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  #1  
Old 09-03-2011
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Planning imcv Step 1 Journal

Hello everyone! As it says on the title, I'm Filipino and I graduated and got my Philippine license back in 2009.

Just last Aug 2011, I made the commitment to use my savings (from working in both clinical and non-clinical jobs) to take Step 1 in the early quarter of 2012.

I plan to use this thread as a way to remind myself of what my goals are and also to ask for any tips you might have for me.

I have been browsing a bit on this site and I don't think I was able to find people who have an experience similar with mine.

- I am >3 years since graduation from med school.
- I did not undergo residency training.
- I am paying for my own exams. And as everyone knows, US MLE exams are not cheap. So is the IV process, acquiring USCEs, etc.

The problem with being an old IMG is that I really have to assign more time to studying the basics (coverage of Step 1) than say a new graduate or a current medical student. So, to be realistic, I am giving myself at least 6 months of prep prior to taking Step 1.

Here is my current study plan:

2011
Sept to Oct - Kaplan and FA readings for all subjects, with BRS and MRS for Microbio, Patho, Physio, and Pharma; also watch Kaplan vids
Nov to Dec - 2nd Kaplan and FA reading for all subjects

2012
Jan to Feb - Use USMLEWorld Qbank (this was the only Qbank recommended by all my friends who are now doing US residencies so I don't really want to waste money on other Qbanks when this is already sufficient )
Feb 2012 - Take Step 1! And hopefully get at least a 210!

Please comment on this or if you are in a similar boat as mine, please share your experience or post a link to your journal! I will truly appreciate it.

Thank you for reading!

Last edited by imcv; 09-03-2011 at 08:47 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2011
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Hi imcv,
Im on the same boat as you.I wasted a year and a half saying I will give it in the next 4 months but I never got around to doing it..Now I realised its high time. I payed my exam fees and I have till feb to finish step one.I like your optimism and motivation.So Im gonna be following your progress and draw inspiration from it.If you are interested we can decide which topics to complete each day so that at the end of the day we can assess our progress..let me know if you are interested.Im also a 3 yr old IMG..
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2011
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Thank you very much, Shravs24! when are you planning to join the Match? I'm starting with Biochem. Then next will be Physio. How about you? What's your gameplan?

By the way, I work 8-5 pm 6 days a week, but I have given my notice and will hopefully be jobless (haha!) in a month. I made this decision so that I can focus on reviewing at least 12 hours each day.

I was quite busy with work these past few days. So I was unable to get past my goal of reading half of Kaplan's Biochem notes this week. I also write freelance (with a deadline for an article looming on Monday), so I really have to finish Biochem within the next 2 weeks. Yes, yes! I can do this!
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2011
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Im stuck with anatomy..Biochem and anat are my nemesis so I want to finish with them first..Im was supposed to complete anat by aug 31st but I couldnt, SO the target is to try and finish it by next weekend and then start off with biochem.
Im hoping Il be able to get my act together and attempt to apply for a match next year..Wishful thinking may be..
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2011
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And yes ..!!! you can do this..Im jumping in with the same attitude..Lets hope for he best..!! Good your quitting your job, coz few ppl I know said that it is possible to finish step one in five months if you put in 8-12 hos study each day..So far Im not even half near the mark..Should improve on the hours though..

Quote:
Originally Posted by imcv View Post
Thank you very much, Shravs24! when are you planning to join the Match? I'm starting with Biochem. Then next will be Physio. How about you? What's your gameplan?

By the way, I work 8-5 pm 6 days a week, but I have given my notice and will hopefully be jobless (haha!) in a month. I made this decision so that I can focus on reviewing at least 12 hours each day.

I was quite busy with work these past few days. So I was unable to get past my goal of reading half of Kaplan's Biochem notes this week. I also write freelance (with a deadline for an article looming on Monday), so I really have to finish Biochem within the next 2 weeks. Yes, yes! I can do this!
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shravs24 View Post
Im stuck with anatomy..Biochem and anat are my nemesis so I want to finish with them first..Im was supposed to complete anat by aug 31st but I couldnt, SO the target is to try and finish it by next weekend and then start off with biochem.
Im hoping Il be able to get my act together and attempt to apply for a match next year..Wishful thinking may be..

thank you very much for your encouragement!

i like the way you write in your journal too. i should do that! post a goal then update about it.

goal this week: finish half of biochem by saturday! so i can work on my writing job on sunday.
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2011
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Smile Can I join you????

