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  #1  
Old 07-16-2012
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Show Teeth Mbilalk Step 1 Exam Experience

Step 1 Exam Experience: 253/88

I am an IMG from Pakistan graduated last year and have been kinda silent member of this forum but I really appreciate the help. So I want to contribute to it!

I didn't know I was ever going to write this, I always wanted to .. OK let's start with the material I used.

Materials Used
I would mention here that I m really slow with the books like I do study a topic 3-4 times each time I go through it (it did cost me time) so if you are fast, my duration shouldn't worry you. Plus before you start u must set a target then work according to that.
I did Kaplan Lecture Notes for Physio, Pharmacology, Immunology, Anatomy/Histology/Embryology, Biochemistry/Genetics and Behavioral sciences, while Goljan text for Pathology and CMMRS for Microbiology. I used Video lectures for behavioral sciences mainly (they are too good -- listened to them twice ) and only for a few topics of cardiac physio and finally FA.

My scores were
Qbank (offline) =83%
uworld (offline ) =86 %
NBME 7 (online) = 245
NBME 11 (online) = 242 ------> found it tougher than the exam
Real exam = 253/88

First Read
I started my prep May, 2011, was very slow initially but made a consistent routine (I avoided skipping days) studied 2-4 hours and then moved them to 4-6 hours after few months and kept a few activities (so that I dont get exhausted in the 1st read like work out and going out with friends) . It took me around 6 months in the 1st read but what I did was making sure that I have understood each and every word, building concepts (and no I couldn't recall a single word after 1st read, there was a feeling that I don't remember anything but again the concepts are what matter after 1st read). I only read the text and listened the lectures topic wise (only those I mentioned before).

Second Read
That is when I geared up my prep. I started studying around 7-8 hours minimum a day. In my opinion subject sequence matters in the 2nd read particularly this one helped me a lot (I started with BS ->pharma->physio->patho->anatomy->micro->immuno--> biochem/genetics). Now what I did was I read the text tried to learn it by heart then at the end of the subject did offline qbank mcqs (100-150/day) followed by offline uworld mcqs (100-120/day ). Did all of them subject wise . I also annotated important stuff only from kaplan/goljan/uworld on FA and once read each topic quickly from FA while I was reading it from main text so that by the end of 2nd read I got familiar with the book. I started 2nd read in december and was done with it in mid- April.

Third Read
Before starting 3rd read, I gave NBME-7 online and was finally happy that the things were going in the right direction. I took date and started 3rd read but unfortunately a (mild) dengue fever hit me exact 3 weeks before my exam, those were the most terrible days of my life when I wanted to revise everything but couldnt study more than an hour or two in more than 5 sittings a day. Just by that time when I seemed to recover I threw everything away and started rotting FA plus did only wrong uworld questions and gave NBME-11 online 2 weeks before the real exam. Its score was pretty similar which was disappointing for me because I wanted to improve things, anyways to tell u the truth I couldn't study much the last week and I would advise everyone to go easy on urself because what u can learn or can do u have done it already relaxing urself checking up all the things u need and studying for as much hours as u can easily do is the best plan for the last week . I m a nocturnal animal with real sleep issues so I managed it by reducing my sleep time to 4-5 hours 3 days before and as I wasnt studying much that time I was pretty sleepy the night before exam and fell asleep around 9 pm.

EXAM DAY
I took my exam on may 24 (just one week before my eligibility period ended). For guys giving it in Lahore, Pakistan, the Prometric is actually very good. The environment they had calmed me. I took a lot of stuff for eating , 4 big chocolate bars, 2 sandwiches, a big tea pot that kept tea hot till the end of the day and that was the best thing I carried, 3 redbulls . They have a locker room where u can put all this stuff and u can carry a few things to the waiting room that is just near the exam room, I put tea there.
That day I dont know how but I somehow controlled my nerves. I took break after each block even before the last one i took a 19 min break . I found 2 blocks very tough, 2 were kinda tough and 3 were normal (by normal I mean I was doubtful about 5-6 questions). One funny thing is after 3rd block I had a happy feeling that I M SOON DONE WITH THIS SHI*
Yes I know I took a lot of time but I gave it when I had a feeling I cant do more now. Plus adding to the misery ECFMG reported that guys giving exam from mid-may to end-June will get results on 11 July, adding 4 more weeks to the pain but Finally Its over

Finally a few words for the upcoming exam takers
- for me patience and consistency was the key, u can give this exam once only keep urself calm and study (I enjoyed studying because I got to explore the things in a way I had never known)
- Uworld is a good qbank, it helps u in correlating the subjects, though the exam for me was pretty different( never seen one before like this one) but Uworld is what broadens ur critical thinking and helps u in starting thinking the way u should when seeing a Q. So do it good ( read the explanations thoroughly). Qbank in my opinion is not that very helpful though it strengthens ur fact based knowledge and can be used as a practice material so go through it quick).
- Goljan is one wonderful book but it can take a hell lot of time. (I was okey with time ) so do consider ur benefits vs risks.
- In my opinion IMGs especially Pakistani's are weak in behavioral sciences, immunology and physiology so these subjects should be done with great care because they ARE one of the stressed upon.
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2012
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Tusi cha gaye ...well done..and thanks for the detailed experience...
You r right , we have issues with Physio, Immuno and BS...And I have decided to do that a couple more times than others.InshaAllah.

