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  #1  
Old 06-16-2012
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Smile Star88 Exam Experience

Took my exam last week! I'm not a very active member on this forum,..but got a lot of help reading other people's experiences..so now, here;s my own!

All in all, the exam is easy! I read the Kaplan Lecture Notes thrice. Did BRS Physiology and BRS Pathology. Did not touch Goljan! I found it to be such a tedious book to read, so I went for BRS.

Overall prep time: 8 months, but I had rotations in the first 4, so can be done in lesser time if one is free.

First read took 4 months, with the DVDs.

Second and third took 1.5 mths each. with the second read, i started the Kaplan Step 1 Qbank, offline. A very annoying qbank, with little details. Doesn't correlate well with the real exam. but good for getting the hang of questions early in the prep.

With my third read i started going thru first aid, adding points which i felt were missing..which were very few btw. FA has everything u'll need! after the third read, and annotating my fa, i read it cover to cover twice. FA really helps integrate all the subjects together..

Then came uworld. i did 4 blocks a day..but its not imp to go that fast. the point is if u r understanding the stuff being asked..and read the explanations well! I had a separate notebook where i'd write the explanations on the stuff that seemed important. Most of my exam was easier than uworld! i would do a random timed block..and there would be abt 10 questions i was unsure abt in uworld. In the real exam..only abt 5 per block. even with those, u can still make a pretty close guess. Give FA at least a read or two before uworld, cause a lot of uworld questions can be answered from there. and that, in my opinion gives one confidence. if u begin getting a lot of questions wrong because u havent done FA does not mean ur not well prepared, but it may affect ur confidence negatively, and make u feel like u dont know anything when that isnt true!

If u feel u r forgetting the kaplans, FA is the solution to that. As far as the tiny toony details of the kaplans are concerned,,u need not worry abt them. They are hardly tested!

Many people go for a 4th read, just to cover all the details, but in my opinion that is not going to get u a higher score! it will only make u more exhausted and fed up.

After uworld i read FA twice cover to cover. This was in the last 20 days. Just FA and the uworld notes i had made.

At the end stay confident and calm!

Here;s my exam day experience

Tutorial: just took 2 mins to quickly check the headphones, and flipped thru it. skipped the rest

Block 1: Easy! time is short, the questions were long but easy! in uworld i would be done with 20 mins remaining..real exam, 10 mins, in which i would quickly go thru all the answers again.

Block 2: Easy again

Block 3: again, simple

Block 4: simple!

Block 5: Okay. but still would definitely not call it bad. few tough questions. with the tough questions, i felt there were two types. one type was the kind that u can figure out, but u have to focus and concentrate a lot! and the second, whatever u do u'll only be making a guess. but those were very few on the whole exam! dont worry abt them, probably experimental :P

Block 6: I was exhausted! but so happy to be almost near the end. this one was again something like block 5. okay. not bad. not too easy though

Block 7: Easy! was quite exhausted by this time, but just kept telling myself its the last one!

And done!

So just stay confident, do FA very well. and uworld very well. The kaplan Qbank, in my opinion is good for practice, but questions are very much like uworld.

Also, since im emphasizing soo much on FA, keep in mind that just memorizing that book is not the point. Its very direct so you need to do the kaplans before u can understand it. Every line in FA is imp, and u have to understand it rather than memorizing it!

i did not do any nbme's but if u want a close approximation of ur score then that's it!

uwsa 1, 5 weeks prior: 254
uwsa 2, 2 weeks prior: 264

uworld qbank: 80% B
But please remember that the qbank is a learning tool, not really for evaluation! also, i scored that high on uworld largely because i did FA right before it. Lots of stuff from FA is asked in uworld

Also, do not panic! there;s just enough time, at least thats what my exam was like. so panic can be pretty dangerous! if in case u do panic, take a min and pull urself together and tell yourself that afterall, so many people have taken this exam! Its not that tough! If they can do it, so can you!!

Best of Luck When I was studying, I would think will that time ever come when i'll be done? it seemed so far away, but here i am, and exam done! Be honest with your studies, stay calm and focused and u'll get there guaranteed! Hard work will pay off!

