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  #1  
Old 07-10-2012
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Smile Modesty Step 1 Experience

Hi everybody,

Today I had my 1st step exam, first of all I would like to thank to all the people who helped me with my questions and supported throughout the way, I would also like to thank all the people who posted questions from different sources here.

I would first post who am I and how did I prepare for the exam, and finally about the exam itself, hopefully in one month I will post my score here.

So first of all I am a 4th year student with most of the material pretty fresh in mind (so I would guess it was a bit easier than other people who are graduates).

I have started studying in February this year, but I took one and half month off from various reasons, I took May completely off, all in all I have studied about 3.5 months, with one very intensive month JUNE! (12 hours/day)

I have used FA, BRS pathology, Constanzo physiology (only for reproductive and renal) Goljan audio, Ethics cases from Kaplan, Kaplan videos, Kaplan Qbank and UW.

My thoughts about different sources.
FA - one word "GOLD" best book i have probably encountered contains all the information - hard to study from it but you get used to it. All in all i still dont know if FA was written according to the different questions in the Qbanks or the Qbanks were written for the FA , i would go with the first.

BRS pathology - excellent book covers everything and more.

Goljan audio - i saw the book aswell both of them were pretty much not necessary the kaplan videos with BRS pathology were more then enough.
I didnt like the audio's too much as it was hard to concentrate on them as it was only audio. i would say look at his pictures although in my exam nothing similar came up.

Kaplan videos - Good , alot of low yield stuff but if you have more then 3 months look at them, i personally would recommend the behavior science videos - although he covers way too much - try to use FA to concentrate on the important stuff.
The pathology section awaful videos - but it worked with me and the BRS pathology i like to hear while reading for some people it works i guess.
Physiology - DR "K" and the other guy for the renal stuff were really good.
Micro - i liked to go over with FA.
Neuroanatomy - was good for me.
Pharmacology - i love raymon! just excellent vidoes.
The rest really didnt like.

Ethics book - excellent book - 1 day of reading + last days of studying try to solve like 20 questions per day pretty nice.

The Qbank.
Kaplan - i would tell you the truth kaplan Qbank is the hardest thing i have ever had to deal with - i have sent many feedbacks about the questions aswell. in 3 words "i hate it" honestly it was good that i have started it as the first Qbank because i was naive then . Alot of low yield stuff, questions sometimes are obscure that only one detail is needed to be known in order to answer, the physiology part there is just a torture. i finished the Qbank with 71%, i have finished it in the first week of JUNE with 1st revision of FA. then i started solving the wrong answers about 600 i would say some questions i got wrong more then twice and even 3 just to show you how much their questions dont stick.
Should you go for it? yes if you have time, and yes if you want something to scare you to make you study , and make sure your screen is also able to resist hits because this q bank can get you .
The qbank itself i did this timed but some stuff i did subject wise and the organ systems i did random.

UW - did it in 21 days exactly finished with 82% random timed
amazing qBANK honestly i loved the interface it was fast (unlike the laggy kaplan) i liked the way you can answer both marked and wrong questions after that. i liked the integration of the material. really 15% of qbank is new stuff that you can learn extra, the rest is doable, i have scored up to 91% in some blocks. So as you can see FA and kaplan pretty covered most of the stuff of UW.

So i want to get to the end, how were the scores.
Did kaplan diagnostic test 1 months after starting (1st of March) got 61%

Did kaplan simulated exam 1 got 78% (just before taking May off)

On 1st of June i have started studying after i took whole May off (exam period in the university) finished first run over FA on june 10th (had to cover Renal, reproductive, MS and hematology)

June 11th NBME 12 610/247
Took DIT for 2 weeks
Kaplan simulated exam 2 25th of June 81% (as you can see not much of an increase from 78%)

1 week down before the exam full mimic, took nbme 13 got 700/268 + 3 UW blocks (got 86,84,78 on those blocks),to mimic the 330 questions.

Now before you all jump and say how did i increase 20 points in 3 weeks. well just look at the simple fact that i have just finished first run over FA one day before NBME 12 and all the rest of the material i didnt touch for whole May, so it might under predicted.

