Talal-6666 Step 1 Experience (Scored 234) - USMLE Forums
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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013
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Smile Talal-6666 Step 1 Experience (Scored 234)

First off, I took the Step 1 in September 2010. I know it's been a while and many of the things I'm about to say might not apply now, but here goes...

I started my prep in June. I used the Kaplan videos for all subjects except Pathology (used Goljan for that) and Microbiology (stuck with First Aid). I'm more of an audiovisual kind of person and I thought the videos were amazing and they helped me retain a lot of the information just by listening. I wrote notes in the Kaplan books whenever they would talk about something not mentioned in the book.

Goljan was the other core component of my prep, I just loved listening to the guy. He is, I believe, the best teacher! and the book is definitely the highest yield resource for Step 1.

Obviously, First Aid is an essential tool during your prep. I remember it getting really fat by the end of August. Just keep adding notes and filling it up, it helps a lot when it comes to the final quick review.

Looking back now, there are things I didn't do that might have lowered my score.

1- I didn't use USMLE World!!! Yes, I know...
2- I didn't do any of the NBMEs.
3- I didn't repeat any of the Kaplan notes that I made throughout the videos.

I guess I was a little lazy at the time and didn't realize how important the Step 1 score is to your residency application. I also remember watching the World Cup during that summer and studying between games, which wasn't much.

The only way I had of knowing where I stand was the Kaplan QBank, I was scoring in the 60% most of the time. I did random, timed blocks to simulate the real experience. I'm not saying Kaplan Qbank is better, but it's the only tool I used other than the books and videos.

So, that's my experience as far as I remember. Exam day was NOT easy, there were blocks where I felt I had no idea what I was doing and others were easier. I think the take home message is; don't be lazy and push yourself hard for this exam. The score you get carries a lot of weight and will most likely determine your future.

Hope that helps!
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2013
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Hi. Thnx for sharing this. It seems that u r a very intelligent person, scoring this much by just doing less than what most ppl dp. I am really impressed. Want to ask u: where r u from? (to get an idea of the kind of med school u graduated from) & was your preparation during med school or after graduation? Also, how did your score affect your residency? What residency did it gets u this score?

Sorry for the 21 questions lol
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2013
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Thanks for the compliment

Well, I went to RCSI, a British medical school (Irish to be exact). I took the exam right after 3rd year (total is 5 years) as soon as I was done with the basic sciences.

I applied for Internal Medicine residency this year and got a decent number of interviews. Currently waiting for the match.

Wish me luck!!
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013
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Oh this is great. I am a med student trying to take step1 but being semifinal makes it seem crazy. I am very busy especially that I have a busy social life that has killed my stamina for studying! I am not dumb lol but I get lazy & discouraged by any minimal suppressor.
How did u make time for studying while going to school? Am planning to sleep after school , like at 8 after prayer & then wake up at 2-3 a.m. and study till 6 a.m.
Although I don't feel it isenough (only 3m hrs)!!!!
Any suggestions for a studying time, method or whatever u have in mind r8 now!
I really want to accomplish this before graduation & studying for step1 will definitely help in my final year. What do u think?
And good luck with the residency! I hope u get it! :sorry:
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2013
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When I studied for Step 1 it was during the summer, so I had no commitments with school. However, my Step 2 CK was early during my 5th year. What I did at the time is I tried to leave the hospital as early as possible (around 2-3 PM), get back home, eat and then study until 9-10 PM. It was intense, but I did it for a month and finished the entire QBank, then took the exam. I wouldn't advise you to change your sleeping pattern, just try to fit as much medical knowledge as possible during a regular day and try not to get distracted.

Social life is important obviously, but if you can sacrifice it, or keep it to a minimum, for a few months then do it.

Again, it all depends on you and how well you can study under pressure. Some people prefer to lead a normal social life and studying over a longer period. I like to put a lot of effort over a shorter period of time.
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Old 02-07-2013
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thank you. You are right i should sacrifice or rather push my social life aside for a while. I will think about a schedule that will help me study as much as possible without getting me into chronic fatigue. Thanks doc.
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