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  #1  
Old 04-11-2011
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Star Exam Experience, April 6

Hi guys, I've been following this forum for a while but this is my first time posting something. I took Step 1 last Wednesday, April 6. My thought on the exam is that it is doable IF you have studied and if you keep your calm.

As other people have posted, there are many questions straight forward as there were others where you had no idea what was being asked.

My NBME scores where (taken online!):

NBME 1: 370 (3 months before Step 1)
NBME 6: 390 (2 months before Step 1)
NBME 7: 550 (5 days before Step 1)

USMLE World Self Assessment 1: 210 (1.5 months before exam)
USMLE World Self Assessment 2: 228 (1 month before exam)

I did USMLE World twice

First run through, my Cumulative Performance ended at 63% Random and timed.
Second time I was always scoring above 83%

Coming out of the exam I knew I had made about 6-7 silly mistakes. These mistakes have being hunting me down for the past few days. All I do is think about them, as I am brushing my teeth, as I am eating breakfast, as I am driving.. These were questions I should have gotten right and they could have made the difference between either getting a descent score or even passing the exam.

Last 2-3 weeks prior to the exam, my goal was to get the highest score possible, but now that I have taken the exam and I know I made silly mistakes, I would feel okay just knowing I passed.

Well, I just I had to share this since other people who are not studying for Step 1 have NO idea what we go through but people in this forum do.

Thanks for listening!
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2011
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Hey mr. meanmustard that was awesome growth you showed throughout your journey I'm sure you did great! Can you elaborate on how you studied, what you found helpful and what you didn't find so helpful. Thanks and good luck!!
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicki View Post
Hey mr. meanmustard that was awesome growth you showed throughout your journey I'm sure you did great! Can you elaborate on how you studied, what you found helpful and what you didn't find so helpful. Thanks and good luck!!
Thanks Nicki!

Well, I basically consolidated every book and USMLE World explanation into my First Aid. I used my First Aid as a 'notebook'.. You should see how it ended

Books I used:

Stedman's Medical Dictionary.. Very handy!
Goljan RR
Physiology BRS
Behavioral Science BRS
Gross Anatomy BRS
Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple

Once everything was put together into my First Aid along with the USMLE World explanations, I probably went through the whole First Aid about three times before the Exam.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Thanks for the post! Best of luck with the result! One question though, how were the questions compared to uworld and NBME? I mean easier, same or more complicated?
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Old 04-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorsmonsters View Post
Thanks for the post! Best of luck with the result! One question though, how were the questions compared to uworld and NBME? I mean easier, same or more complicated?
Thanks!

The exam is VERY similar to any of the NBME's. I personally found NBME's a bit more challenging than USMLE World questions. NBME questions and Step 1 are more abstract where as USMLE World gave me a sense of security, I kind of knew right away what was being asked while doing USMLE World.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Thanks a lot for posting your experience and being so supportive to others.

Could you please tell me what did you do for last 1 month before the exam? How did you study during this period?
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Old 04-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donofitaly View Post
Thanks a lot for posting your experience and being so supportive to others.

Could you please tell me what did you do for last 1 month before the exam? How did you study during this period?
Thanks!

Last 35 days before taking the exam were pretty hardcore. I went over First Aid twice. I was waking up at around 5 am every day. Went over First Aid in a course of 15 days (did this twice). Doing questions during my 'lunch break' and during dinner at night. I did NBME 'Form 7' 5 days prior to the exam and took the day before the test to review images. I was feeling really burned out during the last week.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Which questions did you do during the last month in your lunch and dinner break?

I am finished with UW subscription but am having some offline ones which i am using for revision and it still takes ages for me to go through them and consolidate that information in FA and learn it.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donofitaly View Post
Which questions did you do during the last month in your lunch and dinner break?

I am finished with UW subscription but am having some offline ones which i am using for revision and it still takes ages for me to go through them and consolidate that information in FA and learn it.

I went over repeated questions in USMLE World during the last month and my girlfriend gave me access to her USMLE Rx account as well.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Hopefully you did great!
Was it difficult for you to manage your time? How did you devide your breaks? Another thing... relax Im like you in a way, when I do something so obviously wrong I hunt myself down just saying geee! I cant believe I did/didnt do something but is not worth it at the end! Be proud of yourself, you're a little closer now so be good and keep us posted.
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Old 04-11-2011
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thanks for the feedback
good luck for the result
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hello....thanx for sharing ur experience....can u tell how long it took u to prepare in total and how much time per day u dedicated to studying roughly?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahony87 View Post
Hopefully you did great!
Was it difficult for you to manage your time? How did you devide your breaks? Another thing... relax Im like you in a way, when I do something so obviously wrong I hunt myself down just saying geee! I cant believe I did/didnt do something but is not worth it at the end! Be proud of yourself, you're a little closer now so be good and keep us posted.

Thanks!!

As soon as you sit down, you first enter your CIN #, the tutorial starts right away... I took five minutes of the tutorial to write down a couple of formulas and the p-450 inducers/inhibitors. To be honest, I looked at the things I wrote down about twice. It's not really worth stressing yourself out before the exam thinking about what to write. Anyway, when I was done writing on the board, I hit 'End block' on the tutorial and it takes you to the first block and the subtracting 10 minutes from the tutorial block were added to my 'Break time'

My first block was tough.. All I kept thinking was 'this is it... all the sacrifices I've done for these next couple of hours'

I kept feeling more comfortable after each block passed by.

I took 5 minute breaks after each block. I usually went to the bathroom, washed my face.. drank some water. After the fourth block was done, I took a longer break... I took some power bars with me, so I ate one during this break.

There were about 2-3 questions per block where I kind of spaced out thinking about which answer to choose, these were probably (hopefully) those 'Experimental questions' but usually I would end a block and still have about 5-7 minutes to revise marked questions. I marked roughly 10-15 questions per block.
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  #14  
Old 04-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc.in.pak View Post
hello....thanx for sharing ur experience....can u tell how long it took u to prepare in total and how much time per day u dedicated to studying roughly?
Well, I started preparing when I was finishing my Second year of Med School about 8 months ago.. It took me about 5 months to consolidate everything into my First Aid. It was during these 5 months that I started doing USMLE World as well and the next 3 months where reviewing everything and this was when I started doing NBME's as well. During the last 3 months I spent about 12-15 hours a day studying, EVERY day.. I felt burned out towards the end, so I would recommend taking 1 day a week off.
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2011
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hey, congrats for at least taking the exam!

my exam is in 2 weeks and the anxiety is killing me up.....dont know what's gonna happen on the BIG day!! do you think it will be wise to take propranolol on the exam day? during my medical school finals I used to take it but this time I'm not getting the confidence...any advice?
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Old 04-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTareq View Post
hey, congrats for at least taking the exam!

my exam is in 2 weeks and the anxiety is killing me up.....dont know what's gonna happen on the BIG day!! do you think it will be wise to take propranolol on the exam day? during my medical school finals I used to take it but this time I'm not getting the confidence...any advice?
Thanks, as for the propapranolol, I'm still not qualified but I've had friends who before taking a test have taken a beta blocker
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