Last thoughts about DIT - well nothing new was studied they repeted FA for me it was good as i looked at stuff on FA that i over looked before - really i think when you cross the 240 bar it wont help you,
after DIT i repeted FA again very very slowly which made the whole difference, finished that slow repeat 4 days before the exam.
Overall did FA 3 times!

Now we get to the Juicy part- the exam.
well in 2 words not easy, and even hard. i thought it will be easier then USMLE world it surly wasnt, it was on the same level, yes on the same level, abit easier then kaplan, and dont let anyone tell you its easier because for me it wasnt. it was harder then NBME's, i cant say if it was like nbme 12 or 13 it was different stuff cant compare.
it had the same 10% of questions that you just need to guess or bring the knowledge from prior info.

In the exam itself i think i had nice distribuation 2 media questions, about 25-30 questions with pictures ct's etc. didnt have enough pharmacology . difficult behavioral questions (for sure if im gonna fall somewhere it's here), and about 8 biostatistics (most were easy about 3 were very weird).
I got about 5-6 marked questions in each block 2 of them i have guessed.
when i was doing UW i always had 15-20 min left - now i have finished with 5-8 min before. in the 2 middle blocks i had 20 seconds left!
first 3 blocks were ok, 4-5 very hard really (finished on last second) 6-7 ok but not easy.
My recommendation for the time - if you see a very long question i mean more then 7 lines try to read first the last line to see where they are aiming!

How to prepare, in General solve questions!!! i did about 6000 questions overall some of them more then twice (the wrong questions ~1000 Kaplan + UW), in the exam itself some questions are really about logic and some just cant be learned so some stuff must be left for luck.

Thats it i wish you all good luck.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2012
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hey, congratulations on finishing step 1 and thank you for posting such a detailed experience!!

I have some questions:
Were the pictures/CT's etc identifiable?? were there enough clues in the questions to answer them even if you couldn't identify them?

Did you get any questions from the free 150 questions?

How did you study in the final week? Even thinking abt that makes me scared.I mean did u revise only the hi yield/forgettable stuff at the end?

All right. Party hard bro!!
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Last edited by numbndumb; 07-10-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2012
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268 on nbme 13?? That's very very impressive!! I'm sure you aced the test.

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  #4  
Old 07-10-2012
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Just wondering, would you recommend Kaplan qbank? I mean does it have any extra stuff that's not already in the Kaplan+fa+uw?

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  #5  
Old 07-10-2012
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hey how you find anatomy should we study the origine and insertio and muscle of limbs and therin actions? thank you good luck
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where did you get all patho images since goljan didnt help?
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Old 07-10-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cage92 View Post
hey how you find anatomy should we study the origine and insertio and muscle of limbs and therin actions? thank you good luck
Hi, i am abit of a bias about that subject although in my exam there were no questions asking about that type of question i was surely prepared for that, as i rememebered those stuff from anatomy Sobotta book (i studied it 2 years ago). You only need to try to know that big groups of muscles and main action i mean although flexor carpiradialis has like 5 actions the flexion is enough for the exam. i dont think they will ask you what is the function of superior gammelus. The lesions which are described on FA are enough, the only part missing is the hip flexors and rotertors i would concentrate on those from another book, so know what illopsoas does.

sol1411 - most of the patho pictures i looked up in google or in robbins - the ones i dont know so if i saw the term pseudorossetes in neuroblastoma or some other tumor i would google it to see how it looks

smathrav - kaplan qBank has stuff that are not in UW and FA - some low yield stuff (thats my personal idea) as UW has stuff that it's not found in kaplan (also low yield stuff). The target is to solve as many questions as possible if you have more then 3 months do both. if you are thinking between the 2 dont do kaplan cause you might just break your screen.
i would say the UW has 10-15-20% low yield stuff kaplan has between 30-40%
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbndumb View Post
hey, congratulations on finishing step 1 and thank you for posting such a detailed experience!!

