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Old 10-11-2012
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Wink Hypermedic's Step 1 Study Experience (233)

Step 1 study experience

I canít deny that I have gained enormous experience form this awesome forum. It is the payback time ;D

Here are the links for the two threads
Exam experience :
Hypermedic Step 1 Experience - In depth Review

Score result:
Thank God i got my score 233 ;)

score analysis:





Now the study plan:


Introduction:


Many fellas here once they get they score, they write down experiences as if they were saints with no mistakes and u feel miserable comparing your study plan to theirs, although in fact they r no different than you.

Studying for step 1 consumed exactly one year of my life LOL . I made some mistakes in my plan that if I avoided I could have save at least 3 months ;(

I wonít say step1 is DOABLE coz this word has been abused by every freakin fella out there writing their experience. but honestly step1 requires hard work. It is a a long journey.

I started early with step 2 for one month and finished few chapters in pediatrics and internal medicine but I felt lost, so I said b4 I start my journey in USMLE, I will try my luck with step1 coz ppl call it the beast and so, I changed my mind, asked God for guidance and by the next month I bought step1 materials and started step1

I started studying by the end of my internship year, but wasted twp months on and off studying ;D , then again by march I started to study again, but haphazardly and very slowly, when suddenly I heard news from my friends that they r done with their USMLE steps, and I felt insane sensation of guilt for being lousy and irresponsible.

I forced myself by booking the exam, and by far, this was the worst thing I have ever done.

My advice, never book and exam unless you at least try solving few blocks from any online qbank after your first read in order to assess your readiness. By the time I started solving ( 2months away from the scheduled appointment) I knew that I have screwed myself, why? Coz I was getting 35-40 % LOL that was Kaplan qbank. So I pushed the exam date and then extended another three months. But still I wasnít ready.

It was nasty feeling, telling your family that you will be done in a month or two and then suddenly you tell them sorry not yet. I postponed over 6 times till I reached the end of the extended eligibility period where I felt unready at all. I was under enormous pressure and embarrassment.

There were only two choices, either I go for it, or drop the exam. I canít forget that day till now, i told my parents, I wonít be able to make and I have to drop the exam and lose the money, they were shocked but thank God understanding that it was my dream to score decently in USMLE. I was depressed for over a week but then regained the spirit and started serious preparation.

I thought I will be done in three months, but then I postponed again three times till I took the exam in September

One advice here, u will never go for the exam thinking you r gonna rock it. So just solve questions till you feel some satisfaction and once you reach your desirable score range on assessment exams book and take a leap of faith my NBME just b4 exam was 219, and I freaked out, but I couldnít take it anymore, I was in total burnout. So, I took the exam and thank God I got 233




The Mistakes:




- Donít waste more than 3 months on your first read of the materials, no matter what is your source. Why? Simply, by the end of this period u wonít remember a thing from the early studied materials.

- There are few subjects that I felt videos were pretty important, donít skip videos. They are of great help. Especially for pharma(general), bio and physio.

- donít book your exam unless you try solving, so u donít lose your money if you r not ready. But still you have to study hard coz I know this feeling when u r not booked for exam and u study slowly, so beware of this.

- solve online, solve online, solve online, solve online ;D I will explain this later in the experience under the qbank section.

- solve as early as possible in order to change your method of study if you scored bad. And try an offline assessment or online if you can afford it, in order to know where you stand

-beware of false experiences, some fellas here in the forum or other forum, tend to lie a lot and they exaggerate, so u will feel u r tiny and useless. Donít listen to them. I still remember an experience where someone said that he studied nasty big textbooks and it was depressing for me, but then I realized this is bull*****t, so be careful from As*****. They are a lot out there ;p


Study partners/group Vs flying solo:




I donít feel comfortable studying with someone, so I didnít have actual study partner, but in the same way it is dangerous if u study alone.

You must know friends who study with similar circumstances in order to assess your readiness and progression of your own timeline.

Beware of lazy study partners, if u ended up with them, u will never finish studying. I was stuck with three of them and neither one of them till the moment of writing this experience finished his step1 , so as I said: study partners are double-edged weapon. Either they drag ya down or up


Study Materials:




well, donít be idiot and think that there is a golden source for studying ( except for FA LOL ), there are hundreds of books out there, just choose what suits ya and go for it. The only judge here is your performance during solving the qbanks later on.

