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  #1  
Old 10-26-2013
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Listening The Ground Reality of Low Step 1 Score

Hey everyone,

I am a recently graduated IMG. I had taken my step 1 last month. Got the result this week and it is a low 194. I was expecting myself to fail as I had severe anxiety during the exam and was not able to concentrate properly for more than 2 blocks out of the total 7. Maybe it was the immense pressure I had put on myself to do well, which backfired on the very day of the exam.

I had given a few mock exams(NBME's as well UWSA) and felt my preparation was decent to get me a score of around 230, but the panic and anxiety which happened to me for the very first time in my life ruined it all during the exam.

Alright, I am not here to cry about it now. What's been done can't be changed now. I want to know the ground reality if I should continue for further steps or should I put in my energy in some different residency exams and forget about USMLE.

I have a few contacts in the US but I don't know of how much help will they be with such a low step 1 score. If I do study for CK and get above 240 and clear CS in the first attempt (barring I control my stupid anxiety) and do 4-5 months of observership/research, Do I stand a chance in getting a residency in Pediatrics or Family Medicine or Emergency Medicine? Or is it better to leave it at this stage itself and focus else where?
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Old 10-26-2013
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Can you please share your exam experience n how did you find genetics, biochem n biostatistics in exam? any advice which yu wanna give which yu feel if yu would have done so had scored much higher.
thnx
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Old 10-26-2013
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Originally Posted by Irha View Post
Can you please share your exam experience n how did you find genetics,biochem n biostatistics in exam?any advice which yu wanna give which yu feel if yu would have done so had scored much higher.thnx
Hey Irha,

With such a score I don't think so I'm the best person to guide you. But would surely share my exam experience. I did not get a good sleep a night before the exam and the whole previous day I had traveled to reach the exam destination. Very bad decision to be honest. It would have been better if i had reached there a couple of days earlier and relaxed sufficiently before the exam.

During the exam, my first block went fine, it was quite similar to the NBME's. It was with the second block when my anxiety levels started to rise as there were lot of difficult questions specially from Genetics and Behavioural Sciences. I must have got like 8-10questions in a row which I had no idea of and I panicked. After that my concentration levels took a hit and even the easier ones, i could not answer properly.

Overall, there were a few questions(about 25-30) which I had never even heard of in any of the books. I had a lot of questions from Behavioural and all of them were very tricky with almost all had like 7-8 options in them. Biostat was easy and straight forward, Patho and Pharmac were easy too. Anatomy questions were a little difficult and I guess FA just doesn't cover enough of Anatomy in it, Neuro-anat questions were do-able. I found Immuno also a little tough, Micro and Biochem were fine. I've scored poorly in Physiology, don't know how though.

Most of the questions had long Question-stems in my exam, so time yourself too when your solving questions.

But in the hindsight what i think I could have improved study wise was a practice of doing a 8 hour test 3-4 times to get that kind of endurance to tackle this exam and I could not revise Goljan RR before my exam which could have helped up my score by a few points too.
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Originally Posted by GM88 View Post
Hey Irha,

With such a score I don't think so I'm the best person to guide you. But would surely share my exam experience. I did not get a good sleep a night before the exam and the whole previous day I had traveled to reach the exam destination. Very bad decision to be honest. It would have been better if i had reached there a couple of days earlier and relaxed sufficiently before the exam.

During the exam, my first block went fine, it was quite similar to the NBME's. It was with the second block when my anxiety levels started to rise as there were lot of difficult questions specially from Genetics and Behavioural Sciences. I must have got like 8-10questions in a row which I had no idea of and I panicked. After that my concentration levels took a hit and even the easier ones, i could not answer properly.

Overall, there were a few questions(about 25-30) which I had never even heard of in any of the books. I had a lot of questions from Behavioural and all of them were very tricky with almost all had like 7-8 options in them. Biostat was easy and straight forward, Patho and Pharmac were easy too. Anatomy questions were a little difficult and I guess FA just doesn't cover enough of Anatomy in it, Neuro-anat questions were do-able. I found Immuno also a little tough, Micro and Biochem were fine. I've scored poorly in Physiology, don't know how though.

Most of the questions had long Question-stems in my exam, so time yourself too when your solving questions.

But in the hindsight what i think I could have improved study wise was a practice of doing a 8 hour test 3-4 times to get that kind of endurance to tackle this exam and I could not revise Goljan RR before my exam which could have helped up my score by a few points too.
Oh thanks for guidance. yup taking a good sleep n getting used to exam anxiety play pivotal role in your performance. good luck. ill take care of these factors. i really appreciate your response.
thnx
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Old 10-26-2013
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Originally Posted by GM88 View Post
Hey Irha,

With such a score I don't think so I'm the best person to guide you. But would surely share my exam experience. I did not get a good sleep a night before the exam and the whole previous day I had traveled to reach the exam destination. Very bad decision to be honest. It would have been better if i had reached there a couple of days earlier and relaxed sufficiently before the exam.

