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  #1  
Old 04-09-2012
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Smile DrJ777 Studying and Exam Experience - 256(88)

Hey everyone -

Don't really post on this forum much, but visited a few times prior to and during my studying for Step 1, so I figured I may as well shed some light on my experience regarding the exam, and answer any questions anyone may have.

Total study time: 10 weeks
Exam Date: 3/16/12
Main Sources Used:
-FA 2010/2011
-Goljan Rapid Review
-BRS Physiology
-Old notes I made while in school
-Wikipedia for random look-ups
-Robbin's (Ch. 1-6)
-UWORLD Q Bank
-DIT 2011

I began my studying by going through FA and Goljan while annotating in notes from my other sources into FA. I went through FA twice (all while doing UWORLD) prior to starting DIT, so that I felt very comfortable with the material and with the structure of FA itself. This took about 1 month. I then started DIT, where I would do 3 days of lecture, and then 1 day of review for a total of about 21 days. After I completed DIT, I went through FA 2 last times, and brushed up on any random areas I felt weak in. I studied for about 10-12 hours a day, and didn't take any full days off.

NBME (@ school): 235
NBME 12 (~8 weeks out): 245
NBME 11 (~6 weeks out): 252
UWSA1 (~3 weeks out): 250
NBME 7 (~2 weeks out): 254
UWORLD overall: 74%

Real Thing (3/16/12): 256/88

I also did the practice exam at my local prometric center, which I highly recommend, just so that you can see what the environment will feel like on test day and get your bearings for the real thing.

Exam day was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. The exam itself FLEW by. I personally thought my behavioral/biostats sections were very hard (no simple/straightforward questions, all involved graphs/tables that I had to interpret). Expect a random drug question that isn't covered in FA (mine was Capsaicin). My first block seemed not too bad, but my 2nd and last were KILLER! Overall, the exam seemed fair and mostly in line with the NBMEs I did. I walked out of the exam feeling okay, mostly relieved. After I took the NBMEs I usually felt like I did horribly, so it was nice to not have that feeling after the real thing.

Studying for this exam was exhausting, both mentally and physically. But as long as you keep your eye on the prize, you will be fine. I would suggest for people that aren't seeing any improvements after 8-10 weeks of intense studying, to try and be honest with themselves and don't try to keep pushing their test back further. You're never going to feel completely prepared for this exam, that's normal!

Hope this was helpful, good luck everyone with your studying and on your exam! Be confident and you will succeed!
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2012
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Thanks a lot for sharing your experience!! with 10 weeks preparation 258, it is just OMG!!!

Which NBME was close to your exam? Do FA and UW cover general anatomy question?

Thank you.

One more silly question, I know 2 digit score is percentile, do they give you correct answer %?
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munira1980 View Post
Thanks a lot for sharing your experience!! with 10 weeks preparation 258, it is just OMG!!!

Which NBME was close to your exam? Do FA and UW cover general anatomy question?

Thank you.

One more silly question, I know 2 digit score is percentile, do they give you correct answer %?
NBME 7 was closest to my exam. FA does not 100% cover enough general anatomy, I would randomly look things up on wiki..

Also the 2 digit score is not a percentile. There was no % correct in the score report available online.

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 04-09-2012
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Thank you so much!!!!
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2012
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Congrats!
Thanks for sharing ur experience!
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  #6  
Old 04-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ777 View Post
Hey everyone -

Don't really post on this forum much, but visited a few times prior to and during my studying for Step 1, so I figured I may as well shed some light on my experience regarding the exam, and answer any questions anyone may have.

Total study time: 10 weeks
Exam Date: 3/16/12
Main Sources Used:
-FA 2010/2011
-Goljan Rapid Review
-BRS Physiology
-Old notes I made while in school
-Wikipedia for random look-ups
-Robbin's (Ch. 1-6)
-UWORLD Q Bank
-DIT 2011

I began my studying by going through FA and Goljan while annotating in notes from my other sources into FA. I went through FA twice (all while doing UWORLD) prior to starting DIT, so that I felt very comfortable with the material and with the structure of FA itself. This took about 1 month. I then started DIT, where I would do 3 days of lecture, and then 1 day of review for a total of about 21 days. After I completed DIT, I went through FA 2 last times, and brushed up on any random areas I felt weak in. I studied for about 10-12 hours a day, and didn't take any full days off.

NBME (@ school): 235
NBME 12 (~8 weeks out): 245
NBME 11 (~6 weeks out): 252
UWSA1 (~3 weeks out): 250
NBME 7 (~2 weeks out): 254
UWORLD overall: 74%

Real Thing (3/16/12): 256/88

I also did the practice exam at my local prometric center, which I highly recommend, just so that you can see what the environment will feel like on test day and get your bearings for the real thing.