I have some questions:
Were the pictures/CT's etc identifiable?? were there enough clues in the questions to answer them even if you couldn't identify them?

Did you get any questions from the free 150 questions?

How did you study in the final week? Even thinking abt that makes me scared.I mean did u revise only the hi yield/forgettable stuff at the end?

All right. Party hard bro!!
Hi, yeah i forgot to write that i did the free 150 questions day before the exam got 94%.
The pictures were identifiable yes very clear cut, some of them were all about the picture so you couldnt answer with the info presented, while in the others the pictures were not needed i would say that in 70% (very rough estimate) of cases pictures were not needed.
in the final week (wasnt easy) i finished the FA review as i wrote 4 days before the exam, in the next 3 days i went over stuff in behavioral, biostatistics and solved wrong questions from usmle world, i have also went over random stuff in FA neuro, Renal diseases etc.
The day before the exam i practically did only the free 150 questions from 11:00 oclock and then finished studying the reason i started at 11:00 is because i wanted it to feel like the exam, before 11 i have revised notes that i wrote (my only notes, practically those questions from the Qbanks that i got wrong more then once or twice, i went over their summery it was like 8 pages long).

On the last week i started sleeping at 0000 and waking at 08:00 to organize my sleep cycle, i have also tried to eat only at morning 9:00 and afternoon at 18:00 so i will get use to the food deprivation in the middle.

And i think it worked! i wasnt hungry during doing the exam i ate some small stuff in the breaks but not a big meal.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modesty View Post
Hi, yeah i forgot to write that i did the free 150 questions day before the exam got 94%.
The pictures were identifiable yes very clear cut, some of them were all about the picture so you couldnt answer with the info presented, while in the others the pictures were not needed i would say that in 70% (very rough estimate) of cases pictures were not needed.
in the final week (wasnt easy) i finished the FA review as i wrote 4 days before the exam, in the next 3 days i went over stuff in behavioral, biostatistics and solved wrong questions from usmle world, i have also went over random stuff in FA neuro, Renal diseases etc.
The day before the exam i practically did only the free 150 questions from 11:00 oclock and then finished studying the reason i started at 11:00 is because i wanted it to feel like the exam, before 11 i have revised notes that i wrote (my only notes, practically those questions from the Qbanks that i got wrong more then once or twice, i went over their summery it was like 8 pages long).

On the last week i started sleeping at 0000 and waking at 08:00 to organize my sleep cycle, i have also tried to eat only at morning 9:00 and afternoon at 18:00 so i will get use to the food deprivation in the middle.

And i think it worked! i wasnt hungry during doing the exam i ate some small stuff in the breaks but not a big meal.
thats awsome bro..

nice to see ur exam experiance..

but u still did not mention if u got any repeated Questions from nbme or the 150 questions.

i booked my exam this 24th no more changes, and going over FA completely and then gonna give the last nbme - 13 next week and thats it...

hope i do well
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2012
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Got my score today 1 hour delay in score reporting except that everything was according to the stuff in the forum, IWA confirmation disappeared 48 hours before the score report and the score was posted 3 weeks from the exam, at 2:00PM GMT.

Although i was aiming for 260+

I got 257/88 .
Which is the average between the 2 NBME's overall im happy always have the feeling of being able of doing better and avoiding some stupid mistakes on the way.

I can say for sure that i had 6 mistakes out of the 322 questions with 10-15 more questions that i wasn't sure about. Just to give you the feeling of what the score might represent...

Wish you all good luck with your exam and see on on Step 2CK in a year
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2012
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Congrats would you say NBME 13 overpredicted your score? I mean, did you feel like you scored more in it because you took a punt on a few questions and it worked in your favour. Or was the real test just a whole lot harder?
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Old 08-01-2012
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awesome score......keep up the good work....
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Old 08-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modesty View Post
Got my score today 1 hour delay in score reporting except that everything was according to the stuff in the forum, IWA confirmation disappeared 48 hours before the score report and the score was posted 3 weeks from the exam, at 2:00PM GMT.