There is no such thing called standard source. Ppl always said go for lecture notes and Goljan and I tried but couldnít tolerate it. Specially Goljan rapid review book. I hate this book a lot a lot a lot a lot a lot . it is over 650 pages. I tried the first 30 pages and then I knew I will never retain a thing from it. So I hid it in my closet so as never to see it again. I just felt sorry for the 60 bucks I paid for it in amazon ;(

even the lecture notes, I saw the micro and anatomy books and I felt horrible. I opened the same closet and inserted both books with Goljan ;D

I have wasted over a month just searching for the perfect combo of books to study from. I have bought over 30 books till I settled on only few of them where I felt satisfied. I didnít care for what ppl say anymore.

Here is the set of books I used:

1. Selective Kaplan Lecture notes:

I only studied from KLN : physiology, biochemistry, behavioral sciences, one chapter of neurology.

2. BRS series:

studied only pathology, Physiology again

3. FA expanded edition (organ system and basic ):

studied only biochemistry, micro and immune.

4. First Aid:

the big boss, this was mainly my source. It is the biggest good thing that happened to step1 Golden Standard.

5. Kaplan qbank explanations and UW qbank explanations

. I will explain this in the qbank section.


So as u can see. Your are the only one who determines the set of books that is specifically tailored to your needs and satisfaction. It is simply really, during medical school, we all study from same standard books and yet there is enormous variation in the grades of students, so it is not the books that gonna guarantee your success, it is how u use the info you have no matter what source are you studying from.



Subject-wise Vs system-wise
:


if there is a good thing I have ever done during my studying then it is that I didnít listen so most of ppl do when they study subject by subject. I studied system by system.

for example, when I study cardiology I study its corresponding chapter, from anatomy, physio, patho, pharmaÖetc this will give better prespective and wider integration of knowledge.

of course there are few subjects that u have to sudy alone like: bio, behavioral, micro, immune, embryo


FA myth:



it is true fellas. FA is the best thing ever happened out there for step 1 if you go to your exam without looking at it. Then you probably have done with worst mistake in your life ever.

I have read FA nine times from cover to cover, with exception of few chapters that I have to read 10 to 11 times coz they were volatile.

try to digest every single word in FA. Understand every sentence. FA is like zillion questions squeezed into a readable format. FA in itself without any addition from any source contributes to about 65-70% of the exam material. U can reach 90-95% with addition of Kaplan qbank and UW qbank explanations. The remaining 5% is just from variable sources out there.

The dilemma, is FA enough? Yes, but under the condition of understanding what is written. For some chapters u just canít understand what is written unless u have a good base background knowledge that wonít be built up unless u already have read that in another book like Kaplan or BRS, with exception to micro, immune, embryo, and most of organ systems (e.g cadio, GIÖetc) they can by directly studied from FA

think of FA as if u r going to a written exam rather than MCQ exam, if your knowledge of FA is as strong as u r going for it as written exam then enshalla you should do good in the real exam. The more time u spend on FA the better bearing in mind that you solve a lot in order to consolidate the info.

My first read of FA exhausted one month. I read it over 9 times till I reached the burnout point. Everytime you read it u will get different way of linking the info in it, till you can remember every piece of information and even its location LOL ;D


The burnout:




beware of this phenomenon. It is not good to spend much time on step1. At certain level of time, u will suddenly drop out, your performance will decline and you might even compromise your whole score, as u reach appoint where u wanna just be done no matter what.

it isnít a linear relationship, simply starling law applies here. The more you study the better you score, but within limits ;p

you can stretch yourself till the maximal brain sarcomere length ;p but then ur brain will till ya : screw you, I am outta here. You are on your own. I am not joking this is real. So try to consolidate your study and donít waste much time in the beginning of your study.

Donít think that you r a hero and I have a goal and bullsh*** all newbies say at the start. If u didnít finish on time, you will burnout and u wonít score well.
What is the ideal timeline? Dunno really, but for sure not less than 8 months, if it is your first step, or if you are a graduate. Thatís my opinion.