Will report my score when I receive it
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2012
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Default Did u use 2012 kaplan notes and Video or older version

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Originally Posted by imgchuchu View Post
nice one dude
goodluck
Very nice encouragement. what version of kaplan notes and dvd did you use. I mean did u use 2012 kaplan notes and DVD's or 2011 or 2010. I have 2007 kaplan notes and DVD. I want to know if it is better for me to look for more current version or just stick to the 2007 version I have. Thanks
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2012
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If you finish a block with 10 mins to spare, does that get added to your break time or you can just sit infront of your computer and use it as a 10 min break??
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Old 06-17-2012
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Originally Posted by Jondez View Post
Very nice encouragement. what version of kaplan notes and dvd did you use. I mean did u use 2012 kaplan notes and DVD's or 2011 or 2010. I have 2007 kaplan notes and DVD. I want to know if it is better for me to look for more current version or just stick to the 2007 version I have. Thanks
i used the 2008 notes for biochem and anatomy. 2011 ones for the rest. The dvds were all the 2007 ones. I don;t think much changes with the editions, because i had my sisters notes, all from 2007, and they were hardly any different from my 2011 notes. 2007 dvds correlated well with the news books too
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Old 06-17-2012
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Originally Posted by callmerocky2 View Post
If you finish a block with 10 mins to spare, does that get added to your break time or you can just sit infront of your computer and use it as a 10 min break??
u can end the block early, and yes, it will get added to your break time. if u wanna sit in front of the computer u can do that too. but in those 10 mins to spare, i would go thru all my answers again, and the marked questions. i think its imp to go thru ur answers again, cause i was able to catch 3 silly mistakes i made
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Old 06-17-2012
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congratulation on ending this exam , enjoy your freedom

did you have alot of weird questions , and also , how u got used to exam day preparations , I mean did u used to study for certain time each day , when u did free 150 questions and how much u got , did u get some questions from it ???
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Old 06-18-2012
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Originally Posted by mycoplasma View Post
congratulation on ending this exam , enjoy your freedom

did you have alot of weird questions , and also , how u got used to exam day preparations , I mean did u used to study for certain time each day , when u did free 150 questions and how much u got , did u get some questions from it ???
no there were very few weird questions. some were tricky, but if you know your concepts then u're all set!

for the exam day, i trained myself to get up early from a week before. i would study about 8-9hrs a day, but with a lot of breaks. I did the free 150 after my third read. scored 84% 86% and 86% in the three blocks. nopes no repeats! some questions seemed familiar, but i think then the options were changed a bit. overall, uworld is the best prep and FA is where u'll get all the info u need
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2012
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Hello star 88

Congrats on finishing ur exam..well done...

that's good it went well....

yeah i'm still in the stresssful prep process.. i'm planning to give my exam in september..sometime..

I was just wondering.. is usmle rx a good qbank? would u recommend it? b/ ci've done uworld once already and my 2nd time is almost done..its goin to expire on july 06..

so i wanted a break from uworld for one month so id on remember the q's..in between i thought of getting usmle rx. since i already did kaplan qbank b4...??? what do you suggest?

and ur 2nd and 3rd time u did kaplan?? did u just read the notes or watched the videos along ??? yeah i'm still on first read of kaplan..its taking forever ...

which tiny details of kaplan were u referring to????

thanks again would appreciate ur opinion
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2012
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Originally Posted by 5hstar View Post
Hello star 88

Congrats on finishing ur exam..well done...

that's good it went well....

yeah i'm still in the stresssful prep process.. i'm planning to give my exam in september..sometime..

