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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 09-02-2011
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Arrow Triquetrum Step 1 Journey

Hello,
I just sat for the exam a few days ago; I do not know what my score will be but I wanted to share this anyhow First off I want to thank this forum for its wonderful posts. When I first started I had little idea of what Step 1 was about, especially since I had not met anyone in person who had faced the actual Exam....so I felt this forum was a companion from which I learned many things along the way.... I put up a post about my Study Plan a few months ago but was sad to see no response, anyway, this would be the first recommendation to those starting to study.. Make a study plan. This will help you keep on track. I bought myself a notebook where I would write the time i started and finished studying, used it sort of like a check in check out book... so by the end of the day I would know how many hours I had studied and what subjects were covered. This also helped me not to get up and wander. Time went by so quickly ,, sun up sun down and I'd be doing the same thing: studying. Of course I felt burned out many times, I had to take half the day off and go to the movies, do whatever to take my mind off temporarily. It worked, I would come back recharged. So it is important to try keep yourself fresh and motivated during this time.
Two months…weeks before..days before.
So exactly two months before the exam I bought UW…but was worried I wouldn’t finish it. I didn’t. Ended up doing 70% of UW, scoring 57% overall, always random, timed, unused..all along taking notes onto FA..but tried not to write too much since I knew it would be difficult to read all of it as days closed in. 9 days before the exam I bought NMBE 7, did all blocks with 5 min breaks..scored 400. I know, low score, but like I said in a post before., I would face the exam whatever the outcome. Three days before the exam..if it weren’t for patelMD I wouldn’t have done the free 150,,so thanx patel. I scored 79%, don’t know how but this boosted up my confidence. It is important to do these by the end of your preparation. It will give you a feel of what the actual test is like. It will even let you know how your break time should be distributed. I’m glad I did it. By this time I was already feeling nervous every time I remembered the exam was just days away. I would get my hands sweaty and I can laugh about it now but I even got a diarrhea I couldn't blame on any bug. So I went and got some loperamide. Wasn’t going to take any chances so I took some with me to test center, no need though. I also took an aspirin with me in case of headache, no need either.
Night before the exam I went to sleep one hour earlier than usual. I knew I ‘d be restless but I prayed longer than usual, I prayed until I fell asleep.
Day of Exam.
Got up early.Said..”This is it”. Had some tea and a croissant. And put cookies, apple juice and a banana in my bag. I got to test center and there were people already waiting. Well, like many people have said before, I also felt the exam was fair. I was lucky to get mostly patho and pathophys. I do not recall many of those weird questions with arrows pointing up and down. The ones I got were pretty straight forward. I did have difficulty with those genes and diseases related to some genes, and heredity. Also, some immune q’s, my weakest. They were scattered in the test but I felt they were most of my third block which I felt was the hardest. Oh man, these q’s about cell potentials that just made me feel bad. I doubted forever in between two choices..but had to pick one and move on. Ok. So I did the first two blocks straight even though I had initially planned to take a break every block..this is because I felt the first block went by so quickly..with some mins that even gave me the chance to go back and review the first questions, I actually did change a couple of options to the ones I felt more appropriate. When I first started I was shaky, this might have made me mark the wrong answers. So I would recommend that if you got some mins left in the first block to go over the first few questions. I did. By the end of first block I felt I was gaining momentum so I decided to go for the second straight. Not bad either. Ok…pictures? Must have seen some three brain MRI to point to possible areas of lesion. Histo slides.. perhaps some three which I wasn’t too sure about. Biostats, a few that were doable as long as you understood the concepts behind what’s on FA. I think I did not come across (at least most of the test) things I hadn’t already seen in FA, UW and the free 150. I mean, they were worded differently, different scenerario but the concepts were pretty much the same. Fourth block, I think I got a heart sound to diagnose in this one..the rest was a combo of neuro, endocrine and cardio..i.e. phys and patho-pathophys. By the end of this block my neck was hurting and my hand too from moving the mouse around, so I gave myself a massage in the washroom. The rest of the block were a combination of most areas, was surprised not to see many pharmacology q’s. I think the exam is doable as long as you’ve spent enough time on UW and FA. I would change the fact that I did not finish UW. I think it would have made a difference on my performance. One thing I would recommend is not to sit by the door. Remember there will be other people writing other shorter exams and they will be going in and out all the time; this might break your concentration. Also take earplugs with you. I never used them during my preparation but did the day of the test. So final words, the exam is doable as long as you’ve put enough effort into it and have been true to yourself during your preparation. I am just thankful I got the opportunity to sit for this test. I gave my best and God will decide what score I deserve because honestly I can’t say.
Good luck everyone!!
Sorry if I take a few days to reply. I'm going on a short trip.
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The above post was thanked by:
angelina vivien (09-03-2011), ashritha (09-02-2011), donofitaly (09-03-2011), Dr_Laura (09-08-2011), dr_lizard (09-02-2011), Hope2Pass (09-02-2011), nativedoc2 (09-02-2011), pal2140 (09-02-2011)



