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  #1  
Old 03-25-2012
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Help Focus on Step 1 or improve my English

I'm a third year med student from an international school. I will have 5 months totally free ("vacations")... my english isn't perfect, around a 80-90 score in the ibt TOEFL. I have the opportunity to do my prep in kaplan in that time.. but I'm afraid because I really want a good score... so I don't know what's better.. to do the step 1 or to use that period improving my english and maybe trying to get an observership and doing all steps later when I finish my career!

Please!! I need some help with this!!

Advantages or disadvantages?

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2012
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No need to improve your English at this point. By looking at your post, I think you are already doing a very fine job. Do step 1. If you do it, you will be presented with more opportunities to do ELECTIVES and OBSERVERSHIPS as compared to the students who have not done Step 1. I know few med students who did Step 1 and got electives at prestigious places like MAYO Clinic. Step 1 is entirely possible in 6 months if you study 7 hrs daily and SOLVE as many Qbanks as Possible. Good Luck!!
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouman View Post
No need to improve your english at this point. By looking at your post, I think you are already doing a very fine job. Do step 1. If you do it, you will be presented with more oppertunities to do ELECTIVES and OBSERVERSHIPS as compared to the students who have not done Step 1. I know few med students who did Step 1 and got electives at prestigious places like MAYO Clinic. Step 1 is entirely possible in 6 months if you study 7 hrs daily and SOLVE as many Qbanks as Possible. Good Luck!!
Thank you for replying! That's why I'm doubting, because maybe I'll have more chances for electives... but what about residence? I had read that only the highest scores are called to an interview and I don't want just to pass the test... I like surgery and the average score is 230 but I don't remember well.

Hope I take the right desition... September is the date!

Again thanks !
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2012
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I'm in a similar situation to you. I'm in an 5th year international med student (our curriculum includes pre med). If you can do a TOEFL, you can probably do a USMLE. You just need to know what the question is asking. Many times you don't even need to read the entire question.

How are you preparing? What have you read so far? Books, videos, everything. Remember, even though you recently took basic sciences, your school curriculum might be very different from the test curriculum. Also, the test is very clinical, and most of the questions are in fact clinical vignettes.
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2012
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Originally Posted by jjsanchezramirez View Post
I'm in a similar situation to you. I'm in an 5th year international med student (our curriculum includes pre med). If you can do a TOEFL, you can probably do a USMLE. You just need to know what the question is asking. Many times you don't even need to read the entire question.

How are you preparing? What have you read so far? Books, videos, everything. Remember, even though you recently took basic sciences, your school curriculum might be very different from the test curriculum. Also, the test is very clinical, and most of the questions are in fact clinical vignettes.
Well I haven't started yet my preparation, because I'm actually in my third year so I don't have the time, but I'll be on vacations in early september. That's the idea books, videos, questions... people recommend kaplan's books twice, online questions or from the Kaplan's Qbank and finally First Aid.. maybe I'll have the opportunity to go to a Kaplan's center prep and live lectures... but the you can have the same videos in the web or buying them in amazon or something like that.. Maybe I just take the live lectures.

Yes, that's the problem.. sometimes I think you can have a better score if you have passed clinics. We are in the same situation... just that I didn't have premedic. What are you thinking, what about you, have you started?
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I just started. There's a post on this.

In short, I'm doing the test late October. I'll first read the Kaplan LN and watch the Kaplan videos. Some might recommend also Goljan's Pathology audio lectures. I'm hoping to read the books by July and then I'll take a really brief Kaplan Deluxe program (7-weeks live lectures, 4 months center prep, and Qbank). The Kaplan Qbank is too soft. You must also do the USMLE World Qbank to get a decent preparation.

The NBME practice tests are not for studying. However, they give you a pretty good estimate of your score on the USMLE. If you're doing low on your NBMEs, you should move the test date.

Try to get your hands on the First Aid, or medEssentials, or even the Kaplan lecture notes or video lectures (the video lectures are great, by the way), and start studying a few hours every day. If you do this, you'll breeze through the material when you actually start studying. I know it's hard, I'm currently in classes myself, but it's worth it.

Finally, if you're not doing the live lectures (which I hear they're pretty good), you can just buy a Kaplan package from Amazon or try to get it from the Internet.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2012
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I'd recommend the TAUS method for you. It was designed for AMGs or medical students with limited time but fresh knowledge of the basic sciences. You can look for it using the search function.
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  #8  
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Originally Posted by d_wiqed View Post
I'd recommend the TAUS method for you. It was designed for AMGs or medical students with limited time but fresh knowledge of the basic sciences. You can look for it using the search function.
Thank you ! I'll take a look!
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Old 03-25-2012
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I just found the link: http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...-schedule.html Good luck!
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  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsanchezramirez View Post
I just started. There's a post on this.

In short, I'm doing the test late October. I'll first read the Kaplan LN and watch the Kaplan videos. Some might recommend also Goljan's Pathology audio lectures. I'm hoping to read the books by July and then I'll take a really brief Kaplan Deluxe program (7-weeks live lectures, 4 months center prep, and Qbank). The Kaplan Qbank is too soft. You must also do the USMLE World Qbank to get a decent preparation.

