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  #1  
Old 11-30-2012
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Smile Chetandoc study schedule and exam experience- 251/87!

Hi Guys,

I'll share my study schedule and exam experience here hoping it might help somebody. I gave my exam on Nov 8 and got my score on nov 28th, scored 251/87

I am a final year medical student (Intern) from India and started preparing for the exam from April this year. I was lucky to have a few seniors who gave me proper guidance about what all to read. This is how I prepared for my test-

I started with Kaplan videos and lecture notes. Did them for all the subjects except Patho, for which I did Goljan rapid review with audios. First reading of this entire thing took me around 5 months. Actually I was a bit slow during the initial 3 months and finished just anatomy, physiology and behv,science. Read a bit of BRS physio but din't finish it. Picked up speed during july and august and finished the remaining 4 subjects. I took my exam date in mid-august for Nov 8 knowing that I would have 2 months time for doing UW (sept-oct). I tried reading FA during these 5 months but din't really like it so just continued with the first reading of Kaplan.

In first week of september I subscribed to UW for 2 months. Was a bit nervous before starting it because I felt like I din't remember much of what I had read in the lat 5 months and that I would have to give the whole thing one more reading. Anyhow, I did the first UW block (always unused, random, timed, 46) and got a 70%. That really boosted my confidence and made me believe that I would be able to take my exam in 2 months time. For next 1 month I tried to cover as much UW as I could. On average did around 1 block/ day. During the initial blocks my score was between 60-65% which slowly kept increasing and I could constantly score above 80% in my last 10-15 blocks with a couple of over 90% with an aggregate of 74%. In between, I finished reading Conrad Fischer's USMLE Ethics during the free time I got in the hospital.

Took my first nbme (13) exactly 1 month before my exam and got a 235, which was a huge relief. For the next 12 days finished the remaining unused bocks on UW and gave a through reading to FA. Also read a bit of BRS physio. At the end of this did UW SA1 and scored 259.

For another week, kept doing incorrect and marked ques on UW along with FA. Took UW SA2 10 days before the exam and I did it along with the 3 blocks of free 150 ques so that I could make it a full 7 block test and did it all in a exam-like environment with similar break strategy. Scored 265/800 and 93%. At this point I knew I just had to maintain the level and hang on for 10 more days. Kept doing the same thing (incorrect UW+FA) during these days and read a few things which I was not confident about (like neuroanat- saw some of the videos and CT sections again from kaplan videos).

My test was in another city. Checked into a hotel there and made myself comfortable. Watched Obama's victory celebrations on tv for most part of the day. Flipped through a couple of units of FA at night before sleeping and put in the documents and Id in place for the test. Din't read anything in the morning, enjoyed the nice breakfast buffet at the hotel and got a sandwich packed for lunch. Besides I was carrying some snickers and cookies for snacking.

The test itself was not a very different experience from UW. The software and the type of ques is very similar and I just felt like I was doing yet another block of UW like I used to do everyday. The previous experience of doing a 7-block test helped me sit tight and I took a break between all the blocks except first 2 and always ate something to give the glucose levels a boost. At the end of it, I just knew I was done with it and had done somewhat similar to how I used to do on my self-assessments. Was just hoping that I cross 240 and am quite satisfied with my score.

Looking back, I feel Uworld is the single most important thing for preparation. Besides the knowledge, it actually helps you to develop the ability to apply your knowledge in problem solving. Application is definitely more important than just knowledge alone for this test. First Aid is good for revising the high yield stuff but I would recommend using it only towards the end when you have actually understood the stuff and are not just cramming the facts blindly. Kaplan is good for initial reading and building concepts and understanding stuff for the first time. But I think it's too extensive and you can't possibly remember all of the stuff in it.

Am glad am done. Thank you all for the wishes and good luck to everyone
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2012
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Congrats Its a great score especially acing it during internship.
I have exam in 3 days I wanted to know,
How did you manage your breaks between blocks during the exam? Was the exam similar to UWSA or NBME ?

Good Luck with step 2
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nishaa View Post
Congrats Its a great score especially acing it during internship.
I have exam in 3 days I wanted to know,
How did you manage your breaks between blocks during the exam? Was the exam similar to UWSA or NBME ?

Good Luck with step 2
Hi thanks...I din't find much difference between nbme n uwsa so I can't really say...it was similar to both As for the breaks, I just did the first 2 blocks continuously and then took a 5 min break between the remaining blocks...ate a cookie or snickers n drank water....took a longer 15-20min break after the 4th block n ate my sandwich...actually I still had lots of time so took 10mins of break after blocck 5 & 6...1 hr is sufficient time and you'll be able to manage well in that....

All the best for your exam
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Old 12-01-2012
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Hi congratulations for your score, it's really amazing !

i want to ask you how many hours you used to study per day ? in the begining and in the last 2 months .. am asking because i will be studying step 1 with a research job (8hrs/per from 8am to 4 pm) do you think i'll be able to make it ?
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Old 12-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooshy View Post
Hi congratulations for your score, it's really amazing !

i want to ask you how many hours you used to study per day ? in the begining and in the last 2 months .. am asking because i will be studying step 1 with a research job (8hrs/per from 8am to 4 pm) do you think i'll be able to make it ?
Hi..Thanks!! Well I did most of my studies with internship going on....only took leave during the last 1.5 months...initially I was putting in around 5-6 hrs per day in the evenings....last 2 months it was around 10-12 hrs/ day when UW started....iwatch the kaplan videos on 1.5x or even 2x speed if you are able to grasp things, its doable....
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Old 12-02-2012
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Hi,Congrats on such a great score,can u please tell me if you followed KLN srictly or added any HIgh yield series stuff...?

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEDICINE DOC View Post
Hi,Congrats on such a great score,can u please tell me if you followed KLN srictly or added any HIgh yield series stuff...?

Thanks
Hi..thanks!! I din't read any of the high yield series book....followed kaplan for all the subjects except patho...but just read these once to build concepts...later it was just UW & FA...
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Old 12-10-2012
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Forgot to add...Goljan rapid review is great for pathology but the audios are even better.. try listening to them....that guy really makes the stuff easy and reading the book becomes much easier after listening to him....also you can follow the transcript of the audio if you are facing difficulty in picking up the accent....
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