Subjectsí Analysis:



1. Behavioral Sciences:

FA isnít enough at all. U must study Kaplan. This is a must. About the 100 cases of Conrad fischer, u might look at them, but I didnít ;p
although I did all this, I ended up scoring very low in the exam in this particular subject???
there are plenty of behave/biostat in the exam, the biostat questions are relatively easy, but behave. Questions are mostly ( b***h please yao ming face )

2. Biochemistry / genetics :

FA is good for recapping. I will say it is enough in case you can understand what is written. For me I couldnít understand plenty of the molecular stuff and specially the genetics, so I had to study it three time from Kaplan lecture notes, I even gave it a shot from the expanded FA, then I threw them at the same closet that I mentioned earlier;p and made the standard FA my only source ;p I had to listen to the whole boring video for bio in order to understand it

in the exam the bio questions are straight forward and easy. Moderate amount in exam.

3. Embryology:

FA is more than Enough. I had only two questions in the real exam.

4. Microbiology:

FA is more than enough. Although I wasted sometime studying if from the expanded FA, but I regret it later. FA is just enough. But eat it from FA coz there are zillion questions on it in the real exam, but all from FA

5. Immunology:

FA is more than enough. Didnít see many questions in the exam.

6. Pathology:

If I heard anyone talking about Goljan Rapid review, I am gonna hit him with the biggest hammer out there ;p I hate this book a lot.
i wasnít gonna study pathology at all, but coz of peer pressure I had to seek a small book and BRS pathology was the best thing ever happened. It is amazing book and I totally recommend it. I just studied it once and it was enough.


7.pharmacology:

You must see the videos for it, only the general and autonomic part. It will make great difference in your performance. You must study only from Kaplan the first two chapters ( general and autonomic ). FA is more than enough for the remaining.

8. Anatomy:

FA was my only source. Except for neurology, I just read few pages only from Kaplan ( maximum 25 pages) and thatís it. Also the table for upper and lower muscles. Thatís it

9.for the remaining organ systems, FA is the only thing I have studied.


Qbanks




USMLE World (UW):

UW cumulative : 78% - 86th percentile

this is by far the most reliable thing out there. Golden standard. When I say FA is enough in any subject, then I mean FA+UW

I totally recommend doing any other qbank whether online or offline before you start solving this UW qbank in order to max your performance.

it is the same format as the exam, u will feel in the exam as if you are solving an ordinary UW block.

I got many repeat questions from UW even exact copies not only similar concepts.

the best way to solve it is RANDOM, TIMED, MIXED but u canít do it this way unless you already have solved any qbank b4 it or you will bang your head to the wall.

Here is my performance graph:



So it is normal to have a fluctuant performance, but the second time you solve it you should be scoring not less than 80 % to be safe.

Taking notes from UW was pain in the ****, so thank God I figured a way to printscreen the whole qbank and then print out in papers the explanations I wanted to study ;p

Here is a sample, I had to blur it for copyright issures ;p



I studied the explanations four times in order to master them.

Kaplan Qbank:


It is a good one, but has low yield info, but still it is important to get ready to solve the UW. I totally recommend solving it b4 UW qbank. I did 70% of it and It helped me a lot. I did only 20% online then I ran out of time so I had to printscreen the whole qbank and print the explanations and study them. It helps a lot.





The assessments:



I did them all ONLINE. Never do an offline assessement. It is useless. If u wanna do the first six NBMEs offline then ok. Coz they r obsolete now and u can do them early in study to assess yourself. I didnít have time to do them

I did

NBME 11 (self-paced) (6 weeks) : 221
UWSA1 (2 weeks): 236
UWSA2 (1 week) : 258
NBME 12 (4 days): 219 !! I think I was tired/stressed that day

people say UWSA usually overshoot, but in my case, UWSA1 was the most predictive. One thing, NBMEs are usually harder than the real exam, the exam difficulty is much similar to UWSA or as if you are solving UW qbank the second time.



