Dr. KnifeHappy Step 1 Experience: 205 & Proud!!! - USMLE Forums
USMLE Forums Logo
USMLE Forums         Your Reliable USMLE Online Community     Members     Posts
Home
USMLE Articles
USMLE News
USMLE Polls
USMLE Books
USMLE Apps
Go Back   USMLE Forums > USMLE Step 1 Forum

USMLE Step 1 Forum USMLE Step 1 Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 1 exam


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-18-2014
Dr. KnifeHappy's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 165
Threads: 19
Thanked 180 Times in 69 Posts
Reputation: 190
Show Teeth Dr. KnifeHappy Step 1 Experience: 205 & Proud!!!

ABOUT ME:
I am an IMG (U.S citizen)…I am one of the happiest individuals right now. I worked my butt of for this exam and with GOD, and GOD only I was able to clear this thing first time. I am an average student with good work ethic. I was average in my med school classes but had a drive to succeed. I know it is not the best score, but you know when you have sweated and stressed and done everything possible about an exam, you knew what it took to get it …you will be proud of it regardless. Trust me when I started I had dreams of 240 plus, but as my prep continued, I realized what a beast of an exam Step 1 was, and it became a 230 goal, to a 220 goal to a “I just wanna pass” lol.

My STATS:

USWA 1: 206 ( 5 months out)
USWA 2: 219 ( 3 weeks out)
NBME 6: 160( 6 months out)
NBME 7: 165( 5 months out)
NBME 11: 184( 2 months out)
NBME 13: 184( 4 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 1: 190( 2 months out)
USMLE RX sim 2: 213 ( 6 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 3: 217 ( 5 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 4: 229 (2 weeks out)
Free 150q : 72 % (220) (3 days out)

REAL SCORE: 205

MY SOURCES:
Kaplan Step 1 Live prep
Kaplan books & Videos
USMLE step 1 secrets (50%)
FA 2012 (3x)
PATHOMA video (2x)
DIT 2013
Deja Review USMLE step 1
USMLE Success Academy: Dr. Paul
UWORLD (2x)
USMLE RX Qmax (1.5x)


MY PREPARATION:

When I started, I read a lot of posts and had my master plan to take the exam in 6 months, but the exam ended up taking me 11 months to complete. I started with Kaplan live prep class, and at the time I thought the program was great, but after taking my NBMEs upon completion and failed miserably, I knew I had a lot of work to do. Kaplan is great but not for everyone, it is fast paced and massive amount of information with not enough time to sink in. I highly recommend the Kaplan videos though; it was 90 percent similar to the live prep program.

So after completion of that I read and watched the entire Kaplan book/videos, then I moved on to FA & DIT for a month plus, then moved on to PATHOMA afterwards. The transition was great because I was now able to focus more on higher yield info, but just slight improvement in scores. I then started with UWORLD, upon completion I took the assessment, and then again took NBME, no improvement. I was heartbroken and disappointed. After doing all the things I was supposed to do still no improvement. I contacted Dr. Paul USMLE Success Academy, and did the 4 weeks program, upon completion my score increased tremendously but I was still not passing. So I then started USMLE RX[ best decision I ever made]. USMLE RX allowed me to really understand firstaid, the questions seem straightforward but I was able to start mastering ways of picking out an answer in a vignette, and so I continued RX and FA and UWORLD at the end of my prep.

EXAM DAY EXPERIENCE

I haven’t prayed so much about any exam in my life. MCAT experience is nothing compared to step 1. Night before exam I knew I needed to get a lot of sleep, but I had so much adrenaline and thoughts rushing through me that I couldn’t sleep till after 2 am. I went to bed at 10 and kept twisting and turning with my heart racing for no reason. On exam day, I took a lot of granola bars, 4 red bulls, water and a bowl of oranges for breaks. Don’t carry a lot of stuff with you, the lockers aren’t that big (size of a shoe box, but taller). Overall my exam was a mix of everything, I can’t really say I had lots of neuro or micro etc. But I know that FA did help me a lot, also some neuro images. But what I noticed is that the questions were LONGGGG. Believe me when I tell you, I had no time to go back to review my checked answers for ALL 7 blocks. Vignette is longer than uworld and rx and nbmes. So practice time management very well. I was ending blocks with seconds left in my time. Just ridiculous. So read fast, very fast, and be able to pick out key points from the exam. I took almost all my breaks, especially after a hard block. Also they give you a laminated marker board before start, make sure you save space and you can write your formulas and note before you start, so that was helpful. I used it to jot down all the biostats equation, some pharm equations and renal equations. I don’t recall seeing any questions from NBMEs, but I saw an exact question from the free 150q I was shocked. But I probably got it wrong because it was a hard question. The 8 hours was long, tiring and I was ready for it to be over with. But I tell you, the relief of being done was priceless. I felt I could breathe again.

I received my score January 15, 2014, Got an email that my score was available through oasis, I tell you when I opened that pdf and saw pass, I was in tears, just thanking God. I know I couldn’t have done it on my own.

