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  #1  
Old 04-28-2011
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Smile Summary of My USMLE Step 1 Journey

First off, I would like to thanks all USMLE forum staffs for their great effort answering my questions and maintaining this great forum. I have come acrossed many similar forums in the past, yet I end up becoming a loyal member here.

My Background
Few lines to describe myself, I am an IMG from Indonesia, graduated 2 years ago. I finished one year pediatric residency training in my country before I decided to embark on this new journey.

USMLE Step 1 Preparation
Total time : 20 weeks (5 months)
Average study hours per day : 8-10 hours

Study Materials
For study materials, I try to keep it very simple. I avoid using many books during my preparation mainly because I simply didnt have lots of time to prepare for this exam plus to avoid confusion. I personally believe that Kaplan Lectures Notes are enough for comprehensive review.
Question bank
  • Kaplan Qbank (40 % completed)
  • USMLE World (100 % completed)

This is a brief review of my step 1 prep :
Week 1-5 : Building your foundation
During this first 5 weeks, I reviewed all Kaplan Videos side by side with the Lecture Notes. I started the day by reviewing the videos from morning till afternoon, then quick review of the corresponding topics on lecture notes at the evening. I took the quizzes after each chapter to test how much I absorbed during the day.

Week 6-13 : Consolidating the knowledge
I attended Kaplan Live Lecture for 7 weeks. The schedule was pretty dense, class started at 8 am and finished at 4 or 5 pm. I revised all my lecture notes from that day in the evening. If I had a day off, I usually used it to do questions from Kaplan Qbook. I did all the subject assessment exams after each lecture series and usually I scored 80%-90%, except for Behavioral Science (60%).

Week 14-15 : Kaplan Qbank
For two weeks I did Kaplan Qbank but I only managed to finish 40 % of it then I switched to USMLE World. I did this because I didnt have much time left. I started listening to Goljan Audio this time, usually at the evening when I didnt have much energy to read books and did more questions.

Week 16-19 : USMLE World Qbank
During this 4 weeks period, UW was my primary learning tools. I can't stress enough how important UW for my step 1 preparation. Initially I did 1-2 blocks per day, reviewed all the answers and wrote down some important concept and high yield materials on to my personal notes, then I increased my speed to 3 blocks per day. UW is a great tool to strengthen you concept and I really recommend you to review it twice. I did all blocks under timed-mixed-unused mode only to simulate the real exam and get accustomed to the time constraint. I also reviewed First Aid using the DIT video, but only the General Section and some chapters from Organ System Section that I was weak on based on my UW performance. For behavioral science, biochemistry , molecular biology, genetics and physiology, I also used Kaplan MedEssentials to supplement FA.

Week 20 : Final Revision
I did a very quick revision of my UW notes, Kaplan Neuroanatomy, some chapters of Behavioral Science, http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...gettables.html and of course my personal notes from Kaplan Live Lectures. I reviewed the Free 150 USMLE sample again two days before the exam as many people suggested that they appear on the real exam, and I must agree with it

Self assessment exam
Free 150 USMLE sample (5 weeks out) : 87%
NBME 6 online (4 weeks out) : 238
NBME 3 online (3 weeks out) : 258
UWSA 1 online (2 weeks out) : 252
NBME 7 and UWSA 2 online on the same day (1 week out) : 250 and 262

Qbanks (all taken under timed-mixed-unused mode):
Kaplan (40% completed) : 72 %
UW (100% completed) : 81 %

Exam Day
I arrived one hour earlier than my appointment time, I had no idea how bad the traffic was going to be that day, so I didnt want to ruin the day by coming late . I packed my stuff lightly, I just brought some snacks and orange juice. The check in procedure was easy and quick, the exam proctors were very friendly as if they knew I was quite nervous when entering the exam room.

