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  #1  
Old 10-03-2012
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Wink Journey to the First Frontier- 253/88

Thanks to all of you who supported me when I was Really low. Thank you for helping me look up and smile. You know who you all are and I want you to know how deeply grateful I am.

I was so ignorant that I didn't know that FA, NBME & UW existed. So all I can say is THANK YOU

Someone told me my schedules were cute... So here is where you can find my cute study schedules:
Schedule Exam in Aug last week
Test Aug 29: 14 Wks to go: next 7 days' schedule
Test Aug 29: 13 Wks to go: next 7 days' schedule
12 weeks to go: next 14days schedule
10 Weeks to go: Next 14days schedule
8 weeks to go: next 2 weeks plan
6 weeks to go!!
If you want a framework, you can build on that.

Let me put the rest in order:

Materials used:
Kaplan lecture notes and videos: If you are and old IMG or just not clear on your basics, this is where you need to invest time. I did these twice, 2nd time without videos.
UsmleWorld Qbank: Like everyone has said it, YOU CAN'T DO WITHOUT IT! I did it thrice.
Kaplan QBank: For those of you (like me) who won't touch a book till the fear of God is put into you, do this QBank. It forces you to go back and revise. It is not as bad as people (& even I used to) say it is. Esp if you do NBME 13 online you will know what I mean
First Aid for Step 1: It is quite overrated. (This my experience so all FA fans can keep their opinions to themselves). It is deficient in Physio, Beh Sc, Pathology, Pharm. If you think you are in a hurry & you can get away with doing only FA, you are wrong.
The only two benefits I can think of are: It gives you a place to paste your notes from UWorld. It is good to revise a few charts, tables and formulae the night before but otherwise .
Goljan: I started the audio but very late and could never finish it. However, if you are just beginning, figure out a way to include it into your prep schedule. I had it on my mp3 and played it while I worked out. If you can't do the book at least do the audio. That old man knows his Pathology.
DIT: The biggest waste of time esp if you are already above the 220 mark..

The Exam (12 Sep 12):
I had travelled a lot just before I had to give the exam so I checked out the centre & rested on 10th.
Free 150 was planned for 11th but it didn't run on my computer. So I chucked it.
It is advised that you should not study a day before the exam but I don't agree. I revised all the Forgettables and Equations the night before. Essentially, all the tables in KLN/ FA and little notes that I had made and integrated in one place.
Wasn't able to sleep till 1 am not because I was anxious but because I was used to sleeping at 3am. Didn't use any sleep aids.
Woke up excited, said my prayers and headed off to the centre. Reached before the doors were open.
Supplies:
Snickers bar, Banana, RedBull and Water. Took two sips of RedBull 1/2 hr before the 1st block. I was so excited I thought I wouldn't have slept anyways
Breaks:
5 min breaks between Block 1-2, 3-4at the table.
10 min breaks after Blocks 2 & 4. Drank 2-3 sips of RedBull, drank water, ate a banana & a bar of snickers each time.
15 min break after Block 5. I was wearing out. Went to wash room. Few more sips of RedBull, 2 bananas, water.
Really long break after Block 6. Just stretched my legs around, walked around, ate the rest of the bananas, drank the rest of RedBull (about 1/2 a bottle) and water.
The Interface:
Exactly like UWorld only with better audio and video quality.
The Blocks:
I don't remember the distribution of subjects but there was nothing out of the world.
There were about 5-6 audio questions in the whole exam & yes there are enough clues in the question stem to tell you the answer. Plus the AV interface of the actual exam is way better than UW, NBME and kaplan.
Up to 10 WTF type questions where I had no clue what the answer was. I did what I had to do... Marked the option I liked and moved on.
Each block took about 45min.
Finished with 1h47m of break time remaining...

The Trick: Try to finish each block of any practice Qbank in 35min. I used to take that much on Uworld and KBank and upto 50min on NBMEs.

