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  #1  
Old 08-03-2012
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Show Teeth Just wait till you read how I passed Step 1

Ok guys, for everybody who thinks they cant get through step 1 (which is probably everyone), you have got to read this. I think I'm really lucky to have gotten through, thank GOD, I always thought I had a slim chance because, well you'll find out shortly.
I graduated 2 years ago, and I am an average student. In med school I always managed to get through tests and finals but my grades were not exactly extraordinary. I scored 235/84 on the step 1 last month. I was aiming for 220+, but I thought it would be a miracle if I even passed.
I started step 1 prep this January. One of the stupidest things I did was decide to read through the kaplan notes once myself, there were a lot of things I didnt get and I wasted an entire month because I was real slow.
In Feb I took a 10 day vacation When I got back I kicked myself in the butt and decided to get serious. I started with the DVD's for the first time, and would go through lectures all day and then just review what I had covered at the end of the day to help consolidate. Another stupid thing I did was not use FA during this time.
In March I really got into study mode, I would be up at 7am, study all through the day and be in bed at around 10pm. I took long breaks but I guess about 10 hours of studying daily. I really wanted to have a disciplined routine to help during the brutal 8 hour exam day. By this time I was understanding all the things i was confused about, but I used to feel like I was not able to retain things. After I finished a subject, I would do a quick review over a few days, then do some kaplan qbank questions just to check if I was doing alright. I only did all of qbank for anatomy, embryo, biochem, BS, biostatstics.
April continued like this and I took another 10 day vacation
In May I mainly concentrated on a second review of notes, and uworld. I did uworld for each subject after I was done with it, along with FA. As you can see I didnt really have a schedule I did some questions here and there just to make sure I was doing ok.
June I went through FA again, finished uworld, did Q&a and some of qbook. I took UWSA1 about 5 weeks before and got 216. So i did the notes again, FA again and uworld mistakes. I did NBME 7 about 2 weeks before and got 214. I was actually happy with that, thinking 220 was within reach. But OMG were those last 2 weeks a nightmare or what. I tried hard to stay cool, and I guess because I would do ok on mcq's and managed to pass the assessment exams I knew I would be ok in the real thing and at least pass, but usmle really messes with your brain I couldnt sleep, had hallucinations, I was eating unhealthy and had like zero exercise and also got sick, I could NOT wait for this dumb exam to be over with.
In the last few days I just did FA. On one or two of those days I could barely do anything felt like my brain was in overdrive.
I did the exam 1st week of July and had to travel to another city for the exam center. So the day before I had to catch a plane at 9am and checked in to the hotel about midday. After that I just looked over some FA, went to bed really early like around 9pm, thank God I slept ok which for me is really helpful.
On exam day I was barely able to eat anything for breakfast. I was really worried about burnout during the exam, but even if it is a day long its really not too bad. I did 2 blocks at a time and took like a 10 minute break in between each and had something to eat, some juice and had caffeine only once.
Block 1 was not so bad
Block 2 was retarded
BREAK
Block 3 was ok
Block 4 was ok
BREAK
Block 5 was harder
Block 6 was the same
BREAK
Block 7 was ok, and even if it wasnt I didnt want to think otherwise since I was done!
I had to mark like an average of 3 questions per block which I would have no idea about, there were some ques which I wasnt so sure about, but I felt that the questions were kinda long and I did not have time to re-check my answers, so I just gave them a few extra seconds, picked an answer and moved on. There were a couple of diagrams which come up more than once, like a gross section of the brain with a bunch of cranial nerves labelled and you had to identify a particular one. I had 2 questions with the same diagram but in separate blocks. There was a lot on murmurs, both my audio clips were on those, and I did not get any video clips. For biostatistics I had 2 calculations on NNT, 2 for odds ratio and I think one for either NPV or PPV.
After the exam if anyone asked me how it went I would just answer I dont know, because at that point all I could remember was the questions that I wasnt sure about.
I was expecting my score to take at least 4 weeks since I did my exam on a Monday, but it was out in 3 weeks. I wasn't even expecting it that morning and had a mini arrythmia when I saw the email subject "your score report is now available" in my inbox.
I would also like to add that I used the second last DVD version I think 2009. And I got the 2008 kaplan notes in med school and used the same ones for the test, although there was a lot of missing material which I just copied off the lectures. I did not use goljan.
So it was basically 6 months of average prep and a score that I'm good with. I would have given it a few months extra if I had the luxury of time which I did not. One of the most important things is to really define your goals, there is no rule which says you have to get a 99 otherwise you are worthless. Step 1 has been turned into such a daunting exam and it kinda makes me sad to see people who start studying for it but then give up along the way, because all you really need to do is keep going and keep your eye on the prize.I guess you can imagine that if you can get through with such basic review, the sky is the limit if you go all out. Good luck for all future step takers and never stop believing in yourself!
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The above post was thanked by:
anu4usmle (08-03-2012), cardiovasculaire (08-04-2012), cuteumder (08-04-2012), Doc4Step1 (08-03-2012), dr.Zh (08-03-2012), efemena (08-03-2012), madeha shahid (08-03-2012), numbndumb (08-04-2012), sami trailer (08-05-2012), seemaCMC (05-06-2014), tootsie (08-03-2012)



  #2  
Old 08-03-2012
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Congrats....That's awesome score.

I am also an average student.Just kept on passing med school exam.Graduated 6 years ago...I would love to have that score.Enjoy.

