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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010
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Warning! My exam experience. "not so bad"

First of all I believe that what you think after you come out of the exam, is irrelevant to what your score will be, I knew many people who told me the exam was "easy" and had really bad scores and vice versa. I think that what you think about the exam tells more about your personality whether you are an anxious person or an easy going one. Most of us are of the first type.

Knowing that I am a bad exam taker, mine was not that bad. Although I only had 3 hour sleep the night before, I found that time was very sufficient, I usually mark a lot of questions but finish the block very soon so that I don't miss an easy question among the last ones for a difficult biostatistics question that requires a lot of time in the middle of the block. I finished the 3rd block and had thirteen minutes to go over the marked ones, and took 5 of them to rest. Though in the fifth block I didn't have enough time to analyse 2 questions, but those required a lot of time and I think I wouldn't get them correct anyway.

There was a huge variability in the difficulty of blocks, in some blocks I was really thinking "the USMLE people are embarrassing their selves with these kind of questions, and insulting our cleverness", there were too many easy questions. On the other hand there were blocks with questions that requires you to be aware of insignificant details that if I spent 2 years studying I would not really care to read them. The easier blocks were the first ones; the night before the exam I went to bed early, but I also woke up very early , so I had only 3 hours to sleep, I might have been exhausted in the 2nd half of the exam and maybe that's why I thought the blocks were variable in difficulty.

I percieved genetics questions as the most difficult ones. Also the post receptor mechanism questions were difficult. But overall, I thought UW was more difficult, and many ideas came from it, also CK was much much more difficult, but in all fairness I was better prepared for this one although I spent more time prepering for CK.

A lot of questions were "typical of UW". I thought I would see more of FA information, or it would cover most of the subjects asked in the exam, it was certainly very useful but I still used a lot of information that I acquired from studying IM back in med school to solve many questions. Many ideas also came from FA questions and answers, but not as frequent as UW. I am not flattering when I say that I benifited very much from the information on this forum, there were at least a dozen questions that I would not get correctly if not for it.

Anatomy questions were "all" radiology, if I would do something extra for the exam preperation I would study radiology. Not only in anatomy, but also in pathology, they were asking about sophisticated details. I went through the last two pages of FA containing the high yield equations, it was very very helpful (I didn't regret waking up early). Also it is wise to go through the physiology section last, physiology questions were difficult too.

Another thing, on the breaks it's really helpful to wash your face (I got this from this forum), also carbohydrates from plant source are good, they give you energy, relieve hunger without making you sleepy, personally, I used banannas lool. I am not sure whether the funny feeling I felt in my chest was related to hyperkalemia or anxiety.

I am a very bad exam taker, I am generally very happy with my knowledge; clinical and basic, but I get anxious very easily. It would be nice if I finally get a high score this time, but no one knows, though I am expecting more than 95 in comparison to CK, I wouldn't be very surprised if I got less than 80.

Last edited by DrSeddik; 02-07-2010 at 11:03 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2010
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Show Teeth My own experience

Hi, it seems 2 me You took CK first and later Step 1. Why?

I think like you in this concern, different grades of difficulty. during the exam I felt pretty much calmed down and confident. I thought my score was going 2 be in the 90's....but it didn't although I passed, (but not supposed 2 be the goal).

I plan 2 take CS before CK. Do You think is that ok? How can You help me w/ some tips through preparation for both CK and CS? I would really appreciate it.

Blessings and success 4 you!
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2010
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So happy for you Dr.Seddik. Congratz! You have completed your Step 1. Wish you all the best for your results, no matter what, I think the biggest challenge was preparing for the exam and sitting through that 8 hour test.

My Step 1 is next Thursday, which is in 6 days.
What did you do in your last week? I have got 100 questions left on UWorld, and gonna finish them up tomorrow. Need your advise on this, in my last week, should I go through the questions I got wrong in UW over again, or do you think its better to just read First Aid?
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graymess View Post
Hi, it seems 2 me You took CK fisrt and later Step 1. Why? ....
See DrSeddik's post here
http://www.usmle-forums.com/general-....html#post4351
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2010
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Congrats DrSeddik on finishing the exam
You helped many people here in this forum and God will help you to get the right score
I wish you all the success
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemontea88 View Post
My Step 1 is next Thursday, which is in 6 days.
What did you do in your last week? I have got 100 questions left on UWorld, and gonna finish them up tomorrow. Need your advise on this, in my last week, should I go through the questions I got wrong in UW over again, or do you think its better to just read First Aid?
Read the questions you contributed to the forum if you are not very familiar with them, that's one advice.
The most important thing to do is to calm down during the exam, put in mind that you do not have to get all the questions correct, we are usually perfectionists and although we know that we are not going to get all the questions correct before the exam, we always get really confused and upset when we miss one. And this may disturb your performance on the next questions.
If I were in your shoes, I would leave the incorrect questions in UW and read FA, but that's only if you have gone through it before. As I said, try to make physiology sections and equations last so that they stay fresh in your mind for the exam. I did only the wrong questions in UW, I did not find it useful, and most of the questions I got correct in the second time, it was even more useful to do the marked questions.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2010
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@lemontea:

here i would say rather revise the list that dr. rasheed has recently put on this forum thats really a useful list... also revise molecular, genetics and bahavioral well... a number of quetions do cum from there.... also i must comment here on my exam uworld and usmlerx had a few ditto questions....

@dr seddik:

i know u will get a 99 definitely.... i m confident about u... although i know i m totally screwed up
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graymess View Post
Hi, it seems 2 me You took CK first and later Step 1. Why?

I think like you in this concern, different grades of difficulty. during the exam I felt pretty much calmed down and confident. I thought my score was going 2 be in the 90's....but it didn't although I passed, (but not supposed 2 be the goal).

I plan 2 take CS before CK. Do You think is that ok? How can You help me w/ some tips through preparation for both CK and CS? I would really appreciate it.

Blessings and success 4 you!
Until now, I am not really sure how to prepare for CK, all I know about this I learned from my mistakes, first, do take step 1 first (you obviously have done that) secondly, going over USMLE World is a must, I did a pirated book that did not contain all the questions. Beside that, I think CK is different than step 1 in that it depends a lot on your clinical judgement, you can't really find that on any source to solve those questions, you just have to have clinical judgement, there is no magic book that contains the majority of the questions ideas as FA for step 1. People find Kaplan notes very useful, you can see the polls on CK part of the forum to find out more on how to prepare.

As for taking CS before CK, I don't really have a clue (again but I think this poll can help you:
http://www.usmle-forums.com/general-...ake-first.html

good luck
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2010
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Congratulations DrSedikk for completing this exam. I've noticed many of your posts were very helpful so I wanted to thank you for that. I wish you a high score one that you will be happy with

DrSeddik you mentioned that we should study the equations, were there many questions involving these equations?
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayash View Post
Congratulations DrSedikk for completing this exam. I've noticed many of your posts were very helpful so I wanted to thank you for that. I wish you a high score one that you will be happy with

DrSeddik you mentioned that we should study the equations, were there many questions involving these equations?
No they were not many, I cannot tell how many because I didn't pay enough attention. But generally they are easy, and it is a shame to miss them for half an hour review as they did not come out of those listed in the last 2 FA 2009 review tables, there was even a two step question, both of the steps were in those 2 pages.
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