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  #1  
Old 10-03-2012
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Smile This exam experience is for people who had to struggle; If I did it, everyone can

Hey guys, this is a long time coming so here is my experience. Love this forum, its been so helpful to me so obviously i needed to do this. Received my score today after taking my exam on Sept 13.

A little bit about me. I am a US citizen who went to school in India in a very reputable college, graduated back in May 2011 after completing my internship.

Preparation leading up to exam
Started preparations for step 1 in August of 2011...I skimmed my first aid before starting with Kaplan.....started with Kaplan live lectures in Washington dc...all it was good for was meeting new people actually saw a person from my school there who i had never spoken to but we became good friends.

I think Kaplan live lectures would have more beneficial to me if I would have used it with some sort of base....most of it just flew over my head cause i hadn't seen the basic science material in 4 years. The live lectures were for 8 weeks. I must say though that Dr. Kudrath and Dr. Barone where worth the money just by themselves...Kudrath explains everything so well...and Dr Barone has mnemonics for days, once you go to his live lecture you won't want it to end. So during the time i had kaplan live lectures they gave us the Kaplan Qbank so i did that during that time period, don't remember my percentage as i was just doing to do it. Oh yea let me not forget Dr. Davis for pharmacology....everything he told us was high yield was very high yield...a great teacher

So kaplan ended and the 8 weeks flew bye...Around January then the actual preparations started....opened up my first aid and anointed it with Kaplan notes...then I started my 2nd read of first aid along with doing uworld...got the 3 month subscription...when i started doing world my scores were HORRIBLE...like yeah around 50 percent...very terrible...i thought to myself how is this possible after doing kaplan etc...so then i took a step back and read my first aid again...mind you i had scheduled my exam for march....

So i think It was in February that i took my first assessment test...UWSA1...got something like 179....was devastated because i heard that it underpredicts....I studied for about 4/5 months and i Still wasn't passing? Was very pissed at myself but just continued on....continued doing uworld and reading my first aid...then about a month later I took nbme 5....finally passed but just by the grit of my teeth...Lol 189 was my score

Tried to see where i was making mistakes...noticed my cell bio and histo was low and if anyone has taken nbme 5 they know one whole block is cell bio....so picked myself up again...around this time my world subscription was about to run out...and i noticed i was doing well in it more so because i remembered the qs rather then understanding the concept...so i stopped world..

Decided to get usmlerx....and let me tell you, this was the best decision i made...it not only made you to learn first aid inside out but A LOT of the qs on the exam are very similar...got the 3 month subscription to this and did every question...3000 in total...some were really easy and some where really hard but I feel it was most exam like...ended it with a 64% average.

Decided to do nbme 12 next...felt pretty good while doing it...then the result came...193 ...so many emotions went thru my head...Am I stupid? Is this too hard for me? Should I change professions? I just couldn't believe it, how the hell did my score not go up...took nbme 13 couple weeks later with the same result....was dumbfounded....my exam was supposed to be in 2 weeks on march 27...dont like to admit it but i went t sleep crying...there was no way i was gonna take the exam...felt bad for wasting money but i didn't have any option.

Took a step back and tried to see where i was making mistakes...saw my pathology was consistently on the low end...saw people raving about pathoma here so i decided to get it...it couldn't hurt...did a chapter every day...man i loved it...I owe everything to dr. sattar, he made every hard concept so simple....i was seriously mind blown that he could make pathology look so easy...

So NOW, i finally thought i was ready...took nbme 7...and yup u guessed it...scored a 196...now i thought to myself this is just crazy...but then i saw the mistakes i made on it and just laughed...the mistakes i made more so had to do with mental mistakes then not knowing the material....i laughed at some of my stupidity i made.....I took nbme 7 in the end of july....i said from that point I have 45 days no matter what I was taking the exam.... in the last 24 days, i made a schedule where i would read first aid one final time cover to cover twice

From that point forward I only read first aid...no more banks...only had two nbmes which I had left...both offline nbme 3 and 4....took those 1 week and 10 days before my exam...all other ones i had taken online so i had none left

nbme assessments
April 8: Nbme 11 310
May 8: Nbme 5 360
May 20: Nbme 12 380
June 7: Nme 13 380
July 31: 390
Sept 1: Nbme 4 158/200
Sept 6: Nbme 3 160/200

Day before the exam
I know most people say not to study the night before the exam but thats not me...never has been...i always have to study the day before...I studied microbe the day before....and since i was studying all day i figured it would tire me out and i would go right to sleep...lol how foolish of me..didnt happen that way...i got into bed around 930 but I kept tossing and turning and turning...didnt get an ounce of sleep until i said screw it Im taking a benedrly....i had no other choice...didnt want to take it because of the sedative effects the next day but luckily i was fine

