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  #1  
Old 05-22-2013
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Default My Step 1 Experience... 245

Hey Everyone... I've been reading through your posts throughout my studies, but wasn't participating in any. I was waiting for the day I would share my experience with everyone.
Before I start, I would like to share everyone who shared his experience in here, as I learned a lot from them.

A little background about myself: I'm a 4th year medical student studying MBBS program in the UAE. During the first 1.5 years of uni life, I was just playing most of the time, nothing serious at all, to the extent that I barely knew the difference between staph and strep!! After that I began focusing more on my studies, but never really thought about sitting for the usmle exams until the middle of 3rd year.

My serious studying began in mid August 2012, but please note that just in September, we started uni again, with the clinical rotations. We weren't under stress at all, so I thought of taking the opportunity to sit for the exam rather than spending the time studying after I graduate.

So here's my study plan in details:

I decided to take my exam on May 1st 2013, and did a plan according to that.
Study Period: Mid August 2012- April 2013.... around 8 months
Daily Study time: Average 5 hours, maximum 8 hours, never >8 hrs.

I started with reading kaplan lecture notes along with watching the videos. I started with my weak areas, or the ones we didn't cover at school.
1. Behavioural Sciences... had a look at BRS after I finished kaplan, and solved its questions.
2. Biochemistry
3. Microbiology and immunology

Then I thought of splitting the remaining subjects (Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology) into system based. I used kaplan for all, except for pathology i used Goljan's book along with his audio after I read each chapter of the book.
1. General Principles
2. CVS
3. Hematology
4. Respiratory
5. Connective Tissue( Skin+MSK)
6. GI
7. Renal
8. Endocrine
9. Reproductive
10. Neurology..... I used HY Neuroanatomy along with kaplan, it's excellent for the pictures.

Please note that during this first reading, I wasn't memorizing, but rather understanding the concepts. There are a lot of things that I didn't perfectly memorize until the end.

Almost in December, I felt that I starting to forget what I already studied, so I subscribed to kaptest (qbank), and started doing 20-40 questions per day of the subjects I studied, and noting in FA where my mistakes were, as well as adding the missing information.

I kept doing this until the end of February, when I was done with the first reading and almost kaplan qbank. I finished 90% of it with an average of around 63%.

By March, I took my first NBME to know where I stand, without revising anything, so I have already forgotten a lot of things. 2 months before the exam, I did NBME 6: 224. I felt happy that I was on the right track.

The last 2 months is when the real studying begins. I subscribed to UWorld, and started to thoroughly read through FA and MEMORIZE it. Every word is important in that book!! I was doing one block of questions (46) daily in timed mixed exam mode. I started with an average of 65%, but towards the end it increased to reach 70%.

After 1 month, I finished my first reading through FA, and I took another NBME.1 month before the exam, NBME 15: 233. I was a little bit down as my mark only improved by 9 marks after a whole month of studying.

I started my second reading through FA, and after I finished Uworld I did the incorrect and marked questions one more time.

After I finished these, I had 1 weeks left for my exam. During this week, I did UWSA 1: 242, UWSA 2: 257. I had a look at pictures of MRI and CT scans, and went rapidly through FA for a 3rd time. I also did the free 150 questions from usmle site: 90%

What I really benefited from is revising the micro and pharma form FA 2 days before the exam (last day of studying).

The day before the exam:
In the morning I went through FA's rapid review, took me about 2 hours. After that I quit studying. I went for a movie and saw some friends, and talked to every person I know and asked the to pray for me .
I printed the scheduling permit, arranged the stuff I need for next day(food and drinks), had dinner and slept early.

The day of the exam:
Of course I woke up very early, almost 4:00 am, but i was refreshed. I had to leave home at 5:30 am, as the exam center is around 1 hour away form my home. A friend drove for me I didn't want to have any sort of panic in the morning. I reached the testing center about 6:45 am, and went in at 7.

