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Old 10-22-2013
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USMLEWorld Is UWorld ABSOLUTELY Necessary for Step 1?

Hello everyone..

I am an IMG. My exam is about a month away. I am done with the books + Kaplan QBank, half of Rx and 65% UWorld.

I have noticed that my problem is RETAINING STUFF. When I do the questions, I tend to get the easy ones wrong quite often as I am constantly forgetting stuff and I feel that if I solve questions JUST AFTER reading books, I do much better.

After being done with almost 60% UWorld and averaging 64%, I am begining to think that I should stop doing UW and go back and read my annotated FA and other notes because as usual, I am forgetting stuff and UW and getting easy UW questions wrong. I think I should just do some reads of FA and sit for the exam. I cant take it anymore and feel that doing questions is now wasting my time.

What do you guys advice me? Is UW absolutely necessary or should I just do FA in this last month and challenge the beast?
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Old 10-22-2013
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Hi Leishmania,

I would highly suggest you continue with UW because the information you will gain from it is absolutely essential to a well-rounded Step 1 approach. If you forego the remainder of your UW question you will likely find that you aren't 100% prepared to tackle the real exam.

Since your main problem is retaining the information, simply reading through FA without doing it alongside questions won't likely help you overcome this problem, you should do UW alongside with FA (ie. adding notes from UW into your FA). In order to better RETAIN the information, you need to put forth a ton of effort in learning, understanding, and mastering the information. By avoiding UW you won't better retain the information, you will simply have less to remember. Set aside more time on a daily basis to actively learn the information you've learned from UW - only by putting in the effort to memorize and master the information will you find that you can retain it.

Best of luck.

Dr. Paul
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Old 10-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMLE-Success-Academy View Post
Hi Leishmania,

I would highly suggest you continue with UW because the information you will gain from it is absolutely essential to a well-rounded Step 1 approach. If you forego the remainder of your UW question you will likely find that you aren't 100% prepared to tackle the real exam.

Since your main problem is retaining the information, simply reading through FA without doing it alongside questions won't likely help you overcome this problem, you should do UW alongside with FA (ie. adding notes from UW into your FA). In order to better RETAIN the information, you need to put forth a ton of effort in learning, understanding, and mastering the information. By avoiding UW you won't better retain the information, you will simply have less to remember. Set aside more time on a daily basis to actively learn the information you've learned from UW - only by putting in the effort to memorize and master the information will you find that you can retain it.

Best of luck.

Dr. Paul

Thank you very much Dr. Paul I really appreciate your advice and will try to follow it.

Just wondering though that the isnt the info extracted from 3000+ questions of QBank & Rx, and countless books enough, that one still needs to continue with UWorld and realize he is making the same mistakes again??

However I will definitely try to finish the UWorld as per your advice.



And just wondering if anyone else would like to contribute their "two cents" please??
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No problem.

The thing with UW is that not only is the information in it almost spot-on when it comes to all of the USMLE's, but the level of difficulty and the way the questions are formatted/asked is also very close to the real thing. I've found over the years that using UW is not only the best option for info, but it is also excellent for training you to withstand the rigors of the actual exam; mainly due to its length of question stems, difficulty, etc.

You are right that all of the other qbanks will expose you to important information, but I'm just giving you the information I've gathered through trial-and-error over the years with my own students. I believe the Rx questions are derived from the FA (not 100% sure but I've been told), well you want to be exposed to questions that make you think harder, differently, and from a different angle. And the fact that you continue to get the UW questions incorrect, despite knowing the information, means that you shouldn't avoid the source of your frustration, but you should tackle it head-on in order to get better. If you are getting the UW questions wrong even though you feel you know the information well, you will likely experience the same issue on the real exam - which is why I suggest tackling the issue head-on and strengthening the weakness.

Good luck.
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Thank you again Dr. Paul

Yes I have changed my schedule and would try to squeeze in UWorld in way that I do most of it, if not 100%, before my subscription ends.

And no doubt UWorld makes you think from a different angle, but I realized that (at least for me) I started to think from different angles after finishing QBank and Rx and now my weak point is just RETAINING & RECALLING. (also, by thinking from different angles, I have started getting easy questions wrong by thinking too much :P )

Anyways, really appreciate your advice Dr. Paul. Thank you very much for your support
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Old 10-22-2013
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Dr. Paul, thank you for the great advice. Do you think one should start with U World at the beginning of their prep for the step 1?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo-tongji View Post
Do you think one should start with U World at the beginning of their prep for the step 1?
Hi Mo-tongji,

Yes, I would highly recommend starting off with a combination of UW + other texts (ie. basic science books)... This will give you the advantage of developing your thought-process towards the tough questions asked on the exam right from the start. There are many advantages to using this strategy early on, mainly that you condition yourself to think faster and more efficiently and you also will find that by making mistakes in your questions in UW (which by the way is ok and a good thing), you will take better care in learning the material that you may have previously just glanced over in passing while doing your reading.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Paul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leishmania View Post


And no doubt UWorld makes you think from a different angle, but I realized that (at least for me) I started to think from different angles after finishing QBank and Rx and now my weak point is just RETAINING & RECALLING. (also, by thinking from different angles, I have started getting easy questions wrong by thinking too much :P )

I know EXACTLY what u mean!!!
if u get to know what works for u to overcome this spot (recalling, and overthinking, both! )-----Let me know too!- please!
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Old 10-22-2013
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same problem with me .i have read kaplan almost 4times but unable to retain and recall.that is why scoring only 60%in uw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr rookie View Post
I know EXACTLY what u mean!!!
if u get to know what works for u to overcome this spot (recalling, and overthinking, both! )-----Let me know too!- please!


Haha.. sure man I will let u know.. I just hope I get a wonderful score in Step 1 after all the hardwork and frustration I have put in it only to keep forgetting it over and over again...

I guess we have to wait 50 years till genetic engineering gets really advanced and human beings can fit an extra 500 GB hard drive in their brains for such exams
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Old 10-23-2013
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Dear USMLE-Friend!

I did not use UWorld but I got a good score (255). I think that the most important in Step 1 is to have a good broad knowledge of all the topic. So paramount is STUDY well!!!. QBanks will help you to understand in which topics you have to improve and which questions are the most high yield. Of course depending on how much time do you have until the exam, I think that the most important is to review ALL the subjects at least 2 times. OF course I know that if I had more QBank probably I would have been able to get a better score.
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Thank you for the advice everyone...

But seriously I felt that there is absolutely no way a person can learn to think about a certain piece of knowledge from every different angle possible.. QBank, Rx and UW and other questions tend to test the same stuff from different angles and you get to "learn about these different angles" more as you do more questions, but that does not compensate for FORGETTING THE KNOWLEDGE.

If I had a great memory, I would have gone thru UWorld without even posting this "stupid" topic (as it may seem to some).. After reading Dr. Paul's reply, I thought about completing UW but now I am rethinking (no offense to Dr. Paul of course) because I believe "one plan cant suit everyone" and doing UW may not help me much in retaining...

If I get a great score on step 1, I will definitely post my experience and try to post tips to help those who cant retain easily..
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we know that every question in uworld is highyield....suppose in remaining uworld ther is some concept u dnt know and may be u will see same concept in exam...so i recommend to do all highyield stuff... I also cant retain much but to overcome this problem i will do more and more practice questions...if u really cant retain much( LIKE ME) then after 3rd read u will notice that u have mastered all concepts...
SO DONT LET THIS EXCUSE RUIN UR GREAT FUTURE

PS: can u extend??
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