Hello,
I also would love to join you, I think tracking the progress and motivating each other is a great idea. I'm also thinking about taking the test in Feb. 2012. I'm an old IMG and it has been really hard to stay motivated but I'm finding this forum very helpful, it's inspiring reading other people stories and knowing I'm not alone in this journey.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcv View Post
thank you very much for your encouragement!

i like the way you write in your journal too. i should do that! post a goal then update about it.

goal this week: finish half of biochem by saturday! so i can work on my writing job on sunday.
How is it going?
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2011
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im in the same boat with you graduated 2010 so its a year now
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2011
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Default Hi all

Thanks for motivating ...am planing to give by feb
Time is crucial...planing to finish patho...am goin too slow
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
Thanks for motivating ...am planing to give by feb
Time is crucial...planing to finish patho...am goin too slow
im dying with how slow i am but i think its normal
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazz View Post
im dying with how slow i am but i think its normal
Ah! I was terribly distracted today. Had a ton to do at work (than the usual nothing!) and spent my whole night after work doing an errand for my mother. This is why I need to be unemployed! Just focus on review every single day, like I did with my local boards.

drmachado, Bridget and yazz, we're all planning on taking Step 1 this Feb 2012, right? what are your study plans so far and where are you in it?

i'm still on my 1st subject and yes, very very very slow... ugh. i think this is a disadvantage of being an old IMG.

But, we must know that great scores matter!!! So, we should not fail!
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2011
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Yes, its darn hard to work and study. But we do it.

As someone said - there are people who have 24/7 of free time all year round to study and they still fail or get low scores.

For me this whole preparation and taking the step one is a personal thing.
I pay myself for my exam, so do you.
But we cannot afford paying for failing it.
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  #14  
Old 09-09-2011
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im doing my physiology now by brs and kaplan video just finished half of it ill be finishing it next week then ill move to path brs plus goljan

to be honest im doing the steps mainly you would be like what the hell are you talking about ?
im doing it just to see if im capable of getting the mark that i wish for which is 270
i wanna do it so badly since i got some friends that actually did it

Last edited by yazz; 09-09-2011 at 12:41 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazz View Post
im doing my physiology now by brs and kaplan video just finished half of it ill be finishing it next week then ill move to path brs plus goljan

to be honest im doing the steps mainly you would be like what the hell are you talking about ?
im doing it just to see if im capable of getting the mark that i wish for which is 270
i wanna do it so badly since i got some friends that actually did it
thats the courage and motivation for others
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  #16  
Old 09-09-2011
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Smile

I will be trying to finish half of Kaplan today. Though it is daunting. I am very slow in reading each chapter. It feels like everything is new. It's been almost 3 years since I held a big review book in my hands.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSikorski View Post
For me this whole preparation and taking the step one is a personal thing.
I pay myself for my exam, so do you.
But we cannot afford paying for failing it.
I like this.

We paid for it. We cannot afford to fail or get low scores!



Quote:
Originally Posted by yazz View Post
im doing my physiology now by brs and kaplan video just finished half of it ill be finishing it next week then ill move to path brs plus goljan

to be honest im doing the steps mainly you would be like what the hell are you talking about ?
im doing it just to see if im capable of getting the mark that i wish for which is 270
i wanna do it so badly since i got some friends that actually did it

is this your first subject too?

ah! i am aiming for even 240 or 250! i hear ecfmg will be abolishing the reporting with the 2-digit scale, do you think this is true?

some of my friends have gotten 260+. that's good motivation!
i want to do it so badly be

