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  #1  
Old 03-11-2011
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Planning harlesmd Step 1 Prep Journal

Hi, I plan to take my exam on early May, and I have been studying for step one for 3 months. Been through Kaplan Lecture Notes twice, all videos, attended the 7 weeks live lecture and now revising FA. Here is my stat so far :

Kaplan Diagnostic Exam : 50%
Kaplan Subject Assessment (all 7 subjects) : average 84%
Kaplan Mid Exam (3 blocks : Anatomy, Biochem, Medical Genetics, Physiology) : 72%
Kaplan Final Exam (4 blocks Pathology, Pharmacology, Micro, Immuno, Behavioral) : 77%
Kaplan Qbanks (only manage to finish 40%, 1st time, mixed) : 72%
Free 143Qs USMLE sample : 87% (this sample questions is easier than Kaplan Qbanks)

Planning to finish revising FA in 2 weeks then take NBME 1 and 2 to assess my readiness to take this exam so I can set my exam date. Then start working on UW and expect to finish it in 3 weeks. I will finish up my prep by taking UWSA 1, 2 and the rest of my NBME form. I will update my progress along the way.

Please feel free to suggest my study plan, thanks
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Old 03-11-2011
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Wow 2 times in 3 months.. plus all the videos.. please advice me!!
how did u manage to do that.. can u tell me your schedule and hours of study...plus in what order did u do all books..

ill be studying with all the dvds as well.. how much the 7 week ?
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2011
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Hi LatinGeorge, I divided the 12 weeks study time into 2 part.
1. First 5 weeks : first read of Kaplan Lecture Notes and Video
I reviewed the notes and videos based on my performance on Kaplan Diagnostic Exam. I divided the subjects into 2 categories : basic subjects (Anatomy, Biochem, Medical Genetics and Physio) and integrated subjects (Micro, Immuno, Pharmaco, Pathology and BS). I started with my weakest subject to my strongest one.
Here is the order :
Anatomy : 6 days
Biochemistry + Medical Genetics : 6 days
Physiology : 5 days
Microbiology : 4 days
Immunology : 2 days
Pharmacology : 5 days
Pathology : 5 days
Behavioral : 3 days ( I intentionally reviewed this subject last due to the nature of its contents)
Normally I studied for 10-12 hours per day, reviewed the videos together with the lecture notes. Spent the last subject review day by doing questions from Qbook.

2. The next 7 weeks was the Live Lecture.
I just followed the Live Lecture schedule, attended the class in the morning till afternoon, and reviewed the lecture notes at the evening. I think I spent almost 14 hours per day during this period, really I didn't have life outside this USMLE thing hahaha....like a book worm lol !!! I hope it will pay off at the end.

The Live Lectures were good though it came with expensive price (3300 usd), It seems work for me since I need different method of learning to prevent burn out syndrome. The Pharm and Pathology lecture were the best among other subjects. Again, this is not a must, if you can review the video only, it's enough. I took all subject assessment exam after each lecture to assess how much I absorbed from the lectures.

Anyway, this schedule will not work for anyone, this is just a big picture how I prepare for this exam. I still have lots of things to do. I just start revising FA for few days, I didn't really like the format, but I think I can go through it pretty fast, just to recap all the materials I've learnt from Kaplan Lecture Notes. I supplement it with MedEssentials because it contains more materials in a well organized fashion. I think both review books are supplementing each other.