Overall the exam is doable. I can not disclose any content of my exam but one thing for sure, clear your concept very well before appearing on this exam. Except for anatomy, which requires straight recall, all questions test your basic concept. If you used UW very well during your prep, I can guarantee that you can get most of the question correctly. Not to mention, somehow I feel like I have some questions come straight from UW and NBME or at least similar if they are not exactly the same. Having said that, I still have no idea how well I perfomed on this exam. I think that's the "beauty" of USMLE. I can't predict how I will score on my exam, I might fail this exam or ace it with high score, really no idea. I just gave my best to all questions. For now, I just want to enjoy this momment, worrying too much for the result is not gonna change anything rite ? So I will wait peacefully for the next 3 weeks. Let's God do the rest.

For all future test takers, good luck with your preparation.

You can refer to my other post for my complete step 1 journey :
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-st...p-journal.html
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2011
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Default Thank you!!

Thank you for writing your Step 1 Journey! It is very helpful! Very inspiring!!!


Best of luck with your score, I'm sure you did very good..
Hope its a 99.

Best of luck with the rest of the steps!!

Thanks again!!!
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2011
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Been following your posts for a while. Thanks... and good luck. You will ace it..
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2011
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Default Well done!

Thanks so much for sharing this harlesmd,
I'm pretty sure u will get the score you desire. Please comment on what you found more difficult from behavioral sciences (since that was the lowest score u got during your prep, was it formulas or concepts on those "what would u do in case.." scenarios?)...It's amazing how you did UW in four weeks!
Take a break now and let's hope for the best.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triquetrum View Post
Thanks so much for sharing this harlesmd,
I'm pretty sure u will get the score you desire. Please comment on what you found more difficult from behavioral sciences (since that was the lowest score u got during your prep, was it formulas or concepts on those "what would u do in case.." scenarios?)...It's amazing how you did UW in four weeks!
Take a break now and let's hope for the best.

Hi Triquetrum, thanks for your comment.
To be honest I don't have any problem with biostatistics question, in fact, it was my highest score (93%) on my UW performance. What I mean by Behavioral Science here is the Patient-Physician Relationship and Ethics questions. It seems so vague for me, I tried to follow the rules given in Kaplan Lecture Notes but still end up with confusion when tackling this type of questions. The rest of it (including the psychiatry) are OK.
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2011
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You ARE A GOD Man..... Seriously...

He2 wich me luck on the exam yah.. im sitting it on July

Btw im an Indonesian doctor as well
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  #7  
Old 05-02-2011
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Originally Posted by V39A View Post
You ARE A GOD Man..... Seriously...

He2 wich me luck on the exam yah.. im sitting it on July

Btw im an Indonesian doctor as well
I am not GOD man lol....

Anyway welcome to the forum, good luck with you prep. I'll be happy to answer any questions.
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2011
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Default hii

hiii.. congratz!!!

i am an indonesian too.. now im still having clerkship..

may i ask ur phone number?

coz i want to ask you bout some tips and i find it hard to find kaplan books in

Indonesia.

thanks..
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2011
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Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
hiii.. congratz!!!

i am an indonesian too.. now im still having clerkship..

may i ask ur phone number?

coz i want to ask you bout some tips and i find it hard to find kaplan books in

Indonesia.

thanks..
Hi Kelvin, I am in US now, I can give you my number if you dont mind calling me from there hehehe....

You can find it in ebay or amazon, some of my friends in Jakarta bought it from there.
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Old 05-18-2011
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DUDE! congrats! great score! well done...
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2011
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Default phone number

how bout blackberry? do you use it? or i can sms you from here..

i read that you are from jakarta? is that means u are UI grad?
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2011
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Hi

congratulations for your score, I have few questions :

Did u read kaplan materials once only ? then you start to review through
FA and med essentials??

Did u start practice on USW while review FA and medessentials or
only practice with review answers ?

Did u finish UW once after review wrong answers ?

one week before the exam I understand that only review with out USW ?

Thank you
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2011
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Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
how bout blackberry? do you use it? or i can sms you from here..

i read that you are from jakarta? is that means u are UI grad?
I'll send u private message...
Yup I am UI grad
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambition4 View Post
Hi

congratulations for your score, I have few questions :

Did u read kaplan materials once only ? then you start to review through
FA and med essentials??