During the exam, my first block went fine, it was quite similar to the NBME's. It was with the second block when my anxiety levels started to rise as there were lot of difficult questions specially from Genetics and Behavioural Sciences. I must have got like 8-10questions in a row which I had no idea of and I panicked. After that my concentration levels took a hit and even the easier ones, i could not answer properly.

Overall, there were a few questions(about 25-30) which I had never even heard of in any of the books. I had a lot of questions from Behavioural and all of them were very tricky with almost all had like 7-8 options in them. Biostat was easy and straight forward, Patho and Pharmac were easy too. Anatomy questions were a little difficult and I guess FA just doesn't cover enough of Anatomy in it, Neuro-anat questions were do-able. I found Immuno also a little tough, Micro and Biochem were fine. I've scored poorly in Physiology, don't know how though.

Most of the questions had long Question-stems in my exam, so time yourself too when your solving questions.

But in the hindsight what i think I could have improved study wise was a practice of doing a 8 hour test 3-4 times to get that kind of endurance to tackle this exam and I could not revise Goljan RR before my exam which could have helped up my score by a few points too.
I am really sorry to hear that . You know i had scored amazing in NBME 15, but i took a real downturn on UWSA1 and a lot of it was due to behavioral, genetics and molecular bio...i got anxious and nervous and it ruined the rest of the exam for me. So i pushed my test date back and i am working on controlling my anxiety when it comes to those subjects. I am taking the time to do those subjects in Kaplan and in HY.
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Old 10-27-2013
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Correct Answer heyy

it indeed is a low score considering the sky-high scores ppl r getting these days.. but IMO dnt lose hope if u believe u can score high in ck then go for it u r saying u have contacts thn they shd help u get into residency nd yes i hv heard tht scores matter but so do the reasearch & electives etc so thr shd b a balance.. all the best!

also wht 2nd options r u thinking abt??
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  #7  
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looking at the charting outcomes from "the match", your score is not hopeless... I take General Surgery as example because is known to be IMG friendly at all (at least concerning the most competitive residency programs).






as you can see your chances to match are not so different from someone who scored more than you. maybe you won't match in the best universities (which is actually difficult for EVERY IMG), but you will find your place anyway

so, I think you can still manage to get out from this situation, if you want!
good luck with everything
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Old 10-28-2013
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Originally Posted by faith255 View Post
it indeed is a low score considering the sky-high scores ppl r getting these days.. but IMO dnt lose hope if u believe u can score high in ck then go for it u r saying u have contacts thn they shd help u get into residency nd yes i hv heard tht scores matter but so do the reasearch & electives etc so thr shd b a balance.. all the best!

also wht 2nd options r u thinking abt??
I know its a pretty low score, that is pushing me to consider my options. I know I can score good in the other steps, but this one already seems to be a big stain on my CV. Yes, I know Research/Electives do hold some ground too, but I've heard there are filters for step 1,2CK scores and I'm sure I'll be filtered out in all the applications and won't be called for IV unless and until someone personally tells the Program Director to look into my application. Do you know anyone recently with this kind of score getting Interview calls for FM/Peds?

Although, my dream is to come to US to do residency in Peds along with my brother who has also given his step 1 a couple of months back. But as you asked, other options I am considering are-

1. To start studying for residency exam in my Home country, i.e. - India.
2. Have heard that New Zealand accepts scores of USMLE step1 & 2CK, but don't know the exact procedure to enter residency there. Anyone with some concrete info on this can guide me a little.

In complete state of dilemma.
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Old 10-28-2013
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looking at the charting outcomes from "the match", your score is not hopeless... I take General Surgery as example because is known to be IMG friendly at all (at least concerning the most competitive residency programs).


as you can see your chances to match are not so different from someone who scored more than you. maybe you won't match in the best universities (which is actually difficult for EVERY IMG), but you will find your place anyway

so, I think you can still manage to get out from this situation, if you want!
good luck with everything
Thanks a lot Viner for giving a positive outlook to my situation. Has the scenario changed vastly from 2011 matching to say 2015 matching when I might be applying. I have a few seniors from my Med school applying for 2014 match for IM/Peds with 220's in both steps and CS cleared in 1st attempt along with 3-4months of Electives/Observerships and haven't got an IV yet. I know the season is not yet over, but its almost end October now. This does scare me a lot to continue with my below par score. Can a 240+ in CK compensate for my dismal step 1 score. If yes, I'll get back to the books from today itself and work my socks off to achieve what I've always dreamed.
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Old 10-28-2013
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Originally Posted by GM88 View Post
Thanks a lot Viner for giving a positive outlook to my situation. Has the scenario changed vastly from 2011 matching to say 2015 matching when I might be applying. I have a few seniors from my Med school applying for 2014 match for IM/Peds with 220's in both steps and CS cleared in 1st attempt along with 3-4months of Electives/Observerships and haven't got an IV yet. I know the season is not yet over, but its almost end October now. This does scare me a lot to continue with my below par score. Can a 240+ in CK compensate for my dismal step 1 score. If yes, I'll get back to the books from today itself and work my socks off to achieve what I've always dreamed.

