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  #1  
Old 02-08-2015
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Default My impression of step 1 (took it 2 weeks ago)

Hi guys,

I finally took my Step 1 after a year or so of on-off studying during medical school and 1-2 months of dedicated studying. I'm not gonna share my technique so much because it's the same as what most people use these days (FA/UW/Pathoma/DIT/NBMEs/UWSAs). I want to share my exam-day experience itself - whatever I can remember.

Day/night before:
Unlike popular advice, I decided to just do a quick review of all topics from FA. I simply flipped through all the pages very quickly to simply 'remind and refresh' my memory. I believe this helped me significantly and definitely helped me with some of the questions, however, I wouldn't recommend doing this for too long as it can really make you nervous and make you question whether you know some of the things well enough or not. I did this until 6 pm. I then relaxed for a good two hours. I went and got a haircut and just went to the mall. I had dinner with family (family support definitely helps to relieve anxiety). I knew that I would be very anxious to take the test (not because I wasn't prepared but that I was ready to get on with it). I think I took half of zopiclone to help me fall asleep. I am so happy to say that I slept like a baby. I was in bed by 9:45 pm and probably fell asleep around 11.

Test day:
Woke up at 6, showered, had light breakfast and got to the test centre. I had previously taken a practice test at the centre a week before, so that definitely helped me get in a routine. I started the test around 8 am.

The first few questions were slightly on the difficult side and I was marking liberally, but then the nerves settled in and everything went okay after that.

I noticed that I was definitely short on time; I was finishing each section with maybe few minutes to spare. Passages are longer and I also think that the importance of the test meant that I was marking and spending more time being 'extra sure' of my answers. I was finishing practice tests with 5 to 10 minutes to spare.

Questions were either dead easy, medium (from FA), hard/something you can figure out if you apply logic, or nearly impossible (you simply had to guess on these and move on otherwise you could lose precious time).

Content-wise: There wasn't as much neuroanatomy, biochem, psych, and cardio/resp physiology as I would have expected. There was lots of path. Some of the micro questions were tricky (there were 2 questions with pictures of worms/parasites that I had never seen before). Surprisingly, there were two questions on incontinence in women (something not covered by FA). Some of the anatomy questions were not covered by FA either, so I had to use my best judgement. I don't think there were any histology questions where I had to identify a tissue sample or characteristic finding. Calculation wise, basic sensitivity/etc. showed up, and Fick's principle showed. One question was about trying to calculate fluid loss in a patient with known weight loss. Again, not something that was in FA, but something that you could figure out on the spot.

I don't know my score yet, but my feeling is that I think (I hope) I did okay on the test. It wasn't as tough as NBME 16 for sure. It was definitely more similar to UW in style of questions than NBME. However, there were some shorter NBME-like questions as well. I don't think there were any repeats (might have been 1 repeat).

Lastly, the way I took my breaks was like this:
|Block 1| 5 minute break |Block 2| 10 min |Block 3| 5 min |Block 4| 20 min lunch |Block 5| 5 min |Block 6| 10 min |Block 7| DONE!
I made sure to do a lot of stretching, eating, drinking, relaxing during breaks to help keep me refreshed for this marathon of an exam. I found that listening to some music during lunch also helped me.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to help as best I can. Good luck to all those studying for this exam!
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The above post was thanked by:
drIT (04-28-2015), dwijeshsheth (02-09-2015), Layla937 (02-08-2015), mk09 (02-09-2015), Natalia1 (02-09-2015), pd10 (02-08-2015), Salzee (02-09-2015), step123 (02-08-2015)



  #2  
Old 02-08-2015
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Thanks, can u just elaborate on gross anat topics tested on exam & do u think pathoma s enough?
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by step123 View Post
Thanks, can u just elaborate on gross anat topics tested on exam & do u think pathoma s enough?
I think that the combination of FA, pathoma, and UW is definitely enough for the exam. I guess supplementing with Goljan wouldn't hurt, but I would stick to those three.

Gross anatomy: I had a question on where the spinal cord would be affected in patient with lower leg symptoms in B12 deficiency. It was just a gross section of spinal cord. Other than this, I don't think there was much gross - no brain sections, heart, GI, liver, kidney, etc.