Hope it helps you and wish me luck with the rest of my prep. I'm getting nervous everyday as the exam day is approaching. Just keep on supporting each other
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Old 03-11-2011
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Hey, your study plan seems good as long as it worked for you and you understand everything. I think the most important part you may be missing is UWorld. I am not sure if you included it in your study schedule, but I didn't see it in there. But I assume as long as you are doing well with Kaplan Q bank, you should be good? I'm not sure but I'd include UWorld.
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Old 03-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cautie Pie View Post
Hey, your study plan seems good as long as it worked for you and you understand everything. I think the most important part you may be missing is UWorld. I am not sure if you included it in your study schedule, but I didn't see it in there. But I assume as long as you are doing well with Kaplan Q bank, you should be good? I'm not sure but I'd include UWorld.
Hi, thx for your response. Of course I schedule UW qbank as part of my prep (maybe you overlook it at my first post), I think it's vital part of this exam. I wish I could finish it in 3 weeks as I don't have much time left.
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Originally Posted by harlesmd View Post
Hi, thx for your response. Of course I schedule UW qbank as part of my prep (maybe you overlook it at my first post), I think it's vital part of this exam. I wish I could finish it in 3 weeks as I don't have much time left.
Yes thats great! in 3 weeks, its doable if you do about like 2 blocks everyday, or even take like 2-3 days doing more than 2 blocks.
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Old 03-11-2011
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if u compare the 7 week lecture, to the latest DVD found on the web 2010 and green notes... how much difference would u find?

by the way thanks for the explanation.. u have a very fast pace.. didnt you annotate in your fa from kaplan
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Old 03-11-2011
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Originally Posted by LatinGeorge View Post
if u compare the 7 week lecture, to the latest DVD found on the web 2010 and green notes... how much difference would u find?

by the way thanks for the explanation.. u have a very fast pace.. didnt you annotate in your fa from kaplan
As I mention above, I find Path and Pharm lecture will give lots of addition to the DVD and lecture notes, while for the rest of subjects, DVD themselves are enough.

I didn't use FA during live lecture, I only annotated my lecture notes because it was easier to follow the lecture.
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thanks for the explanation i wish u the best in your future endeavors.
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2011
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Default NBME 1 offline

I decided to do NBME 1 offline after reviewing 1/3 of FA, got 88.5% correct (177/200). I don't know how accurate and reliable this offline version is since no one knows the right answers. I haven't done other NBME form but I think this form is the easiest one, not really reflecting the current style of USMLE questions. That's why I prefer to use the offline version to save money. I am planning to take only NBME 3,6 and 7 online.
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Old 03-14-2011
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Default USMLE World Qbank

OK...so today I start subscribing to USMLE World for 30 days, will be working on this qbank while reviewing First Aid. I aim for 2-3 blocks per day and expect to finish it in 3 weeks....wish me luck !!!
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Old 03-14-2011
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HI there just wanted to ask about the kaplan live lectures...
1. are they taught by doctors or by students who have completed the exam.
2. which course is better the 7wk or the 14wk and why?
3. did you use kaplan notes through out your medical school education for usmle , or did you just start studying for the exam few months back, and just got exposed to the material recently?
4. what is the best way to retain all the info in the time you had?

thank you for your help.
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Old 03-14-2011
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Hi vrnda,
I will try to answer your questions :
1. Kaplan live lectures are delivered by faculties, most of them have PhD/MD degree.
2. Hmm...not many students take the 14 weeks live lectures as it's more expensive and demand lots of time. I think 7 weeks live lectures is more than enough, what I learned from Kaplan that during the 14 weeks live lecture, they have some sort of small group discussion after / in between live lecture, the purpose is to retain and apply the concept you've just learned from class. I am not sure about this, better ask Kaplan about details of it.
3. Nope, I am a IMG, 3 years back, never studied USMLE before. I've just started it since early December. I did quite well during my preclinical / basic medical science coursework, so I don't feel like I am learning something new, though it's still a daunting task to review this whole materials.
4. Honestly I hate memorizing thing, learn the concept then you'll be able to answer most of questions correctly. Indeed there are questions that are pure recall, in this case you just have to review this highly volatile materials quite often. Sometimes using mnemonics help, but to memorize the mnemonics themselves takes time and sometimes can be confusing LOL. The most important thing is to practice lots of questions, start it subject-wise as you review each subject. When you proceed to another subject, keep on working on questions from materials you've just reviewed and mix it with questions from subject that you are currently reviewing. It will help you to retain the previous materials better.