if we are talking about future scenario, the fact that USMLE score levels are raising is not at issue: to match as an IMG you have to stand out among the others.

BUT, since we are talking about future scenarios, the fact that USA is facing the biggest social gap between rich and poor in its history, is not at issue neither.
I mean that if in past many american families (the middle class) were able to support their son's studies (at least in part), this is happening less and less.
let's make it simple: USA need (and will need) doctors, and since we are so lucky (or so determined in many cases - don't forget those who worked hard even to pay their med school) to be able to afford the USMLE... well, I think there will have a place once there.

where this place will be, it's all about us.

gl with eveything.

[just my 2c obvsly]
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Old 10-30-2013
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nope i hvnt heard anyone getting in residency with this score but then again dnt decide on step 1..go for step 2 if u believe u can do it..
GL
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Old 11-20-2013
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Default HELP??

Hi guys, im totally new to this forum...n decided to register with u guys since i was feeling totally broken and depressed: i got my step 1 result today...a 206...im in utter shock to tell u the truth none of my nbme scores predicted this outcome some one plz guide me and help me in this situation -

I am an IMG graduated in mid 2012, took step 1 -206, studying currently for step 2ck, my step 1 nbme form 15 (570), form 13 (470), uworld qbank (96th percentile) - i literally spent 1.5 years studying for step 1 to aim for a 250....

Is there any way i can get a residency for the 2015 match? I have no US electives/rotations/research/LOR's...i feel like my life has totally like fallen apart and im at a total loss on what to do n how to pick up the pieces...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated: thanx
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Old 11-23-2013
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Hi guys, im totally new to this forum...n decided to register with u guys since i was feeling totally broken and depressed: i got my step 1 result today...a 206...im in utter shock to tell u the truth none of my nbme scores predicted this outcome some one plz guide me and help me in this situation -

I am an IMG graduated in mid 2012, took step 1 -206, studying currently for step 2ck, my step 1 nbme form 15 (570), form 13 (470), uworld qbank (96th percentile) - i literally spent 1.5 years studying for step 1 to aim for a 250....

Is there any way i can get a residency for the 2015 match? I have no US electives/rotations/research/LOR's...i feel like my life has totally like fallen apart and im at a total loss on what to do n how to pick up the pieces...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated: thanx
u still have a lot of hope if u could manage something like 250 on step 2 n CS first attempt..
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Old 11-23-2013
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@GM88
I havent given my exms yet.I can understand how hard it is to face a competitive exam..I have a few words.Its jus my thought.Not evrybody can get high scores, but i belive evrybody have a life.You will have a life u wanted..just that u have to belive in what u r doing.If you just drop the whole idea of usmle and switch then someday in your life you wake up and realize there wont be anymore time to do things always you wantd

All other options you mentioned are good but its better to concentrate on one. I belive it should have been your dream.its not an easy task.Get done with all your steps,try to get hold of a reaearch and then apply.Your cv should reflect on your hardwork.In usa scores are one way to select imgs,but they dont do all the time I am sure they would consider you if you are really good.Try to be the one.its just about the time.If nothing works out,India is always there for us.
All the best!!
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Old 11-23-2013
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Thanks for your encouragement Lokya. I've had long chats with many of my seniors also on this and the jist of the whole situation I can make out is it all depends how desperately I want to get inside the residency programs. The doors are not yet closed and its on me to make new ways for myself. It surely would be a test of patience,hard work and endurance. But then I guess no dreams are achieved without crossing hard obstacles. Have started preparing for CK as of now. Hoping to turn things around in my favor this time.
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Old 11-24-2013
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Thanks for your encouragement Lokya. I've had long chats with many of my seniors also on this and the jist of the whole situation I can make out is it all depends how desperately I want to get inside the residency programs. The doors are not yet closed and its on me to make new ways for myself. It surely would be a test of patience,hard work and endurance. But then I guess no dreams are achieved without crossing hard obstacles. Have started preparing for CK as of now. Hoping to turn things around in my favor this time.
good luck with everything mate
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