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  #1  
Old 07-28-2012
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Smile Sachinkumar Step 1 Score 243. The Experience

This forum has been an immense help during my Step 1 prep although I joined in pretty late, 2 months before my exam date. Although I read few exam experiences a year back when i was starting my prep. I remember reading Neromat's exam experience(261). It was very much motivating. Whenever I felt down, I read his experience and that got me going again.

First up, something about me

My name is Sachin Kumar and I am a medical student from India. Currently I am in my final year. I started preparing for Step 1 in third year and took the exam on June 19 this year.

Total prep time
8 months on/off last year and 4 months intensively from february till exam date.

Study Materials Used

Latest Kaplan videos + Kaplan lecture notes 2010 for all subjects except pathology

Goljan's Rapid Review Pathology + Audio lectures

Road map to gross anatomy

High Yield Neuronatomy

High Yield Cell and Molecular Biology (selective topics)

Conrad Fischer's 100 cases ethics book

BRS Phsiology( only CVS )

First Aid 2011 (single most important book for step 1 prep)

First Aid Q and A ( very easy qbank, easier than u world)

Kaplan qbank offline mode (completed half of it, just as a timepass)

UWorld

74% cumulative in random/subjectwise/timed/untimed mode. Didnt do it for the second time. I still had 2% of the question bank remaining.

NBMEs

NBME 11 (14 Days before the exam) - 238
NBME 12 (8 Days before the exam) - 231
NBME 13 (4 Days before the exam - 242
NBME 7 (2 Days befor the exam)- 235

So, for me NBME 13 was the most predictive. Personally I found 13 the toughest and 11 the easiest. There were 5 copy-paste questions from NBME 7 in real exam though. Do all 4 of them and do it online preferably.

The beginnings

I started sometime in March with Physiology. Studied at a very leisourly pace and watched the kaplan videos everyday for and hour or so. At such speed I completed physiology in 1.5 month. I used to do Pretest for Physiology which is a very good question bank atleast for Physiology.

In Mid April, I started reading Biochemistry and finished off in another one month. Again I was reading very slowly, building concepts and trying to retain everything in Kaplan. At this time in prep I really didnt care what was high yield or what was not and i think this approach really worked for me in the long run. I also read High Yield Cell and Molecular biology selectively.

After that I put Step 1 preps on hold due to upcoming med school semester exams.

I started again in July with listening to Goljan and he changed my outlook towards medicine forever. He is the best teacher I ever listened to.
While reading Goljan and listening to him I was doing pathology very slowly + its a massive book to finish. I finished goljan till september end. But i think the actual reading time was 2 months as in between I got busy in college fest and dancing in it + I was travelling and photographing

The step 1 prep was again put on hold for entire october due to string of internal assesment exams.

In November I started doing behavioral and the video lectures very mind blowing. I finished half of the behavioral in 15 days and then stopped my prep for the upcoming 3rd year final exams in december.

The finals ended in mid January and I took 15 days off to chill at home.

The final 4 months

In february my final year in med school started and within 15 days we had a surgery test. I did whatever behavioral science I had left in November in those 15 days and studied for the surgery exam.

In mid Feb I took up Anatomy. The gross anatomy video lectures were basically embryology lectures and the guys teaches that very well. At first i thought Kaplan should be enough for gross but found out in few days that its very insufficient. I got the 'Road Map for Gross Anatomy' then and read it in 5 days and it worked very well for me.

With the start of March, I began to understand the gravity of situation and realized i was very slow. Started doing Neuronatomy and it made me slower than ever. For the first few lectures I drew blank and I hated that guy. I really struggled with all that tracts and lesion, the cranial nerves and the midbrain sections but eventually got hold of the topic and that guy got better and better as i proceeded through the lectures. It tool me 10 days to finish neuroanatomy with Kaplan and High Yield both. I dont think High Yield is all that necessary, I read it coz of the hype it has. High yield is good for few topics. I really loved the Cranial nerves chapter in it and the table is excellent.

In March, calamity struck. I was feeling a slowly growing pain in lower most back which got so debilitating that i got bedridden. I was diagnosed of Infected Pilo Nidal Sinus. The surgeon said that if he did a permanent excision, it would take almost a month to completely heal and if he did an incision and drainage which was a fast short cut it had a chance of recurrence before my step 1. I took the risk and went for incision and drainage. It recurred in a week and i underwent an incison and drainage again. At this time i started taking homeopathic medicines (in which i had no faith) due to my parents pressure to prevent recurrence and it worked for me. Those were the most low days of my prep period. I had thoughts on leaving the prep and not taking the exam.

By the first week of April i was getting healthy again and restarted intensively. I finished Pharmacology in 7 days straight. Lional Raymons teaches like a dream and many extra drugs which are high yield and not in the book.