Alright fellas, thatís it. If you feel you have any questions that I didnít cover plz reply to the thread and enshalla I will try to answer them all. Hope you gain something from this experience. I really said everything I Ďve always wished to hear b4 I started my study for step1. Your prayers for me for my upcoming steps/match is appreciated ;p

Good luck everyone. U can enshalla do it.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2012
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us Congratulations for your score and wish you good luck with your studies for Step 2!
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Default explanations

studying the explanations in a text format is really helpful and will help consolidate the qbank after you solve it, for further revisions.
here is a photo of my printed out explanations of choice

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Really gr8 and inspiring experience u shared,i loved the way u mentioned u hid the goljan in a closet to never see it again. lol, i would do the same if i feel exhausted with that thanks
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This should be considered one of the best posts on this forum and I've read pretty much all of them. Very well deserved.

Thanks sooooooooo much for sharing this awesome experience of yours. Really appreciated.

Best of luck to you in all your other endeavors.

God Bless You.
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Wow, i think your post's should be stickied haha they were very enlightening for sure.

How the heck did you the a screenshot of the explanations haha?

Congrats on completing step 1!
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Default some additions.....

i forgot to add few details.....

* regarding solving UW, bear in mind the following facts,

* although u solve the block in one hour, but studying the explanations exhausts at least three hours.

i was naive when i started my schedule, and thought that half an hour is sufficient to revise the answers, and this missed up my schedule later on coz i jumped from half an hour to 3-4 hours per block just revising.....

duration: i prefer subscribing for two months. just solve one block daily and u will finish in 46 days leaving 14 days for revision of wrong answers, via doing 2-3 blocks per day. You can subscribe for 3 months in case you want to do a full second time.

* here is a good trick, u can subscribe for one month and do two blocks per day, but it is risky....then after u finish you subscribe again as a new subscription not as an extension, u will get to solve it as a brand new to assess yourself, but u will be i guess 40 dollars more in comparison to buying two continuous months.

for me i didn't need this coz i printed the whole qbank i just can't release the method coz it is copyrighted material and they deserve credit for their awesome qbank

* Read all the explanations, even the wrong answers, many info is really found in the wrong choices and u even get a broader spectrum.

* Don't panic if your performance was fluctuating, it is ok. Your overall performance should rise very slowly over time, but u still might encounter a drop in score here and there

* think of it as a learning tool, not assessment tool, what u might count on is the second time solving, u should get at least 80% correct in the second time.

* A trick to solve all the wrong answers at once, let's say u have 400 wrong questions, if u created a block and answered and then u had wrong answers, they will be added automatically, so in order to solve this :

400/46 = almost nine blocks, create them all at once then pause them all. and start solving. by the end u will get only the wrong answers of the second time

* they have an application for UW on mobile both iOS and Android, it becomes handy when u want to revise some explanations when you r outside


Regarding FA:

why is it that important? it is almost 650 pages, while KLN exceeds 2500 pages? which do u think is managable? which can be memorized well?

by the time u add info from the qbanks to FA u reach a nasty big amount of info....

let's think loud here, which is better? to go for the exam with 650+ pages that i can memorize and understand 90-100% (meaning i can retain 650 to 580 pages in memory ) OR to study 2500+ pages that u won't retain at least 50% in your memory. Not only that but also, the amount of low yield info is enormous,

so for example for a subject like micro, just imagine the spam(low yield) info that ur brain will retain???? that's why my advice for the First read from any source to be quick and just to grasp the basics...that's it


Regarding the Timing


Let's assume we have 100 pages to study,

if person A studies 10 hours per day and he can afford 3 pages per hour then he will finish in almost 3.5 days

while if person B studies 5 hours / 2 pages per hour, he will finish in 10 days....

that's why there is pretty big variations in timelines among exam experiences u find in forums....so don't get surprised when some say 6 months is enough while others say 12

one last piece of advice: when u study for step1 go serious from the start. i am talking about sticking your b**t on the chair for at least 10 hours daily to finish. Minimize distractions as much as u can.

Good Luck fellas
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Wow your post is SO extensive, and all your points are really helpful.
I wish i read a thread like yours when i actually started studying.
Now im almost done with UW first pass.
Oh and It must've been really helpful to be able to print all the uworld notes like that!! It takes so long just to write those damn notes.
Lol but still great motivation, and i know like many say-
Hard work+smart studying= success ( i just hope i can conquer it myself) :sorry::sorry:

Thank you and good luck for other steps!
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your exam experience is one of the best i have read. thank you for providing such an elaborate one.

one question- what was your plan for the last month of study??

good luck with the other steps!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nishaa View Post
your exam experience is one of the best i have read. thank you for providing such an elaborate one.

one question- what was your plan for the last month of study??

good luck with the other steps!!
Thank you. Well it was fa + uw. Not only for the last month but the last 6 months

Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk
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amazing post .. it was so helpfull
I have a request can you share your daily schedule ,I am really bad in managing time and its taking me forever to complete the 1st read .
I ll be gratefull to you. :sorry:
I also want to ask did you use 2011 FA ??