WORDS TO THE UNDERDOGS, THOSE WHO FAILED AND THOSE STRUGGLING

I am here for you, I have been in your shoes and I know what you feel. It is easy to get discouraged when you come here and see 240 plus scores and think you are not smart enough when you can barely pass your NBMES. And you see people with 230 depressed about their scores. But you have to keep your head up and not always let what you see in these forums depress you. When I posted my score on the nbme score correlation page on this site, I was a little embarrassed because my stats was quite unique from others. I kept seeing 240 plus scores and here I was about to post my 205. Also know that the NBMEs are a good prediction of your scores but it is not everything. I got tired of NBMEs messing me up and depressing me. So I stopped after my 184 and couldn’t handle prolonging my exam anymore. Be honest with yourself. Know your test taking abilities, know your knowledge and use it in your favor. Don’t be ignorant and think because you passed on your med school classes Step 1 will be a breeze. It is not. REPETITION, REPETITION REPETITTION is key. FA and uworld helped me a lot. But USMLE rx helped me tremendously. FA is more concept driven, but you can’t start understanding concepts if your knowledge level is lacking, that is where USMLE rx comes in. It helps you cram FA.

IF I CAN PASS THIS EXAM, you can too. Do away with all distractions (friends, facebook, stress etc)…dedicate months and weeks to preparing, at least 10 hours daily….with reading and qbanks. Memorizing your way through this exam would not work. Stay diligent, do it over and over. I read FA 3x, wish I could have done it 10 times. On my 3rd time I began understanding it even more, and was able to recall things better. And the most important, put your faith in God. You hear of stories of people passing their NBMEs and still failing and I didn’t even pass my last NBME and passed this exam. So do away with fear. Fear will deter you from doing well on this exam. Ask God to grant you wisdom and knowledge to tackle this exam. Pray and have faith that you can pass/ get your target score. I struggled through different sources before I could pass this exam. But I am glad I passed it first time. It is not the greatest score. But I will take it and run with it, because now I have learned do’s and don’ts for my step 2 ck/cs. So pick yourself up. Don’t take “NO” for an answer, study study study, and you will do well.


Please feel free to ask me any questions or INBOX me. I hope my story can help those struggling with this exam. God Bless. [Feels good to officially be moving on to Step 2 CK and CS Forums]
__________________
~When FEAR knocks, let FAITH answer the door.~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
50539 (01-30-2016), ad89 (11-21-2014), ADD.MD (01-13-2016), adrenaline106 (04-28-2014), amrat (4 Weeks Ago), angelar (07-11-2016), bakita250 (04-29-2014), bobby7133 (01-20-2014), cybron (01-18-2014), darbi (01-21-2014), Dhakshi (01-18-2014), docvarman (02-08-2016), dr.joe (01-18-2014), Dr.MGM (01-18-2014), dr.Zh (01-18-2014), drcat (12-03-2015), drfahim (04-29-2014), drfarg (01-18-2014), drpisho (01-19-2014), dwijeshsheth (01-19-2014), fahminat (03-20-2016), faith255 (01-18-2014), Fenzo (02-28-2014), frunzaf (01-21-2014), gagz (01-24-2014), ginseng plus (11-15-2014), grateful (04-28-2014), Hopefuldoc (01-19-2014), Hopetopass2 (11-15-2014), hymech (01-14-2016), karmkrit (03-04-2016), kjrj (02-24-2016), Layla937 (11-23-2014), medico (05-10-2014), meghakotha (09-23-2015), melsayed8 (03-01-2016), Mr.wonderful (11-15-2014), msa88 (04-29-2014), Natalia1 (11-15-2014), neelima208 (01-19-2014), Nijhum (01-21-2014), Nnamdi (02-02-2016), orthoguy (01-18-2014), Oscaryasser (01-19-2014), otherself (05-19-2016), pranavmerchant (01-18-2014), psoriasis (11-16-2014), rhotensia77 (02-22-2016), riiva (01-23-2014), saimd (02-22-2016), seemaCMC (01-18-2014), seniortaker (06-09-2014), shahzeenmurad (11-22-2014), sourcrat (11-15-2014), spaduri (01-18-2014), spasstik (02-19-2014), stanford.md (11-23-2014), study03 (04-06-2016), thelostsoul (02-23-2016), tiger_stanford (01-20-2014), truepassion20 (01-19-2014), vita86 (01-21-2014), wangminh12 (12-13-2014)



  #2  
Old 01-18-2014
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 146
Threads: 1
Thanked 156 Times in 56 Posts
Reputation: 166
Default

I love this post. Great post man.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-18-2014)
  #3  
Old 01-18-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 49
Threads: 13
Thanked 51 Times in 12 Posts
Reputation: 61
Default

Congrats !!! Your post is totally inspirational and gave an insight on what to expect. Thanks a lot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-18-2014)
 
  #4  
Old 01-18-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 63
Threads: 13
Thanked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Reputation: 25
Default

Congratulation for passing the exam! Now, after trying many kinds of materials, can you recommend which is the better between USMLE Success Academy and Kaplan live prep?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-18-2014)
  #5  
Old 01-18-2014
Dr. KnifeHappy's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 165
Threads: 19
Thanked 180 Times in 69 Posts
Reputation: 190
Idea! Great question. LISTEN AND LISTEN WELL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeleton View Post
Congratulation for passing the exam! Now, after trying many kinds of materials, can you recommend which is the better between USMLE Success Academy and Kaplan live prep?
AN HONEST NON-BIASED REVIEW OF BOTH: They are both on different levels honestly.