I also started reading first aid seriously since february. Whatver topic I read from Kaplan, I read it immediatly from FA.

Next was the massive and the thickest Kaplan thats is Immuno+ Micro but the lady who teaches it was awesome and she really skimmed the book to its half thickness. I read only that points she told, was high yield and left rest of them. I also gave a read to Micro Immuno Section of first aid. Finished it in 10 days.

In April i also started U World all though I had got it subscribed in March though I didn used it much in that month. I was very inconsistent with U world. Sometimes I didn do a block for 5 days, then one day I did 3 blocks straight. It took me 1.5 hours to review one block. Reviewing every question and reading every explanation to every single option is very important as it gets you many things revised. I annotated my FA heavily and by the end of it, there wasnt enough space left in my FA.

By last week of April I started doing Goljan for the second time. It took me 20 days to give a second read. I read 4 hours of Goljan everyday + 2 hours of
First Aid Q and A + 2-3 hours of U World + an hour of FA all this while.

In mid May, I was a month away from my exam and I started getting panic attacks. 3 of my other friends were also taking the test with me and it helped me a lot. They were just a call away whenever I felt down. I literally lived at one of friend's place and going to my hostel only to sleep. I owe much of my success to him.

I studied very hard by my standards in last month trying to pack in 12-14 hours a day. Was sleep deprived and highly irritable and extremely moody. I ate a lot and gained 5 kgs within a month. Whenever I stressed out I raided the nearby McDonald and went there for like 6-7 times in a month which is my personal record of sorts...lol
During this period I read FA in all its tiny details, and revised all my kaplan lecture notes.

One Day Prior
I am not the kind of person who's ever prepared to take a test. I was reading first aid until 9 pm of last day although i dont advocate such madness but i am like that only :P. I went to supermarket got lots of snickers, 2 cans of redbulls ( i had already checked redbull during NBMEs. I took one redbull per NBME) and a bottle of gatorade.
Didnt take 150 questions as i had planned earlier and took zopiclone 3mg at 9:30 pm and by 10 pm i was asleep

The D day

I woke up at 6 am, completely fresh after 8 hours of sleep. Ate a light breakfast, got everything readied and headed to the prometric center with my friend and his dad. Stopped at a temple in the way and prayed.

Before the start of exam I gulped half the bottle of gatorade and went. For the first 3 questions I drew blank, hit the panic mode and was nearly to tears. After that few questions were easy and i gained my confidence.

I did two straight blocks and after that took a break every block. I ate a snickers bar and gulped half of redbull in every break and a result was peeing in every break too. By this way I was energized for whole 8 hours.

My exam was tough, very tough. I was marking 10 questions in every block and boy, were they lengthy. The exam was Cell and Molecular Biology heavy and I struggled to finish 6 of the blocks in time and hardly getting any of them reviewed. It was at par with NBME 13 with lots of wtf questions and crazy molecular biology

After the exam I was feeling pathetic. I posted the experience here in this forum. The link is done with step 1....my experience

For the next few days, i couldnt sleep properly and was remembering the questions i got wrong.




Finally my result came up 2 days back after a 2 week delay and i went crazy after seeing 243 written in my score report. I was shouting with utter disbelief and spent the last night drinking so heavily that i hardly remember most of it :d and my head is spinning even now....lolz

This is forum is awesome and all you people are so nice.

I am sorry if this post seems tad too long. I hope it helps you the way, some experiences helped me.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Btw....is this score good enough for an IM+Paeds combined residency?? If you have any idea...do reply


Thanks a lot, all of you. All the very best for your Step 1


Sachin Kumar
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2012
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Congratulations man really nice score you should now start partying everyday!!
I just have few questions,, which book did you use to study behavioral science??
BRS or FA?? and is FA enough or not??
and one last thing what are the subjects do you need to start studying behavioral science pharamacology, physiology or what?? thank in advance
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Old 07-28-2012
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Congratulations, neat score! I wish my score turns out to be like that, I felt terrible after the exam too.
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Old 07-28-2012
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thank you for your inspiring post... and congrats on your awesome score!! i hope i also get a great score like urs iA
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Old 07-29-2012
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Gr8 SCORE...all the very best for future exams....

had one doubt....was zopiclone effective for u??? did u feel tired and drowsy during the exam due to its effects??

my exam a week ahead, actually i was planning for alprazolam....
whats your take????
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Old 07-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaifoi View Post
Congratulations man really nice score you should now start partying everyday!!
I just have few questions,, which book did you use to study behavioral science??
BRS or FA?? and is FA enough or not??
and one last thing what are the subjects do you need to start studying behavioral science pharamacology, physiology or what?? thank in advance
For Behavioral,do listen to daugherty's lectures. the guy is awesome. Behavioural science pharma is covered well in FA and Kaplan's pharma.