Last edited by imcv; 09-09-2011 at 04:43 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-11-2011
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Hi IMCV,
Yes, I'm thinking february. I'm going to start writing my journal but I'm thinking about using the Zum Zum method, mainly start to read for ex. Anatomy and make some notesin a notrbook (maybe also having FA on a side). How about you?
What are you studying right now? I want to start tomorrow
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  #18  
Old 09-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmachado View Post
Hi IMCV,
Yes, I'm thinking february. I'm going to start writing my journal but I'm thinking about using the Zum Zum method, mainly start to read for ex. Anatomy and make some notesin a notrbook (maybe also having FA on a side). How about you?
What are you studying right now? I want to start tomorrow
I started with Biochem but I am having trouble getting through the 1st few chapters of Kaplan. I am going to change to Physiology for now. This might be easier to read and hence will make me more motivated!

Do you mind if I ask what your background is? Are you an old IMG too?
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Old 09-12-2011
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Default Hi all

Going on with physio cardio with patho cardio. As I feel it's good to study together. And sometimes I add on pharma drugs wherever it is necessary.
Am going slow... But guys remember slow and steady wins the race .

I want to work but I get so tired after coming from hospital ,so plan not to work...

If we can disucss related topics where we find difficult to understand than it's my pleasure feel free to ping me ... On my mail or we can use Skype
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  #20  
Old 09-12-2011
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Default Backgroung

So, I'm an OLD IMG (~7 years). I started prep for step 1 early this year (and sch. The test) but had to cancel because I was not getting a decent % in USMLEworld q bank.
After I cancel my test I've been slacking and now I decided to restart.

IMCV, I will start with Physio today too!
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  #21  
Old 09-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmachado View Post
So, I'm an OLD IMG (~7 years). I started prep for step 1 early this year (and sch. The test) but had to cancel because I was not getting a decent % in USMLEworld q bank.
After I cancel my test I've been slacking and now I decided to restart.

IMCV, I will start with Physio today too!
My background is a bit different. I am presently 2 years post-graduation. But I am taking it slow and, also due to personal reasons, I am targetting to apply for residencies in 2014. So I will be 5 years post-grad then.

I have finally decided to do the Steps. I have allotted most of my savings for it. And one of the factors that keep me from surrendering this dream is the fact that I know I really want it. If I don't do well, that will be a lot of dollars down the drain! I don't want that at all!

Sadly, I havent been able to find time for studying I have committed myself to freelance work writing for health magazines. So, after I finish my writing commitments and get out of my 8-6 job, I will be studying full-time! Hurrah!

I am so looking forward to the end of September just for that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
Going on with physio cardio with patho cardio. As I feel it's good to study together. And sometimes I add on pharma drugs wherever it is necessary.
Am going slow... But guys remember slow and steady wins the race .

I want to work but I get so tired after coming from hospital ,so plan not to work...

If we can disucss related topics where we find difficult to understand than it's my pleasure feel free to ping me ... On my mail or we can use Skype
Yeah! I have considered doing an organ system-based approach too. So at what percent of your review are you?

I agree! I get so tired from work too. And I realize I get easily distracted. I want to review full-time! And maybe do a few writing gigs every now and then.

Unfortunately, Bridget, I don't think I'm at the level where you are yet. Maybe next month, when I get lots of reading done, I will PM you.

By the way, what's your background? Working? IMG w/ or w/o visa?
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  #22  
Old 09-14-2011
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Wink Revising my initial Plan

This was my first plan: imcv Step 1 Journal

But as everyone on here knows, life happens and I have to be realistic.

I will be changing some parts of my plan now, to accommodate the changes in my life.

Here is my new study plan:

2011
Sept to Nov - Kaplan and FA readings for all subjects, with BRS and MRS for Microbio, Patho, Physio, and Pharma; also watch Kaplan vids
Dec - Quick 2nd Kaplan and FA reading for all subjects; will probably do NBMEs if I can find (Would you happen to have them? Please PM me. )

2012
Jan to Feb - Use USMLEWorld Qbank (this was the only Qbank recommended by all my friends who are now doing US residencies so I don't really want to waste money on other Qbanks when this is already sufficient )
Feb 2012 - Take Step 1! And hopefully get at least
a 230!

