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


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  #1  
Old 05-18-2014
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Default Step 1 261. my two cents

Let me preface by saying I hate when you ask people for advice and they tell you "it'll be just fine." Step is a stressful time for everyone and even though it always ends up being "just fine," I would still rather have concrete advice. That said, I am posting here because I read this forum from time to time when I was studying and thought this may help. (practice exam scores at the end)

I took a little more time than most people. I took about 9-10 weeks. Initially I started with Pathoma. Read the book and carefully went through the lectures. I can't emphasize enough how much this helped me moving forward. I did this for about 1.5-2 weeks. During this time I started doing UWorld questions. Was scoring about 60-65% random and tutor mode.

I then moved on to first aid. I annotated this book as I read it - but not like most people. I would look up every single detail in every chapter. Wikipedia was extremely helpful (and got me 2 questions on Step itself). Just know where to draw the line as far as detail. Initially I was extremely detailed but I continued to do random Uworld questions during this time and this helped me gauge the level of detail I needed. I also switched from tutor to timed mode. This was very important because getting your timing right is crucial (you always want to leave about 5-10 minutes for marked questions and timing your tests teaches you how to move on and come back to the question later). I was still scoring 60-65%.

Biochem, ID, Pharm, Path and Immuno themselves took me 2.5 weeks. The other sections took me about a week total. But keep in mind I kept doing questions throughout the process to mix it up (otherwise I would drive myself crazy) even though my scores didn't improve that much (still 65-70%)

The last 4-5 weeks I focused on UWorld. I finished all of the questions except about 250 - which I left for the last two weeks. The reason was that I wanted to review all of my completed questions and skim through FA again before I approached these last 250. This was a huge confidence boost. I jumped from 70% to about 85% (even 91 percent on one 46q block). I would recommend this approach just for pure confidence reasons.

Finally, on my second pass through U world, I made notes of all the things I STILL didn't know in the notes section of Uworld (which has a character limit). I consolidated this and printed it about 5 days before the test organizing them by systems (cardio, pulm, blood vessels, etc). This was a nice review because I could see the connection between different questions this way.

The last 2 days are worthless. Chances are you won't learn much new info so try to plan and stop 2-3 days before the test and then review only your REALLY weak points in the last 1-2 days.

Practice tests:
NBME 11 (8 weeks out): 224 -- before reading FA and after about 500 UW questions
UWSA1 (4 weeks out): 256 -- after FA and 1900 UW questions
NBME 15 (3 weeks out): 256
UWSA2 (10 days out): 265
NBME 16 (1 week out): 245
NBME 13 (5 days out): 247
Actual test: 261

Hope this helps at least one person. The one big piece of advice I'd offer is don't try to use every resource. FA, pathoma and UW are more than enough. Better to do UW twice than to do 3 different Q banks.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2014
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That's a lot of great advice, thanks. And congrats on the great score.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2014
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Great score and great advices. You clarified every possible question in my mind except 1

As far as i can see you didnt use goljan as a source for pathology. Do you think pathoma covers every subject fairly? I feel like it is making very good job in videos but in some parts i feel like it is deficient. I am not happy with my uworld pathology cumulative actually. How was your background in pathology? I mean pathoma just added some points or emphasized some high yield facts or filled big gaps in pathology for you?
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2014
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Congrats on such an excellent score!
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2014
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Thank You for your sincere post!
congratulations :-)
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2014
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Congratulations!!!
Thank you for you advice...
Good luck with the rest of your preparation
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2014
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Default Congrats

Congrats for such an achievement ,best wishes for the rest of your journey!
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2014
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Default Thank you!

How did you print out the notes in Uworld...is there a feature?
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barıs Olten View Post
Great score and great advices. You clarified every possible question in my mind except 1

As far as i can see you didnt use goljan as a source for pathology. Do you think pathoma covers every subject fairly? I feel like it is making very good job in videos but in some parts i feel like it is deficient. I am not happy with my uworld pathology cumulative actually. How was your background in pathology? I mean pathoma just added some points or emphasized some high yield facts or filled big gaps in pathology for you?
Golijan is overrated in my opinion. Far too detailed at times. I had the Golijan book but the few times I couldn't find something in first aid, I looked in Golijan and it wouldn't have it either. Honestly I think it's overkill. I hadn't taken pathology in over a year and Pathoma was a fantastic refresher course and clarified several parts of first aid for me (esp. renal and reproductive)
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by femalefemale View Post
How did you print out the notes in Uworld...is there a feature?
From the computer application, you can click "generate notes" and it gives you the option to sort the notes and print.
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2014
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Congrats
I wanna know how to read histo I see histo slides like a puzzle kap vid is not good
Thanks
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamada View Post
Congrats
I wanna know how to read histo I see histo slides like a puzzle kap vid is not good
Thanks
Google images for every disease. Sounds blunt but I didn't use a single resource outside of the ones I mentioned even for histo.
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2014
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Congratulations!!!
Thank you for you advice...
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerun View Post
Let me preface by saying I hate when you ask people for advice and they tell you "it'll be just fine." Step is a stressful time for everyone and even though it always ends up being "just fine," I would still rather have concrete advice. That said, I am posting here because I read this forum from time to time when I was studying and thought this may help. (practice exam scores at the end)

I took a little more time than most people. I took about 9-10 weeks. Initially I started with Pathoma. Read the book and carefully went through the lectures. I can't emphasize enough how much this helped me moving forward. I did this for about 1.5-2 weeks. During this time I started doing UWorld questions. Was scoring about 60-65% random and tutor mode.