I havent read BRS, so cant tell.
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Old 07-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomali View Post
Gr8 SCORE...all the very best for future exams....

had one doubt....was zopiclone effective for u??? did u feel tired and drowsy during the exam due to its effects??

my exam a week ahead, actually i was planning for alprazolam....
whats your take????
zopiclone worked for me. I had actually tested it a week before exam to see whether it caused any cognitive loss or not.

I was actually a zolpidem person but my friend advised to take zopiclone. I think zopiclone is much better than zolpidem
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2012
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hello sachin.im also in same boat and felt just like u- my exam ws very lengthy and every block had atleast 5-10 wtf questions.my uwsa 1 247(3 weeks b4 step1) and uwsa 2 (257 1 day before my exam)..biostat was very twisted 2 easy and 3 hard questions and bs questions were always down to 2 choices... I MADE SOME VERY SILLY MISTAKES :s..i think i made atleast 10 mistakes per block is it normal?? u also felt like it? what were ur uwsa score?
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Old 08-14-2012
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hey congrats on the great score!! party hard now.

Even i feel like my performance in the exam was awful .... so did you ever figure out why ur chore reporting was delayed?? Im expecting mine next wednesday.. hope it wont be delayed
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Old 08-14-2012
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Good job man, you deserved it. Congratulations.
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Old 08-15-2012
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hey congrats on the great score!! party hard now.

Even i feel like my performance in the exam was awful .... so did you ever figure out why ur chore reporting was delayed?? Im expecting mine next wednesday.. hope it wont be delayed
my score got delayed due to ignorance of my medical college's clerks.

ecfmg sends a student verification form to the college and the principal of the college signs it and the form is sent back to ecfmg. They didnt send that form back. And of all the usmle takers in my college, they did that to me only

I found out when i called up ecfmg. The college officials sent the form and i got my result in 2 weeks after that.

Best Of Luck for your results. I hope its rocking
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Old 08-15-2012
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HEYYY SACHIN..

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AMAZING SCORE!!! WELL DONE

YOU CAN PARTY HARD NOW

I HAD A COUPLE OF Q'S... LIKE HOW MANY TIMES DID U DO THE KAPLAN VIDEOS?

AND LIKE HOW MANY TIMES DID U READ THE KAPLAN LECTURE NOTES??

EVEN I'VE BEEN TAKIN SO LONG WITH MY PREP.. B/ C I'VE JUST HAD MANY BREAKS IN BETWEEN.. LIKE MY KAPLAN LIVE LECTURES FINISHED IN DECEMBER.. BUT I DIN PROPERLY STUDY TILL APRIL... JAN FEB MAR I WAS JUST INTRODUCIN MY SELF TO THE SUBJECTS..

BUT NOW STILL I'M NOT DONE W/ MY FIRST READ OF ALL KAPLAN SUBJECTS.. I'M SOOO LOST

I DID UWORLD ENTIRE THING ONCE ALREADY... I STARTED PREP SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER.. BUT THT WASN'T SERIOUS.. AND 2ND TIME I REGISTERED FOR UWORLD AGAIN I WAS ONLY ABLE TO FINISH IT HALF.. SO NOW I BOUGHT A NEW SUBSCRIPTION FOR TILL OCTOBER..12. IT IS..

LIKE DID YOU ONLY DO UWORLD? OR U DID USMLE RX? I BOUGHT RX TOO.. JUST SO I CAN DO MORE Q'S..?

WHEN DO YOU SUGGEST USING USMLE RX?? AND LIKE LAST 2 MONTHS OF UR PREP.. HOW MANY BLOCKS U DID PER DAY??

SORRY FOR SO MANY Q'S.. IF U CAN HELP ME THAT WOULD BE GREAT..

THANKS AGAIN
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Old 08-15-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hstar View Post
HEYYY SACHIN..

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AMAZING SCORE!!! WELL DONE

YOU CAN PARTY HARD NOW

I HAD A COUPLE OF Q'S... LIKE HOW MANY TIMES DID U DO THE KAPLAN VIDEOS?

AND LIKE HOW MANY TIMES DID U READ THE KAPLAN LECTURE NOTES??

EVEN I'VE BEEN TAKIN SO LONG WITH MY PREP.. B/ C I'VE JUST HAD MANY BREAKS IN BETWEEN.. LIKE MY KAPLAN LIVE LECTURES FINISHED IN DECEMBER.. BUT I DIN PROPERLY STUDY TILL APRIL... JAN FEB MAR I WAS JUST INTRODUCIN MY SELF TO THE SUBJECTS..

