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  #1  
Old 09-28-2013
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Listening Advise Please. Scored 153 on NBME form 12 for USMLE Step 1.

Hello folks,

My USMLE Step one is 2 months away. My Score today on NBME Form 12 is 153. My target score is 240+. Is it possible to actualize my dream in 2 months considering my poor performance on form 12. Should I extend my exam and go back to reading kaplan notes.

So far, I have read

First Aid: 2 times
Kaplan notes: once
Goljan: First 200 pages read so far out of about 600 pages
Finished Uworld once with cummulative score of 44%.

Please advise, what should I do to improve my score.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2013
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Hi Jondez,

It is unlikely that you will be able to jump 90 points in just 2 months, unfortunately. You can however pull your score up significantly by using the feedback from your NBME as well as the feedback from you UWorld results in order to start improving immediately.

The first thing I would suggest is to look at your NBME and determine your weakest areas... For each weakness (ie. to the left of 'borderline performance'), you will need at least 2 weeks, depending on the complexity of the subject. For significant weaknesses in physiology, pathophysiology, or physiology, you need to realize that because these encompass every organ system, you may need more time to improve.

You say you read first aid twice, but did you simply read it or did you use it as a guide of which topics are important and do you understand the details and concepts behind all of the info within the FA. If you are just reading it without adding more info to it, this is possibly a cause of your poor NBME. A lot of students don't realize that this is just a 'guide', and not a comprehensive review of the material. It shouldn't be a primary study source.

For USMLE World, the way you approach questions is important. You need to be doing them in timed mode, then going back and reading the explanations, mastering that info, and learning how to apply it to questions in the future. The reason to perform questions in timed mode is simple: You must train your body to work quickly and efficiently, otherwise when you are under the pressure of a real exam experience (NBME, USMLE), you won't have built this ability and it will significantly hinder your ability, even if you are relatively strong in your basic sciences.

Goljan: You've only read 1/3 of the book, so that poses an issue right away because you can't possibly gauge how strong you are if you haven't: 1. Gotten through pathology, and 2. Really mastered it. Continue through Goljan, learn and master, then apply your knowledge to UW to really tie it all together.

Kaplan notes: This is voluminous, it can takes months in order to just get through this set of notes. Just having read through it without really mastering it is obviously not all too effective.

So what I would suggest to get you moving in the right direction first is to choose 1 source for now, really dig into it and simultaneously perform questions. So read, take notes, learn, do questions, re-examine, learn, master. And if you focus like this, you will see that your scores will improve as you move forward, but in my honest opinion, it will take you more than 2 months to boost your scores to a point even remotely close to a 240, and may just take 2 months to get you closer to the passing mark or near 200.

I hope that helps.

Best of luck.

Dr. Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jondez View Post
Hello folks,

My USMLE Step one is 2 months away. My Score today on NBME Form 12 is 153. My target score is 240+. Is it possible to actualize my dream in 2 months considering my poor performance on form 12. Should I extend my exam and go back to reading kaplan notes.

So far, I have read

First Aid: 2 times
Kaplan notes: once
Goljan: First 200 pages read so far out of about 600 pages
Finished Uworld once with cummulative score of 44%.

Please advise, what should I do to improve my score.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2013
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Getting to 240+ from 153 is gonna be very hard but lets take one step at a time.

1. Get a subscription to Pathoma and take notes (on FA) while watching videos.

2. Take a subscription to USMLERx and do it in subject mode along with FA. Again, take notes on FA.

3. Revise your FA /Notes

You should be able to do above in one month.

After that take another NBME and post your progress here.

Based on your NBME results I'll suggest the next step.
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMLE-Success-Academy View Post
Hi Jondez,

It is unlikely that you will be able to jump 90 points in just 2 months, unfortunately. You can however pull your score up significantly by using the feedback from your NBME as well as the feedback from you UWorld results in order to start improving immediately.

The first thing I would suggest is to look at your NBME and determine your weakest areas... For each weakness (ie. to the left of 'borderline performance'), you will need at least 2 weeks, depending on the complexity of the subject. For significant weaknesses in physiology, pathophysiology, or physiology, you need to realize that because these encompass every organ system, you may need more time to improve.

You say you read first aid twice, but did you simply read it or did you use it as a guide of which topics are important and do you understand the details and concepts behind all of the info within the FA. If you are just reading it without adding more info to it, this is possibly a cause of your poor NBME. A lot of students don't realize that this is just a 'guide', and not a comprehensive review of the material. It shouldn't be a primary study source.