Exam day was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. The exam itself FLEW by. I personally thought my behavioral/biostats sections were very hard (no simple/straightforward questions, all involved graphs/tables that I had to interpret). Expect a random drug question that isn't covered in FA (mine was Capsaicin). My first block seemed not too bad, but my 2nd and last were KILLER! Overall, the exam seemed fair and mostly in line with the NBMEs I did. I walked out of the exam feeling okay, mostly relieved. After I took the NBMEs I usually felt like I did horribly, so it was nice to not have that feeling after the real thing.

Studying for this exam was exhausting, both mentally and physically. But as long as you keep your eye on the prize, you will be fine. I would suggest for people that aren't seeing any improvements after 8-10 weeks of intense studying, to try and be honest with themselves and don't try to keep pushing their test back further. You're never going to feel completely prepared for this exam, that's normal!

Hope this was helpful, good luck everyone with your studying and on your exam! Be confident and you will succeed!
10 weeks of prep?? amazing! well congratulations! are u an AMG btw?
so i was just wondering, does FA cover most of the stuff in exam? i mean ive been writing down stuff frm Uworld into my FA and some stuff frm kaplan and some DIT stuff .. but therez soooo much stuff missing in FA and i go crazy ovr them!! and if i go back to Kaplan i wl b stuck on it for the whole day. I just want to hear it frm someone who just took the exam
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2012
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Congrats on your score and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

what nbme did you take at school?
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2012
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Thanks for taking the time to post your experience.

I have one question... how useful do you feel that the DIT course was? They claim an average score increase of about 5% per week and a total of about 15%. That seems a bit excessively optimistic to me, but then, I'm an optimist. I don't expect them to raise my score from 230 to 260 like they claim, but based on your NBME results, it seems like your score didn't really change after the DIT course. Do you think that's just because you were so well-prepared already that the course didn't offer much more? Or is it that the course is actually less amazing than they claim?
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbndumb View Post
10 weeks of prep?? amazing! well congratulations! are u an AMG btw?
so i was just wondering, does FA cover most of the stuff in exam? i mean ive been writing down stuff frm Uworld into my FA and some stuff frm kaplan and some DIT stuff .. but therez soooo much stuff missing in FA and i go crazy ovr them!! and if i go back to Kaplan i wl b stuck on it for the whole day. I just want to hear it frm someone who just took the exam
I'd say FA covers the majority of topics that may show up on Step 1, however FA does NOT do the best job explaining what things mean. If you simply memorize FA, this is not really helpful. You have to really understand the concepts so you can apply them to a clinical vignette in order to really succeed. Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IstariRadagast View Post
Congrats on your score and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

what nbme did you take at school?
I took the NBME CBSE in Dec. 2011
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shan564 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to post your experience.

I have one question... how useful do you feel that the DIT course was? They claim an average score increase of about 5% per week and a total of about 15%. That seems a bit excessively optimistic to me, but then, I'm an optimist. I don't expect them to raise my score from 230 to 260 like they claim, but based on your NBME results, it seems like your score didn't really change after the DIT course. Do you think that's just because you were so well-prepared already that the course didn't offer much more? Or is it that the course is actually less amazing than they claim?
I liked the DIT course, it really helped with drilling in key concepts and high yield points for memorization. They show a lot of pictures of pathology that isn't covered in FA that I liked. The thing is, on the actual exam, there isn't as much pure memorization/recall as you may think. I definitely felt well-prepared, and DIT doesn't venture too much out of FA, so I guess it wasn't the key factor in my studying. But I would recommend it, its very interactive, but not for everyone I guess. Good luck!
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2012
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Its been a while since my firends took teh usmle almost 3 years ago, but shouldn't 256 be like a 99? Why is it 88 that means you are just at teh mean of us med student?
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  #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by student13 View Post
Its been a while since my firends took teh usmle almost 3 years ago, but shouldn't 256 be like a 99? Why is it 88 that means you are just at teh mean of us med student?
The NBME recently changed how they assign the 2-digit score. Before the change, basically any 3-digit score above 230 was given a 99. With the new changes, the 2 digit score is basically only being used as a means to indicate a passing score, and is no longer being reported to residency programs.

As quoted from their website, "The change in scoring procedures will introduce a more stable relationship between score scales in the future. Those receiving 2-digit score results under the new system will note that, in most instances, the 2-digit score associated with a specific 3-digit score will be substantially lower than it was prior to this change."

