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  #1  
Old 10-24-2012
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Unhappy Improving Step 1 Score

Hello friends

i keep forgetting small details and DRUGS! having problem in recalling the info. like when i read the material i understand everything but as the days go by, i start forgetting, maybe i dont comeback to the material quickly??

i attached a snapshot of my detailed assessment score of recently attempted simulation exam.

Improving Step 1 Score-nbme-score.jpg
click image to enlarge


i did kaplan 4 month course...after that i got lazy..like for 2 months i barely studied. so after that i put myself together and started studying and i felt like i forgot most of the stuff. felt like my biggest mistake of taking a long break.

i got back to study and...my friends who did step 1 told me to stick to FA and uworld, you are meant to forget kaplan material...no one remembers that. so i started FA.

i did DIT with FA, took 2 months. read goljan 125pgs notes.
read FA again along with uworld just to get all the explanation or missing stuff i felt i need to write in FA. took like another 2 months and finished u world with like 37% correct answers.
in the past 20 days, 1 did biostats review by uworld (subject review) and quickly read FA and did 23 blocks of uworld (random/timed) 2nd time so far and averaging 50%.

i just did uworld simulation 2. i need help in improving my score. i did uworld simulaton exam 1 4 days ago and had almost the same results.

if i want to write step 1 from 30 days from now, what should i do?
listen goljan lecture + notes....goljan rapid review??...how long will that take?
Keep reviewing FA and Uworld?

or anything else?

Please help!!!!

Any comments would be highly appreciated!

Last edited by Manu; 10-24-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2012
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In my opinion, Kaplan or any other text book is sort of necessary. I don't feel you can get all the required information from FA because it's sort of like a review. And UW can give you some extra stuff but cannot be a replacement for text books.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2012
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You've been doing Goljan Pathology right? That's probably why your performance in Pathology is better than in the other subjects. Add a few text books to your plan and you'll ace the test
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2012
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Thank you for your comments!

I read those 125 pages of goljan couple months back. For the rest of the rime i am just been doing FA.
So for a 1 month plan.
Should i do goljan rapid review book?
That explains path physio anat all together.
And what can i do for pharm? Keep memorizing from FA?
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2012
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Default One month left huh?

Are you talking about the 3rd edition of Golan rapid review? That's a very good book but it's basically just a pathology book

I've heard that FA is enough for anatomy but for physiology you'll need something like BRS. Biochem you can do from FA.

Since you have just a month left, why don't you check out the TAUS plan? Assuming you're the type of student who can study for hours at a stretch, you can probably fit it in a month.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2012
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Default forgot about pharma :D

I've heard that Pharmacology is enough from FA but I think that FA does a poor job of making the drugs stick in your head (no wonder you're having trouble). Didn't you like Kaplan Pharma? I think it's short and pretty good too.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2012
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To be honest... Thats is the real problem i am having right now with all subjects. FA is poor in helping stuff stick in your head if you havent done kaplan or other books properly. I know the stuff but it just doesnt click while i am doing questions. When i read the explanation...like i did for these simulation exams, i am like i knew this, howcome i couldnt answer. everything comes back. Everything doesnt come in my head during the exam or block and i make many silly mistakes.

I dont know about that program but i surely check it out.
Kaplan pharm i did it but like long time ago and then i took a long break and forgot everything i read in it.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2012
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And how do you read theae score bars?
Some are starting from the beginning going to the higher side some from middle some from the higher side. And that tiny bar front of pathology...why is it too short?
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2012
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I haven't done too many simulation exams (I'm saving them for when I actually know stuff) but I face the same problem as you at times. I know my concepts are weak right now, and perhaps you also have the same problem. Nothing a few solid text books can't cure

Well since I haven't taken too many simulation exams, I haven't ever seen a pic like the one you've posted. You're gonna want someone more experienced to interpret that
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2012
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Yeah... I think ill review physio with kaplan and do goljan for path. And do another reading of FA... Maybe this time i will remember more and then write nbme and see how much i improve.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2012
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In about next 10-15 days
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2012
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Personally speaking, Kaplan isn't really that good for Physio. BRS is way better. You can do Kaplan for biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and maybe even microbiology. Behavioural sciences is ok too
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  #13  
Old 10-26-2012
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i can't find goljan's 125 pages book.. i keep getting the 500+ one =s

can anybody help me with this?
thanks
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2012
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PM ur email....ill send it to you

