Cassiopeia Step 1 experience (241/85) - USMLE Forums
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  #1  
Old 05-23-2012
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Smile Cassiopeia Step 1 experience (241/85)

Target- Scoring 230 plus in USMLE Step 1

Time taken for exam-oriented preparation- 3 months (Including good & not so good days)

Study Material-

1. U world (twice & throughly)
2. First-Aid (once)
3. Went through notes & books used in medical school as & when required

I didn't read kaplan(notes/audio), golijan or any other book/qbank other than the ones mentioned above. I guess it depends on how strong your basic knowledge is. I have been an above average student in med school, regular with my classes & all...so I didn't really feel the need to do Kaplan.

Self Assessment tests (online & paid) -
1. NBME 7 (1.5 month before)-219
2. NBME 13 (31 days before) - 231
3. NBME 11 (20 days ) - 233
4. NBME 6 and 12 (did it the same day back to back 14 days before the
exam) - 226 & 233

Once my NBME scores were consistenly above 230, I felt confident and decided to go ahead & give my exam on my scheduled date.

Last 2 weeks- Studied from 8am-4pm in order to mimic exam times. Slept for 8 hours/ day . During the last 3 days, I got sick (literally) and wasn't able to study a word.

I checked out the test centre & worked out the travelling time a week in advance.

Exam day-

# Went to the exam centre refreshed & cheerful.


# Took too much stuff in my bagpack (the centre's lockers were smaller than expected)


# Did 3 blocks flat...took a 15 min break, then did 2 blocks...30 minute break, then 1 block...12 min break, last block...then free!


#Block 3 & 4 seemed the toughest and most lengthy... probably due to the fatigue factor setting in. I could feel my concentration slipping away.


#Break time- Ate Pringles, juice & sugary sweets to get my glucose levels up. Avoided heavy foods (as they make me sleepy plus trigger my gastro-colic reflex!).


# Fortunately I didn't feel drowsy at any point, thanks to my mom who helped me with my sleep-wake cycle in the days preceeding the exam. I was at my efficient best.

# The exam format was just like UWorld, so it felt very familiar. Having had enough practice on UWorld, I quicky scanned through the questions, picking up the key words & marking the answers...I was able to go through the questions twice in each block.


#Mostly tested subjects were path (clinical scenarios), pharma, neuroanat, behav science, genetics...(nothing unexpected)




Overall, I enjoyed giving the exam and I thought I gave my best. It was like one of the good NBMEs I had given and I was expecting 230 plus.


Score- Pass/241/85

Getting 241 is a pleasant surprise and it has given me tremendous motivation to give Step 2 CK in 2 months time.


I'd like to give a big thankyou to this forum and its wonderful members for their support, and for making step1 such an enjoyable experience

Last edited by Cassiopeia; 05-23-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2012
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congrats on the amazing score!

which nbme form would you say was most like the exam?
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.NickRiviera View Post
congrats on the amazing score!

which nbme form would you say was most like the exam?
Thanks:-)

I had a complicated genetics question straight out of NBME 7. Other than that, I guess difficulty wise my exam was pretty much like NBME 11 & 12...
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Old 05-23-2012
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congratulatios..u were actualy above average
what were you tested most heavily on in your exam?

goodluck in other steps
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Old 05-23-2012
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congrats.. and good luck on ur step 2 ck....
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Old 05-23-2012
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Default Well Done

Congratulations firstly
I am just starting to prepare for Step 1 and planning to go through Kaplan on most subjects to start off along with First Aid. I recently finished my basic sciences (IMG). When do you think is the best time to tackle UWorld Questions ?
Thanks
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tai35 View Post
Congratulations firstly
I am just starting to prepare for Step 1 and planning to go through Kaplan on most subjects to start off along with First Aid. I recently finished my basic sciences (IMG). When do you think is the best time to tackle UWorld Questions ?
Thanks
Thanks

In my opinion, it's best to start UWorld after finishing one round of your text (FA or Kaplan)...
However, it might get monotonous reading only the text ... some people prefer to do UW questions subjectwise simutaneously with the text. You'll have to see what suits you.

Uworld's first round will give you an idea about the high yield topics...don't worry about how many questions you are getting right/wrong...use UW like a study cum format orientation material. NBME forms are the ones you use for checking your preparation & self assessment.

Good Luck
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Old 11-26-2014
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Wow. Thanks for such an inspiring post!
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