Just remember that every test is different. Someone else may easily get a very different test. They have more than 10000 questions that they can put together in different ways to make a test.
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2015
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Thanks for sharing ur experience, please share ur last 2 months preparations?when did u give all NBMEs? If you don't mind,please share ur Nbme score
Thanks and good luck,,,, surely u will score great
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonoz View Post
Hi guys,

I finally took my Step 1 after a year or so of on-off studying during medical school and 1-2 months of dedicated studying. I'm not gonna share my technique so much because it's the same as what most people use these days (FA/UW/Pathoma/DIT/NBMEs/UWSAs). I want to share my exam-day experience itself - whatever I can remember.

Day/night before:
Unlike popular advice, I decided to just do a quick review of all topics from FA. I simply flipped through all the pages very quickly to simply 'remind and refresh' my memory. I believe this helped me significantly and definitely helped me with some of the questions, however, I wouldn't recommend doing this for too long as it can really make you nervous and make you question whether you know some of the things well enough or not. I did this until 6 pm. I then relaxed for a good two hours. I went and got a haircut and just went to the mall. I had dinner with family (family support definitely helps to relieve anxiety). I knew that I would be very anxious to take the test (not because I wasn't prepared but that I was ready to get on with it). I think I took half of zopiclone to help me fall asleep. I am so happy to say that I slept like a baby. I was in bed by 9:45 pm and probably fell asleep around 11.

Test day:
Woke up at 6, showered, had light breakfast and got to the test centre. I had previously taken a practice test at the centre a week before, so that definitely helped me get in a routine. I started the test around 8 am.

The first few questions were slightly on the difficult side and I was marking liberally, but then the nerves settled in and everything went okay after that.

I noticed that I was definitely short on time; I was finishing each section with maybe few minutes to spare. Passages are longer and I also think that the importance of the test meant that I was marking and spending more time being 'extra sure' of my answers. I was finishing practice tests with 5 to 10 minutes to spare.

Questions were either dead easy, medium (from FA), hard/something you can figure out if you apply logic, or nearly impossible (you simply had to guess on these and move on otherwise you could lose precious time).

Content-wise: There wasn't as much neuroanatomy, biochem, psych, and cardio/resp physiology as I would have expected. There was lots of path. Some of the micro questions were tricky (there were 2 questions with pictures of worms/parasites that I had never seen before). Surprisingly, there were two questions on incontinence in women (something not covered by FA). Some of the anatomy questions were not covered by FA either, so I had to use my best judgement. I don't think there were any histology questions where I had to identify a tissue sample or characteristic finding. Calculation wise, basic sensitivity/etc. showed up, and Fick's principle showed. One question was about trying to calculate fluid loss in a patient with known weight loss. Again, not something that was in FA, but something that you could figure out on the spot.

I don't know my score yet, but my feeling is that I think (I hope) I did okay on the test. It wasn't as tough as NBME 16 for sure. It was definitely more similar to UW in style of questions than NBME. However, there were some shorter NBME-like questions as well. I don't think there were any repeats (might have been 1 repeat).

Lastly, the way I took my breaks was like this:
|Block 1| 5 minute break |Block 2| 10 min |Block 3| 5 min |Block 4| 20 min lunch |Block 5| 5 min |Block 6| 10 min |Block 7| DONE!
I made sure to do a lot of stretching, eating, drinking, relaxing during breaks to help keep me refreshed for this marathon of an exam. I found that listening to some music during lunch also helped me.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to help as best I can. Good luck to all those studying for this exam!
congrats for getting it done! could you share your NBME 16 score
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2015
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What was your schedule during the dedicated study time? I have been studying for almost 9 months now, it seems I am forgetting things or unable to put everything in my head. Also which resource would you say is the single most important thing? Aside from FA of course..

I also had a general question about UW, are the wrong answers really very important to study?
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2015
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How much did u take to finish UW ?
Qs number/ day and Hrs /day ??
I am bad note take If u could enlighten me on this ??

Hope u get a great score
good luck ...
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