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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 03-11-2012
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Smile dextrocardia Step 1 Experience 230/83

I received my score a few weeks ago and although itís not a 240, I am very happy.
I would like to thank this forum for all the support and feedback I have received. It really helped me to stay motivated.

Summary of my NBME/uworld/actual score:
Uworld 1st time random, unused, timed percentage: 62%
UWSA1 ~1 month prior to test: 240
NBME 6 ~4 weeks prior to test: 212
NBME 12 ~3 weeks prior to test: 226
NBME 11 ~1 week prior to test: 228
NBME 7 1 day prior to test : 228
Actual Step 1 score: 230/83

Background: Iím a Carribean medical student and I took my step 1 after completing the basic sciences. I was an average student and I did not really prepare for the step 1 during the basic sciences. My MCAT score was in the low 20ís.

Study Materials: First Aid 2010, Kaplan lecture notes 2011, Kaplan qbank, DIT 2010, Goljan rapid review (for pictures only), Goljan audio lectures, USMLE World qbank

Total preparation time: ~7 months
Hours studied per day: ~8

Early Preparation (first 2 months): I took a Kaplan live review course for 2 months during which I went to a live lecture during the day and studied the lecture notes at night. I also did about 2,000 Kaplan qbank questions during this time. After this I took a short 2 week break.

Mid preparation (2-4 months in): I then started on DIT. It took me over a month to finish DIT because I had never read First Aid prior to DIT. After completing DIT and essentially my first read of First Aid, I started doing uworld questions in a timed, random and unused manner. At this point I was doing about a block a day and was averaging low to mid 50ís. I continued to read First Aid everyday and I also listened to Goljan audio lectures every night before going to sleep. I did not read the Kaplan lecture notes during this time.

Late preparation (4-6 months in): I now decided that I was going to study from only First Aid and uworld. If I had time I would listen to Goljan audio a second time along with the pictures in Goljan Rapid Review. I spent most of my day thoroughly reading and understanding every concept, diagram and picture in First Aid. My goal was to essentially memorize First Aid. At night I would do a set of uworld questions and then spend hours going over the questions, even the ones that I got right. I referred to First Aid constantly while reading the explanations. I cannot tell you how important it is to go over the uworld questions and read every single explanation. I was now scoring in the 70ís in uworld. I completed uworld with a 62% overall. 1 month prior to my test I took UWSA 1 and got a 240. I was very skeptical of this score and didnít feel that it was accurate.

The last month: I was reading First Aid for the third time at this point and decided to take an NBME. I decided to take the harder, less predictive NBMEs first so I started with NBME 6. So about 4 weeks prior to my test I took NBME 6 and got a 212. My goal was to get a 220 so I worked on my weaknesses according to the extended feedback. I continued to read First Aid and I started doing uworld questions for a second time. I chose to do only the ones I had marked, but unfortunately I had marked around 1600 questions so I didn't get through all of them. About 3 weeks prior to my test I took another NBME. This time I chose to take NBME 12 and I got a 226. I was very happy at this point but I kept studying hard because I was afraid Iíd start to forget things if I cut back on studying. So I continued doing uworld questions everyday. On some days I managed to do 3 blocks and on other days I could only do 2 as I spent most of my day studying First Aid. About a week before my test I took NBME 11 and scored a 228. At this point I knew I was just about ready to take the exam as I had already reached my target score. I reread a few sections in First Aid a fourth time and then took NBME 7 the day before my exam scoring a 228 on it.

The test: I went in with confidence but I thought it was a difficult test. However, most of the material was in fact covered in First Aid and uworld. I felt that it was easier than uworld and more like an NBME. I had marked a lot of questions so I did not feel confident right after the exam but I guess thatís just how everyone feels.

The bottom line: The step 1 is NOT a test of your intelligence. If you truly know everything in First Aid and uworld then you will do very well. Kaplan will help you build a good knowledge base and then itís up to you to learn the most high yield information using First Aid and uworld. Also, do not neglect to do the NBMEs as they are very accurate at predicting your actual score. Many of the concepts tested on the NBMEs will probably show up on your actual test as well so do as many as you can.


Good luck to all future test takers!

Last edited by dextrocardia; 03-11-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2012
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Congrats on the great score!

What would you say is the best way to utilize DIT? When should I do it and how many times?

Also, how was neuro on the exam? How many CTs and pics of the head?
Was it specific on tracts of the brain or were most tract questions brainstem and spinalcord?

If there was one thing you could change in your prep, what would it be?

Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2012
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Default congrts.....

congrtssss man,,,, its great.... now 230 is only 84? how they convert it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parag03 View Post
congrtssss man,,,, its great.... now 230 is only 84? how they convert it?
dont worry about the 2digit score, it means absolutely nothing and they will be getting rid of it completely soon.
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Default Congrats on your result!

Its good to hear that you found first-aid helpful since there a few oposite opinions lately.
Good luck on the rest!
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Old 03-11-2012
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Default key answers

how did ya manage to find the keys for the NBMEs?
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Thanks for that great summary!

I saw you used Kaplan Qbank during the course. How was your average at that point?
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Old 03-11-2012
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Congrats!!
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Default congrats!

congratz dextro. I need some serious advise. Can i get ur email id? My exam is by the end of april n i need some serious motivation. Mine's ''hissam.haider@gmail.com''
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congrats , that is very good score
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Congrats!!
Did you do all the NBME's online? Which NBME was the exam more close to?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.NickRiviera View Post
Congrats on the great score!

What would you say is the best way to utilize DIT? When should I do it and how many times?

Also, how was neuro on the exam? How many CTs and pics of the head?
Was it specific on tracts of the brain or were most tract questions brainstem and spinalcord?

If there was one thing you could change in your prep, what would it be?

Thanks!
I did DIT early in my preparation but I know some people save it until the end. I think you will be ok as long as you do it once at some point in your studies.

I'm sorry but I don't feel comfortable answering questions about the test itself.

I never got a chance to complete uworld a second time nor did I get to read the notes I took on uworld questions. If I could change anything I would have read my notes and completed my marked questions in uworld.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermedic View Post
how did ya manage to find the keys for the NBMEs?
I found the answers to the NBME questions online. Mostly from http://www.usmleforum.com and http://studentdoctor.net/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hissam Haider View Post
congratz dextro. I need some serious advise. Can i get ur email id? My exam is by the end of april n i need some serious motivation. Mine's ''hissam.haider@gmail.com''
If you have any questions you can send me a private message.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suka View Post
Congrats!!
Did you do all the NBME's online? Which NBME was the exam more close to?
Yes, I did them all online. I felt that NBME 7, 11 and 12 were very similar to the exam.


Thank you all!
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  #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dextrocardia View Post
I did DIT early in my preparation but I know some people save it until the end. I think you will be ok as long as you do it once at some point in your studies.

I'm sorry but I don't feel comfortable answering questions about the test itself.

I never got a chance to complete uworld a second time nor did I get to read the notes I took on uworld questions. If I could change anything I would have read my notes and completed my marked questions in uworld.

I found the answers to the NBME questions online. Mostly from http://www.usmleforum.com and http://studentdoctor.net/
If you have any questions you can send me a private message.
Yes, I did them all online. I felt that NBME 7, 11 and 12 were very similar to the exam.
Thank you all!
Thank you!
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