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  #1  
Old 07-20-2013
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Cool medpack87 Step 1 Experience; 249

I am an IMG, graduated in february 2012. I started studying for my STEP 1 around July 2012 and I was also working about 150-180 hours a month, but my serious studying started around October. My study plan was Kaplan videos with the lecture notes, and FirstAid, but taking my time. I didnt really want to rush it, I was really rusty in most of the subjects for STEP1, some of them I last saw like 4-5 years ago, some were unfamiliar to me, and everything in a different language. I took the test on 17th June, so I took some 10 months in total.

At halfway the kaplan videos I started doing Uworld Qbank, and I also used the kaplan qbook from time to time. I did like 3 months of Uworld and 2 Self Assessment tests. On my last 3 months or so I got USMLERx and I also did most NBMEs to gauge myself. My practice sessions and NBMEs were the following:

SA1 242 (3/4/13) I guess this was just luck.
SA2 230 (10/4/13)
Rx-sim1 227 (25/3/13)
Rx-sim2 240 (20/4/13)
Rx-sim3 234 (27/4/13)
Rx-sim4 248 (23/5/13)
NBME 13 228/530 (15/14/13)
NBME 11 228/540 (4/5/13)
NBME 12 224/530 (13/5/13)


In a way I felt that the NBMEs were underestimating me, I took them all online and most of them with the extended form to check my weak spots. I even made a post about it here, and most people assured me that NBME is pretty much what I was going to get in the test and that sometimes it could overestimate me. By that time I felt I already knew most of the testable subjects, but i was still getting plenty of wrong answers, usually stupid mistakes. But as you can see, I was doing good in most of my practice nonNBME tests.

The last 4 weeks I was a little worried and felt I had reached a plateau in my score, a threshold I just couldn't cross. So I got DIT 15 day course, started reducing my work hours (I quit 1 or 2 weeks before my test too, to be able to study properly), and I found myself increasing my study hours from 4-6 hours a day to 10-12 hours a day. I was really surprised, I didnt know I had it in me, and then I took my last NBMEs 2 weeks before my test

Prometric practice session 87% correct (3/6/13)
NBME 15 231/540 (2/6/13)
NBME 7 240/580 (11/6/13) 6 DAYS BEFORE MY TEST AND WITH DIT COMPLETED

I felt ready, and I went for it hoping for a minimum of 225, and if I was lucky, a 235. When I left the testing center I felt so confused, I couldn't say if it went good or bad, but I was glad it was over. The test is really overwhelming.

When I got my score I was so happy, and very surprised too! Because I exceeded all my expectations, but as I said, i felt underestimated by the NBMEs, and at the end, that was the case. My Rx sims seemed to predict my score a lot better, but I have to admit that the last 2 or so weeks were CRUCIAL, revving up your study hours, quitting everything else in your life and just focusing completely in your study DOES pay. The guys at DIT did a wonderful job to push you to your limits, and if it wasnt for them, I dont think I could have reached a 240 on my NBME 7 and my final score of 249 on the test. My fav qbank was definitely Rx, and it makes the perfect combo of FA+DIT+Rx (but you have to have a good understanding of the subjects, which you can achieve it easily with Kaplan).

I hope this helps people make a good study plan, I feel mine was very slow, and at the end I realized that going over 8 months is bad (I took 10). You will start to forget things, you will start to get bored of all the studying and even feel a little miserable. But be aware that the last 2 months are the most important part. I also dont feel doing Uworld as the only qbank is right, most people will tell you to do Uworld and even repeat it, 2 or 3 times, that is useless guys, you are just memorizing the questions and the facts, and your score will go up, but on the real test, it will serve for nothing. Best thing to do, switch qbanks.

My recomendations, dont take more than 8 months, dont repeat qbanks, do DIT on the last month or so and watch your NBME scores go up 5-10 points each DIT week.
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2013
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Truly amazing work MP87. We have the exact same stats for nbme 11, 12, and 13. I'm so worried because nbme 11 I scored a 230 and on 15 I scored a 220. 12 and 13 were between the two. I absolutely want to break a 240 on the exam, but doubting my performance.

I've been reading FA as much as I can. I've memorized the first half of the book, and a few of the organ systems. Finished UW once in the high 60s, and now doing it again. Printing out my wrong answers and reading them.

Did you feel that your exam had more topics that had your areas of your strength?
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Old 07-20-2013
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congrats doc. Your plan has worked perfectly for you.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2013
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Thank you Man' i am IMG and graduate so its been 3-4 years since i saw basic sciences 'so some times i get confused wether i am doing Right thing using kaplan notes n lectures or i should add HY anatomy n HY embryo etc' but Now i feel if you stayed with KLN +rx+UW+ d i t. its a great Combo

btw DID' did you do online? or just Videos i just wana know does offline helps or its Online boosting ur scores

COngratulations
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2013
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great score dude ...... happy for you

on another note what would you have done differently if you were given an another chance ?
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2013
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Congrats ! Excellent score
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Old 07-20-2013
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hi,

rx,,

did u do a1/2 simulated or full exam..i.e 7 blocks?

did u revise rx or just did it once

thank you
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2013
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Well done my friend. I completely agree with what you said about prep time. I spent 10-11 months and I started to forget things which is never good.
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Old 07-20-2013
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I have been studying since December 2012 and I have already forgotten some of the early subjects. To echo your point, it is a good idea to do a quick review course in between your qbank study. I am doing USMLERx now. I will do a quick 1 week of Kaplan High Yield before the home stretch of finishing with Uworld before I sit for my exam.

