egyptiandoc Step 1 experience (score 233) - USMLE Forums
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USMLE Step 1 Forum USMLE Step 1 Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 1 exam


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  #1  
Old 10-09-2013
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Experiences egyptiandoc Step 1 experience (score 233)

Dear all,

Since I gained so much from reading about other peoples' experiences, I thought maybe I could be of help to those on the road to Step 1.

My score came out today. I got a 233. It was my first attempt.
I studied for about a year and a half if you count all the time from start to finish, but actually the net time spent studying was about 8-9 months.

I did not use First Aid

I know this may come as a shock to some, and I know the book has certainly gained an excellent reputation over the years, but for some reason I am of the minority who hate it. I found it messy and unorganized and it actually made things more difficult for me to study and revise. So, apart from the general biochemistry/behavioral science/pharmacology at the beginning of the book and the high yield associations at the end, the great majority of my book is as blank as the day I bought it.

I am not saying this to deter others from FA. Rather, I want people to know that if you are one of those who is having a terrible time with FA, and find it clumsy and cumbersome, don't freak out because all your friends love it. Some people like FA's approach, others don't. I didn't.

My major revision source, that I would not have passed without, was USMLEWorld Qbank

The UWorld Qbank helped compensate for not doing FA. I did it only once, but I read every word of all 2200 questions.
UWorld Qbank is not just a question bank. It's also a great study and revision source that improves your recall of high yield facts, covers as many ideas and topics as possible and improves your fact retention.
In addition, the actual exam format is exactly like UWorld so you'll feel as comfortable as is possible under the exam's stressful conditions.

I solved it in online, untimed, tutor, by subject mode over a 3 month subscription. I got a cumulative score in it of 70%.

I highly, highly recommend UWorld Qbank

Regarding the subject matter, I used the following:

Physiology: Kaplan notes and all videos
Pharmacology: Kaplan notes and all videos
Behavioral sciences: Kaplan notes and all videos
Biochemistry (without genetics): Kaplan notes and videos
Pathology: Goljan audio and BRS pathology
Microbiology: Only Kaplan videos (without notes)
Gross anatomy and embryology: only Kaplan videos (without notes)

Genetics/histology and cell biology/immunology/neuroanatomy: just UWorld questions. However, I acknowledge that this was a mistake, as my score report showed a lower performance in genetics, immunology, histology and musculoskeletal. I should have prepared better on these areas but I was too, too burned out

I did four NBMEs in the following order:

Form 7: 228 (one month 20 days before exam)
Form 13: 242 (one month 12 days before exam)
Form 15: 231 (one month 4 days before exam) most predictive
Form 11: 247 (12 days before exam)

Form 11, the last one I did, gave me an inflated score and unnecessarily raised my expectations, leading to disappointment upon receipt of the real score

An effective way, I believe, to revise in the last few weeks is to see which areas you are weak in on NBME self assessments and revise them, either in the notes or in UWorld questions (I did the latter).

I also did two UWorld self assessments, with a 224 in UWSA 1 about a month and a half before the exam, and a 242 in UWSA 2 about a month before the exam.

Do not waste your time and money buying extra question books you won't end up using. I bought First Aid Q & A, Lange Q & A and Pretest. I barely used them. Their question style is not representative of the exam either

In short I would say understand the material as well as you can from whatever source works for you, then USMLEWorld is an absolute must

This was not foolproof of course, and I realize I could have gotten higher had I done FA, but I simply didn't know how to navigate the book and could not use it. If I could go back, I would start using FA as early as possible as this was a big mistake.

However, I gave it the best I could and I am glad it's over.

I wish all of you the best of luck on this journey. There'll be times when you are depressed, anxious, panicking or even crying. In the end all you have to do is give it your best.

One final note that may be slightly out of place, if you really feel depressed in the months before the exam to an extent that is impairing your ability to study, seek medical help. It can really make all the difference in the world, and for some people it has. Don't let feelings of fear and anxiety and depression eat away at you and chip away at the great success you've achieved in coming this far in your medical career.


Good luck everybody!!
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2013
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Congratulation Egyptiandoc! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
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"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Benjamin Franklin
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Old 10-09-2013
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Congrats!!!! Which subject was heavily asked in exam? Pathology? What was subject distribution in your exam? How you prepared for neuroanatomy sections? Did you do anyother question bank like usmlerx or kaplan qbank?
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Great result! Good for you! Thanks for sharing your experience here! Good luck in your next Steps!
Did you use any other QBanks during your preparation except USMLE World and NBMEs?
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Old 10-09-2013
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I think this is the best exam experience post I've read on this forum. Congrats.
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Old 10-10-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Albert View Post
Congrats!!!! Which subject was heavily asked in exam? Pathology? What was subject distribution in your exam? How you prepared for neuroanatomy sections? Did you do anyother question bank like usmlerx or kaplan qbank?
I used only UWorld and NBME self assessments.


I don't know many people who used Kaplan Qbank so I can't judge that. I can affirm that UWorld is an absolute necessity though.

I relied on the UWorld questions for neuroanatomy, didn't even watch the Kaplan neuroanatomy videos or use a neuroanatomy review book. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. This was certainly not the best strategy though and I caution against using it as I did leave the exam feeling anxious about many neuroanatomy questions.

I felt pharmacology, pathology and ethics to be the most heavily featured. There was A LOT of endocrine. I remember feeling surprised at how heavily endocrine was featured, especially the congenital adrenal hyperplasias (know the enzyme deficiencies in CAH by heart!)

I'm afraid I don't remember too much on specifics of the exam though.
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the best post , most helpful post in this forum I have ever read .. just going thr' ur post , I get some most difficult answers from ur post which make me so so panicky nd distracting me from my effort ..the chapters I left or not touched etc.. thank you so much for this post
also I donot like fa too initially may b another exception but yes, since everyone recommend I cannot take the risk of avoiding it ..fa way of writing is not atall good in my opinion ..so initially I started while in my first read to annotate , I left it now while in my 2nd /3rd read I understand it better..fa also gives u few points which main text misses , uw asks from fa ,so need to read fa in my opinion but Kaplan , goljan nd uw I guess the best combination
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Way to go man ! rbna ywf2ak !
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Congrats !!!
This is more of an INSPIRING POST !!!
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Default Congrats!

Congratulations on your score!!! Thank you for sharing your experience and advice!
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