The Scores on Q Banks:
KBank:
67%
UWorld: 1st pass (unused, random, timed): 68%
2nd pass (only incorrect, random, timed): 82%
3rd pass (only marked, random, timed): close to 90%

The Self Assessments:
UWSA 1:
27/05 (3.5m before); 610/242
Kaplan SimTest: 10/06 (3m before); 72%
NBME 5 (Offline): 24/06 (2.5m before); 225
NBME 11: 14/07 (2m before); 560/235
NBME 12: 07/08 (4w before) ; 580/240
NBME 13: 21/08 (3w before); 590/242
UWSA 2: 29/08 (2w before); 670/252


Conclusion: There are so many others who have done it, so you can do it too.

I am migrating to CS forum but leave a post and I will be notified. I'll try to answer what you can't find here. Please don't PM, I have turned off notifications there, so I won't know.

Good luck to all of you who are on your way to Step 1 and Congratulations to all those who beat it. Adios!
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Last edited by drssbaz; 10-03-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2012
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Congrats! Great score!! You did better than any of your NBME's or even UWSA! Must be so relieving to be done


I just wanted to ask, without having to go through ALL of your schedule posts! (there's quite a few. lol) What do you think helped the most to give your that score jump in the last month or two?
I know you did kaplan second reading and kaplan qbank along with uworld.. was it just a collaboration that helped you improve a lot?? Or mostly just questions and questions? Thanks for your help

Btw i have read some of your schedules and your planning and scheduling was pretty neat!

Good luck for CS and CK!
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2012
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great score!! congratulations..

what did you mainly focus on during the last week prior to the test?
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSK View Post
Congrats! Great score!! You did better than any of your NBME's or even UWSA! Must be so relieving to be done


I just wanted to ask, without having to go through ALL of your schedule posts! (there's quite a few. lol) What do you think helped the most to give your that score jump in the last month or two?
I know you did kaplan second reading and kaplan qbank along with uworld.. was it just a collaboration that helped you improve a lot?? Or mostly just questions and questions? Thanks for your help

Btw i have read some of your schedules and your planning and scheduling was pretty neat!

Good luck for CS and CK!
Thank you for the good wishes.
For me the combination of 2nd read of Kaplan and Uworld 2nd pass did the trick.
I was done Kaplan Qbank before I started the 2nd read. I did not touch it again. I think, in retrospect, it should be done with KLN 1st read to help focus on important areas in the particular subject.
GL for your prep DrSK!
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookie View Post
great score!! congratulations..

what did you mainly focus on during the last week prior to the test?
Thank you

In the last week I concentrated on the questions that I had repeatedly got wrong (like 4-5times) in Uworld, Beh Sc, Neuroanat from Kaplan and some tables in KLN and FA.
I had left these wrong questions marked till the last day.
Hope it helps
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2012
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Congratulations Doctor... Hard work... Great Score...
I'd like to ask what equations should we "remember", espicially from physiology?

If i remember any question i'll ask again...
Thank u
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  #7  
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Default Congrats!

Great score! How much time did u give to ur prepation?
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  #8  
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Congratulations for such a good score. And an awesome post btw..............really helpful. Hard work pays off. Good luck for your CS n CK .
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2012
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congratulations on a great score ....ur plan was very inspiring ...
i have my exam in dec ending and i finished my first pass through kaplan ...yet to start my q banks...i am jus wondering how u could complete a block of u world and kaplan q bank in a day with revising the old ones..it takes me a long time to complete one block a day ...?
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Old 10-04-2012
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Congratulations on the Star score!
I remember reading a post you'd written way back, about hitting a plateau in your prep and missing family or something. I'm hitting plateau right now too, and reading your post and knowing your score is inspiring and encouraging. All I can say is, your mad hard work paid off.
My question to you is about the UW explanations. Past exam takers (and even you mentioned sticking notes to FA) stress on taking UW notes. But do you think it's worthwhile to note down things about some receptor or factor that might not be tested? It takes so loong to review the block in UW! Will appreciate the help, and Congrats again!