Day of the exam

Woke up around 6 am...got about 4 hours of sleep but i was tired at all...went to the exam center around 8 and was taking my exam at 815....when i was going thru the intro my headphones weren't working, i was like crap i hope it isn't one of those days...the staff was nice and set me up with a working pair...on to the exam

BLOCK 1: this thing hit me like a brick...was very very very hard...I said to myself if the rest of my test is like this, not a good sign...I marked about 15 qs, barely finished this block on time had zero time to go back and check answers...wasnt planning on taking a break but i had to...went to the bathroom and cleared my head...just prayed it wouldn't be tougher

Block 2, 3 ,4: Blocks were easy...marked only 5 qs per block, was thanking god they were nothing like the first block

Block 5: Okay block, not to bad but not as good as blocks 2,3,4

Block 6: very tough block, comparable to block one but not as bad

Block 7: was a very good block..not as easy as 2, 3,4 but not even close to being as hard as 1

Break time
More then enough...i took a break after every block...about a five minute break between 1,2,3,4,5....blocks 6 and 7 i had two 10 minute blocks left over...im not the type to eat a lunch while an exam is going on so all i had in between blocks was dr. pepper and a protein bar...also had brought a sub but only ate half of it...and of course had to drink a red bull before block 7

What was on the exam
Pharmacology: was really straight forward...DO NOT go beyond first aid...every drug which was tested was in there....had a couple of graphs on antagonists, couple of ans drug graphs, lots of moas...side effects etc...

Physiology: Git was tested heavily, renal, acid base disorders...nothing really to mind boggling here, all important concepts were tested...had a couple of weird resp equations which weren't in first aid

Immuno: straight forward...well i felt it was straight forward during the exam and it has always been a good subject to my but to my surprise it was on the lower end of performance in my score report...know everything in first aid cold probably also have a look at kaplan...i think i made some silly mistakes here

Micro: same thing as immune, was my best subject but on my score report it was lower then physio which i always found to be tougher lol...after coming out my exam i knew I made a couple of blunders so guess this was it

Pathology: Any and every high yield concept was tested...know Pathoma Inside and out...pathoma really saved my ass

Biochem: not as much on the exam as I would like...had only like 3/4 molec questions...cell bio was simple...LOTS AND LOTS of vitamins on my exam...didnt have many glycogen storage disorders which i was pissed about

Genetics: Was very straightforward...know that definition page in first aid cold...had like 7 qs directly from that page...had only one pedigree which i had to analyze

Anatomy/emrbyo: All of it was nueroanat...had maybe 5 qs outside of neuronat....did really good on it according to my score report...everything was in first aid...embryo had about 6/7 qs everything in first aid

Cts/heart sounds: had one ct which was abdominal, made a guess and moved on...heart sounds had two both were hard and the stem didn't give any clues

How did I feel coming out of the exam
Felt good...i was pretty confident i passed but i wasn't sure about what my score would be...the next few days were hell....kept remembering qs i screwed up on...tallyed all of my right and wrong answers i messed up and it came out to be 110 right and 25 wrong...and of those 25 i made some really dumb mistakes...i think those mistakes cost me a 220 which was my goal, but life goes on

Result day
Nervous as hell obviously...went to the Gurudwara to pray 3 times in the last five days ....woke up in the morning to the email that score rep or was out and i ended up with a 210...not the greatest but being a US citizen and having some connects i think ill be alright

What would I do differently?
Use UWORLD after i had my basics down...basically i threw away this bank because i did qs before i was ready...biggest mistake i made, won't make the same for step 2 ck

Let me end by saying...i read this experience about 20 times
http://www.prep4usmle.com/forum/thread/109804/

I know exactly how he was going thru because i went thru it to...it hit home with me...anytime i was down with studying i would read this experience and it would lift me up...

If anyone has any questions let me know will gladly answer....and trust me when i say that if I did it, anyone can...all you need is hard work...just look at my nbmes, i could have easily given up....good luck to you all.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2012
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first of all congrats!! way to go dude!!
And thanks for such inspiring and honest post..There are many students and doctors who are gonna love your post and get de javu sensation!!
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2012
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So step 1 is defeated !!!

Don't Stop. It's a very normal score ! do you best for CK !

Good luck. G8 post


p.s. what about behavioral S*it?
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beka-CTS View Post
So step 1 is defeated !!!

Don't Stop. It's a very normal score ! do you best for CK !

