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Old 09-21-2011
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Default Step 1 score 221/94

Hello everyone- I wanted to share my exam/studying experience with you all. I took my exam on August 27th and just got my score today. Even though, its not a 99 I am honestly very happy!!! This is not my first time. My first attempt was on February 17th and I failed the exam by two points- now that I think about it it was honestly a save as I would rather fail than get a low score. I will get to as why I failed the first time later on.

Preparation- Kaplan notes/videos for selective subjects, BRS physiology (I love this book!), FA (the bible), Goljan audio, BRS pathology.

Qbanks- USMLE World, USMLERx, Kaplan Qbank

I studied daily for about 12-15 hrs. Had barely any social life during this time except gym and one hour of TV before going to bed. As why I failed the first time- My preparation was the exact same the first time I studied except my preparation time was 6 months. I had all the tools in my hand to take that exam except self confidence. I went into the exam thinking there is no way I am capable of passing this exam, and well it affected me horribly. I barely slept the night before the exam and exam day was horrible. The first block the most difficult for me and demoralizing. I was welling up tears in my eyes DURING the exam and felt so nauseated, had to go vomit. All in all, even though I had studied and given it my 110 percent, ended up failing with a 185/75. I was devastated but I refused to give up. I took on studying the next day after I got my first score report. I was determined to rip this exam apart and not fail AGAIN!!! I focused on my weaknesses which were Biochemistry and Behavioral Sciences. I minimized my sources to avoid confusion (something which I should have done the first time). I probably read FA ATLEAST 20 times. I resubscribed to Uworld and went throught it twice again (3 times in total). My entire FA was annotated with explanations from Uworld. Next I subscribed to USMLE Rx and Kaplan Qbank. Went through them fully averaging above 80 percent towards the end. I read BRS physiology (the exam is all mechanisms!) almost 7-8 times. If I felt a concept was slipping out of my mind, I revisited it until I hammered it in completely. The result was Physiology went from being my lowest scoring subject to highest. Any anxious thoughts that came into my head, I nailed them before they affected me.
Another thing you might find unusual is that I did not do any NBME's at all. I felt that out of the almost 10,000 questions I had done, I was bound to see the same concept multiple times in the exam which is about/less than 350 questions. I did all the Qbanks random timed/sometimes tutor mode.

The day before the exam- I only reviewed equations and lab values and the two small pathology/pharmacology sections in FA. I wrapped up my studying by 5 pm the day before. My exam was at 12 pm the next day. Went to bed early and had almost 11 hrs of sleep. Woke up feeling relaxed and refreshed. Watched some TV to take my mind off and then finally left for the exam center. I took the exam on my birthday actually and all the staff was so nice at Prometric, they wished me Happy Birthday. That was really nice of them and definitely helped me relax.

First 2 blocks- REALLY easy!!! I felt so happy and I was on a roll. I think I knew more than 95 percent of both blocks. Came out during the break and called my dadand told him out easy the exam was.

Blocks 3-4- These two were difficult but I refused to fall victim to despair again so I gave it my level best. Honestly, if you are relaxed you can take on the most challenging of things. As it so turned out, these two blocks became much more doable. I also had time to go through each of the questions again.

The rest of the blocks were intermediate with some questions really easy to some of them pretty tricky. I felt my exam was hardcore pathology. I had very little Behavioral sciences, pharmacology and neurology on my exam. I did have some tricky embryology questions. I got tested on all systemic pathology with GIT being tested the most. When the exam ended, I walked out feeling happy, I felt I had given my 110 percent and I had definitely done well. The last 3 and a half weeks had been hard because as time went by I started to remember silly mistakes I had made and I thought maybe I didn't do as good as I had felt. I did make some silly mistakes some of them I realized right when I ended the block, I think that's unavoidable due to the pressure and time constraints. You can try your best to avoid these mistakes, but one or two might just occur.

My score 221/94. Like I said when I checked it this morning, I was beyond ecstatic. I know I tried my best and I can do much better in Step 2. I have been a silent reader of this forum for a long time. I have seen people offer their experiences as learning tools for others. If you can learn from my experience, I would say that have confidence in yourself no matter what. Suppress your nerves- after studying so hard the last thing you want to do is lose it all because of mindless anxiety. Do whatever it takes to make you comfortable on exam day. For me, I knew if I take my exam really early (8 am) I might tire myself out later on so I scheduled it for 12 pm. I was well rested and wide awake and even had time to relax for a couple of hrs in the morning. Also PRACTICE and PRACTICE as many questions as you can. No matter how much you read, you cannot reinforce the material until you apply it. My biggest mistake the first time was only sticking to Uworld. For some its OK but if you feel like if you need more practice don't hesitate to subscribe to another Qbank. Also, stick to a few best sources- QUALITY over quantity. I see people trying to do it all (Goljan, Kaplan etc). If you think you can handle it all, go for it. But I felt for myself I couldn't remember one thing from Kaplan because of the sheer volume. I only used Kaplan for subjects I was weak in and made FA my Bible. And whenever I felt like I couldn't read, I used the question banks and Goljan Audio as learning tools.

Soooo there you go! If you have questions, feel free to ask
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The above post was thanked by:
akua (09-21-2011), bebix (09-21-2011), ElizabethNYC (09-21-2011), LatinGeorge (09-21-2011), pradeeprox (09-21-2011), ricko335 (09-21-2011), tootsie (09-21-2011)

Old 09-21-2011
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Hey great score man!!!!
i guess a good question is what would u have done better...

and recommendations.
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fhs08 (09-21-2011)
Old 09-21-2011
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Hey Great score !!!

Best of luck with the rest of the Steps!!

I'm sure you must be celebrating now!!

All of your work paid off!

Thanks for your post!!
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Old 09-21-2011
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Great score!! Congratulations. Thanks a lot for deciding to post such admirable experience. You didn't quit and read the material many many times, right after failing. Truly, you're a worthy of your score and more.

Thanks so much for your post. Very inspiring.

Congratulations again and best of luck on your following endeavors.
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Old 09-21-2011
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Thank you everyone. I AM very happy- feels like a huge load has been lifted off my shoulders and that I am capable of doing any thing now- sky is the limit!

@ Latin George- the only recommendation I have is to practice as many questions as you can and try to follow the 1 min/question rule every time. I was able to complete each block in about 45 mins so that I had 15 mins to go over the entire block and focus on questions that I had marked. I felt during my exam that I had seen majority of the questions elsewhere and just worded differently.
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tootsie (09-21-2011)
Old 09-21-2011
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Wow, congrats for your great experience! Nicely done and what a great confidence you got!!! Again congratulation.

I am here:,-80.450129
Nothing is Impossible, the Word Itself says "I'm Possible"
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fhs08 (09-22-2011)
Old 09-21-2011
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Default hi

221 !!

congrats for those kick ass scores ....
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