I took breaks between each block. I believe that no matter how easy the exam is, your brain functions better after a break !
Here was my break schedule:
Block 1: 5 mins
Block 2: 10 mins
Block 3: 5 mins
Block 4: 15 mins
Block 5: 5 mins
Block 6: 10 mins
Block 7: DONE!!
Make sure you watch your time during the breaks though..

In conclusion:
The exam is NOT hard, all you need is determination and patience, and you will reach your goal.

My goal score was 240+. I know that if I spent more time studying, or studied when I'm totally free after graduating I would've scored a higher score, but I'm happy with my score, as it allows me into almost all specialties.

If you have any questions, or would like me to explain further about anything let me know!!
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2013
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so you did kaplan only once?
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_kg View Post
so you did kaplan only once?

Yes, only once
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omar.afandi View Post
Yes, only once
that is quite amazing, your story is more or less like mine just that mine is missing the last two months part and results, hopefully i will manage to get something like that soon

:sorry::sorry:
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_kg View Post
that is quite amazing, your story is more or less like mine just that mine is missing the last two months part and results, hopefully i will manage to get something like that soon

:sorry::sorry:
What were ur nbme scores?
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2013
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thanks man congratulation
it really helps

i need to know how long do u subscribe UWorld ?? 3 month or more
did u use any qbank during your first reading ?

i just finish ( micro/immun , anatomy and doing physiology right know from kaplan ) i barely remember previous lecture notes e.g micro

what is ur suggestion bro ?
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omar.afandi View Post
Yes, only once
COngrats man!
nice score

i have a question:

i m almost on same path that lead you to Good score.. i started prep on jan n my exam date is end of sep.. i am finishing my frst read now:/

4 months to Go
n i feel i am not doing enough :/ i started losing confidence that i wont be able to make it in time.

what shud i do revise kaplan again or now just FA + qbanks?
(i did pathoma+goljan)
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muse View Post
thanks man congratulation
it really helps

i need to know how long do u subscribe UWorld ?? 3 month or more
did u use any qbank during your first reading ?

i just finish ( micro/immun , anatomy and doing physiology right know from kaplan ) i barely remember previous lecture notes e.g micro

what is ur suggestion bro ?
I used Uworld for 2 months, in my opinion it was more than enough.
As I mentioned, I was going through kaplan qbank during my first reading.

Don't worry you're gonna forget things that need memorization after your first read, you'll recall them from first aid when revising..
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vita86 View Post
COngrats man!
nice score

i have a question:

i m almost on same path that lead you to Good score.. i started prep on jan n my exam date is end of sep.. i am finishing my frst read now:/

4 months to Go
n i feel i am not doing enough :/ i started losing confidence that i wont be able to make it in time.

what shud i do revise kaplan again or now just FA + qbanks?
(i did pathoma+goljan)
My advice is after you finish your first read take an nbme, just to know where you stand. If you score good you'll become more confident, and if not, then you will have to work harder.
4 months is more than enough to improve your mark a lot..
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omar.afandi View Post
Hey Everyone... I've been reading through your posts throughout my studies, but wasn't participating in any. I was waiting for the day I would share my experience with everyone.
Before I start, I would like to share everyone who shared his experience in here, as I learned a lot from them.

A little background about myself: I'm a 4th year medical student studying MBBS program in the UAE. During the first 1.5 years of uni life, I was just playing most of the time, nothing serious at all, to the extent that I barely knew the difference between staph and strep!! After that I began focusing more on my studies, but never really thought about sitting for the usmle exams until the middle of 3rd year.

My serious studying began in mid August 2012, but please note that just in September, we started uni again, with the clinical rotations. We weren't under stress at all, so I thought of taking the opportunity to sit for the exam rather than spending the time studying after I graduate.

So here's my study plan in details:

I decided to take my exam on May 1st 2013, and did a plan according to that.
Study Period: Mid August 2012- April 2013.... around 8 months
Daily Study time: Average 5 hours, maximum 8 hours, never >8 hrs.