Please comment on this or if you are in a similar boat as mine, please share your experience or post a link to your journal! I will truly appreciate it.

Thank you for reading!
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  #23  
Old 09-14-2011
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Hi..

How you doing?? Hows the prep going..??? Im still stuck with anat..I havent been able to study over the weekend and the next two days went by God knows how..resuming today..Whats happening at your end..Hows biochem coming along???
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  #24  
Old 09-16-2011
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Hi guyssssssssss
I'm in the same boat with u tooooooo
Old Img(grad 6 years ago)
just started
planing 4 a 99 in 7 months and I really started from scratch
thanks 4 starting ur great motivating journal.
will be with u untill the end of our way
good luck to aaaaalllllllllllllllll
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  #25  
Old 09-19-2011
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Default Hi

hi all

@ mcv

Am old img almost going to be three years ...presently not working
As want to finish with step one with high score.

I couldn't concentrate from two days on my study ..every time I start reading something my mind is on to something ...
Gawd knows!! Feeling sleepy when am listening to vids .do any one feel the same? How to tackle to this thing?

Hardly finished with physio renal ...but I think I need to read it once more.
Need to finish physio by this week only n start with biochem.
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  #26  
Old 09-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shravs24 View Post
Hi..

How you doing?? Hows the prep going..??? Im still stuck with anat..I havent been able to study over the weekend and the next two days went by God knows how..resuming today..Whats happening at your end..Hows biochem coming along???
AHHH! I have stopped. For the past week.

Why? Work commitments and health issues.

I really need to be in an environment that is not only conducive for me to learn but also a place with zero distractions! I need to be stuck somewhere without a computer! Ah!




Quote:
Originally Posted by helen View Post
Hi guyssssssssss
I'm in the same boat with u tooooooo
Old Img(grad 6 years ago)
just started
planing 4 a 99 in 7 months and I really started from scratch
thanks 4 starting ur great motivating journal.
will be with u untill the end of our way
good luck to aaaaalllllllllllllllll
That is so cool, Helen! I mean, the part where you say you graduated 6 years ago! I'm extremely happy to meet people like you!

What were you doing the past few years? Doing residency back home? Masters?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
hi all

@ mcv

Am old img almost going to be three years ...presently not working
As want to finish with step one with high score.

I couldn't concentrate from two days on my study ..every time I start reading something my mind is on to something ...
Gawd knows!! Feeling sleepy when am listening to vids .do any one feel the same? How to tackle to this thing?

Hardly finished with physio renal ...but I think I need to read it once more.
Need to finish physio by this week only n start with biochem.
We're the same! I graduated 2009. But I actually think I will end up applying for programs when I'm about 6 years post-graduation Why? Because I might be getting married, haha!

Anyhow, you should take away all distractions! Where does your mind go? Facebook, twitter? Find a way to remove them from your grasp!

I am actually planning, once I'm home, that my sister should bring my laptop with her when she leaves the house. So that I wont be tempted to log on to sites during the day. Haha!

That's just one of my planned techniques. I hope it will work!
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Old 09-22-2011
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Hey hows it going?? I have the same problem..I keep my laptop open for wikipedia and from there I go haywire..Not at all happy with myself right now..I havent literally touched my book in a week now..I lack the consistency..
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  #28  
Old 09-22-2011
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shravs24 View Post
Hey hows it going?? I have the same problem..I keep my laptop open for wikipedia and from there I go haywire..Not at all happy with myself right now..I havent literally touched my book in a week now..I lack the consistency..
Me too. Finished 2 articles. But a book for MLE, nada.

Now, I'm going on a trip with my bf. So, no studying AT ALL in the next 7-10 days. Haha!

But I will study real hard starting October, when I get back. That's for sure!
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  #29  
Old 09-23-2011
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Yeah...So you write articles..Thats interesting..what do you write about?
Wow a trip..Niceee...Go have fun and dont think of mle at all... You will come back with a fresh mind and then you can focus better..Have a fun trip..!! Takecare..

Quote:
Originally Posted by imcv View Post
Me too. Finished 2 articles. But a book for MLE, nada.

