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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 01-25-2016
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Default STEP 1 experience

Hey guys , I just wanted to give back to the forum since reading all the stuff here really helped my grind.. I received my score like a wk ago and got low 260's

First about test: Its doable.. Most of the questions test super classic concepts but they may twist it a bit so you can never be sure .. I felt like I was guessing in >40% of my questions… They took a great effort to make even simple stuff as vague as possible . I got tricked in stupid answers in at least 5 questions! Like when i saw the answer in FA i wanted to hit my head on the wall.. Anyways the questions are like that : 5% super easy , just a random guy off the street can answer them , 10% easy for med student , 40% normal stuff but twisted , 35% kinda hard but doable , 5% impossible!! ( i have never seen this stuff in my life before , total guess) Don't care about this last 5% unless you are shooting for 280.. They put them in there so noone can ever answer all the questions correct

About time : I had like 10-15 mins spare in each block that I used as extra break to relax , reviewing stuff tends to make me over think and do stupid mistakes.. Last 2 blocks i finished just on the hour mark because I was tired and wasn't 100% focused ( checked ceiling , floor , other people etc.. ) Did a total of 2hours break

Be very careful with red bull and other similar products .. I wasn't used to it and chugged one before my 2nd block and i thought my heart was gonna break and got super dizzy during the last 10q's of the block ( hope i didn't bomb them…) Had to take 30 min break to get well again… If u don't drink that stuff regularly stick to good old coffee

Minutiae questions were around 5 in my test , so don't get too crazy with memorizing .. Also i had ZERO questions on milestones!!! GOOD RIDDANCE , i never bothered to 100% memorize it and never will , also ZERO questions on lysosomal storage diseases… GOOD RIDDANCE too!

I truly think that if someone reads through FA and truly tries to understand it instead of just trying to memorize it he will do great on this test

About anatomy… like 20 questions max about classic stuff , 3-4 WTF minutiae that only anatomy professors can answer , so just stick with FA uWorld

Prep timeline :

First 4 months were full time studying , had no rotations etc... Last 4 months , except final one I had rotations , but in Greece rotations are like 1 hour checking pts with attending , 1 hour smoking , chit-chat and coffee in hospital caffeteria , then 30min-1hour lecture , so I had plenty of spare time . Final month I just ditched the rotation , who cares about Urology.. My background knowledge was essentially ZERO , so if I can do it , everyone can.
Basically the ZUM ZUM method with little modifications : 3-4 months all day reading books and FA , 1 month Kaplan q bank , then 2nd pass of FA , then Uworld 1 month , then 2 weeks only FA .. No time to finish 3rd pass .. Was so burnout , i could read like 2h/day max in final week.Total around 8 months with 1 week summer break.
Also I did my prep organ-system wise and not discipline wise as Zum-Zum suggests

My prep :
Path : Pathoma in 3rd year ( now I am fifth year , just reviewed a little and annotated to FA ) Goljan one pass in the beggining and annotated to FA what i found important , Webpath ( GREAT use it if you have time) + Goljan lectures ( hear them if you can , got at least 5 q's right due to listening to the Path master ) No kaplan lectures or book , Barone was funny but half of the lecture was jokes , i aint got time for that..

Biochem/Molecular/Genetics : Kaplan + HY molecular just a little bit about the developmental genes + FA . More than enough , they ask standard stuff but VERY twisted

Immuno/Micro : Kaplan + FA + Sketchymicro + How the immune system works ( PERFECT BOOK , read it if you have time) Kaplan redundant for micro , maybe general chapters and Chapter with clinical presentations , just to get a hold on it , no memorizing.. Kaplan also good for some immunology concepts , still the other book ROCKS

Stats / Behavioral / Ethics blah blah : Kaplan + FA ( wanted to do khans book , had no time..) So much guessing on those.... Stats very straightforward , I thought '' Are they kidding me?? It cant be that simple..'' , Psychiatry / Psychology ridiculously easy

Anatomy /Neuro : Kaplan / HY Gross(clinical vignettes only ) / FA--> Neuro super simple on my test .. all these pathways and brain stem memorizing… total waste.. Dont care that much about anatomy imo .. study the standard stuff and guess on the rest

Pharm : Kaplan + FA ( so many drugs , so little time… i got 2 wtf q's on drugs that i think no resource could ever prepare you for ) . Remember Rule about CYP450 isoforms.. If they ask about it , 90% of time its CYPA34 .

Physio : Kaplan / Wikipedia/ FA Try to put extra effort here so no arrow q's can scare you , lectures on that stuff really important , you just cant grasp these from a book . Had highest performance on physio with that combo

Qbanks: Each took me ca. one month to finish , I did only one pass random timed in each , blocks of 44qs
Kaplan --> 80%
Uworld --> 88%

Practices-- > 6wks ago : NBME 11- 262-660( But i cheated in 2q's)
4wks ago : UWSA -2 : 265+
3wks ago : UWSA - 1 : 262
2wks ago : NBME -17 : 266/680

Remember its doable,stick with the basics and master them!!

Good luck to everyone!!
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The above post was thanked by:
darbi (01-27-2016), Dhakshi (01-25-2016), drEti (03-14-2016), Nodo (01-25-2016), thelostsoul (01-26-2016)



  #2  
Old 01-25-2016
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Congrats on a great score and thanks for sharing your experience.

I do have a question though. When you are saying to remember P450 isoforms, what do you mean? Remember which isoform metabolizes what and which drugs inhibit/induce specific isoforms?

