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  #1  
Old 12-18-2013
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Experiences Just finished exam...first thoughts..

Very glad to be done, just thought id share the general impression of the exam and maybe try to reassure people who are about to take it:

First off, the exam seemed very fair. Id say it seemed to be on a similar level of difficulty to the NBMEs, with a similar mix of easy/medium/hard questions.

The majority of questions were slightly more straightforward than Uworld, many on a similar level, and a few more difficult. On average I got 1-2 "wtf" questions per block, about half of these were workable (whether I arrived at the right choice is another matter i guess) and the other half were truly a shot in the dark. I dont think you can prepare for these questions, but they are definitely in the minority in the exam

Many questions were on topics that were covered in the exact same way in Uworld. Overall I felt that Uworld matched the exam style slightly better than Kaplan Q-bank, although Qbank does make a good attempt at simulating the odd WTF question. USMLE-rx is a long long way off, its a good way to learn/reinforce material but the question style seemed very different - its hard to pinpoint why exactly, they just seemed to be better written or something.

I found myself more pressed for time on the real thing than on practice exams. I tended to spend a lot more time on the easy/medium questions double checking than I ever would have on any practice test. My advice would be to not do this, if you're reasonably confident just choose the answer and move on. I finished each block with 5-10 mins to review, and i would have liked a bit more time.

I think the most important thing is keeping a clear mind throughout, and i found this very hard. The last few blocks were difficult working through the fatigue. I know of at least a few questions that ive got wrong towards the end which i dont think i would have if i hadnt been so tired. I only did one full length practice exam. If I were to do it again, I would definately do more 8h simulations under as realistic exam conditions as you can manage, ideally while stressed and slightly sleep deprived. I know of a few questions which i got wrong purely from not being able to think clearly enough in the test.

Overall my advice would be not to freak out, just study hard, know Uworld, know First aid, and PRACTICE to built up your stamina and exam technique.

Now comes the uneasy 3 week wait

Good luck!
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2013
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You'll be fine!

Pray for that 270!
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2013
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hey congrats on being DONE !! (-:

IA u will get ur desired score..

plz advise for histo is FA nd uw enough?

also how many graphs, CTs, MRIs etc did u c in ur exam?

thanks.. all the best
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faith255 View Post
hey congrats on being DONE !! (-:

IA u will get ur desired score..

plz advise for histo is FA nd uw enough?

also how many graphs, CTs, MRIs etc did u c in ur exam?

thanks.. all the best
Hey, thanks

I didnt have too much histo on the exam, 3 or 4 slides i think. One was something i had never seen before, but was kinda guessable just looking at it (I didnt do any histo other than FA...at the end of uworld it was my weakest subject...although at the time i attributed that to the low amount of questions there are on it, thinking about it - if you have time it probably would be worth doing some histo specific revision, no idea what source would be best though).

I had a couple of CTs on abdo/chest - both of which were reasonable, and often could be mostly worked out from the clinical vignette.

One thing i noticed was that the hard/easy topics on the exam were completely different to the hard/easy topics other people had been reporting before i did the exam, i think its impossible to try and guess/predict what the exam will be like based on other peoples recent experiences...it seems all the exams are unique in terms of the specific topics etc. One thing that did surprise me a bit was that i had none of sequential type questions.

Oh yeah, and they saved the hardest WTF question on my test till the last block, several questions before the end haha...one question with several separate graphs and a complicated paragraph...you just gotta laugh when you get stuff like that and try not to let it get to you... remember everyone is in the same situation and there's always gonna be questions which you just have no chance at. I cant really remember how many other graphs i got, but nothing that stood out too much apart from that.