also if anyone have

Kaplan Medical Ethics : The 100 Cases by conrad fischer please PM me
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2012
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I just sent a PM I would like the Golijan 125 pages.
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2012
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i sent you the file
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat1iscool View Post
Personally speaking, Kaplan isn't really that good for Physio. BRS is way better. You can do Kaplan for biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and maybe even microbiology. Behavioural sciences is ok too
hmmm....how long will it take generally to finish reading the brs physiology?
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  #18  
Old 10-28-2012
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Well, it obviously depends on you, how fast you can read and grasp concepts, really. BRS contains 7 chapters (unlike the 20 something in Kaplan), so for me, that's a bonus
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  #19  
Old 10-28-2012
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same here...only 7 chapters make you feel you can do this in no time. and i started reading yesterday....its going pretty good. i think ill be done in a week with 3hrs of reading everyday on this book and review goljan lecture notes for path for the same topic (2hrs) and a block or 2 of questions/explanations and keepup with FA at the end of the day for the same topic to do all together review of that topic.
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  #20  
Old 10-28-2012
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So I would like to offer some advice because I was in your position not very long ago and fortunately I received some sound advice from here, SDN, but I spent around a day with a family friend who scored 250 and made a crazy schedule. Its worked jumped from a 177 to 200 in about 2 weeks. Made another jump last week again, and decided to push the exam to work on getting a 240 (my dream score). Those scores were based on NBME 11, 12, 5.

If your interested I can post the schedule. I just have to find my USB key. Note: Its a lot of work but well worth it.
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  #21  
Old 10-28-2012
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Yes please post the schedule. I want to jump from 160s to 200 and the. Improve more.

Thank you!!
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  #22  
Old 10-28-2012
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Note I am writing it out, it may take some time as I have to remove some personal messages that we wrote for myself. Give me a few minutes.
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  #23  
Old 10-28-2012
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First I guess its a disclaimer that it may not work for everyone and I suggest you tweak it to your weak areas and strengths. Remember I'm not an expert I just figured out where my weakness in terms of my studying habits existed and studied according to them so if you have a better schedule go with your own

Also this is the schedule for the second jump (20 points again- took me about 14 days - I have not given the schedule, instead I included some information and explanations as it was a schedule that we (myself and the student that score 250) wrote sitting in front of each other so there was alot of talking and explaining. Also this included a few emails and a skype session to a second student who also scored high but 3 years ago. His insight was amazing though.

I also time mapped myself with a diary(little note pad so I knew how long I was taking and if I was not focusing)
__________________________________________________ ________

Day 1 and Day 2: Biochemistry Days
Biochemistry is a topic that requires work but its a topic that also pays off on getting points. Biochemistry helped alot on my first jump.
1. Try to read through (or watch videos) of the Kaplan LN, however you need to make an excel sheet of each disease you encounter, list out the name of the disease, AR/AD/X-R, some key symptoms, enzyme involved, race/ gender (example G6PD- AA, Cystic fibrosis- white male- be a bit prejudice here as the exam is) basic pathology things. By the end of the day you will have a long list. You than need to copy the column with the disease name and go through each thing writing out by memorization for each disease each of the symptoms, enzymes, etc.
2. The next you do here is make a list of all the genetic terms that are in FA. Example: Co-dominance. FA 2011 had a chart on this. I memorized the examples for each term. Be able to reproduce the chart.
3. Metabolism: I used FA to direct me. Basically I took a white piece of paper and drew out every pathway listed in first aid. Than on an excel sheet you write out all the enzymes listed for each pathway, next to the enzyme name you write out the co-factor. Than write out all the diseases that go with that enzyme.
4-Familial Dyslipidemias- excel sheet like the previous ones. However make sure you are listing the VLDL, LDL, etc that are increased.
5- UWORLD- Biochemistry- Try to get through all the questions for biochemistry and Genetics- make sure for every question you had previously got wrong you rewrite the entire explanations on a note pad, than put in your excel when done. On Day 13 you will be redoing these and saying the explanations before you choose the answer.

Day 3 and 4: Pharmacology
-This is an area I have struggled with simply because I never really put in the time before. However I'm still working on it and my next goal is to have zero questions wrong. Also this is what I am currently doing as the previous scores only had a tiny jump in pharm.
1. First Aid: Learn line, in every pharm section. Easier said than done, but I am using Anki flashcards and excel sheet. Basically have the mechanism, side effect and when used. (I am focusing on Cardio,Renal, Neuro/Psych, ANS, Antimicrobials, Diabetic drugs and than I will do the oncology and heme).
2. CYP450 interactions: List them out.
3. Antidotes- List each of themout
4- Antimicrobials- I did a mechanism of action and bug page as it is a weak area.
5-First Aid: Drug Reaction page- in the pharm section- Excel sheet those.
6- FA: Sulfa Drugs: List them out
7- Kaplan Videos: I am rewatching the ANS and Cardio/Renal section.