Last edited by Saiyeda; 10-12-2012 at 12:26 AM.
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Thanks buddy for the post, it encourages and helps us a lot.
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Old 10-12-2012
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Hello hypermedic,
thanks for the post... it was really really useful...

i have a question...
WHAT'S WRONG WITH BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCES WHICH MAKES ALL USMLE TAKERS SO FRUSTRATED AFTER THEY GET THEIR SCORES?
I MEAN WHAT IS DIFFICULT ABOUT BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCES?! STATISTICS?! THE PATIENT DOCTOR QUESTION?! WHY DO PEOPLE SCORE LOW IN THIS SUBJECT? AND WHAT IS THE SOLUTION FOR IT?

please answer!! i'm a beginner and i really don't know how to approach this subject...:sorry:
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what a co-incidence!! esp of the part till extending eligibility..i was in same depressd state for 1 week, i extended my eligibility for 3 months.. got 210 on nbme 10 days bak, my goal being 230-240.had to extend it!!excellently written, quite an inspirtn for me..hope i get good score!!
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one most helpful and one best post in this forum. all usmle step 1 takers must read this post .Thank you so much and congratulations !!
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  #16  
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Hey Hypermedic,

CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your experience!! Really amazing experience and score.

I wanted to ask you for some advice. My exam is scheduled within a week, and I took my NBME 7 and got 219, and took UWSA1 just now and got 228. What would you recommend I should do? Take the exam? Or postpone it? Thanks!!
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Old 10-13-2012
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Default the replies.....

Sorry for late repliesÖÖ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiyeda View Post
amazing post .. it was so helpfull
I have a request can you share your daily schedule ,I am really bad in managing time and its taking me forever to complete the 1st read .
I ll be gratefull to you. :sorry:
I also want to ask did you use 2011 FA ??
Yes. I used FA 2011 and it was my primary source. By the time I took the exam, FA 2012 was out but my friends told me that the only difference was that they integrated the image gallery into the branches directly which I think Is better. But of course I continued with FA 2011 coz I already added many info to it.

As I said before, donít waste much time on your first read. Maximum 3 months. Even if u donít remember a thing.
This first read is only to have an idea and brush up the old info you already studied in medical school. They might have become rusty, thatís why u do the first read.

Regarding the schedule, for the last 6-7 months, I was only solving, studying explanations and going over FA, over and over again.

For the early start, I totally recommend, studying branch by branch, e.g GI, go study it from physio, then from pharma, then from pathoÖ.etc

Let me make it simple, read any subject from FA, if u feel that u totally understand each word and sentence in it, then no need for further expansion till u solve some questions and assess our performance.

But if u already have time, then it wonít harm to do a quick first read for all subjects and then stick to FA+UW+Kaplan qbank.
Hope this answers all your questions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayandokht View Post
Hello hypermedic,
thanks for the post... it was really really useful...

i have a question...
WHAT'S WRONG WITH BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCES WHICH MAKES ALL USMLE TAKERS SO FRUSTRATED AFTER THEY GET THEIR SCORES?
I MEAN WHAT IS DIFFICULT ABOUT BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCES?! STATISTICS?! THE PATIENT DOCTOR QUESTION?! WHY DO PEOPLE SCORE LOW IN THIS SUBJECT? AND WHAT IS THE SOLUTION FOR IT?

please answer!! i'm a beginner and i really don't know how to approach this subject...:sorry:
LOL! Me too. I really want to know the answer too. I studied from Kaplan lecture notes coz many of my friends scored bad in this subject. But still I got the star from the bottom

The biostatistics questions are pretty easy once u study well. I think it is all about the behavioral questions. It is always that u end up with two answers very close, and I think we usually go for the wrong one LOL .