Hope it answers your questions....
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Old 03-14-2011
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r u a third year medical student? how could anatomy be reviewed only in 5 days in case of first read?
do u just read fast or u actually focus on study, i am a graduate and i see that giving less than 2 weeks for a subject like anatomy is rushing unless u study it from FA alone not from kaplan lecture notes,,,,,,
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Old 03-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypermedic View Post
r u a third year medical student? how could anatomy be reviewed only in 5 days in case of first read?
do u just read fast or u actually focus on study, i am a graduate and i see that giving less than 2 weeks for a subject like anatomy is rushing unless u study it from FA alone not from kaplan lecture notes,,,,,,
I graduated 3 years ago and I hate anatomy ....seriously....never did very well in med school. My first read of anatomy was only 6 days (8-10 hours of focus study), I reviewed it while watching the video lecture. Of course I couldnt memorize everything in my first read, just to build foundation before attending the live lecture. During the live lecture I revised it again for the second time and planning to continuously revisiting the material while doing Qbanks.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2011
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Default Should I review the lecture notes again ?

So It's been 5 days since I subscribe to USMLE world. I have done 10 blocks of mixed-timed-unused questions and averaging 79%. I like this qbanks a lot because the way they explain the answer is so good and accurate. It's definitely a great learning tools. However, I got hard time to get 70% for anatomy and physiology as I already predicted before. I am always weak at this two subjects.

Should I review the lecture notes again or just keep on working on qbank and review it from the explanation ? My target for step 1 is +250. Your suggesstion is higly appreciated, thx
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Old 03-23-2011
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Default Declining performance on UW

I've been doing UW for two weeks, but I notice my performance is declining. I always use timed-mixed-unused questions mode. In my first 10 blocks, I managed to score 79% on average but now after another ten blocks it starts to decline and now averaging only 77%. I expect to get higher score after doing more blocks while the fact is the opposite. I don't know what happen with me. Is this normal or I just have reached my peak performance. Has anyone have this experience ? I am worried that my performance is declining. Seems like my effort to get higher score are counterproductive
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Old 03-30-2011
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Ok, today I just finished NBME 3 online to confirm my previous NBME score. I got 660/258 in this form. I jumped 20 points from my previous NBME score (NBME 6 online : 570/238) after 2 weeks of intensive studying and working on my weak subject (anatomy). I dont know if the level of difficulty of NBME 3 differs so much from NBME 6, but I found it relatively easier than NBME 6.

I am 4 weeks to my exam and still have to finish the remaining 50% of UW. I scored 78% on average now (ranging from 69%-86%). My another homework will be revising anatomy and BS since I still find it my weakest subjects. I am going to do NBME 7, UWSA 1 and 2 two weeks before exam.

I hope I am not burning out now and still can maintain my performance toward the end. Wish you all good luck friends.
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Old 04-03-2011
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26 days left and I am getting anxious everyday. It's so hard to keep myself studying in this last few weeks, but I cant give up now. I still have to finish the qbanks and review my weak subjects based on UW performance.

I try to finish 3 block per day but I just manage to review 2 blocks daily. Sometimes I spend more than 4 hours to review one blocks because I really want to understand the concept behind every questions since many people reported that the exam is mainly testing your concept

Wish me luck friends....
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Old 04-03-2011
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@ harlesmd:

You are on the right tract. Keep that momentum going and kepp doing ur UW. Review your NBME notes. 26days are lots of time for UW. Don't skip anything in UW qbank, Do everything. Even 1block a day is fine, make sure you understand everything from UW. Specially, Cardiac physio and endo pathology. I had few calculation qns but more concepts. UW is the best....


I wish you the very best of luck on your exam.
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Old 04-03-2011
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Originally Posted by aktorque View Post
@ harlesmd:

You are on the right tract. Keep that momentum going and kepp doing ur UW. Review your NBME notes. 26days are lots of time for UW. Don't skip anything in UW qbank, Do everything. Even 1block a day is fine, make sure you understand everything from UW. Specially, Cardiac physio and endo pathology. I had few calculation qns but more concepts. UW is the best....


