Dr.NickRiviera's Exam Experience: How a below-average kid scored 226 - USMLE Forums
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Old 07-12-2012
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Smile Dr.NickRiviera's Exam Experience: How a below-average kid scored 226



Hi everybody!,

This thread has been long overdue but i've been busy enjoying freedom from studies lol.

I scored 226/82 ("97" on the old scale hehe), which I'm happy with as I was aiming for 225.

So here's my prep:

Study time: ~1 year
Textbooks used: Kaplan lecture notes 2011, First Aid 2011, Pathoma, DIT, MMRS, HY Neuroanatomy, Conrad Fischer's 100 cases, a couple of goljan audios.

Study schedule: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/15617397/SCHEDULE.xls

High yield on the exam: pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, microbiology, immunology
Low yield on the exam: biochemistry, biostats, physiology

You need a good foundation, you need to UNDERSTAND the material, not just memorize it. Hence, i suggest KLNs and questions on basic concepts first and then FA and UW.

ummm Im kind of drawing a blank on what else to tell you lol

My exam day experience can be found here: http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...xperience.html

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Something that I cannot stress enough is to keep your mind right! Get 9 hrs of sleep a night so you're fresh all day. Avoid coffee and energy drinks and naps and all that nonsense. Be confident, stop crying and whining everytime things dont go as planned. Stay calm and cool. Stress will eat you alive if you let it. A cool and calm dude will score 226 whereas a nervous dude will score 220ish.
Conquer the mind, and you can conquer the world.
Also, something i've seen impact my fellow classmates is the refusal to change, dont be stubborn! A lot of you in here may have done well in Med school but guess what, this isnt med school. This test wont challenge your memorization, it will test your critical thinking. Dont be arrogant, dont be stubborn. Learn to adapt and change your study plan should the need be. I've seen a couple of my classmates, who were among the top in our med school class, crash and burn because they have their heads too far up their bums and have refused to adapt their study methods.

So what I guess i'm trying to say is, this is much a mental battle as it is a battle of intellect or knowledge.

Get your mind right, and success is yours.
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Last edited by Dr.NickRiviera; 07-12-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 07-12-2012
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It's kind of good to see i'm not the only one who's going to prepare for Part 1 for about a year. I wanted to ask you - why not Goljan? I'm reading this forum for some time now, and everyone says that Goljan Rapid Raview is the best. What's the difference bewteen RR and Pathoma (if you checked RR out, of course).

Also, are KLN sufficient for behavioral sciences and biostatistics? Or did you use something else?

And - was Kaplan Live worth the time and money?
I'm just starting with planning my schedule, so i would appreciate your answer

Also - congratulation on your score
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Old 07-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empyema View Post
It's kind of good to see i'm not the only one who's going to prepare for Part 1 for about a year. I wanted to ask you - why not Goljan? I'm reading this forum for some time now, and everyone says that Goljan Rapid Raview is the best. What's the difference bewteen RR and Pathoma (if you checked RR out, of course).

Also, are KLN sufficient for behavioral sciences and biostatistics? Or did you use something else?

And - was Kaplan Live worth the time and money?
I'm just starting with planning my schedule, so i would appreciate your answer

Also - congratulation on your score
RR is old and overkill imo, pathoma is the way to go.
KLN are sufficient for behavioural and biostats, but I would add CF 100 cases for ethics.
I liked Kaplan Live, im not a top student so I kind of needed it. It all depends on your foundation and how much you got out of med school.
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Old 07-12-2012
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Excelent man!! you are on the right pathway!! if you are aiming for this match, take cs now, if not don't waste your time in vacations... start studying CK now, you wouldn't believe me if i told you that you might be able to win ck right now. Almost everything from step 1, prepares you for CK, good luck.
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Old 07-12-2012
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Congratulations y bro, you deserve it!

Hey latingeorge, soon ill be ale to startstudying like a freak for CK andalso CS ill sure would love a study partner for both,wanna kick it? Haha
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Old 07-12-2012
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Congrats on the score bro!

What kind of prep-experience is this?! haha You practically didn't write anything!

Why don't you tell us a little about ur first phase, how should a person do his basic-foundation phase?

The reason im asking is, I did an NBME last week and i got 214 (previous NBME of 205 was two months before), and everyone is saying that the reason i cant reach my target score after all this studying is that i didnt build a proper foundation (i barely went through a little review books here and there and then dove right into FA).

P.S. Awesome score, congrats again...im a seriously "below-average" student as well and my target score is also mid 220's.
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And of course, any suggestions or advice would be great.

I want to end this!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renaissance View Post
Congrats on the score bro!

What kind of prep-experience is this?! haha You practically didn't write anything!

Why don't you tell us a little about ur first phase, how should a person do his basic-foundation phase?

The reason im asking is, I did an NBME last week and i got 214 (previous NBME of 205 was two months before), and everyone is saying that the reason i cant reach my target score after all this studying is that i didnt build a proper foundation (i barely went through a little review books here and there and then dove right into FA).

P.S. Awesome score, congrats again...im a seriously "below-average" student as well and my target score is also mid 220's.
building a good foundation is the most crucial thing.
buy some additional textbooks or go back to some kaplan books for the subjects you're weak in.
it'll help a lot.
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Old 07-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LatinGeorge View Post
Excelent man!! you are on the right pathway!! if you are aiming for this match, take cs now, if not don't waste your time in vacations... start studying CK now, you wouldn't believe me if i told you that you might be able to win ck right now. Almost everything from step 1, prepares you for CK, good luck.
I haven't done clinicals yet, im starting clinicals on monday. finish my cores by june. then take off july,aug and first week of september to write step 2 CK so i can apply for 2014 match.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renaissance View Post
And of course, any suggestions or advice would be great.

I want to end this!
if you're starting to plateau, get some new books.
studying new sources will stimulate your mind to think differently and ull pick up more and better understand what you think you already know.
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Old 07-13-2012
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wow..awesome score..best of luck buddy for ur future steps
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Old 07-13-2012
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Hey congratulations Dr Nick.. Nice score.

I need some advice regarding the exam. Speaking to the point, how do you last for 8hrs??? thats whats scaring me the most!!

I mean when im doin an NBME im almost brain dead by the end of 3rd block!
Did you drink redbull?? im wondering if drinking more than 1 can of redbull could be hazardous. lol

What should i eat durin the break-time to keep my brain active? Is chocolates a good idea??

I knw my questions r dumb, but thats what im most freaked out about right now!!

Thanks and congrats once again!!
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Old 07-13-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbndumb View Post
Hey congratulations Dr Nick.. Nice score.

I need some advice regarding the exam. Speaking to the point, how do you last for 8hrs??? thats whats scaring me the most!!

I mean when im doin an NBME im almost brain dead by the end of 3rd block!
Did you drink redbull?? im wondering if drinking more than 1 can of redbull could be hazardous. lol

What should i eat durin the break-time to keep my brain active? Is chocolates a good idea??

I knw my questions r dumb, but thats what im most freaked out about right now!!

Thanks and congrats once again!!
not dumb at all, i know someone who scored 230+ on his last nbme but always refused my advice on sleep, food, scheduling (extra-studying stuff) so he struggled on step day and scored less than 220.

read my exam day experience, if you still have any questions feel free to ask:
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...xperience.html
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