I was just wondering.. is usmle rx a good qbank? would u recommend it? b/ ci've done uworld once already and my 2nd time is almost done..its goin to expire on july 06..

so i wanted a break from uworld for one month so id on remember the q's..in between i thought of getting usmle rx. since i already did kaplan qbank b4...??? what do you suggest?

and ur 2nd and 3rd time u did kaplan?? did u just read the notes or watched the videos along ??? yeah i'm still on first read of kaplan..its taking forever ...

which tiny details of kaplan were u referring to????

thanks again would appreciate ur opinion

i never did usmle rx so cant comment on that! if u want a break, u can use it. that;s upto u! yea the second and third time i did the kaplan lecture notes, but without the dvds. ya first read is slow dont worry.

as far as the tiny details on kaplan are concerned, thing is, when you are nearing your exam, you will be focusing on FA. know everything in it. so by this time u start forgetting your kaplans. At least thats what happened with me. and i wanted to do a fourth read just to be on the safe side. but then i realized that no matter how many times u read the books, you can never retain everything. thats only normal! so i did not do a fourth read. focused on first aid and uworld in the last month.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Thanks a lot for ur advice

appreciate it

yeah thts' true as people as u'll never feel ready for this exam...

its just when the saturation point comes i guess we just have to take it !!!!

so is nbme the only good predictor of ur readiness??? if so which ones did u do? are uworld self assessments as good????
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Old 06-19-2012
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congrats on finishing it! looks like you rocked it!!
I wanted to ask if u did UW till like the last day of your prep. I mean mine is expiring 20days before the exam and i snt knowy if i shd renew it bcz il b done with uworld questions twice already so i dnt knw. I actually wanted to do the marked and incorrect questions close to the exam and im worried i might forget some of the importan t uw concepts in those last 20 days!! shud i make notes of those stuff or renew UW?? idk

Plus hw were the biostat questions? and the radiographs and pictures? Did u look at them from any book/site other than the usual kaplan videos, UW and FA pictures?

THanks, i knw ive askeda lot of silly questions
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Old 06-19-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hstar View Post
Thanks a lot for ur advice

appreciate it

yeah thts' true as people as u'll never feel ready for this exam...

its just when the saturation point comes i guess we just have to take it !!!!

so is nbme the only good predictor of ur readiness??? if so which ones did u do? are uworld self assessments as good????

yea nbme is the closest predictor. u can go for nbme 7. supposed to be the highest rated one for step 1. or u can do nbme 12 or 13. uwsa's are good because u get more questions to practice with, but as far as the prediction goes, they mostly overpredict by 10-15 points. sometimes even 20.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbndumb View Post
congrats on finishing it! looks like you rocked it!!
I wanted to ask if u did UW till like the last day of your prep. I mean mine is expiring 20days before the exam and i snt knowy if i shd renew it bcz il b done with uworld questions twice already so i dnt knw. I actually wanted to do the marked and incorrect questions close to the exam and im worried i might forget some of the importan t uw concepts in those last 20 days!! shud i make notes of those stuff or renew UW?? idk

Plus hw were the biostat questions? and the radiographs and pictures? Did u look at them from any book/site other than the usual kaplan videos, UW and FA pictures?

THanks, i knw ive askeda lot of silly questions
nopes i did not do uw till the last day. i made notes of the incorrect questions, and stuff i felt was imp. so in the last 2 weeks i was just going through my first aid and uworld notes. if u've already done uw twice then i think ur safe, but its for u to decide. depends on how confident u feel about your prep. i stopped doing uw 10 days before my exam.

the biostat questions were simple. calculating attributable risk n all. nothing too complicated

for the picturres i tried going thru webpath initially but that was too much. so then i just did the pictures from fa and the ones in uw. radiographs were simple too. i did some ct's of the thorax and abdomen from the net.
also, the question will give u a lot of clues also. so u wont be depending entirely on the slide, radiograph, most of the time
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Old 06-20-2012
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Originally Posted by star88 View Post
nopes i did not do uw till the last day. i made notes of the incorrect questions, and stuff i felt was imp. so in the last 2 weeks i was just going through my first aid and uworld notes. if u've already done uw twice then i think ur safe, but its for u to decide. depends on how confident u feel about your prep. i stopped doing uw 10 days before my exam.