Kaplan Live prep
PROS
- You get exposed to all the information.
- Everything on the step 1 is there, but the problem is that it is hidden.
- The qbank is great, tough to start with, hard questions. But a good way to know what to expect.
- The VIDEOS; I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. It was exactly the same as live prep.
- Gives you structure daily studying,qbank etc. But not enough time.

CONS
-Highly densed, toooooooo much information to remember.
-After completion i really didn't remember anything from kaplan. Most of the things that stuck with me where from FA, pathoma etc.
-Live prep doesn't give you enough time to retain the info, you feel you touch on a topic and before you know it you are on to the next topic.
-Some teachers are great, some arent. It sucked at times that i had to go back to Kaplan video to reteach a topic that was poorly taught by my live prep instructor.

-----------------
USMLE SUCCESS ACADEMY: Dr. Paul
PROS
- I respect Dr. Paul and he is a very honest man and a diligent individual who really cares about his student success. OF ALL THE COURSES I HAVE TAKEN, THIS IS ONE THAT CHANGED MY PREP TREMENDOUSLY. HE MOTIVATED ME IN WAYS I COULDN'T DESCRIBE. [Trust me i have no affiliations with Success Academy, and i am not getting paid by them, i am just a student who took his program and i am giving credit to whom credit is due. Simple as that].
- He answers all your questions promptly.
- Program is great, you will see concepts from uworld and FA in his videos, LOTS OF HIGH YIELD.
- His videos are great for visual learners, he draws/writes while he teaches.
- He is flexible.
- QUIZ BOOK IS FANTASTIC. Similar to DIT quizes but better. THIS WAS MY GREATEST ASSET. The quiz book contained lots of high yield info and i focused on it through the end of my prep.

CONS
- Don't expect him to hold your hands and force you to study, that is not the kind of program he runs. He gives you the study materials and video access and YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, just email or call him if you have questions
- If you aren't disciplined with studying, don't expect to magically be for his program, ofcourse he gives you a study schedule but it all boils down to how bad you want it and simply put in work.
- Dr. Paul might disagree with me on this statement but i strongly feel his course caters more to those who already have exposure. If you just came out of med school, you might be overwhelmed by his course, because its goes in detail and uses uworld high yield concepts that you might not comprehend yet. When i say exposure i mean: if you have done a course/studied before like kaplan, pass program,falcon, dit, fa etc. then you can comprehend his lectures. But if you haven't done any of that...his lectures might be overwhelming.
- Some topics he teaches really well, a few topics not so well.
- He can be too detailed atimes and too "listy"...like listing facts and information on a topic that becomes too much. For example in Genetics he emphasized on different gene names, chromosome # etc and i didnt see a question from uworld/rx or usmle step 1 on those topics.


So overall these are non-biased opinions of mine. At the end of the day i respect both programs, and i highly respect Dr. Paul Success Academy. But i wanted to avoid being one of those reviewers who just gave a watered down review of the course, i wanted to give a different perspective.

[ But i will never tell you which one to pick over another because everyone is different, just go with the information i have presented and make a decision]


Good luck on your prep
__________________
~When FEAR knocks, let FAITH answer the door.~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
bakita250 (04-29-2014), drfarg (01-18-2014), skeleton (01-18-2014), spasstik (02-19-2014)
  #6  
Old 01-18-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: 1 + CS
Posts: 30
Threads: 4
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Reputation: 12
Default

great exam experience the most important thing is that you are satisfied and that is more than enough can i know when exactly had you taken your exam
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 01-18-2014
Dr. KnifeHappy's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 165
Threads: 19
Thanked 180 Times in 69 Posts
Reputation: 190
Default

Took it Dec 20.
__________________
~When FEAR knocks, let FAITH answer the door.~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Mousumi (01-18-2014)
  #8  
Old 01-18-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 28
Threads: 14
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Reputation: 18
Default

Now this is what i call AN INSPIRATIONAL POST...thankyou for being honest and writing your experience..i was very depressed after seeing posts like " help me i got 230+ only or 230+ is it a good score etc"

you finally did it ..Congrats
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
darbi (01-21-2014), Dr. KnifeHappy (01-18-2014), Mr.wonderful (11-15-2014), orthoguy (01-20-2014), spasstik (02-19-2014)
  #9  
Old 01-18-2014
faith255's Avatar
USMLE Forums Master
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 521
Threads: 41
Thanked 74 Times in 63 Posts
Reputation: 84
Default

hey congrats on being done & getting a good score

i needed help reg. my study plan.. its been 6 mths to my prep already nd uptil now i hv done kaplan LN twice UW 1ce with annotations & FA 1ce.. in the middle of my 2nd read i took nbme 7 jst to c whr i stand nd was hell disappointed b/c i failed it..anyway i jst moved on thinking i wasnt fully prepared maybe tht's y i cdnt pass... now tht im done with 2nd read im too scared to take an online nbme instead im dng offline nbme & im getting more than 10 ques wrong in every block still

plz tell shd i take an nbme now or shd i 1st read the whole FA along with UW 1ce again bfr taking nbme? also is DIT any help? im planning to do DIT with FA soon.. shd i go ahead with it or jst focus on FA with UW?