Last edited by dockhi; 10-04-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drssbaz View Post
Thank you for the good wishes.
For me the combination of 2nd read of Kaplan and Uworld 2nd pass did the trick.
I was done Kaplan Qbank before I started the 2nd read. I did not touch it again. I think, in retrospect, it should be done with KLN 1st read to help focus on important areas in the particular subject.
GL for your prep DrSK!
Do you mean the book called kaplan qbank or the online one?
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Old 10-04-2012
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Question

Hi
Could you tell exactly if its the kaplan qbank book or the online Kaplan qbank that you are talking about..
I have this kaplan qbank book with me.. Has anybody used it? Is it worth the time?
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatarablion View Post
Congratulations Doctor... Hard work... Great Score...
I'd like to ask what equations should we "remember", espicially from physiology?

If i remember any question i'll ask again...
Thank u
All the formulae/equations of epidemiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, cvs, resp, fluid balance and clearance.
If you practice them a few times without looking, it takes only about and hour to go through all of them. I made my own Post its and pasted them in front of my study table.

I'll be happy to help if you ask any more questions ...
Good luck with your prep!
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wenskyrose View Post
Hi
Could you tell exactly if its the kaplan qbank book or the online Kaplan qbank that you are talking about..
I have this kaplan qbank book with me.. Has anybody used it? Is it worth the time?
The online Qbank. I did not do anything offline except NBME 5.

The Qbook is good actually if you are planning to do it subject wise to clear your concepts as you go. If you can't afford the online Qbank then the Qbook serves the same purpose because it has >2000. However, if you have the online bank then Qbook is more of a repetition.

Hope that helps.
Good luck!
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  #15  
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Originally Posted by usmletaker13 View Post
Great score! How much time did u give to ur prepation?
I started in bits and pieces in Nov 2011, about 2-3 hrs a day.
I studied earnestly from Apr 2012 onwards, up to a maximum of 7-8 hrs a day, usually 5-6hrs.

I used to think I was doing more hours but I timed myself with a stopwatch and in the 15 days preceding the exam, I was so burned out I could barely put in 3-4 hrs.

Good luck!
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  #16  
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Originally Posted by stem cell View Post
congratulations on a great score ....ur plan was very inspiring ...
i have my exam in dec ending and i finished my first pass through kaplan ...yet to start my q banks...i am jus wondering how u could complete a block of u world and kaplan q bank in a day with revising the old ones..it takes me a long time to complete one block a day ...?
That was almost all I did in the day then.

I did 1 block of UWorld and Kaplan each 1st thing in the morning. I reviewed them over 3-4hrs. Initially took me a lot of time, but as the concepts started to repeat, I used to move on and review only the questions where there was a new concept or the ones which I could not find referred in FA.

I never went back to review any old blocks. I only did a 2nd run of Uworld after I finished all of it in Incorrect, Random, Timed mode. I could concentrate on my problem areas this way. I only reviewed about a 100 questions of Kaplan which I had added to MyQuestions.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your exam.
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  #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dockhi View Post
Congratulations on the Star score!
I remember reading a post you'd written way back, about hitting a plateau in your prep and missing family or something. I'm hitting plateau right now too, and reading your post and knowing your score is inspiring and encouraging. All I can say is, your mad hard work paid off.
My question to you is about the UW explanations. Past exam takers (and even you mentioned sticking notes to FA) stress on taking UW notes. But do you think it's worthwhile to note down things about some receptor or factor that might not be tested? It takes so loong to review the block in UW! Will appreciate the help, and Congrats again!
Don't take everything down. It's a waste of time.

I pasted notes in my FA if it was a concept that was not there in any of my review texts or it was a rare concept/ fact that I got wrong at least a 2nd time. That helped me concentrate on my problem areas when I went through FA the 2nd time.

I read everything at the beginning but then I started to read the "Educational Objective" only if the question was something I was pretty sure of.

Don't worry about the plateau. It passes.
We are all there for you like you have been there for us and we shall keep you in our thoughts.
I did not take a real break whenever I hit a plateau. I desperately wanted to give it up but on the hardest days I forced myself to sit with my books in front of the clock for at least an hour (My Self Imposed Time-Out ) and then I was usually able to put in an additional hour.

Don't worry. It will pass and you will do really good... All the best!
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  #18  
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Congrats on the great score..we all knew you were gonna kill it
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Great Job drssbaz !!!
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Congrats on the Great score
you deserved it
rock step 2 hope to meet u there soon
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Thank u so much for ur advise
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