Thanks
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2016
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Nope , just know this piece of info , anything more seems overkill to me ... If they ask anything about p450 isoforms , just answer CYPA34 .. and obviously know the p450 table in FA

Edit: meant CYP3A4

Last edited by tassosant13; 01-25-2016 at 11:46 AM. Reason: typo
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tassosant13 View Post
Nope , just know this piece of info , anything more seems overkill to me ... If they ask anything about p450 isoforms , just answer CYPA34 .. and obviously know the p450 table in FA

Edit: meant CYP3A4
OK. Thanks.

I hope I also luck out with zero questions on child development and lysosomal storage disorders.
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tassosant13 View Post
Hey guys , I just wanted to give back to the forum since reading all the stuff here really helped my grind.. I received my score like a wk ago and got low 260's

First about test: Its doable.. Most of the questions test super classic concepts but they may twist it a bit so you can never be sure .. I felt like I was guessing in >40% of my questions… They took a great effort to make even simple stuff as vague as possible . I got tricked in stupid answers in at least 5 questions! Like when i saw the answer in FA i wanted to hit my head on the wall.. Anyways the questions are like that : 5% super easy , just a random guy off the street can answer them , 10% easy for med student , 40% normal stuff but twisted , 35% kinda hard but doable , 5% impossible!! ( i have never seen this stuff in my life before , total guess) Don't care about this last 5% unless you are shooting for 280.. They put them in there so noone can ever answer all the questions correct

About time : I had like 10-15 mins spare in each block that I used as extra break to relax , reviewing stuff tends to make me over think and do stupid mistakes.. Last 2 blocks i finished just on the hour mark because I was tired and wasn't 100% focused ( checked ceiling , floor , other people etc.. ) Did a total of 2hours break

Be very careful with red bull and other similar products .. I wasn't used to it and chugged one before my 2nd block and i thought my heart was gonna break and got super dizzy during the last 10q's of the block ( hope i didn't bomb them…) Had to take 30 min break to get well again… If u don't drink that stuff regularly stick to good old coffee

Minutiae questions were around 5 in my test , so don't get too crazy with memorizing .. Also i had ZERO questions on milestones!!! GOOD RIDDANCE , i never bothered to 100% memorize it and never will , also ZERO questions on lysosomal storage diseases… GOOD RIDDANCE too!

I truly think that if someone reads through FA and truly tries to understand it instead of just trying to memorize it he will do great on this test

About anatomy… like 20 questions max about classic stuff , 3-4 WTF minutiae that only anatomy professors can answer , so just stick with FA uWorld

Prep timeline :

First 4 months were full time studying , had no rotations etc... Last 4 months , except final one I had rotations , but in Greece rotations are like 1 hour checking pts with attending , 1 hour smoking , chit-chat and coffee in hospital caffeteria , then 30min-1hour lecture , so I had plenty of spare time . Final month I just ditched the rotation , who cares about Urology.. My background knowledge was essentially ZERO , so if I can do it , everyone can.
Basically the ZUM ZUM method with little modifications : 3-4 months all day reading books and FA , 1 month Kaplan q bank , then 2nd pass of FA , then Uworld 1 month , then 2 weeks only FA .. No time to finish 3rd pass .. Was so burnout , i could read like 2h/day max in final week.Total around 8 months with 1 week summer break.
Also I did my prep organ-system wise and not discipline wise as Zum-Zum suggests

My prep :
Path : Pathoma in 3rd year ( now I am fifth year , just reviewed a little and annotated to FA ) Goljan one pass in the beggining and annotated to FA what i found important , Webpath ( GREAT use it if you have time) + Goljan lectures ( hear them if you can , got at least 5 q's right due to listening to the Path master ) No kaplan lectures or book , Barone was funny but half of the lecture was jokes , i aint got time for that..

Biochem/Molecular/Genetics : Kaplan + HY molecular just a little bit about the developmental genes + FA . More than enough , they ask standard stuff but VERY twisted

Immuno/Micro : Kaplan + FA + Sketchymicro + How the immune system works ( PERFECT BOOK , read it if you have time) Kaplan redundant for micro , maybe general chapters and Chapter with clinical presentations , just to get a hold on it , no memorizing.. Kaplan also good for some immunology concepts , still the other book ROCKS

Stats / Behavioral / Ethics blah blah : Kaplan + FA ( wanted to do khans book , had no time..) So much guessing on those.... Stats very straightforward , I thought '' Are they kidding me?? It cant be that simple..'' , Psychiatry / Psychology ridiculously easy

Anatomy /Neuro : Kaplan / HY Gross(clinical vignettes only ) / FA--> Neuro super simple on my test .. all these pathways and brain stem memorizing… total waste.. Dont care that much about anatomy imo .. study the standard stuff and guess on the rest

Pharm : Kaplan + FA ( so many drugs , so little time… i got 2 wtf q's on drugs that i think no resource could ever prepare you for ) . Remember Rule about CYP450 isoforms.. If they ask about it , 90% of time its CYPA34 .

Physio : Kaplan / Wikipedia/ FA Try to put extra effort here so no arrow q's can scare you , lectures on that stuff really important , you just cant grasp these from a book . Had highest performance on physio with that combo

Qbanks: Each took me ca. one month to finish , I did only one pass random timed in each , blocks of 44qs
Kaplan --> 80%
Uworld --> 88%

Practices-- > 6wks ago : NBME 11- 262-660( But i cheated in 2q's)
4wks ago : UWSA -2 : 265+
3wks ago : UWSA - 1 : 262
2wks ago : NBME -17 : 266/680

Remember its doable,stick with the basics and master them!!

Good luck to everyone!!
266 on 17... Dam son! makes my 258 feel inadequate lol.. great score btw!
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The above post was thanked by:
tassosant13 (01-26-2016)
  #6  
Old 01-26-2016
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hehe its all luck on these score ranges , I think 258 is like 5-6 q's away from 266 out of the total 200
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