awaiting ur rep..thanks..njoy..
__________________
Never let your fear be stronger than your Faith
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 01-18-2014
Dr. KnifeHappy's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 165
Threads: 19
Thanked 180 Times in 69 Posts
Reputation: 190
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by faith255 View Post
hey congrats on being done & getting a good score

i needed help reg. my study plan.. its been 6 mths to my prep already nd uptil now i hv done kaplan LN twice UW 1ce with annotations & FA 1ce.. in the middle of my 2nd read i took nbme 7 jst to c whr i stand nd was hell disappointed b/c i failed it..anyway i jst moved on thinking i wasnt fully prepared maybe tht's y i cdnt pass... now tht im done with 2nd read im too scared to take an online nbme instead im dng offline nbme & im getting more than 10 ques wrong in every block still

plz tell shd i take an nbme now or shd i 1st read the whole FA along with UW 1ce again bfr taking nbme? also is DIT any help? im planning to do DIT with FA soon.. shd i go ahead with it or jst focus on FA with UW?

awaiting ur rep..thanks..njoy..

I would advice not to take another NBMEs before you run out. I wouldnt advice doing ofline NBMEs either. But i would say you should totally do FA OVER AND OVER AGAIN. read it cover to cover at least 2 more times before another NBME. Also if you did uworld before, i would advice you do it again, this time read all the explanations. Try not to be in a habit of just doing blocks after blocks, focuse on the explanations and correlate them with FA.

DIT is great, but it might take you another 4-6 weeks to complete. I loved DIT, and the quiz book helped. I would consider DIT now that you are done with kaplan. Also for pathology, Consider "PATHOMA", it really does help if you havent done his lecture.

So yeah, since your foundation might still be lacking based on your scores. GO ahead with DIT; which will also help you learn FA...while also doing uworld qbank. Set a daily schedule that incorporates all three and trust me your score will increase. But make sure you read FA cover to cover like a novel. It really helps.

Hope that answers your question good luck.
__________________
~When FEAR knocks, let FAITH answer the door.~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
faith255 (01-19-2014)
  #11  
Old 01-19-2014
medicalbiology's Avatar
USMLE Forums Guru
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 394
Threads: 128
Thanked 108 Times in 88 Posts
Reputation: 118
Default

Congrtaz de.knife :-)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-19-2014)
  #12  
Old 01-19-2014
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 148
Threads: 37
Thanked 73 Times in 57 Posts
Reputation: 83
Default

congrats...it was truly inspirationalGood Luck
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-19-2014)
  #13  
Old 01-19-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 11
Threads: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Reputation: 13
Default

Congrats!! first of all!

Waooo.. !! best experience i ever read .. you know why?



Because I'm in the same position, Im been study for a year and get soooooo depressed because i did two NBME's in this long time of my prepration i don't passed .. this is FRUSTRATING!!

Im keep doing Uworld and reading FA, i also did PATHOMA. The point is that I'm working at the same time so u know how hard it is .!! BUT i keep my FAiTH and i know i will get this 4 letter PASS! because honestly is all i want just PASS!
I have many friends that had same experience they don't pass NBME's and the pass real test! I will start doing some more NBME's but off-line i know some people said that doing NBME offline is not good but in my situation i need to because for me is too much money.

Thx for share your experience.. is very motivating for me! Thx
Move forward and kill CK now!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-19-2014)
  #14  
Old 01-19-2014
USMLE Forums Master
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 592
Threads: 92
Thanked 196 Times in 128 Posts
Reputation: 206
Send a message via Skype™ to drpisho
Embarrassed one of the greatest post ive read so far

One of the most motivational post around here, thanks for this!!
your post gave me goosebumps, this is a really emotional journey and i cannot imagine what it will feel when you see the PASS and know that its finally over after all we have to struggle thru this.
i cant wait to feel that.
the best luck for CK!!
__________________
Will. Power. Faith. MATCHED IM 2016!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-19-2014)
  #15  
Old 01-19-2014
Dr. KnifeHappy's Avatar
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 165
Threads: 19
Thanked 180 Times in 69 Posts
Reputation: 190
Default Thankyou

Thanks everyone, i really do appreciate all your kind words. My inbox has been filled with alot of honest and diligent individuals going through the same thing. Hang in there... I feel i owe this thread so much, and it is my little way of giving back. So stay focused and you will do well. It is totally doable but set your eyes on the PRIZE and not the PRICE.
__________________
~When FEAR knocks, let FAITH answer the door.~
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
drfahim (04-29-2014), rhotensia77 (02-22-2016)