Good luck for the future.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2012
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nice !! gr8 score .. ehich medical college are u from ??
plx share ur duration of preparation .. have u given ur exam during ur medical years??
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2012
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@Doc4step1 .. Hey thanks I hope it helps and All the best
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samba View Post
nice !! gr8 score .. ehich medical college are u from ??
plx share ur duration of preparation .. have u given ur exam during ur medical years??
I graduated from SIMS, Lahore. It took me 12 months but just like I told u I am pretty slow ! No, I gave my exam exactly 1 yr after graduation , started prep immed after graduating
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2012
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Awesome score man.Congrats.I am also a Pakistani IMG.Appearing in October Insha-Allah. Which medical school are you from?
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lara View Post
Awesome score man.Congrats.I am also a Pakistani IMG.Appearing in October Insha-Allah. Which medical school are you from?
Thanks Lara I m a graduate from SIMS (services institute of med sciences )
and u? All the best for ur exam
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Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbilalk View Post
Thanks Lara I m a graduate from SIMS (services institute of med sciences )
and u? All the best for ur exam
I graduated from RMC in 2010.Did House job and then started preparation.Man I would die for your scoreAny PEARLS of wisdom for AADNA people like me
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Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lara View Post
I graduated from RMC in 2010.Did House job and then started preparation.Man I would die for your scoreAny PEARLS of wisdom for AADNA people like me
Well loll I am sure u will get better ! dont worry, stay firm and try to analyse urself once u r done with ur 2nd read, I think a person can analyze himself the best and that can be by the qbanks and NBMEs and then try to work on ur weaknesses, like I mentioned a few subjects I knew I was weak and I worked hard on them simultaneously not ignoring the other ones that worked for me ..

And let me know if I can be of help, I ll be around
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbilalk View Post
Well loll I am sure u will get better ! dont worry, stay firm and try to analyse urself once u r done with ur 2nd read, I think a person can analyze himself the best and that can be by the qbanks and NBMEs and then try to work on ur weaknesses, like I mentioned a few subjects I knew I was weak and I worked hard on them simultaneously not ignoring the other ones that worked for me ..

And let me know if I can be of help, I ll be around
Yup IA I,ll do the same.Going through second read and then will take an NBME next month IA to see where I am.Enjoy your free time and good luck with CK.I,ll definitely be bugging you for guidance :P.And yeah stay away from dengue and ZALIM E AALA
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  #11  
Old 07-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lara View Post
Yup IA I,ll do the same.Going through second read and then will take an NBME next month IA to see where I am.Enjoy your free time and good luck with CK.I,ll definitely be bugging you for guidance :P.And yeah stay away from dengue and ZALIM E AALA
lol...Zalim e Aala...That guy is a total drama and his brother too.
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2012
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hey congrats man!! awesome score. Im so glad to hear that u dont really need to kill urself in the last week.lol. i hv my exam in 13days and im so impatient now cant study. just want to finish it!

