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  #1  
Old 10-26-2012
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Help less than 4 weeks for step 1. HELP!

Hello,
I finally got the courage to post something. I have read a lot from this forum and learned a lot also. my exam date is nov 21. Ive read kaplan books once, FA once, but I did that over the course of a year in small, uncontinous blocks of 3-5 hours monday through friday since I am a parent of two and have to work to provide for my family. I started to really study six weeks ago. so far Ive completed kaplan qbank 74% with 66% correct (i think this is because when i first started to use the qbank I was using it as a learning tool instead of an assesment tool, lately i ve been scoring around 75%) I dropped kaplan qbank 10 days ago and started uworld, which for me is a lot like kaplan, compared to what most people say in this forum, and have scored 69% correct with 78% questions left. now my big questions are:
1. every time I try stick to just reading FA my mind wanders after a few pages and I end up losing a lot of valuable time, so I have found that doing questions in random mode and then reading the subjects (in first aid) of the questions i got wrong makes me do it faster. so, still should I drop qbank and just stick to reading?
2. i know I need an assesment exam to really know where im standing but if Ive scored an average of 70% in the last 20 0r 30 blocks Ive done, with minimal variations, isnt that a good indicator of how prepared i am?
so lets say I take an nbme (which one?? suggestions please!) this sunday and I score around 70% correct. Am I ready for the exam?? or should I pospone it??
3. can I really learn new material from qbanks by focusing on the questions I answered wrong?? or qbanks only help with pacing and getting used to "exam like" thinking.
PLEASE advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2012
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From my NBME experience, getting 70% of questions correct on NBME = approximately 198. And since you are getting 70% on qbanks, I am sure you will do much better on NBME, because they are relatively easier than qbanks. And so I still recommend that you take one NBME not only to assess yourself, but also to gain confidence. That being said, that doesn't mean that you stop doing questions. I understand what you mean when you say that you end up wasting time by just doing first aid alone. It used to happen to me too. But if your mind keeps wandering, try to set targets for each day. That way you will have to stay focused in order to stay on your own schedule. And yes, you should keep doing questions and learn from them. Not only from the ones you get wrong, but also from the ones you get right. I have found that sometimes you can miss valuable information if you don't go through the explanation of the questions that you got correct. For instance go through the explanations of why each of the other choices are wrong. This way it will hammer in all the information you know, and also allow you to learn a few things that you might not have know.

To sum it up, take a NBME and keep doing and learning from questions that you do. And keep going through first aid. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2012
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wow! thanks a lot for the quick reply. God Knows I needed it! it is comforting to receive advice from people like you. Ill take an NBME this sunday and will post my score
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2012
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hey! so I took UWSA 1 and scored 650/ 248 (3 digit score) I did not take the nbme cause I didnt have the money last week hopefully I will next week. but what do you think about UWSA? is it reliable, Ive heard it overstimates the real score and It seemed that way to me cause I felt I had scored lower than that. in your experience how does it correlate?
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Old 11-02-2012
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Idea!

You should take NBME coz that might give you result which you can relate to your USMLE exam! Good Luck!
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2012
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so I took NBME 7 online last week. and scored 226/520. a 22 point difference with UWSA 1 (248)
but oh well, I dont know if any of these are really going to correlate with my actual score. i am noticing that I screw up really bad the last 2 blocks. its happened in both self assesment. I cant imagine how blocks 5 to 7 are going to turn out in the real exam since im exhibiting low endurance in the self assesments. I am only 7 days away form the big day now. everybody says to not learn anything new these days, so should I stop uworld now? Im "waxing and waning" in uworld scoring up to 86 in some blocks and down to 63 in other blocks. I dont know if its the last days syndrome im feeling kind of down and I dont wanna turn out with a less than 220 score. should i take another nbme, how useful would it be with so few days left?
i also read that one should not study the last day! does that mean that if my exam in on wednesday I should stop studying monday?? what do you guys think??
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2013
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Default finally done with step 1