You can read more here: http://www.usmle.org/announcements/?ContentId=81
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2012
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that is so unfair.
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  #15  
Old 04-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by student13 View Post
that is so unfair.
why is it unfair? the 2 digit score essentially means nothing...
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2012
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I wanted to tell some of my 99% friends that you can shove it up yours, I have a 99 also.
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  #17  
Old 04-10-2012
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Originally Posted by student13 View Post
I wanted to tell some of my 99% friends that you can shove it up yours, I have a 99 also.
well tell your 99% friends to shove it since their 99% doesn't mean anything! You will get a better 3-digit score than them, and then you can tell to F off! Good luck!
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  #18  
Old 04-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ777 View Post
Hey everyone -

Don't really post on this forum much, but visited a few times prior to and during my studying for Step 1, so I figured I may as well shed some light on my experience regarding the exam, and answer any questions anyone may have.

Total study time: 10 weeks
Exam Date: 3/16/12
Main Sources Used:
-FA 2010/2011
-Goljan Rapid Review
-BRS Physiology
-Old notes I made while in school
-Wikipedia for random look-ups
-Robbin's (Ch. 1-6)
-UWORLD Q Bank
-DIT 2011

I began my studying by going through FA and Goljan while annotating in notes from my other sources into FA. I went through FA twice (all while doing UWORLD) prior to starting DIT, so that I felt very comfortable with the material and with the structure of FA itself. This took about 1 month. I then started DIT, where I would do 3 days of lecture, and then 1 day of review for a total of about 21 days. After I completed DIT, I went through FA 2 last times, and brushed up on any random areas I felt weak in. I studied for about 10-12 hours a day, and didn't take any full days off.

NBME (@ school): 235
NBME 12 (~8 weeks out): 245
NBME 11 (~6 weeks out): 252
UWSA1 (~3 weeks out): 250
NBME 7 (~2 weeks out): 254
UWORLD overall: 74%

Real Thing (3/16/12): 256/88

I also did the practice exam at my local prometric center, which I highly recommend, just so that you can see what the environment will feel like on test day and get your bearings for the real thing.

Exam day was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. The exam itself FLEW by. I personally thought my behavioral/biostats sections were very hard (no simple/straightforward questions, all involved graphs/tables that I had to interpret). Expect a random drug question that isn't covered in FA (mine was Capsaicin). My first block seemed not too bad, but my 2nd and last were KILLER! Overall, the exam seemed fair and mostly in line with the NBMEs I did. I walked out of the exam feeling okay, mostly relieved. After I took the NBMEs I usually felt like I did horribly, so it was nice to not have that feeling after the real thing.

Studying for this exam was exhausting, both mentally and physically. But as long as you keep your eye on the prize, you will be fine. I would suggest for people that aren't seeing any improvements after 8-10 weeks of intense studying, to try and be honest with themselves and don't try to keep pushing their test back further. You're never going to feel completely prepared for this exam, that's normal!

Hope this was helpful, good luck everyone with your studying and on your exam! Be confident and you will succeed!

Congrats on your brilliant score & thanks for sharing such valuable information. what made you not use kaplan or falcon?
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  #19  
Old 04-10-2012
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Originally Posted by usmle_taker View Post
Congrats on your brilliant score & thanks for sharing such valuable information. what made you not use kaplan or falcon?
I'm more of an independent studier and felt like I had a solid core of fundamental knowledge that I needed to build upon. I heard Kaplan and Falcon are great though.
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  #20  
Old 04-11-2012
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hi
i just wanted to ask u..after giving the exam(i gave it today)..i found i have some silly mistakes and it feels so hurting..well am definitely not looking for 250 am just happy with 230..do u think its a normal feeling..i mean silly mistakes they just keep egging me every minute
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  #21  
Old 04-11-2012
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Originally Posted by avash.nrs View Post
hi
i just wanted to ask u..after giving the exam(i gave it today)..i found i have some silly mistakes and it feels so hurting..well am definitely not looking for 250 am just happy with 230..do u think its a normal feeling..i mean silly mistakes they just keep egging me every minute
Completely normal to feel this way, as I did. Just try to keep yourself busy so you don't have to think about it, and refrain from trying to look up any answers! I'm sure you did great, no worries.
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  #22  
Old 04-12-2012
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Thank u so much..all the best for step 2
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  #23  
Old 04-13-2012
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amazing score , congratulations really
thnx for posting your experience.
So as i always do, i want an advice to a 3rd-year student preparing with school courses & really lacking time & planning to sit for step 1 in the beginning of 4th year i.e. 7 months from now. Please advice me, any info u give will be so helpful , thnx alot
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  #24  
Old 05-31-2012
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hi,i m a pakistani med coll studnt, i want to gve step1 in mar2012 plz guide me !i want 250+
and tell me when i shuld subscribe u world.
thnkx
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  #25  
Old 06-01-2012
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If its not too personal, can you please tell whether you're an AMG or IMG?
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