Step 1 271 experience (short) 26/7/16 - USMLE Forums
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  #1  
Old 09-08-2016
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Default Step 1 271 experience (short) 26/7/16

271 step 1 experience 26/7/2016

Study length: about 9-10 months
Daily study time: 5-6 hours measured on a chronometer

Assessments: All NBMEs online, both UWORLD assessments, both Kaplan assessments.

Qbanks
Everything was random timed, the only variation was the amount of questions I would do per block, for all the questions I read through ALL of the explanations (correct and incorrect) taking notes.
- USMLE Rx online, first qbank I did (+/- 85% correct cumulative first pass, I began getting 50% and 60% on random questions)
- Kaplan Qbank online, second qbank I did (started with 50%-60% correct every block in the beginning and then It went up and by the end I was doing 85-95% correct, total cumulative was 82%)
- Uworld online (87% first pass – this was the last qbank I did, started in the middle of May 2016, 3 months out from my exam. Most of the blocks were 40q long and randomized most of the blocks were 80-95% correct from beginning to end)

Material
Kaplan books and videos
First aid 2015 and 2016
Pathoma book and videos
Goljan (read only about 15%)
BRS physiology
Self-made flash cards
Usmle step 1 secrets (would not read it again for step 1)
Neuroanatomy fix (would not read it again)

NBME scores:
NBME 11: Aug 29 2015, 181 (280)
NBME 12: Dec 26 2016, 243 (570)
NBME 13: Jan 27 2016, 239 (550)
NBME 15: Mar 5 2016, 245 (580)
NBME 16: May 3 2016, 266 (680) (had not started with uworld yet)
NBME 18: May 29 2016, 260 (650)
NBME 17: Jun 21 2016, 269 (690)

UWORLD assessments (I don’t remember the scores very well)
UWSA 1 january 2016: 25?
UWSA2 april (?) 2016: +265

Real deal:
July 26: 271

I read Kaplan initially, the first 2 months I would go through all of the books and then watch the videos, I don’t like watching videos but they really helped me get a good understanding about what were more important things for the exam, by the end of Kaplan I was really getting frustrated because all of the information felt as very difficult to remember and retention seemed almost impossible with so many subjects, I remember rereading things of last week and felt as if it was the first time reading them.

December 2015 I started reading first aid (2015 edition) and doing USMLE Rx Qbank questions, I started this one on December 2015 and finished it about February 2016, I would do about 10 or 20 questions daily. I did not like Qbank itself because I found many mistakes, the question explanations were out of context and some of them where copy/paste; never the less I finished the whole Qbank. In December I read 2 times first aid 2015 and by the end I took my second NBME which came out with a 243, which I attribute to reading first aid and repeating information I read at Kaplan books.

January 2016 I read usmle step 1 secrets, and read Kaplan pathology and physiology all over again. One of the single most important things I did were my self-made flashcards (Im using anki for step 2 ck and Im sharing my deck), these were handmade and included a lot of mnemonics. I made about 200 flash cards and would review about 40 a day. I can tell you that I still remember most of the information and the things I wrote on these really got printed in my mind for the period I prepared for step 1

February 2016 I started my Kaplan qbank, and started pathoma book and videos. For me Kaplan qbank was the single most important qbank and if I could have chosen only one qbank it would be that of Kaplan, I think the explanations where tedious but very complete and helped me with retention since I would read the same information over and over again just by reading the explanations of all of the questions.

March and April, my overall activity in regards of step 1 consisted in doing Kaplan qbank questions and reading the explanations while making notes.

May, I finished Kaplan, I did NBME 16 and got a 266, I bought UWORLD and started for the first time, I started studying two hours a day through skype with a study partner. At the end of May I did the NBME 18 and got 260, many of the incorrect questions I got were mostly things I did not read correctly and silly mistakes, so at this time and after I tried to reduce the chances of making senseless or not reading a word or letter that would change the answer to the question.

June, I would review my hand written notes and make new ones from uworld qbank, I would try to read everything very carefully, I would make anatomy drawings or drawings of signaling pathways. I remember that I also dedicated part of this time reviewing low yield things that never came out on the exam. I did my last NBME

July 2016, I was rather calm the days before the exam, except for the fact that one day before my exam riots were announced in my country which were going to take place near my test center, so I was rather upset I would not be able to make it to the exam, I left very early in the morning, and everything was clear. For meals I took 2 bars of protein; 1 liter of protein shake mixed with fiber; a bottle of water and green tea.
My breakfast was really light, some yogurt and oatmeal, that morning I took 1gram of citicholine; about 1.5 grams of net omega 3 EPA&DHA; vitamins; green tea and coffee.
I wore running shoes and comfortable pants and clothing; I had never been to the test center before so everything was new. Another thing I took to the exam are EARPLUGS, which I highly recommend since the airconditioning was very loud.

Feelings after the exam: to be honest I left the exam with a feeling of 240. The next days I spent sleeping and searching answers for some very weird questions I got. I felt most of the exam doable, but I felt it harder than UWORLD, perhaps I was just stressed out.

Last edited by zamoramed; 09-18-2016 at 08:33 AM. Reason: j
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2016
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Congrats on that killer score!

Why do you say you would not read Step 1 Secrets again?

If you got the extensive feedback on the NBMEs, do you remember how many mistakes you had on the 260+ ones?

Thanks and congrats again on your score.
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodo View Post
Congrats on that killer score!

Why do you say you would not read Step 1 Secrets again?

If you got the extensive feedback on the NBMEs, do you remeHmber how many mistakes you had on the 260+ ones?

Thanks and congrats again on your score.
The step 1 secrets was a good book and nice to read but its not something I would read for a step like exam, its too extensive and uses a lot of words to explain both low yield and high hield concepts.

For the 260 NBMEs, for 18 I vaguely remember I had like 16 wrong, for 16 I think it was 9 and for NBME17 7 answers wrong maybe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamoramed View Post
The step 1 secrets was a good book and nice to read but its not something I would read for a step like exam, its too extensive and uses a lot of words to explain both low yield and high hield concepts.

For the 260 NBMEs, for 18 I vaguely remember I had like 16 wrong, for 16 I think it was 9 and for NBME17 7 answers wrong maybe
Thanks. I have gone through about 1/4 of Step 1 Secrets, I like how they explain things but I agree that it is a little too wordy.
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  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodo View Post
Thanks. I have gone through about 1/4 of Step 1 Secrets, I like how they explain things but I agree that it is a little too wordy.
If its working for you go for it. I read the whole book also. I only regreted it at the end
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2016
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Can you put a screenshot?
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  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
Can you put a screenshot?
about what?
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  #8  
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Don't misunderstand but I'd like to see the screenshot of your score. Sorry about that.
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  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
Don't misunderstand but I'd like to see the screenshot of your score. Sorry about that.
[IMG]<a href="http://es.tinypic.com?ref=24107l5" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.tinypic.com/24107l5.png" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>[/IMG]
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  #10  
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how much you want for tutoring?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
Don't misunderstand but I'd like to see the screenshot of your score. Sorry about that.

I hope it uploads now
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  #12  
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how much you want for tutoring--?
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  #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
how much you want for tutoring--?
Whats your email? I will send you info. Or send me an email at

Last edited by admin; 09-28-2016 at 08:27 AM. Reason: removed email
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  #14  
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Amazing score.
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Thanks for sharing.
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