  #16  
Old 01-20-2014
USMLE Forums Veteran
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 283
Threads: 35
Thanked 206 Times in 115 Posts
Reputation: 216
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. KnifeHappy View Post
ABOUT ME:
I am an IMG (U.S citizen)…I am one of the happiest individuals right now. I worked my butt of for this exam and with GOD, and GOD only I was able to clear this thing first time. I am an average student with good work ethic. I was average in my med school classes but had a drive to succeed. I know it is not the best score, but you know when you have sweated and stressed and done everything possible about an exam, you knew what it took to get it …you will be proud of it regardless. Trust me when I started I had dreams of 240 plus, but as my prep continued, I realized what a beast of an exam Step 1 was, and it became a 230 goal, to a 220 goal to a “I just wanna pass” lol.

My STATS:

USWA 1: 206 ( 5 months out)
USWA 2: 219 ( 3 weeks out)
NBME 6: 160( 6 months out)
NBME 7: 165( 5 months out)
NBME 11: 184( 2 months out)
NBME 13: 184( 4 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 1: 190( 2 months out)
USMLE RX sim 2: 213 ( 6 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 3: 217 ( 5 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 4: 229 (2 weeks out)
Free 150q : 72 % (220) (3 days out)

REAL SCORE: 205

MY SOURCES:
Kaplan Step 1 Live prep
Kaplan books & Videos
USMLE step 1 secrets (50%)
FA 2012 (3x)
PATHOMA video (2x)
DIT 2013
Deja Review USMLE step 1
USMLE Success Academy: Dr. Paul
UWORLD (2x)
USMLE RX Qmax (1.5x)


MY PREPARATION:

When I started, I read a lot of posts and had my master plan to take the exam in 6 months, but the exam ended up taking me 11 months to complete. I started with Kaplan live prep class, and at the time I thought the program was great, but after taking my NBMEs upon completion and failed miserably, I knew I had a lot of work to do. Kaplan is great but not for everyone, it is fast paced and massive amount of information with not enough time to sink in. I highly recommend the Kaplan videos though; it was 90 percent similar to the live prep program.

So after completion of that I read and watched the entire Kaplan book/videos, then I moved on to FA & DIT for a month plus, then moved on to PATHOMA afterwards. The transition was great because I was now able to focus more on higher yield info, but just slight improvement in scores. I then started with UWORLD, upon completion I took the assessment, and then again took NBME, no improvement. I was heartbroken and disappointed. After doing all the things I was supposed to do still no improvement. I contacted Dr. Paul USMLE Success Academy, and did the 4 weeks program, upon completion my score increased tremendously but I was still not passing. So I then started USMLE RX[ best decision I ever made]. USMLE RX allowed me to really understand firstaid, the questions seem straightforward but I was able to start mastering ways of picking out an answer in a vignette, and so I continued RX and FA and UWORLD at the end of my prep.

EXAM DAY EXPERIENCE

I haven’t prayed so much about any exam in my life. MCAT experience is nothing compared to step 1. Night before exam I knew I needed to get a lot of sleep, but I had so much adrenaline and thoughts rushing through me that I couldn’t sleep till after 2 am. I went to bed at 10 and kept twisting and turning with my heart racing for no reason. On exam day, I took a lot of granola bars, 4 red bulls, water and a bowl of oranges for breaks. Don’t carry a lot of stuff with you, the lockers aren’t that big (size of a shoe box, but taller). Overall my exam was a mix of everything, I can’t really say I had lots of neuro or micro etc. But I know that FA did help me a lot, also some neuro images. But what I noticed is that the questions were LONGGGG. Believe me when I tell you, I had no time to go back to review my checked answers for ALL 7 blocks. Vignette is longer than uworld and rx and nbmes. So practice time management very well. I was ending blocks with seconds left in my time. Just ridiculous. So read fast, very fast, and be able to pick out key points from the exam. I took almost all my breaks, especially after a hard block. Also they give you a laminated marker board before start, make sure you save space and you can write your formulas and note before you start, so that was helpful. I used it to jot down all the biostats equation, some pharm equations and renal equations. I don’t recall seeing any questions from NBMEs, but I saw an exact question from the free 150q I was shocked. But I probably got it wrong because it was a hard question. The 8 hours was long, tiring and I was ready for it to be over with. But I tell you, the relief of being done was priceless. I felt I could breathe again.

I received my score January 15, 2014, Got an email that my score was available through oasis, I tell you when I opened that pdf and saw pass, I was in tears, just thanking God. I know I couldn’t have done it on my own.

