My Step 1 experience
I gained a lot from this forum throughout my journey, so its time to contribute back. This is a brief journey of my Step 1
Prep time: 4months - 1 month break - 1month (Total -5months)
Materials used : FA, UWorld, Kaplan Q Bank
Study hours : 5-6 hours per day, 5 days a week
Last 1 month 8-10 hours a day, 6 days a week
Initial target : 220-230
Exam date : 26th Feb 2014
To begin with, I am an IMG who graduated in 2010. I got married and came to USA in 2013.
I started preparing for my USMLE Step 1 in August 2013. My initial plans was to sit for the exam in late Nov or early Dec, but it got delayed due to delay in the verification procedures by my medical school.
Since initially I planned to take only four months for prep, I decided to skip Kaplan Lecture Notes. I started off with first read of FA, which took me roughly 3 weeks. During the 3 weeks I would refer to KLN or online sources when I come across concepts that I did not understand or felt required more in depth reading. After 3 weeks, I subscribed UWorld for 3 months. I took UWorld as a learning tool rather than for assessment. Since I skipped KLN, there were a lot of concepts that I learned from UWorld. I would take notes in FA from U World. In these 3 months, I would have done another 3-4 readings of FA. I started off with low 50s but my scores gradually improved to 60s and my last 10 blocks I would have got 70s. I used to do 3 blocks in 2 days. I spent at least 3 hours per block reading the explanations and taking notes.
Since my exams got delayed, I had to take 1 month break due to earlier planned holidays and family trips. So after coming back from the break, I had to work extra harder. I spent at least 8-10hours on weekdays and 4-5 hours weekends. I read FA another two times, and subscribed Kaplan Q Bank. I completed about 50% of Kaplan Q Bank and did both the simulated exams in the 1 month. My confidence grew as my scores were above 70 and some reached low 80s. The last 1 week I did all behavioral science and biostats questions.
UWorld Cumulative score 65%, first time timed unused questions
Second time marked and incorrect questions 85% average
Kaplan Q Bank (only completed 50%) 73% average (last 1 month)
UWSA 1 (3.5 months prior to exam) 228
NBME 7 (3months prior to exam) 214
UWSA 2 (2.5 months prior to exam) 230 (many careless mistakes)
Kaplan Simulated Exam 1 (2weeks prior to exam) 72%
Kaplan Simulated Exam 2 (1.5weeks prior to exam) 73%
NBME 11 (1week prior to exam) 238
USMLE Free 150 (2days prior to exam) 91% (many repeated concepts from
Uworld and Kaplan Qbank)
I was very nervous to start with. I had to read the questions repeatedly due to being nervous. Somehow I settled after 20 questions. I marked at least 10-15 questions per block. My main constrain was time. During NBMEs and while doing the question banks I usually had around 12-15 minutes to spare to look back at unsure questions, and I will be able to read back all questions and correct it if I did any careless mistakes, but on the exam day I only had 5 minutes to spare, and the last 10 questions I had to hurry due to time. I only could review back few of the marked questions. I felt the questions were pretty lengthy compared to the question banks and nbme.
Honestly I expected an easier exam, but I did my best. I did random guesses at least 3-5 questions per block. So now the clock is ticking. I am expecting my results on 19th March 2014 and hoping for a score at least in the range of 230-235.
If you have more time for preparation, do read some basic books like KLN and Pathoma. If you feel your basics are relatively strong and its just a matter of recalling rather than understanding concepts, then maybe you can survive with FA and UWorld ( but do not expect scores greater than 250).
Start applying for the exams early and contact your medical school and get done with verification procedures fast.
Wish everyone all the best.
|The above post was thanked by:|
Doc889 (03-10-2014), Dr.JayMD (08-23-2014), dwijeshsheth (03-11-2014), gagz (03-19-2014), hope2015 (03-19-2014), itmt11 (03-21-2014), Natalie's (03-10-2014), Nijhum (03-11-2014), Oncology_freak (03-20-2014), pranavmerchant (03-11-2014), serizee (03-20-2014), swisschoco2 (03-10-2014), ToTaLeClipse (03-11-2014), usmled10 (10-16-2014), viva (03-11-2014), vrush_1003 (03-11-2014)
Congrats for the great score.. :-)
|The above post was thanked by:|
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