I wish you the very best of luck on your exam.
Thanks friend for your encouraging post. I will keep on doing UW as my primary learning tools in this last few weeks. That two subjects mentioned above are definitely very high yield and USMLE World write lots of good challenging questions on it. Based on my UW performance so far, Cardio, Neuro and Endocrine are three organ systems that I need to strenghten on.
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Old 04-03-2011
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wow...you are doing awesome!!!keep doing whatever you are doing now...that will be enough!!!
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Old 04-03-2011
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wow...you are doing awesome!!!keep doing whatever you are doing now...that will be enough!!!
Thanks, I wish you good luck for your step 1 prep too
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Old 04-03-2011
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Default USMLE Consult Qbanks

I am using the USMLE Consult Qbank today (free subscription given as reward from USMLE forums, thanks I am using the Scorrelator features and it gives similar result with my current USMLE World performance, just 1% higher than my UW percentage. It also has good correlation with my last NBME score. Overall this qbank is good, it has comparable numbers of hard and easy questions in each block but some questions are extremely difficult and too picky. The explanations are much better in UW so I will stick to UW for now and use USMLE Consult primarily for assessment of my progress.
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Old 04-06-2011
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Default Uwsa 1

I just took UWSA 1 today and I scored 670/252. I think I really screwed the first block, I was so nervous and thinking too much for the correct answers. I think I can score better if I was more relaxed. Anyway this exam is wayyyy harder than any NBME forms that I have ever taken before.

I am 3 weeks to my exam now and just finished 60% of UW. I dont know why I am getting slower these days, my brain is numb and I just cant absorb more materials. I think I have to take a break for one day.

This is to recap my progress so far :

UW (60% completed) : 78%

Free USMLE Sample questions : 87% (3 weeks ago)
NBME 6 : 580/238 (2 weeks ago)
NBME 3 : 660 / 258 (1 weeks ago)
UWSA 1 : 670 / 252 (today)

I am going to do UWSA2 two weeks before my exam date and another NBME form one week before exam. I havent decided yet which form to take, probably I'll just stick to my earlier plan to take NBME 7.

For all step 1 takers, keep your spirit high !!!!
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Old 04-07-2011
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hey harlesmd, your progress is amazing and keep up the good work. I'm also experiencing the burn out and thinking I have forgotten tons But I'm sure it will come back. I had a question. How did you revise anatomy? I'm doing really bad in anatomy and need to review it. Did you go back to kaplan? Thanks and keep going strong
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I just took UWSA 1 today and I scored 670/252. I think I really screwed the first block, I was so nervous and thinking too much for the correct answers. I think I can score better if I was more relaxed. Anyway this exam is wayyyy harder than any NBME forms that I have ever taken before.

I am 3 weeks to my exam now and just finished 60% of UW. I dont know why I am getting slower these days, my brain is numb and I just cant absorb more materials. I think I have to take a break for one day.

This is to recap my progress so far :

UW (60% completed) : 78%

Free USMLE Sample questions : 87% (3 weeks ago)
NBME 6 : 580/238 (2 weeks ago)
NBME 3 : 660 / 258 (1 weeks ago)
UWSA 1 : 670 / 252 (today)

I am going to do UWSA2 two weeks before my exam date and another NBME form one week before exam. I havent decided yet which form to take, probably I'll just stick to my earlier plan to take NBME 7.

For all step 1 takers, keep your spirit high !!!!
yeah def do NBME 7 since itll be the best predictor..I hear UWSA over predicts your score by up to 20 points.

So far Id say NBME 6 is your best predictor!
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Old 04-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cautie Pie View Post
yeah def do NBME 7 since itll be the best predictor..I hear UWSA over predicts your score by up to 20 points.