WORDS TO THE UNDERDOGS, THOSE WHO FAILED AND THOSE STRUGGLING

I am here for you, I have been in your shoes and I know what you feel. It is easy to get discouraged when you come here and see 240 plus scores and think you are not smart enough when you can barely pass your NBMES. And you see people with 230 depressed about their scores. But you have to keep your head up and not always let what you see in these forums depress you. When I posted my score on the nbme score correlation page on this site, I was a little embarrassed because my stats was quite unique from others. I kept seeing 240 plus scores and here I was about to post my 205. Also know that the NBMEs are a good prediction of your scores but it is not everything. I got tired of NBMEs messing me up and depressing me. So I stopped after my 184 and couldn’t handle prolonging my exam anymore. Be honest with yourself. Know your test taking abilities, know your knowledge and use it in your favor. Don’t be ignorant and think because you passed on your med school classes Step 1 will be a breeze. It is not. REPETITION, REPETITION REPETITTION is key. FA and uworld helped me a lot. But USMLE rx helped me tremendously. FA is more concept driven, but you can’t start understanding concepts if your knowledge level is lacking, that is where USMLE rx comes in. It helps you cram FA.

IF I CAN PASS THIS EXAM, you can too. Do away with all distractions (friends, facebook, stress etc)…dedicate months and weeks to preparing, at least 10 hours daily….with reading and qbanks. Memorizing your way through this exam would not work. Stay diligent, do it over and over. I read FA 3x, wish I could have done it 10 times. On my 3rd time I began understanding it even more, and was able to recall things better. And the most important, put your faith in God. You hear of stories of people passing their NBMEs and still failing and I didn’t even pass my last NBME and passed this exam. So do away with fear. Fear will deter you from doing well on this exam. Ask God to grant you wisdom and knowledge to tackle this exam. Pray and have faith that you can pass/ get your target score. I struggled through different sources before I could pass this exam. But I am glad I passed it first time. It is not the greatest score. But I will take it and run with it, because now I have learned do’s and don’ts for my step 2 ck/cs. So pick yourself up. Don’t take “NO” for an answer, study study study, and you will do well.


Please feel free to ask me any questions or INBOX me. I hope my story can help those struggling with this exam. God Bless. [Feels good to officially be moving on to Step 2 CK and CS Forums]



Congratulations!!!!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-20-2014)
  #17  
Old 01-21-2014
USMLE Forums Addict
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 182
Threads: 20
Thanked 130 Times in 65 Posts
Reputation: 140
Default

You are One fighter Dude''
you did your best'' Congratulations MAy you get a residency Match upcoming year Best of luck
__________________
STEP-1 Passed/ CS - 1st attempt/CK DONE
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-21-2014)
  #18  
Old 01-21-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 14
Threads: 4
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Reputation: 14
Default

Congrats for passing de exam...and thanx fr sharing ur experience...really encouraging....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (01-21-2014)
  #19  
Old 04-28-2014
grateful's Avatar
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 2
Threads: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default thank you!!!

I'm waiting for result this Wed. I so appreciate this post you really helped me so much thank you for being REAL!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
drpisho (04-28-2014)
  #20  
Old 04-29-2014
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 57
Threads: 29
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default Experience update

Hi Dr Knifehappy

Congrat. for step 1 success and keep it up with Step 2 CK

I want to share with your great step 1 experiences.

You have stressed on repeated reading FA (at least thrice),do you still think that knowing most of/all informations provided in FA is enough to answer more than 75-80% of questions asked in USMLE Step 1.

Please share your kind experiences.

Please kindly post the suggestion who already have passed Step 1
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (11-23-2014)
  #21  
Old 04-29-2014
USMLE-Success-Academy's Avatar
Official Advertiser Representative
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 120
Threads: 15
Thanked 149 Times in 68 Posts
Reputation: 159
Default

Congratulations Doctor!
__________________
The USMLE Success Academy

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (11-23-2014)
  #22  
Old 11-15-2014
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Step 1 Only
Posts: 8
Threads: 2
Thanked 15 Times in 3 Posts
Reputation: 25
Default

Congratulations doc!

I'm really happy to see your accomplishment. My girlfriend is suffering the same struggle, but fortunately for us your post is totally inspirational. Thanks a lot!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The above post was thanked by:
Dr. KnifeHappy (11-23-2014)
  #23  
Old 01-29-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 10
Threads: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Reputation: 12
Default

Great man congrats, can u tell how good is usmle step 1 secrets book, should it be used for review?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #24  
Old 02-22-2016
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 2
Threads: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Reputation: 10
Default About Step1

Dear Dr Knife happy,
Congratulations on your score and honest opinion, Truly appreciate that, you motivated many average students like me to go ahead and dream that you can knock this step1 monster exam.