The NBME practice tests are not for studying. However, they give you a pretty good estimate of your score on the USMLE. If you're doing low on your NBMEs, you should move the test date.

Try to get your hands on the First Aid, or medEssentials, or even the Kaplan lecture notes or video lectures (the video lectures are great, by the way), and start studying a few hours every day. If you do this, you'll breeze through the material when you actually start studying. I know it's hard, I'm currently in classes myself, but it's worth it.

Finally, if you're not doing the live lectures (which I hear they're pretty good), you can just buy a Kaplan package from Amazon or try to get it from the Internet.
I should start reading while I'm in classes, like you, until september and look how is it going.. I'll buy FA (hope I had videos). That's great live lectures will review all just in 7 weeks and you'll recieve the best tips to ace the exam. Maybe I'll take the same program but later... do you recommend me any kaplan's center?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alejandra View Post
I should start reading while I'm in classes, like you, until september and look how is it going.. I'll buy FA (hope I had videos). That's great live lectures will review all just in 7 weeks and you'll recieve the best tips to ace the exam. Maybe I'll take the same program but later... do you recommend me any kaplan's center?
I hear Texas and New York are pretty good, but I'm going to Chicago because it's closer to my brother.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alejandra View Post
Thank you for replying! That's why I'm doubting, because maybe I'll have more chances for electives... but what about residence? I had read that only the highest scores are called to an interview and I don't want just to pass the test... I like surgery and the average score is 230 but I don't remember well.

Hope I take the right desition... September is the date!

Again thanks !
If you are thinking about surgery, its really competitive out there. You should work hard and get above 240-250 if you an IMG. It is totally possible in 6 months. I recommend that you finish step 1 asap and then apply for electives in surgery. Step 1 will help you in getting electives. Multiple electives and Research experience will help you more in getting into Surgery especially if you are an IMG. Step 1 should be your priority at this point!! Regarding your English, if you can understand English Movies and Drama, then I don't think you will not be having any problem in understanding them. Regarding your spoken English, Just before you Attempt Step 2 CS, tell your family and friends that you will communicate with them only in ENGLISH and you are doing this to for an exam. Moreover, when you will go to Electives and Research, your spoken english will definitely improve!
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  #13  
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Medicine is its own languagr so dont worry about improving your english anf just take that time to do kaplan imo.
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  #14  
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Originally Posted by Nouman View Post
If you are thinking about surgery, its really competitive out there. You should work hard and get above 240-250 if you an IMG. It is totally possible in 6 months. I recommend that you finish step 1 asap and then apply for electives in surgery. Step 1 will help you in getting electives. Multiple electives and Research experience will help you more in getting into Surgery especially if you are an IMG. Step 1 should be your priority at this point!! Regarding your English, if you can understand English Movies and Drama, then I don't think you will not be having any problem in understanding them. Regarding your spoken English, Just before you Attempt Step 2 CS, tell your family and friends that you will communicate with them only in ENGLISH and you are doing this to for an exam. Moreover, when you will go to Electives and Research, your spoken english will definitely improve!
Thanks for replying Nouman, I appreciate your advices ! Haha about the movies... sometimes I just can't get all words or I have difficulties with some accents.. but I understand around a 90%.. I'm planning to make my prep in the US maybe that will be an advantage to improve my english too and I have until september to practice in the ways you say. My reading skills in my oppinion are good, you must use a very sofisticated word to make me look for a dictionary... what do you think.. should I take the risk?

PDS: Is my writing too bad? haha!
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Old 03-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alejandra View Post
Thanks for replying Nouman, I appreciate your advices ! Haha about the movies... sometimes I just can't get all words or I have difficulties with some accents.. but I understand around a 90%.. I'm planning to make my prep in the US maybe that will be an advantage to improve my english too and I have until september to practice in the ways you say. My reading skills in my oppinion are good, you must use a very sofisticated word to make me look for a dictionary... what do you think.. should I take the risk?

PDS: Is my writing too bad? haha!
I have 2 advices to you:

I. Get rid of dissatisfaction about language skills
II. Start Prep ASAP
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  #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alejandra View Post
Thanks for replying Nouman, I appreciate your advices ! Haha about the movies... sometimes I just can't get all words or I have difficulties with some accents.. but I understand around a 90%.. I'm planning to make my prep in the US maybe that will be an advantage to improve my english too and I have until september to practice in the ways you say. My reading skills in my oppinion are good, you must use a very sofisticated word to make me look for a dictionary... what do you think.. should I take the risk?

PDS: Is my writing too bad? haha!
Before I went to US, I thought my english is pretty pathetic but once I went there and started communicating with them, I felt more confident and comfortable. English is not our primary language and there is nothing wrong if we are not as fluent as they are. ;P
stop underestimating yourself. Just be confident and start preparing for USMLE!!

P.S. No your writing is fine!!
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2012
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You will practice your English preparing for the exam. Step 1 is an all written exam; no one will care about your accent or pronunciation. Start preparation right now and you will be masterful in medical English by the time of the test.
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