Now, I'm going on a trip with my bf. So, no studying AT ALL in the next 7-10 days. Haha!

But I will study real hard starting October, when I get back. That's for sure!
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  #30  
Old 09-25-2011
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wish u luck and well studying IMCV
just go onnnnnnnnnnn
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  #31  
Old 02-06-2012
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Star Revised study plan and updates!

Hello everyone!

I'm finally back.

Sadly, I didn't get any studying done these past few months I was gone. But the news is... I got engaged and I'm getting married this June to my US citizen fiance. Happiest days of my life are still to come!

But, the wedding preps and moving back to my country has given me a ton of distractions!

But, I'm gonna get on track now. Need to take the Step 1 exam in Manila before I fly to be with my would-be husband in August.

Here is my current study plan:

2012
February to March - Kaplan and FA readings for all subjects, with BRS and MRS for Microbio, Patho, Physio, and Pharma; also watch Kaplan vids
April to May - 2nd Kaplan and FA reading for all subjects
June to July - Use USMLEWorld Qbank (this was the only Qbank recommended by all my friends who are now doing US residencies so I don't really want to waste money on other Qbanks when this is already sufficient ) then get married in between June and July
3rd week of July 2012 - Take Step 1! And hopefully get at least a 210!

Please give me feedback if it looks good or not for an old IMG who will be getting an immigrant visa by 2013. :sorry:

Posted for an online study partner here: Looking for Step 1 Partner Online; Exam: July 2012 - If you meet the criteria, please PM me. I think buddying up works best for me.

Last edited by imcv; 02-06-2012 at 07:52 PM. Reason: typo and I'm a bit OC with typos, haha
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  #32  
Old 05-13-2012
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Again, I have to move my exam to a latter month. Life events are truly distracting. Especially when it's a wedding!

My style of studying is read slowly at first. Then read a 2nd time to thoroughly memorize others I've forgotten. Also, I'm an old IMG (3 years since graduation).

Please criticize my plan as you see fit. Current study plan is:

2012

May 14 to July 14 - Kaplan and FA readings for all subjects, with BRS and MRS for Microbio, Patho, Physio, and Pharma; also watch Kaplan videos
---> Why this long? My wedding happens in June and a move to another country happens in July.
July 15 to August 19 - 2nd Kaplan and FA reading for all subjects
Aug 20 to September 30 - Use USMLEWorld Qbank (this was the only Qbank recommended by all my friends who are now doing US residencies so I don't really want to waste money on other Qbanks when this is already sufficient). Possibly do a couple of NBMEs, too. Which ones should it be?
Oct 1, 2012 - Take Step 1! And hopefully get at least a 210!

Please help me out with your comments.

I've already started the process of having my credentials verified. So THIS IS IT!!!!
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  #33  
Old 05-13-2012
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Welcome back!! Good luck with your studies imcv

Your study plan is good . Keep us updated with how you are doing ..!!
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  #34  
Old 05-14-2012
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thank you very much. i will!
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  #35  
Old 05-14-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcv View Post
Again, I have to move my exam to a latter month. Life events are truly distracting. Especially when it's a wedding!

My style of studying is read slowly at first. Then read a 2nd time to thoroughly memorize others I've forgotten. Also, I'm an old IMG (3 years since graduation).

Please criticize my plan as you see fit. Current study plan is:

2012

May 14 to July 14 - Kaplan and FA readings for all subjects, with BRS and MRS for Microbio, Patho, Physio, and Pharma; also watch Kaplan videos
---> Why this long? My wedding happens in June and a move to another country happens in July.
July 15 to August 19 - 2nd Kaplan and FA reading for all subjects
Aug 20 to September 30 - Use USMLEWorld Qbank (this was the only Qbank recommended by all my friends who are now doing US residencies so I don't really want to waste money on other Qbanks when this is already sufficient). Possibly do a couple of NBMEs, too. Which ones should it be?
Oct 1, 2012 - Take Step 1! And hopefully get at least a 210!

Please help me out with your comments.

I've already started the process of having my credentials verified. So THIS IS IT!!!!