Day 5,6,7,8: Organ systems
I'm still working on my organ systems but this is basically what I was told to do and some of it I completed- not all as it was pretty heavy:
5- Cardiology: Take BRS (I also used Kaplan LN and Videos) and use the FA heading and write out full explanations. For example: CO: I wrote out what it means, how to calculate it, what parameters change it, what it means when it is high or low. It took me a long time to do it for each topic but I also understand it now. After I was finished I watched the Pathoma chapters for blood vessels and heart (2 chapters). Goljan lecture notes I would sit with a high lighter and mark the line after I could say it outloud in my own words. I didn't have the time to do the UWORLD questions and it showed.
6- MSK- Watch Kaplan Anatomy, Pathoma, and read Goljan. Its basically the same as the day before, except I made the chart for Brachial Plexus and I did UWORLD questions. Also GIT- I was recommended BRS physiology section so I basically sat and rewrote it in my own words for 2 hours. Day 6 was a 19 hour day for me.
7- Respiratory/Endocrine- I spent a ton of time on Kaplan Physiology, I rewrote that section a few times. I than did the same for endocrinology but this time I drew out the pathways for each hormone and I made sure I focused on the mechanisms of actions. Pathology I watched the Pathoma but did not have the time to do the following as I was sick on For Pathoma for Endocrine- write a chart and each column should have the primary, secondary and tertiary. Use first aid and basically write what makes primary different than secondary and what makes tertiary different from secondary. For Respiratory- Obstructive vs Restrictive basic chart, list all the disease associated with theme. Show the differences on the graphs included in FA. For cancers also do a comparison chart.
8- Neurology: Did not do this day fully as I was very sick- Read HY neuroanatomy, watch Kaplan Videos, use the radiology section in webpath.

9/10- Micro: I was basically told to learn everything in First Aid for microbiology and I won't have any issues with the subject. I spent rougly 19 hours with that FA on that day-9. I used an excel sheet to map out each disease state and reworte some of those paragraphs in FA. I also created a ton of anki cards by search online for images, so that way if an image popped up I would recognize it. Mistake I made: I focused so much on bacteriology that I missed several virology questions on my UWSA2, I should have spent a bit more time. Hence I was told this time to add a few hours for viruses and make sure I can list which ones are ssDNA, dsDNA, etc. Also I should have reread the antimicrobials on day 10 and relisted which drug for which bug again. Also did UWORLD questions.

Day 11-13: First Aid/UWORLD/Excel/Weak areas:
-These days are a crazy blur as I basically spent all my energy on studying and I was extremely nervous as my next NBME was approaching. And I was upset about the mistakes I made (will elaborate later)
-FA: Read through about half of FA- not sure how much I retained but I just kept reading certain sections over and over again.
- UW: I did so many blocks of 10 questions in tutor mode for several sections I covered earlier and others I didn't such as heme.
- Excel: Reread all my excel sheets
- Weak areas: For me it was Pharm- so I spent some more time on this but I don't think I obtained much.

Day 14: NBME 5- Took it and was happy with the result but I saw from the score sheet I had areas to improve on which I will explain.
_________________________________________________
Mistakes and some corrections I was given (yesterday to be exact), not sure if they will help as they are extremely specific to myself.

Pharm: I spent way to much time on Cardio and Neuro and not enough time on Antimicrobial. I will now spend 3 days learning more drugs and trying to memorize every detail I can. This time I focusing more on Kaplan LN series and Lange. Than after learning those two I will incorporate FA.

Micro: Explained earlier.

UWORLD: Didn't finish rereading explanations . Bad idea, actually that was a horrible idea. One that I don't plan on repeating.
______________________________

Wow that took a lot longer than expected.... sorry. Anyways Manu- I realized after finish writing it how much it really played to my own weaknesses and strength. However the key thing I think you or anyone else can get from it was that I basically looked at things from several different angles: Videos, excel sheets and books. I also spent a ton of time memorizing little details which helped a lot when I encountered questions as I could usually narrow it down to two choices for harder questions.
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2012
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Just i want to say ...
before 3 months, my nbme score was about 170 ...
Now, last nbme yesterday was 226 ...
You can do it ... just work hard .. Focus in First Aid and UW
If you are week in basic, you can listen to Dr.najeeb in path.


Best of luck

Last edited by HRK2011; 10-28-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10-28-2012
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Dude, it was a long post but too informative and give a brief picture about how we can work on our weak areas.
Keep doing dude, You will improvise more. Now i am trying to make my schedule. Thanks again
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  #26  
Old 10-28-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkiller88 View Post
Dude, it was a long post but too informative and give a brief picture about how we can work on our weak areas.
Keep doing dude, You will improvise more. Now i am trying to make my schedule. Thanks again
Lol if you think that was long, the actual word document is pages upon pages. There is so many things I cut out as each of those days had about 2-5 pages with details. After my exam in December I may post the actual document, if anyone wants to waste a few hours reading it.
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  #27  
Old 10-28-2012
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its a lot of info....surely i am going to make tables/excel sheets...they become very handy when you want to cover so much in very short time.

Thank you soo much for the detailed info.
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