Were you guessing many of the answers?
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2012
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thanks! im sure you'll do great.
i actually was guessing a lot, most of that was basically by elimination of the other choices, but there were a few which i literally picked blindly because i had no idea what they were talking about.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blingbling View Post
thanks! im sure you'll do great.
i actually was guessing a lot, most of that was basically by elimination of the other choices, but there were a few which i literally picked blindly because i had no idea what they were talking about.
I am still on my first read but I am doing it along with Kaplan online Qbank and FA...I watch the Kaplan videos.While reading,then do the questions for that topic.and then read the explanations.After that I refer to FA and annotate it.

I wanna do this now...Cos after first read I am going to start my second read with UWorld.and My overall on Kaplan Qbank is around 42% for Patho,Biostatics,BS,Genetics.

I am going to read the whole FA after first read....Do you think I should take NBME 7 after first read and before UWorld to see how am I doing ?Cos I have no clue right now.

Thanks
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2012
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heyy congrats on the awesome score!!!

Hey did you get your result on the 3rd wednesday after your exam? I also had my exam last monday but i hear i have to wait till the 4th wednesday
if u got urs on the 3rd then may b i'll also get lucky?? lol
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I've become so numb
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc4Step1 View Post
I am still on my first read but I am doing it along with Kaplan online Qbank and FA...I watch the Kaplan videos.While reading,then do the questions for that topic.and then read the explanations.After that I refer to FA and annotate it.

I wanna do this now...Cos after first read I am going to start my second read with UWorld.and My overall on Kaplan Qbank is around 42% for Patho,Biostatics,BS,Genetics.

I am going to read the whole FA after first read....Do you think I should take NBME 7 after first read and before UWorld to see how am I doing ?Cos I have no clue right now.

Thanks

yeah you can always do an nbme to see where you are at, but i have heard that 7 is one of the hardest.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2012
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Congrats on this good score! Your experience is really encouring!
I'm preparing for my step 1 but I'm focusing on FA and uworld only along with one or two nbme forms because I work 9 hrs/day! Since you've been through step 1 experience do you think this is too risky!
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc4Step1 View Post
I am still on my first read but I am doing it along with Kaplan online Qbank and FA...I watch the Kaplan videos.While reading,then do the questions for that topic.and then read the explanations.After that I refer to FA and annotate it.

I wanna do this now...Cos after first read I am going to start my second read with UWorld.and My overall on Kaplan Qbank is around 42% for Patho,Biostatics,BS,Genetics.

I am going to read the whole FA after first read....Do you think I should take NBME 7 after first read and before UWorld to see how am I doing ?Cos I have no clue right now.

Thanks
Hey Docstep1
at 42% score,writing nbme is not a wise move cos u will definitely fail.I think you should do some more hardcore studies,though I might not be the best for this advice since am yet to write step 1 but it's wrong jumping into qbank in our 1st reading.
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbndumb View Post
heyy congrats on the awesome score!!!

Hey did you get your result on the 3rd wednesday after your exam? I also had my exam last monday but i hear i have to wait till the 4th wednesday
if u got urs on the 3rd then may b i'll also get lucky?? lol
i was waiting for the 4th wendesday too!i did the exam on 2nd july and got the score on 25th. i do hope you get lucky so you can start partying sooner =)
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockey View Post
Congrats on this good score! Your experience is really encouring!
I'm preparing for my step 1 but I'm focusing on FA and uworld only along with one or two nbme forms because I work 9 hrs/day! Since you've been through step 1 experience do you think this is too risky!

well thats exactly what i did =) but i wasnt working so i could put in more time a day. i think if you get a decent score on nbme before the exam you will be fine.
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imgchuchu View Post
Hey Docstep1
at 42% score,writing nbme is not a wise move cos u will definitely fail.I think you should do some more hardcore studies,though I might not be the best for this advice since am yet to write step 1 but it's wrong jumping into qbank in our 1st reading.
well i guess everyone has their own way to go about it but i personally found it very helpful to go over qbank along with the review. and yeah you're probably right about nbme being too hard at this stage, but it will help outline your weak areas and give you a baseline to match your performance as you go along. and if you do fail in it it will only motivate you to study harder
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2012
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i remember how i saw several people say over and over again that FA is the bible, and it is. just make sure you go over the errata though
also, the stuff that they say is high yield in the lectures really is high yield, i think i probably got a ques on all that. i used to mark those things while studying to make sure i got that stuff down.
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2012
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@blingbling
What do mean by going through FA errata?

Did you use DIT,was it useful?

Thanx....like your username
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imgchuchu View Post
Hey Docstep1
at 42% score,writing nbme is not a wise move cos u will definitely fail.I think you should do some more hardcore studies,though I might not be the best for this advice since am yet to write step 1 but it's wrong jumping into qbank in our 1st reading.
Ok I'll take your words for it.
The thing is that I learn better when I do questions after every topic. I m still gonna do UWorld with my second read. But if I don't do questions after reading I forget quickly .

Anyway 42% is for the first read. I had some prob with my Kaplan Qbank and then they reset it for me. And I did the questions I had done earlier I was getting 85%.
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imgchuchu View Post
@blingbling
What do mean by going through FA errata?

Did you use DIT,was it useful?

Thanx....like your username

haha thanks
this is the errata link
The OFFICIAL errata for the 2012 version of First Aid...

and i did not use DIT.
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