So far Id say NBME 6 is your best predictor!
Yeah I believe UWSA tend to overpredict your score since they might repeat some questions you have encountered in the qbanks but in my case, I havent finished all the qbanks so I didnt see them much in UWSA1 (only 1-2 questions were exactly the same). I cant tell you much now, definitely I will confirm it with NBME 7.

Good luck with your prep
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Old 04-07-2011
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hey harlesmd, your progress is amazing and keep up the good work. I'm also experiencing the burn out and thinking I have forgotten tons But I'm sure it will come back. I had a question. How did you revise anatomy? I'm doing really bad in anatomy and need to review it. Did you go back to kaplan? Thanks and keep going strong
Thanks Nicki, I just reviewed Kaplan Lecture Notes and videos (not all, only the neuroanatomy sections, brachial and lumbosacral plexuses). I am learning lots of materials too from UW.
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Old 04-14-2011
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Default Exam in two weeks

My exam is in two weeks. Today I just finished 85% of UW, all unused-timed-mixed-blocks and averaging 80%, there are 330+ questions (around 7 blocks) left in there which I will use for full exam simulation tomorrow. I think this is the right time to test my endurance for 7 blocks in a row. I am used to do 3-4 blocks in a row during NBME and UW blocks, but never try to simulate the full lenght exam.

I am confuse whether I have to read FA or review my Kaplan Lecture Notes for final revision. Some people suggest me not to read new book in the last few weeks before exam so I am thinking of reviewing my lecture notes, but I feel insecure if I dont read FA, I am afraid I will miss some high yield things from it. I am so tempted to read FA. Sure I dont have time to review both of it, I should choose one and stick with it. Moreover, I still have to review my UW notes and few blocks of UW that I havent reviewed. Oh gosh...I feel like I have so many things to do...but at the same time I feel burned out already....
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Old 04-14-2011
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Dude your pacing is just inspiring !!! Dont get burned up ! you can do it !! u have improvedso much in such a short time !
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  #32  
Old 04-16-2011
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Originally Posted by noothan View Post
Dude your pacing is just inspiring !!! Dont get burned up ! you can do it !! u have improvedso much in such a short time !
Hei dude, thanks for your comment , of course I wont give up now, I am not even entering the real battle ...
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  #33  
Old 04-16-2011
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Fiuuuhhh....until today I havent received my new scheduling permit, I checked the status on OASIS, it is in process. I dont understand why it takes so long to issue a new permit, it's been two weeks !!!! I am supposed to schedule my exam on April 28, I wish I still can get a slot on that day :sorry:

Today I just finished UW qbank...aahhh finally I made it (feels like forever ), now I will just focus on FA and UW notes in this last two weeks. I will do NBME 7 and UWSA 2 back to back one week before exam.

I'll post my progress later after I take NBME 7 and UWSA2...

Keep the spirit high !!!
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  #34  
Old 04-16-2011
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Cool

congrats Dude ! so how long did it take u to finish Uworld
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  #35  
Old 04-16-2011
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congrats Dude ! so how long did it take u to finish Uworld
Hi, I spent almost 4 weeks on UW, I started it slow, did 1-2 blocks per day (except in the last week I did 3-4 blocks/day) , read all explanation and took note for every new concepts that I learned from it.
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  #36  
Old 04-19-2011
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Default NBME 7 and UWSA 2

I did mock exam today, using NBME 7 and UWSA2 back to back. First I did NBME 7 without taking break, then took 45 mins lunch break, continued with UWSA2 without taking break. Both sets of exam are difficult (the most difficult simulation exam ever ), especially NBME 7, they have lots of questions with longer stem, some questions I have no idea at all what the answers are. So these are the results :

NBME 7 : 620/250
UWSA 2 : 760/262

Since UWSA2 tend to overpredict the score, for now I believe NBME 7 will give better prediction for my final score (finger crossed). My exam is in a week, time for final revision and make up for some deficiencies in certain topics.