Hello imcv,

I also want to take Step 1 in October (1st or 8th). I managed to read once Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology from Kaplan notes and videos and a little bit from FA. Now I am doing Pathology (both Kaplan and Goljan) and still have BS and Pharma. In the end I am planning to do a second revise and make a subscription on Usmleworld.

The only problem I have is that I am loosing my motivation and my optimism. I try to learn around 8 hours a day and most of the time I manage but I am starting to get sick of everything!

I graduated last year from medical school and I am aiming for 250+.:sorry:

You have a very good plan! Good luck with that and keep in touch!
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  #36  
Old 05-16-2012
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hi teona!

you have studied a lot more than i did! makes me rethink my october plan!

maybe i should aim for november instead? i'm a really old IMG (think 2009!) and i haven't really studied well these past few days.

can't even finish a physio chapter cause i needed to do wedding stuff, too
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  #37  
Old 05-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcv View Post
hi teona!

you have studied a lot more than i did! makes me rethink my october plan!

maybe i should aim for november instead? i'm a really old IMG (think 2009!) and i haven't really studied well these past few days.

can't even finish a physio chapter cause i needed to do wedding stuff, too
Don't ever give up...keep up the good work. Try to make a study plan for every day, even if you have a wedding to plan. Wish you all the best!
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  #38  
Old 05-16-2012
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planning for oct. either... managed to wind up biochem, immuno and micro is in the midphase... lets come out with our best!

i have to be faster with my prep. due to some unwanted obstacles my prep had stopped...for around a month time but no more now.
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  #39  
Old 05-19-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubiquinone View Post
planning for oct. either... managed to wind up biochem, immuno and micro is in the midphase... lets come out with our best!

i have to be faster with my prep. due to some unwanted obstacles my prep had stopped...for around a month time but no more now.
oh dear! my studying has stopped for this week. i have not even finished physiology!

i hope to be able to stick better to my review plan when my wedding preparations stop this june.

wish me luck! :sorry: i should probably move my goal to mid-october, eh?
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  #40  
Old 05-19-2012
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what would happen would happen anyway... we have present to be changed... past cant b fixed and future is inevitable. so keep utilizing the time which is at your side now. and during d wedding time... have fun throughout without taking stress of studies!
and return to the forum with the progress aftawards...
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  #41  
Old 07-24-2012
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Star I am back!!!

Hello everyone!

The wedding was a beautiful and happy one. We're married and working on paperwork for me to be a US immigrant and to be with him permanently! I am over the moon happy with our new life ahead of us!

But, I still have to study for step 1! I'm scheduled for November 2012!

I've adjusted my study timeline AGAIN! Please critique as you see fit:

2012
July 26 to Sept 10 - Kaplan and FA readings for all subjects, with BRS and MRS for Microbio, Patho, Physio, and Pharma; also watch Kaplan videos; FA will be annotated
Sept 11 to Oct 25 - Use USMLEWorld Qbank (this was the only Qbank recommended by all my friends who are now doing US residencies so I don't really want to waste money on other Qbanks when this is already sufficient) while annotating FA. Possibly do a couple of NBMEs, too. Which ones should it be?
Nov. 7, 2012 - Take Step 1! And, hopefully get at least a 210!

Please help me out with your comments. Is this a good plan?
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  #42  
Old 08-20-2012
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Help Update

I am currently struggling through Microbiology. I first read Biochem but had to stop cause it was taking so long!

Sigh! It's so difficult to focus on the basics when it's been so long since I graduated

Also, i'm schduled to sit for Step 1 this 4th of November! Do I have enough time?
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  #43  
Old 08-21-2012
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Finished with bacterial pathogens. Now onto fungi.

Oh I feel like i'm struggling to finish this is why being an old Img sucks
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  #44  
Old 02-27-2013
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Unhappy I feel numb.

I just took Step 1 yesterday.

I feel like I failed, but I don't wanna break down and cry.

I am really hoping I passed. I don't wanna do it all again!


Should I prepare for Step 2 CK now and schedule it? When?

Or, should I wait for Step 1 score? These exams are just so expensive
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  #45  
Old 10-31-2016
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intresting
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