the biostat questions were simple. calculating attributable risk n all. nothing too complicated

for the picturres i tried going thru webpath initially but that was too much. so then i just did the pictures from fa and the ones in uw. radiographs were simple too. i did some ct's of the thorax and abdomen from the net.
also, the question will give u a lot of clues also. so u wont be depending entirely on the slide, radiograph, most of the time
At what point in your study did you start using Uworld questions. Like after kaplan notes first read or after second read or before reading kaplan notes at all. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2012
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Originally Posted by Jondez View Post
At what point in your study did you start using Uworld questions. Like after kaplan notes first read or after second read or before reading kaplan notes at all. Thanks
after the third read, and after reading FA twice
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  #16  
Old 06-20-2012
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Hey! Thank you for sharing your experience!
I wanted to know how long did the 3rd read take, on average for a subject?
And I'm done with 2nd read of Biochem, (ie. 2 Kaplan reads+FA+QBank) and I still forget stuff Does it get better with UW etc? And did you get a lot of questions right at the Kaplan Q Bank?
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Old 06-21-2012
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Originally Posted by dockhi View Post
Hey! Thank you for sharing your experience!
I wanted to know how long did the 3rd read take, on average for a subject?
And I'm done with 2nd read of Biochem, (ie. 2 Kaplan reads+FA+QBank) and I still forget stuff Does it get better with UW etc? And did you get a lot of questions right at the Kaplan Q Bank?
average 3-4 days. ya biochem is volatile. dont worry when u'll revise it from FA it'll all come back. Now with your third read of biochem, add stuff in FA, and read FA well so u understand it well. Because at the end, FA will be your main book. yes it will get better with uworld, because answering questions will help reinforce your knowledge. best of luck
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2012
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Originally Posted by star88 View Post
average 3-4 days. ya biochem is volatile. dont worry when u'll revise it from FA it'll all come back. Now with your third read of biochem, add stuff in FA, and read FA well so u understand it well. Because at the end, FA will be your main book. yes it will get better with uworld, because answering questions will help reinforce your knowledge. best of luck
Thanks for your post. Just out of curiosity. Does each block in the exam deal with each subject. Like block 1=Anatomy; block 2=pathology; block 3=physiology etc or were the questions scattered randomly in all the seven blocks. Thanks
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Old 06-23-2012
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Thanks for your post. Just out of curiosity. Does each block in the exam deal with each subject. Like block 1=Anatomy; block 2=pathology; block 3=physiology etc or were the questions scattered randomly in all the seven blocks. Thanks
randomly scattered
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  #20  
Old 07-13-2012
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scored 252!
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Old 07-13-2012
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Congrats!! Great score and good detail of your studying prep and exam experience!
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2012
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Thank you for the post!
I'm using the UW for two weeks and my score around 65%
I"m doing each day review on FA and 1-2 blocks of qs
Can you give me an advice what I must do also to get 80% on Uw?
Thx!
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Old 07-14-2012
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Originally Posted by eveli55 View Post
Thank you for the post!
I'm using the UW for two weeks and my score around 65%
I"m doing each day review on FA and 1-2 blocks of qs
Can you give me an advice what I must do also to get 80% on Uw?
Thx!
my advise would be to do FA thouroughly! that is what helped me keep all the concepts clear in my mind. also, keep in mind that the uworld score is not tht imp. what;s imp is u learn from it. People with scores lesser than mine got more on the real exam..so uworld scores dont correlate that well
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  #24  
Old 07-14-2012
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Hello , Star88

CONGRATS ON YOUR AMAZING SCORE WELL DONE!!!

MUST BE SUCH A GOOD FEELING WORKIN HARD AND ACHEIVING A GOOD SCORE.. YOU CAN CHILL NOW

IHAD A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS:

so like how many hours did you study a day? you said u took 8 months rite? and how many blocks of questions did you per day? like were you able to do a lot of questions during your first read of kaplan ? or you did more during 2nd and 3rd?

when did you start using FA? from ur 2nd or 3rd read of kaplan notes?? WHEN CAN I INCORPORATE DOING USMLE RX?? WHILE IM DOING FA OR B4 THAT??

if you can help me out that would be awesome.. i'm just getting so confused and frustrated at this point don know what to do:sorry:
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Old 07-15-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hstar View Post
Hello , Star88

CONGRATS ON YOUR AMAZING SCORE WELL DONE!!!

