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Old 11-28-2011
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Smile Chococat Step 1 Experience

hello everyone,
i got my step 1 scores long time ago (october), i passed, first attemp, but i didnt share neither my exam experience nor my "strategies" because i felt like i had nothing to share, since my score doesnt make me proud (195).

the main reason why i never even told my friends my score (besides feeling terribly embarrassed) is that i already know im standing in a delicate point and now i have to work harder for step2ck in order to apply to IM residency, i know its gonna be a tough task but i didnt want my friends to remember me my death sentence :s

but now i feel that its not right, somehow only "former 99ers" used to post here, but let me tell you something, everybody study hard for this exam, we all try to do our best, the thing is that some of us may have the time for little details and some of us dont, some of us are also very good test takers while some of us are not, etc.

the point of this thread now is to advice you that, well, all you have to do is to be prepared for the unexpected, i mastered the high yield questions, but due to lack of time i couldnt read carefully low yield stuff... besides, for example, i read things like parasites only once and very fast because i felt like i knew half of them already (because im from a tropical country) and didnt want to waste my precious time in so low yield questions that i could get right so easily.... but guess what? i had a LOT of common parasites in other countries!!!! and i always narrowed them to two possible choices but when i went back home, the next day when calmed, i reviewed them to just realize that i chose the wrong one... what a terrible feeling can u imagine that? doh...

anyway... while sitting in my exam i was just thinking of ALL of the things they could have asked and they didnt, so many topics were asked in different manners twice or even three times! while some others werent even mentioned. and, try to alway look for further information guys, i realized that FA and UW doesnt have it all, sometimes we know we have a wrong question because i should have studied more that topic or simply because we forgot, but in my case i realized the things they were asking me were beyond all my sources... for instance, i was reading X question and while reading i was laughing cause i already made the diagnosis, but then they kept mentioning features and treatments etc of the disease and asked me something that i had NO idea because everything i knew from the book and UW (which i remembered pretty well) was already mentioned in the question

i dont want to discourage anyone, instead, let you know that we all are not >230's... i utterly understand people with low scores keep hiding because we feel like we have nothing to offer, but, this exam is so random that we never know what we're really going to face until the day we are in our sit.

best wishes for all of you guys!
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Old 11-28-2011
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I was wondering, did you take any NBMEs? If so, were they accurate in predicting your score? You passed the test and that is an accomplishment in itself. Thanks for sharing .
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Old 11-28-2011
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Goodluck in your future steps!
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Old 11-28-2011
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thanks for sharing your experience chococat
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Old 11-29-2011
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did u use onl FA and Uw? or other sources as well?
how many times did u go through your resources?
what was your study duration overall and per day?

and how were your basics when starting out?
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Old 11-29-2011
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the thing is that i had to study for "over a year" for different reasons. i began on july 2010 right after my graduation date but i had a few problems that kept me going back and back... what do i mean?

i was new in the whole process, didnt know anyone from my school taking the steps too and i even didnt know these forums existed!!!!
i knew only very few things i dont even know how, sometimes i went to kaplan offices while traveling on vacations to usa and thats how i "began" to know everything.

as i mentioned, i was working out of my town and i had a very tough year to study, and, as an unexperienced person, i thought that kaplan was the ONLY one... i knew there were "some other books"... but since i didnt know them, i only was using kaplan in the beginning, and if for some reason i had to stop studying for over a week, i was going back to what i "already read" again (to "refresh" what i already learned) because i didnt hear about first aid.
but then i met a friend from elementary school that was in another college and in the same process and told me about how things work, and that i should read kaplan only once and go on to FA, he even was the very first time i heard about uw.

so, by april i finished kaplan lectures and videos and started with first aid.
i lasted ~1month reading first aid only and right after that i began using uw...
i was disheartened in the beginning i remember my first score was 39%... but i kept going up and up with time and feeling more comfortable.

i was ready to take my test in july, but i couldnt get my test on time due to my job... in the end i scheduled my exam for the beginning of september and thennnnn... the day before my test, at NIGHT... i received an email saying that the test center was going to be closed and my exam was re-scheduled for october...
i was soooo mad 'cause i knew i had no more energy to study after so many months, my body was in desperate need of a LONG AND REAL break! and my birthday was in the middle now i had to study on my birthday (or at least, feel the pre-exam tension)... obviously my "plateau" period was over and it was being reflected in my uw scores as well!!! i started to go back to the low 60's.

i didnt take any nbme because i knew it was impossible and even unhealthy to take more time to study, i already knew my plateau period was over, and i had so many months in that process that i was actually getting sick because my 2 weeks before my exam (which became 5 due to date change) with the stress pre-test i wasnt even running like i used and love to.

so.... in a very long period, my preparation was"
-kaplan lecture notes and videos
-kaplan qbook after every subject
-first aid (first read)
-med essentials (very quickly)
-webpath right after i finished every chapter on FA (e.g. i finished cardiology i went to cardiology images)
-first aid+uw

What i mean is that most of us study the same books but there are many other variables we should consider too. In my case, besides working far away from my house and the need of living somewhere else (because i had to save some money to pay for everything), and the time of studying (>1year) utterly affected my performance. And im aware of my mistakes of step1 and try to NOT repeat them in ck.
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