Last edited by USMLEUK.; 12-20-2013 at 02:20 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2013
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Good luck my friend!!
pls tell me which qbank i should do apart from UW
Kaplan or Rx?
Im not exactly comfortable with FA and i can do only one.
Thanks!!
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavmerchant View Post
Good luck my friend!!
pls tell me which qbank i should do apart from UW
Kaplan or Rx?
Im not exactly comfortable with FA and i can do only one.
Thanks!!
Apart from uworld, if you can only do one other question bank, i would definitely choose kaplan over Rx. I dont really think Rx is very good for anyone who is approaching the end of their studying schedule given how different the questions felt, but kaplan is pretty good.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavmerchant View Post
Good luck my friend!!
pls tell me which qbank i should do apart from UW
Kaplan or Rx?
Im not exactly comfortable with FA and i can do only one.
Thanks!!
Oh yeah, and whatever you do, at whatever cost, you need to try and get comfortable with first aid!

Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2014
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Default Q for preparation

hey there- congrats on your exam score! you killed step1!
I a in the middle of my prep now. Hope to take my exam mid-feb. I am doing UWorld and FA (is there anything else you would recommend?) I am not hitting very high on NBME exams (just in the low 200 range via score translation)

Any suggestions, advice, help would be so appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by USMLEUK. View Post
Very glad to be done, just thought id share the general impression of the exam and maybe try to reassure people who are about to take it:

First off, the exam seemed very fair. Id say it seemed to be on a similar level of difficulty to the NBMEs, with a similar mix of easy/medium/hard questions.

The majority of questions were slightly more straightforward than Uworld, many on a similar level, and a few more difficult. On average I got 1-2 "wtf" questions per block, about half of these were workable (whether I arrived at the right choice is another matter i guess) and the other half were truly a shot in the dark. I dont think you can prepare for these questions, but they are definitely in the minority in the exam

Many questions were on topics that were covered in the exact same way in Uworld. Overall I felt that Uworld matched the exam style slightly better than Kaplan Q-bank, although Qbank does make a good attempt at simulating the odd WTF question. USMLE-rx is a long long way off, its a good way to learn/reinforce material but the question style seemed very different - its hard to pinpoint why exactly, they just seemed to be better written or something.

I found myself more pressed for time on the real thing than on practice exams. I tended to spend a lot more time on the easy/medium questions double checking than I ever would have on any practice test. My advice would be to not do this, if you're reasonably confident just choose the answer and move on. I finished each block with 5-10 mins to review, and i would have liked a bit more time.

I think the most important thing is keeping a clear mind throughout, and i found this very hard. The last few blocks were difficult working through the fatigue. I know of at least a few questions that ive got wrong towards the end which i dont think i would have if i hadnt been so tired. I only did one full length practice exam. If I were to do it again, I would definately do more 8h simulations under as realistic exam conditions as you can manage, ideally while stressed and slightly sleep deprived. I know of a few questions which i got wrong purely from not being able to think clearly enough in the test.

Overall my advice would be not to freak out, just study hard, know Uworld, know First aid, and PRACTICE to built up your stamina and exam technique.

Now comes the uneasy 3 week wait

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2014
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My advice would be to just keep going through first aid and doing as many questions as possible. I strongly believe that the more questions and explanations you go through properly the higher you will score. I did a total of around 9000 questions. Ive heard people say if you do 10000 questions (without any textbooks/ other resources) and properly learn the educational objective of each question you're pretty much set for a very high score.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2014
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That is helpful! thanks. Based on the power of Q's and doing them well/thoroughly/understanding. What other Qbank besides UW would you use to supplement more Q's…

Will keep working very hard, more exposure = Higher score. But what got you to such a high score level?? 260+ is amazing!

also-is it worth the time & money to take all the NBME exams? As in- 5, 6, 7? Or focus more on the later ones? - 11, 12, 13, 15


Quote:
Originally Posted by USMLEUK. View Post
My advice would be to just keep going through first aid and doing as many questions as possible. I strongly believe that the more questions and explanations you go through properly the higher you will score. I did a total of around 9000 questions. Ive heard people say if you do 10000 questions (without any textbooks/ other resources) and properly learn the educational objective of each question you're pretty much set for a very high score.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2014
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Congrats ..best of the luck
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