MUST BE SUCH A GOOD FEELING WORKIN HARD AND ACHEIVING A GOOD SCORE.. YOU CAN CHILL NOW

IHAD A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS:

so like how many hours did you study a day? you said u took 8 months rite? and how many blocks of questions did you per day? like were you able to do a lot of questions during your first read of kaplan ? or you did more during 2nd and 3rd?

when did you start using FA? from ur 2nd or 3rd read of kaplan notes?? WHEN CAN I INCORPORATE DOING USMLE RX?? WHILE IM DOING FA OR B4 THAT??

if you can help me out that would be awesome.. i'm just getting so confused and frustrated at this point don know what to do:sorry:

i studied roughly abt 8 hrs per day the days when i was home all day. when i had ward rotations..about 4per day.
yep took abt 8 mths. i would do 4 blocks per day..but i'd recommend doing 3 per day. i was too impatient :P
i did not do any questions during the first read. did the kaplan qbank along with the second read. u can start using FA with ur second, or third read..whenever u feel comfortable. i started it with my third read.
i did not do rx so cant comment on that..but id suggest do it after giving FA a read at least. FA will help everything stick in your mind, and then rx is made by the ppl who made FA so its likely that the FA concepts will be asked in it.

dont be confused! it is tough, but u'll get there! i was in the same situation once too FA will really consolidate everything, and it has the highest yield material.

best of luck!
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  #26  
Old 07-15-2012
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Default how to study in the last 2 weeks?

hey i have a weird question.

How and what did u study in the last 2 weeks? Im so impatient and exhausted, i cant study a word these days. Just want to take the exam!! im scared i might forget everything this way!! I feel like that day is never gonna come

And the last 2-3days, did u go over only the hi-yield/forgettable stuff or what? What abt the pcitures and ct's n stuff. did u look at them from any website or anythn?

thanks
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Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbndumb View Post
hey i have a weird question.

How and what did u study in the last 2 weeks? Im so impatient and exhausted, i cant study a word these days. Just want to take the exam!! im scared i might forget everything this way!! I feel like that day is never gonna come

And the last 2-3days, did u go over only the hi-yield/forgettable stuff or what? What abt the pcitures and ct's n stuff. did u look at them from any website or anythn?

thanks
did FA in the last two weeks, and reviewed notes i had made out of uworld.
Ya it feels like u'll forget everything..but just keep reviewing FA. it'll help u retain a lot of stuff. two weeks before my exam i was very impatient too. relax, and stay focused!
in the last 2 or 3 days i went thru FA. for slides n cts, my primary sources were FA and uworld. I did some basic ct's for thorax and abdomen. Just google it and u'll get lots of sites where u can view them. i read here tht brain ct;s and mri's are very imp..so i'd google those too but they'd be too detailed. so for brain mri and ct's do the basic stuff. like u shud know where the caudate, putamen etc are. in the real exam, the slides, cts etc are very clear. nothing too complicated. best of luck!
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Theeese are the most useful advices for ME!
Everything you say makes sense
Great score, good luck
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Heyy

Congrats on getting such an awesum score!
Ur prep and xam experiences are very insightful.. only if i had read them before

I have already taken my slot, which ends in dec..
After my first read of kaplan lectures and seeing the dvds ( i had skipped many points and topics during this first read ) i jumped to subscribing UW for three mnths.. (which ends in the first week of dec)

Was highly confused, and couldnt decide on how to study effectively with the three mandatory resources ( FA, kaplan, UW)..
Soo with trial and error, what i am doing now is, for a given system, i read the kaplan notes, then read the same thing from fa, and then do its block.. ( becoz of the fresh read i manage to get somwhere around 60-65%, which i knw is less, it does shake my confidence).
Then comes the most tym consuming part, i read explanations of each ques quickly and mark their important points, then go back to reading that system again from kaplan, now with each topic which i come across, i open the related ques read the explanation thoroughly, integrating it with the the notes and FA, write its main points in FA/ separate copy..