For USMLE World, the way you approach questions is important. You need to be doing them in timed mode, then going back and reading the explanations, mastering that info, and learning how to apply it to questions in the future. The reason to perform questions in timed mode is simple: You must train your body to work quickly and efficiently, otherwise when you are under the pressure of a real exam experience (NBME, USMLE), you won't have built this ability and it will significantly hinder your ability, even if you are relatively strong in your basic sciences.

Goljan: You've only read 1/3 of the book, so that poses an issue right away because you can't possibly gauge how strong you are if you haven't: 1. Gotten through pathology, and 2. Really mastered it. Continue through Goljan, learn and master, then apply your knowledge to UW to really tie it all together.

Kaplan notes: This is voluminous, it can takes months in order to just get through this set of notes. Just having read through it without really mastering it is obviously not all too effective.

So what I would suggest to get you moving in the right direction first is to choose 1 source for now, really dig into it and simultaneously perform questions. So read, take notes, learn, do questions, re-examine, learn, master. And if you focus like this, you will see that your scores will improve as you move forward, but in my honest opinion, it will take you more than 2 months to boost your scores to a point even remotely close to a 240, and may just take 2 months to get you closer to the passing mark or near 200.

I hope that helps.

Best of luck.

Dr. Paul
Thank you so much for your candid advice and suggestions. I will take UWSA 1 on October 27 and post my score. Right now, I am reading Goljan.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novobiocin View Post
Getting to 240+ from 153 is gonna be very hard but lets take one step at a time.

1. Get a subscription to Pathoma and take notes (on FA) while watching videos.

2. Take a subscription to USMLERx and do it in subject mode along with FA. Again, take notes on FA.

3. Revise your FA /Notes

You should be able to do above in one month.

After that take another NBME and post your progress here.

Based on your NBME results I'll suggest the next step.
Novobiocin, thank you. I just subscribed to pathoma (one year subscription). I will write UWSA 1 on October 27 and post my result for further guidance. Thank you so much .
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Old 09-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jondez View Post
Novobiocin, thank you. I just subscribed to pathoma (one year subscription). I will write UWSA 1 on October 27 and post my result for further guidance. Thank you so much .
You are welcome.

However, I strongly recommend doing USMLERx in subject mode along with FA & Pathoma in next one month. Do not do anything else as you do not have much time.

Take another NBME (not UWSA) after doing above since it is not possible to assess your progress by comparing NBME score with UWSA score.

I know, it is hard to believe someone on the internet but this combo will give you the most bang (score) for your buck (time).

You have to realise that simple reading of a book has not helped you so far and will not help you since this is a test of applying concepts.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novobiocin View Post
You are welcome.

However, I strongly recommend doing USMLERx in subject mode along with FA & Pathoma in next one month. Do not do anything else as you do not have much time.

Take another NBME (not UWSA) after doing above since it is not possible to assess your progress by comparing NBME score with UWSA score.

I know, it is hard to believe someone on the internet but this combo will give you the most bang (score) for your buck (time).

You have to realise that simple reading of a book has not helped you so far and will not help you since this is a test of applying concepts.

Novo have you taken the step 1 yet??

What you suggested is basically what i'm planning... 3 weeks for Fa/Rx questions/pathoma and then take UWSA 2 and then month of UW/Fa/NBME
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Old 09-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky_blue2000 View Post
Novo have you taken the step 1 yet??

What you suggested is basically what i'm planning... 3 weeks for Fa/Rx questions/pathoma and then take UWSA 2 and then month of UW/Fa/NBME
That's a perfect plan.
I have not taken Step 1 yet but I made a huge improvement in my NBME score after doing USMLERx in subject mode along with FA & Pathoma.
Only thing I would add is doing Kaplan QBank along with Kaplan videos +/- Microcards if you have time and aiming for 260+ before going on to the third step of doing UW/FA/NBMEs.
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  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novobiocin View Post
That's a perfect plan.
I have not taken Step 1 yet but I made a huge improvement in my NBME score after doing USMLERx in subject mode along with FA & Pathoma.
Only thing I would add is doing Kaplan QBank along with Kaplan videos +/- Microcards if you have time and aiming for 260+ before going on to the third step of doing UW/FA/NBMEs.

That would be a great addition... but I'm taking my exam November 22nd..and thats the latest I can take it.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky_blue2000 View Post
That would be a great addition... but I'm taking my exam November 22nd..and thats the latest I can take it.
Your plan has the most bang (score) for your buck (time).
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  #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novobiocin View Post
Your plan has the most bang (score) for your buck (time).

I hope so... ive been stuck at 210 for like 2 months and its REALLY annoying!!
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