I even solved the UW special edition for biostat and behavioral. It is a separate qbank for UW. And still didnít improve my performance???

Anyway, my advice is

Watch the Kaplan videos for behavioral and biostats first. Then study it from Kaplan. After that, FA and solve the UW/Kaplan qbank and study the explanations well. If u can get hands-on the other qbanks section for behavioral then u did yourself a good favor.

I think it isnít about the knowledge rather than the practice. So my advice is to dig and search for usmle related qbanks just in this branch and try to solve as much as u can. Good luck mate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
Originally Posted by exudate View Post
Hey Hypermedic,

CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your experience!! Really amazing experience and score.

I wanted to ask you for some advice. My exam is scheduled within a week, and I took my NBME 7 and got 219, and took UWSA1 just now and got 228. What would you recommend I should do? Take the exam? Or postpone it? Thanks!!
This is really a tough question. It all depends on you. Letís think out loud. If you are totally satisfied with a score in the 220s range, then go ahead and take the exam.

If you think you could withstand the burden of another few weeks or a month without burning out, then I would still recommend that. It all depends on your power.

Whatís the point of postponing if it will lead to burnout and lose the momentum of today energy? In the same way, whatís the point of rushing the exam if I have the power to stay focused for another week or month and score better? As you see, you are the only one who can determine this according to your circumstances and your individual skills .

what I normally do is to pray to God for guidance, make an educated choice and go for it and never look back or hesitate, so as not to regret what I chose ;D




Good luck mate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I would love to add another addition here.

Regarding the Media questions,

First of all, I think according to my experience, the UW gallery along with the FA gallery are more than enough for any image you might encounter in the exam. If you solved some other qbanks then you can add the photos you encounter too to your gallery. Thatís it. No need to exaggerate or do extensive digging at all.

I remember when I asked other USMLErs who took the exam what to do, they all say go for google, rapid review Goljan, pathoma, webpathÖ.etc then I was likeÖ.



LOL! That was my reaction. The only thing I used google for was the brain section for location of basal ganglia and ventricles. Thatís it. Other than this I sticked to the qbanks and FA gallery.

This is the gallery from my PC





And this is a sample one ( had to blur for copyright issues ;p )


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  #18  
Old 10-13-2012
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Post

Amazing work yaar
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  #19  
Old 10-14-2012
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Thumbs Up Thanks but I've a Doubt!

Hey Mr Hypermedic!

Thank you so much for all your help!! I would like to know in the study sources section that you mentioned- umm, is FA expanded edition a different book or do you mean FA itself?? Cuz you mentioned it separately from First Aid..

Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 10-14-2012
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Default differences....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subuhi View Post
Hey Mr Hypermedic!

Thank you so much for all your help!! I would like to know in the study sources section that you mentioned- umm, is FA expanded edition a different book or do you mean FA itself?? Cuz you mentioned it separately from First Aid..

Thanks!

there are two versions of FA

normal edition: Golden Standard the one i am recommending and used

http://www.amazon.com/First-Aid-USML...n+systems+2012

the extended edition: it is two books, almost half to one-third of kaplan lecture notes size. it is good, but after i studied from it, and compared it to medessentials, if u r going for books other than KLN then i totally recommend medessentials....it is awesome


http://www.amazon.com/First-Aid-Basi...n+systems+2012


http://www.amazon.com/Sciences-Gener...n+systems+2012


http://www.amazon.com/medEssentials-...e+usmle+step+1


here is my recommendation:

if you aren't able to study the whole KLN coz it is insanely big,
go for kaplan medessentials or FA extended edition, but i recommend the medessentials

still all the previous books are just for first read, but for the real thing and revision / memorization go only for the First Aid......
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  #21  
Old 10-16-2012
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Thumbs Up Thanks soo much!!

Hey there,

Thank you so much for sharing all the info..I shall really get proper source before I begin studying!

Inshallah you'll have great USMLEs ahead!! Good luck & thanks again!!
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  #22  
Old 10-17-2012
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Thumbs Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermedic View Post
Sorry for late repliesÖÖ.



Yes. I used FA 2011 and it was my primary source. By the time I took the exam, FA 2012 was out but my friends told me that the only difference was that they integrated the image gallery into the branches directly which I think Is better. But of course I continued with FA 2011 coz I already added many info to it.