  #2  
Old 09-02-2011
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Default congratulations

don't forget to post your mark
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Triquetrum (09-07-2011)
  #3  
Old 09-02-2011
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Congrats on being done with the Exam! Have fun on your vacation and dont think about the exam to much! Im sure you did good!

Just a few questions- How many times did you go over FA? Is NBME 7 the only NBME you did ?

Thanks for the post!
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Triquetrum (09-07-2011)
  #4  
Old 09-02-2011
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HOW MANY times did you go through FA..........goljan.........Kaplan Notes.......and UWorld?????????/
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2011
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Default Congratulations.

I want to really congratulate u on the conclusion of this exam. Just try and have fun!
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Triquetrum (09-07-2011)
  #6  
Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
Congrats on being done with the Exam! Have fun on your vacation and dont think about the exam to much! Im sure you did good!

Just a few questions- How many times did you go over FA? Is NBME 7 the only NBME you did ?

Thanks for the post!

Hi,
Back for a while.
I must have read FA entirely some 5 to 6 times since I started..and, yes, I've only done NBME 7.
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsonboy View Post
HOW MANY times did you go through FA..........goljan.........Kaplan Notes.......and UWorld?????????/
Goljan once, parts of Kaplan but found biochemistry most useful..UW up to 70%, no second read; didn't have time.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ana11 View Post
don't forget to post your mark
I won't. I just have to wait and see...hoping I can post some good news in a couple of weeks.
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2011
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hi, congrats on doing it and good luck for results.
u know u said how 150 free questions give u a feel of the exam? so how is it diff feeling than nbme forms?
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  #10  
Old 09-08-2011
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thank you so much, I love reading your experience! Good luck on your scores, I wish you all the best.
I like how you say we should make a study plan!
But I didn't really understand what books you actually use... I'd love to hear a little about your preparation before the "2 months before"!

Thank you and good luck
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by val7 View Post
thank you so much, I love reading your experience! Good luck on your scores, I wish you all the best.
I like how you say we should make a study plan!
But I didn't really understand what books you actually use... I'd love to hear a little about your preparation before the "2 months before"!

Thank you and good luck
Thank you,
Here's what I was doing before those two last months.
Study plan, 4 Months to go!
Note that as you go along in your studies, your study plan will not be strictly followed and that's ok ; it must change.. in order to spend more time going over your weaker areas.
Cheers.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salz View Post
hi, congrats on doing it and good luck for results.
u know u said how 150 free questions give u a feel of the exam? so how is it diff feeling than nbme forms?
HI,
I just felt as thought the exam was more like the 150; I did not like NBME that much and its format was different from the real thing. But then this is my opinion. There's many other people who feel the real exam is more similiar to their NBMEs. That might be true since I've only done NBME 7; I don't know about the new ones..and I didn't do any offline. I figured I had enough questions in my qbank that I wouldn't bother with more q's offline. Hope this helps.
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