I then moved on to first aid. I annotated this book as I read it - but not like most people. I would look up every single detail in every chapter. Wikipedia was extremely helpful (and got me 2 questions on Step itself). Just know where to draw the line as far as detail. Initially I was extremely detailed but I continued to do random Uworld questions during this time and this helped me gauge the level of detail I needed. I also switched from tutor to timed mode. This was very important because getting your timing right is crucial (you always want to leave about 5-10 minutes for marked questions and timing your tests teaches you how to move on and come back to the question later). I was still scoring 60-65%.

Biochem, ID, Pharm, Path and Immuno themselves took me 2.5 weeks. The other sections took me about a week total. But keep in mind I kept doing questions throughout the process to mix it up (otherwise I would drive myself crazy) even though my scores didn't improve that much (still 65-70%)

The last 4-5 weeks I focused on UWorld. I finished all of the questions except about 250 - which I left for the last two weeks. The reason was that I wanted to review all of my completed questions and skim through FA again before I approached these last 250. This was a huge confidence boost. I jumped from 70% to about 85% (even 91 percent on one 46q block). I would recommend this approach just for pure confidence reasons.

Finally, on my second pass through U world, I made notes of all the things I STILL didn't know in the notes section of Uworld (which has a character limit). I consolidated this and printed it about 5 days before the test organizing them by systems (cardio, pulm, blood vessels, etc). This was a nice review because I could see the connection between different questions this way.

The last 2 days are worthless. Chances are you won't learn much new info so try to plan and stop 2-3 days before the test and then review only your REALLY weak points in the last 1-2 days.

Practice tests:
NBME 11 (8 weeks out): 224 -- before reading FA and after about 500 UW questions
UWSA1 (4 weeks out): 256 -- after FA and 1900 UW questions
NBME 15 (3 weeks out): 256
UWSA2 (10 days out): 265
NBME 16 (1 week out): 245
NBME 13 (5 days out): 247
Actual test: 261

Hope this helps at least one person. The one big piece of advice I'd offer is don't try to use every resource. FA, pathoma and UW are more than enough. Better to do UW twice than to do 3 different Q banks.
Awesome score! Thanks
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  #15  
Old 05-21-2014
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Thanks for the great advise.

One question: what was your study strategy for pharm? I'm having trouble with it the most. Did you use any sources besides FA + Uworld?
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  #16  
Old 05-22-2014
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homerun how the marked improvement from form 13 and 16 scores to the real score of 261?
Was the exam easier or did you just perform better on exam day?
My scores on those forms are similar to yours.
Please reply soon as my exam is close!
Thank you!
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  #17  
Old 07-24-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerun View Post
Let me preface by saying I hate when you ask people for advice and they tell you "it'll be just fine." Step is a stressful time for everyone and even though it always ends up being "just fine," I would still rather have concrete advice. That said, I am posting here because I read this forum from time to time when I was studying and thought this may help. (practice exam scores at the end)

I took a little more time than most people. I took about 9-10 weeks. Initially I started with Pathoma. Read the book and carefully went through the lectures. I can't emphasize enough how much this helped me moving forward. I did this for about 1.5-2 weeks. During this time I started doing UWorld questions. Was scoring about 60-65% random and tutor mode.

I then moved on to first aid. I annotated this book as I read it - but not like most people. I would look up every single detail in every chapter. Wikipedia was extremely helpful (and got me 2 questions on Step itself). Just know where to draw the line as far as detail. Initially I was extremely detailed but I continued to do random Uworld questions during this time and this helped me gauge the level of detail I needed. I also switched from tutor to timed mode. This was very important because getting your timing right is crucial (you always want to leave about 5-10 minutes for marked questions and timing your tests teaches you how to move on and come back to the question later). I was still scoring 60-65%.

Biochem, ID, Pharm, Path and Immuno themselves took me 2.5 weeks. The other sections took me about a week total. But keep in mind I kept doing questions throughout the process to mix it up (otherwise I would drive myself crazy) even though my scores didn't improve that much (still 65-70%)

The last 4-5 weeks I focused on UWorld. I finished all of the questions except about 250 - which I left for the last two weeks. The reason was that I wanted to review all of my completed questions and skim through FA again before I approached these last 250. This was a huge confidence boost. I jumped from 70% to about 85% (even 91 percent on one 46q block). I would recommend this approach just for pure confidence reasons.

Finally, on my second pass through U world, I made notes of all the things I STILL didn't know in the notes section of Uworld (which has a character limit). I consolidated this and printed it about 5 days before the test organizing them by systems (cardio, pulm, blood vessels, etc). This was a nice review because I could see the connection between different questions this way.

The last 2 days are worthless. Chances are you won't learn much new info so try to plan and stop 2-3 days before the test and then review only your REALLY weak points in the last 1-2 days.

Practice tests:
NBME 11 (8 weeks out): 224 -- before reading FA and after about 500 UW questions
UWSA1 (4 weeks out): 256 -- after FA and 1900 UW questions
NBME 15 (3 weeks out): 256
UWSA2 (10 days out): 265
NBME 16 (1 week out): 245
NBME 13 (5 days out): 247
Actual test: 261

Hope this helps at least one person. The one big piece of advice I'd offer is don't try to use every resource. FA, pathoma and UW are more than enough. Better to do UW twice than to do 3 different Q banks.
congratulation bro!
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2016
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Default Congrats!

I know this is a bit of an older post, but thanks!
I just wanted to know if you think Kaplan notes are a nogo?
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