that only 10% covered on step 1 exam from book and mostly concepts.

I think i'm getting information overload at times. I read kaplan with videos then a few weeks later forget what I learnt and have to refer back to the books.

Any suggestions?
i think the general pathology chapters must be covered from goljan as none of the other books explain those topics that well.
and about that 10% thing i dont mean to scare you guys but i meant that only about 10% of exam was straight forward recall questions from FA but others were either very conceptual(hence not in FA) or twisted in such away that would make you confuse between 2 or 3 choices. BUT then agai thats just my opinion. alot of people after me have taken the exam and felt exam isnt that different from uworld.
forgetting is normal . i know as absrd as it may be sounding to u now but trust me. i was facing the same issue and asking everybody whats the trick that the information woud stick to my brain and wont vanish and everyone would say to me its normal so what should you do for this? just read kaplan once very well , learn it and move on.
to learn concepts do kapna and goljan . to cram everything do FA.
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  #32  
Old 12-25-2014
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thank you slacker.mle for your prompt response and great points! I will use this advice to study efficiently and hopefully score well. Happy Holidays to you!
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  #33  
Old 01-04-2015
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hey congraats on ur score
if u kindly tell me ur u world score i wil b gratefull to u
thanks
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  #34  
Old 01-04-2015
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I have problems taking notes when i write notes in my FA and month later i don't understand what i wrote so any advices for note taking skills
thank you for your time
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  #35  
Old 01-04-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samba View Post
hey congraats on ur score
if u kindly tell me ur u world score i wil b gratefull to u
thanks
u shouldnt worry abt uw score at all. It doesnt mean anything . My first run was untimed unplanned i dont know percentage exactly but m guessing it was abt 70% which improved to abt 85% second time
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  #36  
Old 01-04-2015
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Originally Posted by Hamada View Post
I have problems taking notes when i write notes in my FA and month later i don't understand what i wrote so any advices for note taking skills
thank you for your time
Well thats bad ...! May be u r not understanding the concept propeely the first time u r reading it. I dont know the perfect method but here is hw i used to do
1. I wud find the partcular topic in fa and add related notes near it.
2. If the topic wasnt written on fa i was writing it on a blank paper and attaching it on fa
3. I was writing it properly not merely copying down the lines feom uw. I mean if it was a difficult concept i wud write it down in my own words with proper explanation.
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  #37  
Old 05-23-2016
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Default very great work

CONGRATS! very helpful post. one question.. 1.Anatomy: i studied kaplan and HY anatomy . unfortunately it wasn't enough for exam and i had a lot of weird questions from this subject. any advice on books that will make anatomy easier?weird q's? please detail if possible
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