God, please dont get me burnt out now....:sorry:
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Old 04-19-2011
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Originally Posted by harlesmd View Post
I did mock exam today, using NBME 7 and UWSA2 back to back. First I did NBME 7 without taking break, then took 45 mins lunch break, continued with UWSA2 without taking break. Both sets of exam are difficult (the most difficult simulation exam ever ), especially NBME 7, they have lots of questions with longer stem, some questions I have no idea at all what the answers are. So these are the results :

NBME 7 : 620/250
UWSA 2 : 760/262

Since UWSA2 tend to overpredict the score, for now I believe NBME 7 will give better prediction for my final score (finger crossed). My exam is in a week, time for final revision and make up for some deficiencies in certain topics.

God, please dont get me burnt out now....:sorry:
Hey!! 250 on NBME 7 ! you are going to rock this exam!! you got this = )
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  #38  
Old 04-19-2011
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Default harles

Dude 250 is awesome score ! hopefully ur uwsa score will be more accurate ! .... why nbme 7-uwsa combo ??? wasnt nbme7/6 a better combo ?

S
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  #39  
Old 04-19-2011
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Thanks Cautie Pie, I hope in this last few days, I can maintain my performance toward the end of my step 1 journey. It's so true that nearing the exam date, sometimes we feel like we can't remember things that we have studied before. It really happen to me now, but I don't want to postpone my exam any longer, I am afraid my performance is declining if I posptone it.

Anyway good luck with your prep, your exam is coming very soon rite ? ...just believe that we're going to ace this exam....We will try our best on exam day, let's God do the rest....
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  #40  
Old 04-19-2011
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Originally Posted by noothan View Post
Dude 250 is awesome score ! hopefully ur uwsa score will be more accurate ! .... why nbme 7-uwsa combo ??? wasnt nbme7/6 a better combo ?

S
Haha...I wish the same thing LOL, but for now I'll stick with NBME 7...we'll see...
I already did NBME 6 around 3 weeks ago and NBME 3 two weeks ago, and since I am sort of out of cash now...I think UWSA2 is not a bad idea, the idea is to test your stamina for full lenght exam...
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Old 04-19-2011
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Default Good Luck

I've been following this thread and your progress. Its nice to see you share your experience this way. I wish you good luck for your exam since its coming up soon. let us all know how it goes. My exam is in 2 months !! lol
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  #42  
Old 04-19-2011
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Smile Where can i get the DVD 2010 lectures on the internet??

Quote:
Originally Posted by LatinGeorge View Post
if u compare the 7 week lecture, to the latest DVD found on the web 2010 and green notes... how much difference would u find?

by the way thanks for the explanation.. u have a very fast pace.. didnt you annotate in your fa from kaplan
Please tell me where can i get DVD lectures 2010 on the web?
and also what are these green notes you're talking about
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  #43  
Old 04-19-2011
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Default Final week

Finally I got my scheduling permit !!!
Now I can officially schedule my exam.....

This is my plan for this final week :
1. Review selected topics from FA/Kaplan Lecture Notes (and videos if necessary): Anatomy, Behavioral Science and Pharmacology (if I have time maybe Immunology too since there will be more questions, though it might be experimental ones, but I dont want to feel bad while doing the exam)
2. Review my USMLE World notes
3. Review http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...gettables.html.

I hope I can finish them all in the remaining time...

One day before exam : watching movies and karaoke LOL, sleep early
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Good luck man !!!
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  #45  
Old 04-27-2011
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Default Completed the step 1 exam today !!!

I just came out of the exam room.....aaahh, finally it's over, at least for now.
I am going to post my exam experience later...it's time to party !!! Yeah...I don't care about the result now, worrying too much for the result is not gonna change anything...LOL I just did my best.

Happy
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  #46  
Old 04-27-2011
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It must feel great! Congrats!!!! ;o)
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  #47  
Old 04-30-2011
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Congrats!
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  #48  
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intresting
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