I need some advice from you, I would like to join USMLE sucess academy, would you advice going for their online review? you have mentioned Free 150q what is that? where do I enroll for those Q's?
Good luck & congrats,
Saimd
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #25  
Old 02-22-2016
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 3
Threads: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default thanks

Thanks for sharing your experience with us it was really help full and it encourage me a lot.I am IMG like you I want to take my test next month. I have been studying for 8 months and working at the same time, and it is really hard when you has to do both.I took my first nbme 2 weeks ago, and I got 185.I am planing to take the next one in 2 more weeks.I have not finish with UWORLD and I will finish this week with my 1 lecture to the first AID,when I took the Nbme I had read just the half of first AID.Can you give any advice please or give me your opinion about how I am doing,I will appreciate that.Thanks and congratulation!!!!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. KnifeHappy View Post
ABOUT ME:

I am an IMG (U.S citizen)…I am one of the happiest individuals right now. I worked my butt of for this exam and with GOD, and GOD only I was able to clear this thing first time. I am an average student with good work ethic. I was average in my med school classes but had a drive to succeed. I know it is not the best score, but you know when you have sweated and stressed and done everything possible about an exam, you knew what it took to get it …you will be proud of it regardless. Trust me when I started I had dreams of 240 plus, but as my prep continued, I realized what a beast of an exam Step 1 was, and it became a 230 goal, to a 220 goal to a “I just wanna pass” lol.

My STATS:

USWA 1: 206 ( 5 months out)
USWA 2: 219 ( 3 weeks out)
NBME 6: 160( 6 months out)
NBME 7: 165( 5 months out)
NBME 11: 184( 2 months out)
NBME 13: 184( 4 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 1: 190( 2 months out)
USMLE RX sim 2: 213 ( 6 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 3: 217 ( 5 weeks out)
USMLE RX sim 4: 229 (2 weeks out)
Free 150q : 72 % (220) (3 days out)

REAL SCORE: 205

MY SOURCES:
Kaplan Step 1 Live prep
Kaplan books & Videos
USMLE step 1 secrets (50%)
FA 2012 (3x)
PATHOMA video (2x)
DIT 2013
Deja Review USMLE step 1
USMLE Success Academy: Dr. Paul
UWORLD (2x)
USMLE RX Qmax (1.5x)


MY PREPARATION:

When I started, I read a lot of posts and had my master plan to take the exam in 6 months, but the exam ended up taking me 11 months to complete. I started with Kaplan live prep class, and at the time I thought the program was great, but after taking my NBMEs upon completion and failed miserably, I knew I had a lot of work to do. Kaplan is great but not for everyone, it is fast paced and massive amount of information with not enough time to sink in. I highly recommend the Kaplan videos though; it was 90 percent similar to the live prep program.

So after completion of that I read and watched the entire Kaplan book/videos, then I moved on to FA & DIT for a month plus, then moved on to PATHOMA afterwards. The transition was great because I was now able to focus more on higher yield info, but just slight improvement in scores. I then started with UWORLD, upon completion I took the assessment, and then again took NBME, no improvement. I was heartbroken and disappointed. After doing all the things I was supposed to do still no improvement. I contacted Dr. Paul USMLE Success Academy, and did the 4 weeks program, upon completion my score increased tremendously but I was still not passing. So I then started USMLE RX[ best decision I ever made]. USMLE RX allowed me to really understand firstaid, the questions seem straightforward but I was able to start mastering ways of picking out an answer in a vignette, and so I continued RX and FA and UWORLD at the end of my prep.

EXAM DAY EXPERIENCE

I haven’t prayed so much about any exam in my life. MCAT experience is nothing compared to step 1. Night before exam I knew I needed to get a lot of sleep, but I had so much adrenaline and thoughts rushing through me that I couldn’t sleep till after 2 am. I went to bed at 10 and kept twisting and turning with my heart racing for no reason. On exam day, I took a lot of granola bars, 4 red bulls, water and a bowl of oranges for breaks. Don’t carry a lot of stuff with you, the lockers aren’t that big (size of a shoe box, but taller). Overall my exam was a mix of everything, I can’t really say I had lots of neuro or micro etc. But I know that FA did help me a lot, also some neuro images. But what I noticed is that the questions were LONGGGG. Believe me when I tell you, I had no time to go back to review my checked answers for ALL 7 blocks. Vignette is longer than uworld and rx and nbmes. So practice time management very well. I was ending blocks with seconds left in my time. Just ridiculous. So read fast, very fast, and be able to pick out key points from the exam. I took almost all my breaks, especially after a hard block. Also they give you a laminated marker board before start, make sure you save space and you can write your formulas and note before you start, so that was helpful. I used it to jot down all the biostats equation, some pharm equations and renal equations. I don’t recall seeing any questions from NBMEs, but I saw an exact question from the free 150q I was shocked. But I probably got it wrong because it was a hard question. The 8 hours was long, tiring and I was ready for it to be over with. But I tell you, the relief of being done was priceless. I felt I could breathe again.

I received my score January 15, 2014, Got an email that my score was available through oasis, I tell you when I opened that pdf and saw pass, I was in tears, just thanking God. I know I couldn’t have done it on my own.