well, I just didn't wanna let this thread "UNfinished", so when somebody reads it they know how the story ended. I started this post when i had 4 weeks left to my exam and the people that replied helped me a great deal with their advice. I ended up scoring 238 in the actual exam. not bad I think. I was very happy with the result, and of course, very thankful for this forum.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullonto View Post
well, I just didn't wanna let this thread "UNfinished", so when somebody reads it they know how the story ended. I started this post when i had 4 weeks left to my exam and the people that replied helped me a great deal with their advice. I ended up scoring 238 in the actual exam. not bad I think. I was very happy with the result, and of course, very thankful for this forum.
Hey buddy, congrats on your score.
I am in a kindda similar situation with nbme score of 226 nd 4 weeks to exam.
Would you mind telling what all you did in 4 weeks to improve your score? Thanks
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Old 01-14-2013
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thank you. I will tell you what worked for me. during the last four weeks I just kept doing what I was doing, i.e. reading first aid and doing questions, but MOSTLY doing questions. I did 2 or 3 blocks per day with unused questions and timed mode. I did not read first aid 3 or 4 times (even though many people in this forum recommend doing it) I read it once, BUT went over several topics, several times (within first aid) and I used to mark the page every time a question took me to that page so that way I would notice what was highest of the high yields. if I noticed that I was weak on a subject that kept being brought up in the question bank I spent some time revising that topic and so on. In other words during the lst weeks make sure you Know well the HY facts but also revise and improve what you dont know that well. My exam was on wednesday but honestly I stopped studying friday. saturday I went to church and spent the day with my family, sunday I did the UWSA 2. monday I went over through the UWSA answers and did 2 more qbank blocks. tuesday I went over some questions till noon and then spent the rest of the day with my family. so I think being mentally fresh also played a role in my socre improvement. But let me also tell you that I think that is very important that you do something to boost your self confidence. when I did UWSA I scored 248 (3 weeks before) and 252 (2 days before). not much of a difference really but it helped me gain confidence. when I took the real test I felt pretty good, I did not feel tired, or exhausted. I found out that you have to be prepared for the worst but you also have to have in mind (even in a little corner) that you have studied hard and that it will pay off the day of the exam. Do not let the stress ruin you. Finally I have to tell you that I believe in God and that I am sure that his blessing on my efforts also played an important role. My best wishes on your exam! you will nail it!
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2013
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Default Thank you

That was really helping and motivating too. Good luck with ur next step, will see you soon dude.
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Old 01-14-2013
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Default chances for residecy match for 5 yr old graduate

hi,i am IMG graduated 5 yrs ago..house maker since last 3 years was wondering for if i start exam preparation now then after it where i will be standing .as currently i am in canada but here chances for IMG for residency match are little...i can considering USMLE but if chances for residency match are about 50% ...any one please give me idea ..i am highly motivated to start my career again but confused ....what to do when i see lot of people even with good score are not getting residency match....any way if i start step 1 which books are best?plaese reply so i can direct my concentration in one direction
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Old 01-14-2013
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well, my friend I will tell you what I think. before you get into this bus, I suggest you take some facts into account: 1. it will demand a lot of time. u dont mention if you have kids but being a parent I can tell you that for me, not having enough time to play with mine is a sacrifice. in order to prepare well for this exam, so you can have better chances to match into a residency, you will have to sacrifice some time away from your loved ones and from other stuff. 2. Money. in my case I had to find a way to provide for my family while studying full-time (which Im still doing). thank God Ive been able to do that so far. you have to consider the costs of the exam, the preparation material, and living costs while studying. 3. aim for a residency that matches your capabilities. be realistic. everybody has a good idea of their own potential. 4. Buy this years first aid and read the first part where they tell you about the process, costs, etc. also try to get the kaplan videos. they explain everything so well and beautifully. I loved it! 5. Most important than your scores (and that is my personal opinion) is the people you know. ill give you some example of what I mean. I have a friend who got 199 in step one and matched for internal medicine in a good hospital his first year. I have another friend who also got into IM with an even lower score (but she married the program director, NO JOKE!!!! jajaja) my point is if you know some people is the US medical system it will probably help you. finally, I will tell you that when I thought about doing a residency in the states I decided to do my best and leave the rest to God. If its His will that we do a residency here in the states Im sure everything will work out. we just gotta do our part. Best wishes!
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Old 01-20-2013
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Default thanks..

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullonto View Post
well, my friend I will tell you what I think. before you get into this bus, I suggest you take some facts into account: 1. it will demand a lot of time. u dont mention if you have kids but being a parent I can tell you that for me, not having enough time to play with mine is a sacrifice. in order to prepare well for this exam, so you can have better chances to match into a residency, you will have to sacrifice some time away from your loved ones and from other stuff. 2. Money. in my case I had to find a way to provide for my family while studying full-time (which Im still doing). thank God Ive been able to do that so far. you have to consider the costs of the exam, the preparation material, and living costs while studying. 3. aim for a residency that matches your capabilities. be realistic. everybody has a good idea of their own potential. 4. Buy this years first aid and read the first part where they tell you about the process, costs, etc. also try to get the kaplan videos. they explain everything so well and beautifully. I loved it! 5. Most important than your scores (and that is my personal opinion) is the people you know. ill give you some example of what I mean. I have a friend who got 199 in step one and matched for internal medicine in a good hospital his first year. I have another friend who also got into IM with an even lower score (but she married the program director, NO JOKE!!!! jajaja) my point is if you know some people is the US medical system it will probably help you. finally, I will tell you that when I thought about doing a residency in the states I decided to do my best and leave the rest to God. If its His will that we do a residency here in the states Im sure everything will work out. we just gotta do our part. Best wishes!
thanks alot for your motivation and guide ,obviously i need to work hard as being ,mother of two young kids(1&2 year old )i just need to kow exact books to start with ,,,is kaplan lecture notes and dvds plus FA enough?is there any torrent i could download kaplan notes?
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