I started with reading kaplan lecture notes along with watching the videos. I started with my weak areas, or the ones we didn't cover at school.
1. Behavioural Sciences... had a look at BRS after I finished kaplan, and solved its questions.
2. Biochemistry
3. Microbiology and immunology

Then I thought of splitting the remaining subjects (Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology) into system based. I used kaplan for all, except for pathology i used Goljan's book along with his audio after I read each chapter of the book.
1. General Principles
2. CVS
3. Hematology
4. Respiratory
5. Connective Tissue( Skin+MSK)
6. GI
7. Renal
8. Endocrine
9. Reproductive
10. Neurology..... I used HY Neuroanatomy along with kaplan, it's excellent for the pictures.

Please note that during this first reading, I wasn't memorizing, but rather understanding the concepts. There are a lot of things that I didn't perfectly memorize until the end.

Almost in December, I felt that I starting to forget what I already studied, so I subscribed to kaptest (qbank), and started doing 20-40 questions per day of the subjects I studied, and noting in FA where my mistakes were, as well as adding the missing information.

I kept doing this until the end of February, when I was done with the first reading and almost kaplan qbank. I finished 90% of it with an average of around 63%.

By March, I took my first NBME to know where I stand, without revising anything, so I have already forgotten a lot of things. 2 months before the exam, I did NBME 6: 224. I felt happy that I was on the right track.

The last 2 months is when the real studying begins. I subscribed to UWorld, and started to thoroughly read through FA and MEMORIZE it. Every word is important in that book!! I was doing one block of questions (46) daily in timed mixed exam mode. I started with an average of 65%, but towards the end it increased to reach 70%.

After 1 month, I finished my first reading through FA, and I took another NBME.1 month before the exam, NBME 15: 233. I was a little bit down as my mark only improved by 9 marks after a whole month of studying.

I started my second reading through FA, and after I finished Uworld I did the incorrect and marked questions one more time.

After I finished these, I had 1 weeks left for my exam. During this week, I did UWSA 1: 242, UWSA 2: 257. I had a look at pictures of MRI and CT scans, and went rapidly through FA for a 3rd time. I also did the free 150 questions from usmle site: 90%

What I really benefited from is revising the micro and pharma form FA 2 days before the exam (last day of studying).

The day before the exam:
In the morning I went through FA's rapid review, took me about 2 hours. After that I quit studying. I went for a movie and saw some friends, and talked to every person I know and asked the to pray for me .
I printed the scheduling permit, arranged the stuff I need for next day(food and drinks), had dinner and slept early.

The day of the exam:
Of course I woke up very early, almost 4:00 am, but i was refreshed. I had to leave home at 5:30 am, as the exam center is around 1 hour away form my home. A friend drove for me I didn't want to have any sort of panic in the morning. I reached the testing center about 6:45 am, and went in at 7.

I took breaks between each block. I believe that no matter how easy the exam is, your brain functions better after a break !
Here was my break schedule:
Block 1: 5 mins
Block 2: 10 mins
Block 3: 5 mins
Block 4: 15 mins
Block 5: 5 mins
Block 6: 10 mins
Block 7: DONE!!
Make sure you watch your time during the breaks though..

In conclusion:
The exam is NOT hard, all you need is determination and patience, and you will reach your goal.

My goal score was 240+. I know that if I spent more time studying, or studied when I'm totally free after graduating I would've scored a higher score, but I'm happy with my score, as it allows me into almost all specialties.

If you have any questions, or would like me to explain further about anything let me know!!
excellent score.
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omar.afandi (05-23-2013)
  #11  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omar.afandi View Post
What were ur nbme scores?
Exepecting to finish my first read next month then will try my first nbme. Then hit Fa hard!
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_kg View Post
Exepecting to finish my first read next month then will try my first nbme. Then hit Fa hard!
It's good to take nbme but why before FA. I don't want to do that. Would take first nbme after Kaplan 1st read and first read of FA.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsesereso View Post
It's good to take nbme but why before FA. I don't want to do that. Would take first nbme after Kaplan 1st read and first read of FA.
Thanks that makes more sense i will do it after going through first read of fa
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  #14  
Old 05-23-2013
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Default congrats!

Awesome score man!
Hope to see more stuff from you in the future
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