BUT NOW STILL I'M NOT DONE W/ MY FIRST READ OF ALL KAPLAN SUBJECTS.. I'M SOOO LOST

I DID UWORLD ENTIRE THING ONCE ALREADY... I STARTED PREP SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER.. BUT THT WASN'T SERIOUS.. AND 2ND TIME I REGISTERED FOR UWORLD AGAIN I WAS ONLY ABLE TO FINISH IT HALF.. SO NOW I BOUGHT A NEW SUBSCRIPTION FOR TILL OCTOBER..12. IT IS..

LIKE DID YOU ONLY DO UWORLD? OR U DID USMLE RX? I BOUGHT RX TOO.. JUST SO I CAN DO MORE Q'S..?

WHEN DO YOU SUGGEST USING USMLE RX?? AND LIKE LAST 2 MONTHS OF UR PREP.. HOW MANY BLOCKS U DID PER DAY??

SORRY FOR SO MANY Q'S.. IF U CAN HELP ME THAT WOULD BE GREAT..

THANKS AGAIN
I did kaplan videos only once, most of them at 1.5x and annotated my lecture notes along with that and read it. That was my first read

I read all my kaplans again in last 3 months along with goljan second read. This time i did them along with U World and FA.

I did only UW and that only once with finishing 98% of it. The key is to read the explanations thoroughly. I did 1-2 blocks in a day, however there were many days i gave UW a miss and just studied. This way it took me 3 month to finish UW (finished it 12 days before my actual exam), but i knew all of it very well.

I dont know much about Rx. I did First Aid Q an A book and it was good and easy, more like NBME questions.

Since you've already done usmle world once, and will be doing it twice , i think it will be a good idea to do another q bank. What i would really suggest is to just know every word of FA and when I say every word, i mean it.

Hope I've answered all your questions. Feel free to ask if you have more
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Old 08-15-2012
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Originally Posted by sachinkumar View Post
my score got delayed due to ignorance of my medical college's clerks.

ecfmg sends a student verification form to the college and the principal of the college signs it and the form is sent back to ecfmg. They didnt send that form back. And of all the usmle takers in my college, they did that to me only

I found out when i called up ecfmg. The college officials sent the form and i got my result in 2 weeks after that.

Best Of Luck for your results. I hope its rocking
hello sachin..even im a med student..so is that a routine procedure of sending a verification form to college in order to release results by ecfmg..???if thats the case i need to contact my school officials since they are slumber and delay every process.....
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Old 08-17-2012
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hello sachin..even im a med student..so is that a routine procedure of sending a verification form to college in order to release results by ecfmg..???if thats the case i need to contact my school officials since they are slumber and delay every process.....
yeah, contact them and ask them specifically about the form
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2012
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Do u do u world subjectwise or random
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Old 09-06-2012
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HI , Please please I need Goljan pathology rapid review book and UW and Kaplan Q , please send it to my email dr_azeezah2012@yahoo.com , thank you
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  #18  
Old 09-11-2012
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some subjectwise, some random....i started out systemwise and then went on to do it random
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Old 09-11-2012
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how long before your exam did you start doing random questions???

and also you said you were doing first aid along with your kaplan notes?

like how??? like did u read FA in the mornin and then kaplan ? or???
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hstar View Post
how long before your exam did you start doing random questions???

and also you said you were doing first aid along with your kaplan notes?

like how??? like did u read FA in the mornin and then kaplan ? or???
I started doing random questions 2 months before I think.
I did fa system wise. Like I did a system from goljan, the kaplan phys, and Kaplan pharm . After that I revised it from fa which took very less time after doing all that
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Old 09-19-2012
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THANKS for the reply...

I was also wondering like soo did you use kaplan for other subjects as well like micro, immuno , behav, neuroanat? or ne additional source along w/ it?

i'm plannin to do pathoma for patho.. since goljan is so vast? wht do you suggest?
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Old 09-23-2012
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Quote:
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THANKS for the reply...

I was also wondering like soo did you use kaplan for other subjects as well like micro, immuno , behav, neuroanat? or ne additional source along w/ it?

i'm plannin to do pathoma for patho.. since goljan is so vast? wht do you suggest?
I used Kaplan for all of them plus high yield neuroanat for some topics which I didn liked in Kaplan.
I have heard good things about pathoma so it must be good only
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Old 09-24-2012
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Congrats on the great score

.had a question...


how'd you feel after the exam? i can remember about 110 qs i got right but can remember also around 23 which i got wrong (mostly dumbass mistakes too).

I hate the wait!
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Old 09-27-2012
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Congrats man
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2013
pranavmerchant's Avatar
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amazed to read ur experience.... how did u manage final year Mbbs and usmle prep together man???
I'm in third year and am preparing side by side... but cant imagine giving step 1 before internship...
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