Doing all this takes a huge lot of time and energy.. making me move at a snails speed, by the end of the day though i am with stronger concepts but they tend to be few

I just dont want to extend my slot, and give my xam anyhow in december ( as i have to apply for electives, with the step 1 score, for the mnths of March/aprl/may 13, i cannot do any later than that becoz thats the maximum i can extend my internship to, even though i have applied to four places which didnt need a step 1 score, had hard luck with two - NIH and NWU, and waiting for response from WC and yale )

So heres my thing, what else modification do you think shd i make in my stdy module, because now i cannot afford to be making any errata in my study method, as i got less time in hand and gotto utilize it effectively. And do you think i ll be done by dec? ( i have 60 % of uworld remaining to do as of now)

Thnx m sure u ll rock ck the same way to did step 1 !
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Thanks for the encouraging narrative.
And congratulations on your score. I am sure you will see a lot more success with that positive attitude!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitika View Post
Heyy

Congrats on getting such an awesum score!
Ur prep and xam experiences are very insightful.. only if i had read them before

I have already taken my slot, which ends in dec..
After my first read of kaplan lectures and seeing the dvds ( i had skipped many points and topics during this first read ) i jumped to subscribing UW for three mnths.. (which ends in the first week of dec)

Was highly confused, and couldnt decide on how to study effectively with the three mandatory resources ( FA, kaplan, UW)..
Soo with trial and error, what i am doing now is, for a given system, i read the kaplan notes, then read the same thing from fa, and then do its block.. ( becoz of the fresh read i manage to get somwhere around 60-65%, which i knw is less, it does shake my confidence).
Then comes the most tym consuming part, i read explanations of each ques quickly and mark their important points, then go back to reading that system again from kaplan, now with each topic which i come across, i open the related ques read the explanation thoroughly, integrating it with the the notes and FA, write its main points in FA/ separate copy..

Doing all this takes a huge lot of time and energy.. making me move at a snails speed, by the end of the day though i am with stronger concepts but they tend to be few

I just dont want to extend my slot, and give my xam anyhow in december ( as i have to apply for electives, with the step 1 score, for the mnths of March/aprl/may 13, i cannot do any later than that becoz thats the maximum i can extend my internship to, even though i have applied to four places which didnt need a step 1 score, had hard luck with two - NIH and NWU, and waiting for response from WC and yale )

So heres my thing, what else modification do you think shd i make in my stdy module, because now i cannot afford to be making any errata in my study method, as i got less time in hand and gotto utilize it effectively. And do you think i ll be done by dec? ( i have 60 % of uworld remaining to do as of now)

Thnx m sure u ll rock ck the same way to did step 1 !

hey i think ur going great! only problem is with speed. if u wanna go faster then read a topic from kaplan, then the same topic from FA. do UW at the end. finish up ur kaplans, annotate ur FA. Give FA a read in 10-12 days. then go to UW. and add stuff in ur FA, or make notes as u do UW..

I can only advice u, as everyone's studying pattern, stamina etc differs. Only you know urself best! Hope this helped! Focus, and I think dec is quite possible. Also, getting 60-65% on UW is good..considering you've started it early in your prep. Dont go by the UW score yet..because you're still learning..so its not a good assessment rite now. Its great practice though. and having done one read..ur scoring good! Dont; panic if u get all the concepts behind the stuff in FA, ur doing just fine. All the best!!
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Old 10-24-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by star88 View Post
hey i think ur going great! only problem is with speed. if u wanna go faster then read a topic from kaplan, then the same topic from FA. do UW at the end. finish up ur kaplans, annotate ur FA. Give FA a read in 10-12 days. then go to UW. and add stuff in ur FA, or make notes as u do UW..

I can only advice u, as everyone's studying pattern, stamina etc differs. Only you know urself best! Hope this helped! Focus, and I think dec is quite possible. Also, getting 60-65% on UW is good..considering you've started it early in your prep. Dont go by the UW score yet..because you're still learning..so its not a good assessment rite now. Its great practice though. and having done one read..ur scoring good! Dont; panic if u get all the concepts behind the stuff in FA, ur doing just fine. All the best!!
heyy thanx for such a motivating reply! got pumped up yeaa i need to check my speed, n it seems a gud idea!
Best wishes
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