WORDS TO THE UNDERDOGS, THOSE WHO FAILED AND THOSE STRUGGLING

I am here for you, I have been in your shoes and I know what you feel. It is easy to get discouraged when you come here and see 240 plus scores and think you are not smart enough when you can barely pass your NBMES. And you see people with 230 depressed about their scores. But you have to keep your head up and not always let what you see in these forums depress you. When I posted my score on the nbme score correlation page on this site, I was a little embarrassed because my stats was quite unique from others. I kept seeing 240 plus scores and here I was about to post my 205. Also know that the NBMEs are a good prediction of your scores but it is not everything. I got tired of NBMEs messing me up and depressing me. So I stopped after my 184 and couldn’t handle prolonging my exam anymore. Be honest with yourself. Know your test taking abilities, know your knowledge and use it in your favor. Don’t be ignorant and think because you passed on your med school classes Step 1 will be a breeze. It is not. REPETITION, REPETITION REPETITTION is key. FA and uworld helped me a lot. But USMLE rx helped me tremendously. FA is more concept driven, but you can’t start understanding concepts if your knowledge level is lacking, that is where USMLE rx comes in. It helps you cram FA.

IF I CAN PASS THIS EXAM, you can too. Do away with all distractions (friends, facebook, stress etc)…dedicate months and weeks to preparing, at least 10 hours daily….with reading and qbanks. Memorizing your way through this exam would not work. Stay diligent, do it over and over. I read FA 3x, wish I could have done it 10 times. On my 3rd time I began understanding it even more, and was able to recall things better. And the most important, put your faith in God. You hear of stories of people passing their NBMEs and still failing and I didn’t even pass my last NBME and passed this exam. So do away with fear. Fear will deter you from doing well on this exam. Ask God to grant you wisdom and knowledge to tackle this exam. Pray and have faith that you can pass/ get your target score. I struggled through different sources before I could pass this exam. But I am glad I passed it first time. It is not the greatest score. But I will take it and run with it, because now I have learned do’s and don’ts for my step 2 ck/cs. So pick yourself up. Don’t take “NO” for an answer, study study study, and you will do well.


Please feel free to ask me any questions or INBOX me. I hope my story can help those struggling with this exam. God Bless. [Feels good to officially be moving on to Step 2 CK and CS Forums]
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message



  #26  
Old 02-25-2016
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 8
Threads: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Reputation: 10
Default nice~

congratulations! hard work does pay off!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #27  
Old 03-01-2016
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 2
Threads: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Reputation: 10
Default regarding matching

Dear Dr. Knifehappy
I would like to thank u deeply from my heart for this inspirational post regarding ur step1 score, I felt that ur post is like a message from God that came on time, today only I did my NBME17 & I got score of 209 and my exam is exactly after 8days,I was so disappointed & then went for prayer and shortly I found an email from USMLE forums including ur post. I hope that u r doing fine now & I hope that u matched in residency program as u wish. I knew u toke this exam long time back however I want to ask u about ur experience in matching, do u think that I will be able to match with score of 209 or so? do u advise me to go for the exam after 8 days or just to postponed it(this march is last month in my eligibility period). BTW I did not take any step else yet.
once more thank u for ur supporting & encouraging post.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #28  
Old 03-02-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 17
Threads: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default hey

is possible i can email you
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #29  
Old 03-02-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 17
Threads: 2
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Reputation: 11
Default hello

what exam are you giving now
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #30  
Old 03-30-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 15
Threads: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Reputation: 10
Default

congrats !!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #31  
Old 06-03-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 51
Threads: 1
Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts
Reputation: 20
Default

Wow, reading your story makes me feel ... like it was me if that makes sense. I'm also anxious about this exam and I know the only way to get rid of the fear is to finally sit down and study for this exam. There is no other way around it. All of you who have passed have worked so hard and I want to be like all of you. I wish you all the best.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #32  
Old 07-03-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 15
Threads: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Reputation: 14
Default

Well done, great score!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #33  
Old 07-11-2016
USMLE Forums Scout
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 42
Threads: 9
Thanked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Reputation: 29
Default

Congrats on your pass. Good luck as you progress
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #34  
Old 10-29-2016
USMLE Forums Newbie
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 1
Threads: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Reputation: 10
Default

Congrats and thanks for sharing!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message



Reply

Tags
Step-1-Experience

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the USMLE Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Medical School
Choose "---" if you don't want to tell. AMG for US & Canadian medical schools. IMG for all other medical schools.
USMLE Steps History
What steps finished! Example: 1+CK+CS+3 = Passed Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3.

Choose "---" if you don't want to tell.

Favorite USMLE Books
What USMLE books you really think are useful. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.
Location
Where you live. Leave blank if you don't want to tell.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My Step 1 experience 258/89 mayursn39 USMLE Step 1 Forum 29 11-26-2014 12:15 PM
253 Step 2 CK Experience USMLE234 USMLE Step 2 CK Forum 28 04-25-2013 08:07 PM
My experience - Step 2 CK, 99 OTAV USMLE Step 2 CK Forum 7 09-21-2012 12:47 AM
Step 1 Experience - 232/99 NGaleas USMLE Step 1 Forum 62 04-28-2012 05:27 PM
My 255/99 Step 1 Experience sufi USMLE Step 1 Forum 43 09-13-2011 08:01 PM

RSS Feed
Find Us on Facebook
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

USMLE® & other trade marks belong to their respective owners, read full disclaimer
USMLE Forums created under Creative Commons 3.0 License. (2009-2014)