Good luck. G8 post


p.s. what about behavioral S*it?
Ah I knew I forgot something in my long experience...on my exam lots and lots of doctor patient relationship q's most were straight forward but I guess it wasn't as easy as I thought cuz it was one of my lower scores on the score report...only a few q's on psych...and biostatistics was cool but i was only asked a few q's...didn't have any sens/spec/ppv/npv which I wished was there was...only had like one atrb risk q and a couple q's on probability

Forgot to mention in my long post do all nbmes, had so many repeats...especially from nbme 13
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2012
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Congrats! It's always good to hear about stories like yours...
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefeatTheBeast View Post
Ah I knew I forgot something in my long experience...on my exam lots and lots of doctor patient relationship q's most were straight forward but I guess it wasn't as easy as I thought cuz it was one of my lower scores on the score report...only a few q's on psych...and biostatistics was cool but i was only asked a few q's...didn't have any sens/spec/ppv/npv which I wished was there was...only had like one atrb risk q and a couple q's on probability

Forgot to mention in my long post do all nbmes, had so many repeats...especially from nbme 13

Thanks for answer Defeatthebeast.

p.s. this post from prep4usmle deserves nobel price in literature ...

Good luck
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  #7  
Old 10-03-2012
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congrats .

which Qbank should i get Uworld or USMLE Rx ?
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2012
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Congratulations man
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2012
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Your post is very inspiring and a joy to read.

Best of luck for Step 2!!
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezguy View Post
congrats .

which Qbank should i get Uworld or USMLE Rx ?
Of course uworld is a must but I kind if half assed it..it's a great tool which I wish I used more properly

As for usmlerx, definitely you should do it...hammers down everything in first aid to a t...I'd use this any day of the week over Kaplan as a second qbank
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2012
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Default score 227/82

hi every one, im new to this forum, just wanted to share my results, im from India, gave my step one on sept 12, got results today, 227/82 , im an old graduate 8 yrs post mbbs, with post graduation from india in internal medicine. not very happy about the scores want to do better in the next steps.
is it possible to apply for a fellowship directly with this bad scores!!!
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2012
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so you say i finish USMLE RX first then do USMLE world ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefeatTheBeast View Post
Of course uworld is a must but I kind if half assed it..it's a great tool which I wish I used more properly

As for usmlerx, definitely you should do it...hammers down everything in first aid to a t...I'd use this any day of the week over Kaplan as a second qbank
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezguy View Post
so you say i finish USMLE RX first then do USMLE world ?
Yes definitely...alright guys thank u all for your replies and wishes, moving on to the ck forum!!!! If anybody has any q's feel free to pm me...
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2012
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Congratulations on Defeating The Beast... You did it after all!
Good Luck for the remaining steps!
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"The whole universe is in a continuous flux... What it will be like tomorrow neither I nor anyone else can say. Only tomorrow will bring the revelation".-Osho
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  #15  
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Default Great!

first of all, congratulations!

actually, feel your post is one of the most inspiring post, as i almost stand in the same position as yours. i have already graduated from med school, but I think my basic science knowledge database is quite weak. tell you the truth, I have already done Kap videos, read the books, but still haven't even paid the fees for Step1. i feel scared! seriously, very scared about the outcome and I don't know how tom make myself feel confident enough to apply for the test. I feel I am not ready, but thats every time, the same feeling. don't know what to do.
May be need some guidance. I plan to take the test next year in January, but yet not confirmed.
Hope someone can really help me decied and make me feel a lil bit confident
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdhruv View Post
first of all, congratulations!

actually, feel your post is one of the most inspiring post, as i almost stand in the same position as yours. i have already graduated from med school, but I think my basic science knowledge database is quite weak. tell you the truth, I have already done Kap videos, read the books, but still haven't even paid the fees for Step1. i feel scared! seriously, very scared about the outcome and I don't know how tom make myself feel confident enough to apply for the test. I feel I am not ready, but thats every time, the same feeling. don't know what to do.
May be need some guidance. I plan to take the test next year in January, but yet not confirmed.
Hope someone can really help me decied and make me feel a lil bit confident
Hey...thank you for your congratulations...have you taken any practice tests yet? you've done everything you need for the beginning of your prep now its the time to see where you stand....take a practice test and see how u do...if the more recent ones are scaring you, do an earlier nbme like 1 or 2 offline while timed and see how many you can correct.....theres no need to be scared or fearful, you've put in the time and effort....thats all u need for this exam
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2012
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Thank you so much for sharing this. And congratulations!
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  #18  
Old 11-27-2014
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Wow Congratulations. Wonderful post.
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2016
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Inspiring. Thanks
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  #20  
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Default Great insights

Thank you for sharing
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