Although i was aiming for 260+

I got 257/88 .
Which is the average between the 2 NBME's overall im happy always have the feeling of being able of doing better and avoiding some stupid mistakes on the way.

I can say for sure that i had 6 mistakes out of the 322 questions with 10-15 more questions that i wasn't sure about. Just to give you the feeling of what the score might represent...

Wish you all good luck with your exam and see on on Step 2CK in a year
Congratulations on such a great score.
Do u think BRS pathology is enough for exam or should I do goljan?
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Old 08-01-2012
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congratulations.. great score.
i was expecting my score today but didn't receive it yet!! i had my exam on july 9th!! would it be today or i should wait until the next week??
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Old 08-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smanthrav View Post
Congrats would you say NBME 13 overpredicted your score? I mean, did you feel like you scored more in it because you took a punt on a few questions and it worked in your favour. Or was the real test just a whole lot harder?
Hi, well you can say that NBME 13 over predicted my score by 11 points, but what i think really happened is that i made some really stupid mistakes in the exam that lowered my score, they have been hunting me ever since, well at least i wont get them wrong again .
I really think that when you go above 240-250 every question matters and it's a matter of luck if you get more questions that you can answer, i had about 3 questions 1 in pharma others in biostatistcs that were asked really in a different way which made me hard to answer them, so its matter of how well you can apply what you have studied. So yes do 2 nbme and you might score somewhere between them.

about the pathology book as i wrote i studied from different sources including kaplan videos and Robbins for pictures. I think BRS pathology is enough with FA (really really). i didnt have any pathological questions in the exam that i didnt know what they are asking about, i also didnt have any pathology questions that i have said during my exam to myself wow this is from robbins or goljan and no one else will know it, it doesnt mean though i got them all right.

I did my exam on the 10th and got the score today, you should get it aswell wait few more days if you dont receive it maybe you have a problem with verification of cardinals.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2012
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congrats modesty!! awesome score!! u need to party hard now!
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Old 08-01-2012
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many congrats......can u plz tell wt did u mean by a very slow read of f.a....i mean how many days.....
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Old 08-02-2012
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Modesty, thank you for the wonderful post. Very well-detailed and helpful. Congratulations on the Star score!
I'm aiming for a 260+ too, is there any pointers that you'd like to give? Would you say doing a quick 3rd read of Kaplan would be helpful? Been studying since Feb, and am taking the Exam first week of Oct. My other IMG friends are insisting that I only rely on FA after 2 Kaplan read (Doing Goljan for Patho). What would your advice be? Thank you so much.
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Old 08-03-2012
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Help :D

congratz man good work
I just want to ask you which book did u use for genetics???
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Old 08-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dockhi View Post
Modesty, thank you for the wonderful post. Very well-detailed and helpful. Congratulations on the Star score!
I'm aiming for a 260+ too, is there any pointers that you'd like to give? Would you say doing a quick 3rd read of Kaplan would be helpful? Been studying since Feb, and am taking the Exam first week of Oct. My other IMG friends are insisting that I only rely on FA after 2 Kaplan read (Doing Goljan for Patho). What would your advice be? Thank you so much.
Hi, you still have long time till your exam try to give 1 month of concentrated review of FA + NBME + DIT (not obiligatory), i didnt use KLN so i dont know about, them generally speaking for really high score try to do as many questions as you can, i used some time to revise wrong answers in kaplan and UW , i should have instead tried to do some other questions from other sources. try to give some more extra read about anatomy (most questions in the exam seem to cover some surgically important ligaments and hernias CT pictures are common about them). Also try to cover more behavioral science questions. Usually these are the 2 topics where some guessing and general knowledge is needed to achieve your targeted score, Good luck.


I used FA and kaplan videos for genetics, i had many mistakes in kaplan and UW in this subjects so i studied it from the Qbanks aswell, generally speaking the topics in the exam it self is easy and usually (from what i hear) and from my personal experience it doesnt go deeper as kaplan does, so pedigrees you have to know + calculations these are must, and ofcourse what is found in FA. Good luck.
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