And good to see all u pakistani graduates here. Im not pakistani but i graduated frm fjmc,lahore
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2012
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congratzzz bro certainly its an awesum score ..
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2012
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thanks for the informative post and congratulations for your score
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2012
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congratulations and thank u for the good work
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  #16  
Old 07-17-2012
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congrats dear for this awesome score, i m also from pakistan, i have just started my prep of step 1, and recently graduated, i need ur advise regarding pathology, is it necessory to study patho from goljan or we can study from kaplan? plz reply
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  #17  
Old 07-19-2012
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i took my date on 31st october that is last day of my eligibility period should i chg or not i took it bc want to give max days to exam ...wat say?
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Old 07-19-2012
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I wanna ask can i take date last day of eligibility period its no harm in taking rite if yes do tell me bc wanna give max days to exam advise needed thx
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Old 07-19-2012
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I wanna take last date of my eligibility for ma exam 31st oct is it ok no harm in taking last date advise needed jus wanna give max days to exam...
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Old 07-19-2012
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I wanna take last date of my eligibility period for ma exam 31st oct is it ok no harm in taking last date advise needed jus wanna give max days to exam...
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amresh kumar View Post
congrats dear for this awesome score, i m also from pakistan, i have just started my prep of step 1, and recently graduated, i need ur advise regarding pathology, is it necessory to study patho from goljan or we can study from kaplan? plz reply
Good to know that Amresh ! Just as I said in the experience I m in favor of Goljan very much because it integrates the knowledge of basic sciences in a very fine way but at the same time it does cost extra time ( like may be around 2 more months) but in my opinion it can increase ur score by 10-20 as the major part of real exam is pathology so if u have no issues with time n want to score I would say take the pain !
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  #22  
Old 07-20-2012
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I wanna take last date of my eligibility for ma exam 31st oct is it ok no harm in taking last date advise needed jus wanna give max days to exam...
What I did was that I approx calculated the date I thought I could give my exam when I was in the end of 1st read (like I decided march ) and I choose it as my 1st month of triad( gave exam on 24 may), so that I had much more time in case any mishap could happen or I needed more time and It helped me !
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  #23  
Old 07-22-2012
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I am also Pakistani IMG. I have finished BS 2 days back but I couldn't recall whatever I studied, it seems I'm lost. Do u think I should do Qbank BS section, or should I move forward and take any other subject?
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  #24  
Old 07-23-2012
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Originally Posted by usmletaker13 View Post
I am also Pakistani IMG. I have finished BS 2 days back but I couldn't recall whatever I studied, it seems I'm lost. Do u think I should do Qbank BS section, or should I move forward and take any other subject?
If u are talking about ur 1st read of BS, the only thing u should do here to strengthen ur knowledge is watch BS lectures but I wouldnt recommend doing MCQs in the 1st read. Actually its a different exam the only time u need to recall is when u have a whole question stem with 5 options making it a focused recall which u will do so dont worry about that just make ur concepts and go on , then in the 2nd read again going through it plus doing mcqs will help u a lot
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Old 07-23-2012
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Default Congratz!

Congratz on your amazing score

Did you do house job after graduation?
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  #26  
Old 07-24-2012
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Originally Posted by MiSeRy View Post
Congratz on your amazing score

Did you do house job after graduation?
No I didnt !
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  #27  
Old 07-25-2012
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congrats on your awesome score and thanks for sharing your experience.

I am IMG from KHi.. hoping and wishing to take my exam early next year..
did you supplement your study with extra books or notes or this was all the material you used..
like HY series for anatomy or BRS for physio and BS..
also wanna knw how much time your 2nd and 3rd read took..
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  #28  
Old 07-25-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiyeda View Post
congrats on your awesome score and thanks for sharing your experience.

I am IMG from KHi.. hoping and wishing to take my exam early next year..
did you supplement your study with extra books or notes or this was all the material you used..
like HY series for anatomy or BRS for physio and BS..
also wanna knw how much time your 2nd and 3rd read took..
No that was the total material I used ! in my opinion BS vdo lec of kaplan are very important, watched them twice .. I didnt use BRS for any subject
I finished my 2nd read in approx 4.5 months and final/3rd read was of 1 month but it wasnt a complete read
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  #29  
Old 07-29-2012
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Default Pathology

Hi there! I want to know weather u used both kaplan as well as goljan for pathology orelse only goljan and skipped kaplan pathology notes and videos ? will some stuff get lost which bridges kaplan patho and physio if we skip kaplan patho videos and lecture and use goljan for patho ? pls help me with this i need to start the first read patho soon
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Old 07-30-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smacker View Post
Hi there! I want to know weather u used both kaplan as well as goljan for pathology orelse only goljan and skipped kaplan pathology notes and videos ? will some stuff get lost which bridges kaplan patho and physio if we skip kaplan patho videos and lecture and use goljan for patho ? pls help me with this i need to start the first read patho soon
No I dont think u need anything else if u plan to do goljan texts, I didnt and I dont think its needed. Goljan will link patho with physio, biochem and many other basics that you wouldnt need anything else to bridge pathophysio plus its way extensive so getting into kaplan might be a waste of time. And I dont think u ll loose anything not even a minor one if u skip KLN notes
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  #31  
Old 07-30-2012
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Thanks for that , I really appreciate it
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  #32  
Old 08-07-2012
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Default Help!

how to do offline Qbanks? is it some kind of a software or you mean doing from Qbank books?
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  #33  
Old 08-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSeRy View Post
how to do offline Qbanks? is it some kind of a software or you mean doing from Qbank books?
yes doing from Qbank books
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  #34  
Old 08-08-2012
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I need your advice on pathology, necessory from goljan pathological studies, we can learn from Kaplan?
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  #35  
Old 08-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infoleather View Post
I need your advice on pathology, necessory from goljan pathological studies, we can learn from Kaplan?
I didnt get ur question, do u want to know that kaplan can work instead of goljan??
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