As I said before, donít waste much time on your first read. Maximum 3 months. Even if u donít remember a thing.
This first read is only to have an idea and brush up the old info you already studied in medical school. They might have become rusty, thatís why u do the first read.

Regarding the schedule, for the last 6-7 months, I was only solving, studying explanations and going over FA, over and over again.

For the early start, I totally recommend, studying branch by branch, e.g GI, go study it from physio, then from pharma, then from pathoÖ.etc

Let me make it simple, read any subject from FA, if u feel that u totally understand each word and sentence in it, then no need for further expansion till u solve some questions and assess our performance.

But if u already have time, then it wonít harm to do a quick first read for all subjects and then stick to FA+UW+Kaplan qbank.
Hope this answers all your questions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------



LOL! Me too. I really want to know the answer too. I studied from Kaplan lecture notes coz many of my friends scored bad in this subject. But still I got the star from the bottom

The biostatistics questions are pretty easy once u study well. I think it is all about the behavioral questions. It is always that u end up with two answers very close, and I think we usually go for the wrong one LOL .

I even solved the UW special edition for biostat and behavioral. It is a separate qbank for UW. And still didnít improve my performance???

Anyway, my advice is

Watch the Kaplan videos for behavioral and biostats first. Then study it from Kaplan. After that, FA and solve the UW/Kaplan qbank and study the explanations well. If u can get hands-on the other qbanks section for behavioral then u did yourself a good favor.

I think it isnít about the knowledge rather than the practice. So my advice is to dig and search for usmle related qbanks just in this branch and try to solve as much as u can. Good luck mate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------




This is really a tough question. It all depends on you. Letís think out loud. If you are totally satisfied with a score in the 220s range, then go ahead and take the exam.

If you think you could withstand the burden of another few weeks or a month without burning out, then I would still recommend that. It all depends on your power.

Whatís the point of postponing if it will lead to burnout and lose the momentum of today energy? In the same way, whatís the point of rushing the exam if I have the power to stay focused for another week or month and score better? As you see, you are the only one who can determine this according to your circumstances and your individual skills .

what I normally do is to pray to God for guidance, make an educated choice and go for it and never look back or hesitate, so as not to regret what I chose ;D




Good luck mate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I would love to add another addition here.

Regarding the Media questions,

First of all, I think according to my experience, the UW gallery along with the FA gallery are more than enough for any image you might encounter in the exam. If you solved some other qbanks then you can add the photos you encounter too to your gallery. Thatís it. No need to exaggerate or do extensive digging at all.

I remember when I asked other USMLErs who took the exam what to do, they all say go for google, rapid review Goljan, pathoma, webpathÖ.etc then I was likeÖ.



LOL! That was my reaction. The only thing I used google for was the brain section for location of basal ganglia and ventricles. Thatís it. Other than this I sticked to the qbanks and FA gallery.

This is the gallery from my PC





And this is a sample one ( had to blur for copyright issues ;p )



Heyy !
Congratulations on finishing off with step 1 and dat too with a rocking score! How did u save all these images from uworld into your gallery? this is a must need because, i think it would help if i have a look at these pictures a day before the xam..
Thanx
Wish u success
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  #23  
Old 10-18-2012
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Listening Hey Niklit

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhilt View Post
what a co-incidence!! esp of the part till extending eligibility..i was in same depressd state for 1 week, i extended my eligibility for 3 months.. got 210 on nbme 10 days bak, my goal being 230-240.had to extend it!!excellently written, quite an inspirtn for me..hope i get good score!!
I am in the same boat. Gave nbme 11 and score 470/217. do you want to revise FA with me . We can do that for couple of hours daily and it will be done.
let me know. My skype id is poppiies.
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  #24  
Old 10-19-2012
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Default thanks for your great post

waooo, you are a really good teacher. i have just started to study for step 1 and you answered all of my question. congratulation and wish you the best
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  #25  
Old 10-26-2012
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Default thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fereshteh View Post
waooo, you are a really good teacher. i have just started to study for step 1 and you answered all of my question. congratulation and wish you the best
thanks. it means alot
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  #26  
Old 10-26-2012
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Default congratulations!

Congratulations on the job well done hypermedic. Just sent you a pm
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