Congrats on your score!
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Old 07-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cylack View Post
I have been studying since December 2012 and I have already forgotten some of the early subjects. To echo your point, it is a good idea to do a quick review course in between your qbank study. I am doing USMLERx now. I will do a quick 1 week of Kaplan High Yield before the home stretch of finishing with Uworld before I sit for my exam.

Congrats on your score!
Completely agree. I started reviewing neuro first since it was my weakest topic and I've forgotten a good portion of the material. Unfortunate, because my exam is Monday.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vita86 View Post
Thank you Man' i am IMG and graduate so its been 3-4 years since i saw basic sciences 'so some times i get confused wether i am doing Right thing using kaplan notes n lectures or i should add HY anatomy n HY embryo etc' but Now i feel if you stayed with KLN +rx+UW+ d i t. its a great Combo

btw DID' did you do online? or just Videos i just wana know does offline helps or its Online boosting ur scores

COngratulations
Thanks!
All kaplan and DIT was offline. All my NBMEs were online.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vita86 View Post
Thank you Man' i am IMG and graduate so its been 3-4 years since i saw basic sciences 'so some times i get confused wether i am doing Right thing using kaplan notes n lectures or i should add HY anatomy n HY embryo etc' but Now i feel if you stayed with KLN +rx+UW+ d i t. its a great Combo

btw DID' did you do online? or just Videos i just wana know does offline helps or its Online boosting ur scores

COngratulations
Thanks!
Kaplan and DIT was offline. All my NBMEs were online.
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Old 07-20-2013
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@medpack87
Hey. Congrats for ur awesome score
I have about 1.5 months left for my exam. Currently revised kaplan LN except biochem. What should be my strategy now ?

Previously have done kaplan vids and LN and FA and DIT. Also uworld qbank twice. Kaplan qbank once. Also UsmleRx once.
For pathology i have done pathoma. Not done Goljan RR.

I had got 236 in UWSA1 in the end of january.
Plz guide me about my upcoming strategy. N plz guide about preparation for the Nutrition & Molecular Biology.
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Old 07-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottoncandy View Post
@medpack87
Hey. Congrats for ur awesome score
I have about 1.5 months left for my exam. Currently revised kaplan LN except biochem. What should be my strategy now ?

Previously have done kaplan vids and LN and FA and DIT. Also uworld qbank twice. Kaplan qbank once. Also UsmleRx once.
For pathology i have done pathoma. Not done Goljan RR.

I had got 236 in UWSA1 in the end of january.
Plz guide me about my upcoming strategy. N plz guide about preparation for the Nutrition & Molecular Biology.
Thanks.

You seem to be well prepared. and you still have time. I would suggest to do UW SA 2, and a couple of NBMEs to gauge yourself and gain some insight on your weak spots. As for nutrition and molecular biology, its an important subject, but kaplan and your last FA should cover it. If you can read FA by yourself one last time, then you should do it, if not, doing DIT one last time could also help.
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Old 07-20-2013
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hi medpack87,
]congrats on great score and thanks for the write-up.
i just wanted to ask how long you did dit, i have dit 2012 and want to do in the last month of prep if my nbme at that time is less than 220.
did u do in 15 days only or more or less? did u squeeze in some questions too daily along with it or just focus on lectures and fa alone during dit days? how many lectures and how many hrs per day?
and how long was the gap between dit completion and ur actual exam?

thanks mate, sorry for the many questions but want to clarify..
thanks for reading my msg and congrats on score, wish u even better scores on step 2!!
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Old 07-20-2013
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COngrats, thanks for review
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmlestep1taker View Post
hi medpack87,
]congrats on great score and thanks for the write-up.
i just wanted to ask how long you did dit, i have dit 2012 and want to do in the last month of prep if my nbme at that time is less than 220.
did u do in 15 days only or more or less? did u squeeze in some questions too daily along with it or just focus on lectures and fa alone during dit days? how many lectures and how many hrs per day?
and how long was the gap between dit completion and ur actual exam?

thanks mate, sorry for the many questions but want to clarify..
thanks for reading my msg and congrats on score, wish u even better scores on step 2!!
I finished DIT in 18 days or so. Didn't go over 20 days though. I did made some questions each day, but only about 20-25 questions. I did 2 to 3 lectures a day. If you do 3 lectures a day in normal speed you take like 9 hours, then you do 2-3 more hours of question solving. I finished DIT with only 6 days before my test, in which I went over my markerboard topics and some loose subjects which needed last minute cramming.

Just to clarify, it was the 2011 DIT edition, meant to be done in 15 to 21 days, I dont know if the 2012 edition is the same.
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2013
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could you please answer my post...which is post #2, please? thank you.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medpack87 View Post
I finished DIT in 18 days or so. Didn't go over 20 days though. I did made some questions each day, but only about 20-25 questions. I did 2 to 3 lectures a day. If you do 3 lectures a day in normal speed you take like 9 hours, then you do 2-3 more hours of question solving. I finished DIT with only 6 days before my test, in which I went over my markerboard topics and some loose subjects which needed last minute cramming.

Just to clarify, it was the 2011 DIT edition, meant to be done in 15 to 21 days, I dont know if the 2012 edition is the same.
Hey congrats on your amazing score !
Where I can find DIT offline ?
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