Did u start practice on USW while review FA and medessentials or
only practice with review answers ?

Did u finish UW once after review wrong answers ?

one week before the exam I understand that only review with out USW ?

Thank you
I read Kaplan LN twice, first when I watched the video and second when I attended the Live Lecture.

I did read some stuff from FA and Kaplan MedEssentials after I reviewed Kaplan LNs, but mostly it's the General Principles Part (Biochem, Immuno, Micro, Molecular Biology, Genetics and Behavioral Science/Biostat). For organ system, I read onle some chapters that I was weak on.

I did UW only one time and reviewed all correct and incorrect answers, took extensive note from it and read it one week before my exam.
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Old 05-20-2011
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Are the videos different from the live lectures?
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2011
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Originally Posted by eesfee View Post
Are the videos different from the live lectures?
Of course the content is the same, but the way they deliver the message and make it stick to your head differs from the video lecture. Furthermore, the lecturers will stress more on high yield content, equip you with some strategy on how to approach the questions. And the most important thing, you can ask them and get direct clarification for any doubt that you have.
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlesmd View Post
Of course the content is the same, but the way they deliver the message and make it stick to your head differs from the video lecture. Furthermore, the lecturers will stress more on high yield content, equip you with some strategy on how to approach the questions. And the most important thing, you can ask them and get direct clarification for any doubt that you have.
That does make a lot of sense. I'm thinking about taking it. How much did it cost you?
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2011
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That does make a lot of sense. I'm thinking about taking it. How much did it cost you?
Hmm..I believe it's around $ 3300 for 7 weeks live lecture, you can ask them if they have promotion now, usually you'll get 10-15% off....

Oh my....now I sound like a Kaplan advertiser.....
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Last edited by harlesmd; 05-20-2011 at 12:32 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlesmd View Post
Hmm..I believe it's around $ 3300 for 7 weeks live lecture, you can ask them if they have promotion now, usually you'll get 10-15% off....

Oh my....now I sound like a Kaplan advertiser.....
wow., I've been following your story and I decided to active in this forum too sir..
I'm a 5th year medical student from Indonesia too.,. good to hear someone from Indonesia hit the sacred above 250 score for step I, it give me some motivation to hit some nail too..

by the way, how much do you cost to make ALL the prep for step I? I should tell my parents to be prepared since we're not a very rich family..
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2011
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Originally Posted by dokterdiaz View Post
wow., I've been following your story and I decided to active in this forum too sir..
I'm a 5th year medical student from Indonesia too.,. good to hear someone from Indonesia hit the sacred above 250 score for step I, it give me some motivation to hit some nail too..

by the way, how much do you cost to make ALL the prep for step I? I should tell my parents to be prepared since we're not a very rich family..
Hi, if you're planning to join Kaplan Course for your step 1 and 2 CK, you have to pay 8900 USD for 14 months deluxe prep (including the live lecture). It's pretty expensive especially if you're planning to stay in US (living cost can be very high, depend on your lifestyle). Alternatively, you can prepare for this exam by yourself or enroll in Online Prep, at least it will cut down the expenses for living cost.

Good luck
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2011
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thanks for your advice, and congratulations!!!! u did amazing!!!!
i wanted to ask you if you coukd please help me with some questions i have about the Qbanks... see i'm a Peruvian recently graduated doctor, i wanna take the step one at the end of the year, and first of all... is pretty hard for me to study alone! i get very distracted! any advice on that?
my second question is, where can i find the UW, NBME q banks? and do you know another online qbanks?
About DIT.... how do you recommend me to do that? i've read thatīs better if you do it ath the end, when you are reading the First Aid, right?
The way you studied was pretty organized, i'm gonna try doing the same thing!
thank you again for sharing your experience with us! and i wish you the best of luck for the CK and CS exam!!!
Renata
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2011
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Default Hi..

I have a doubt.. i did read kaplan LN and i did UWQB and presently doing with my FA.. wanna revise the same things again.. i didnt deal with the videos.. is dat fine? i am gonna giv my step 1 in a couple of months.. thanks a lot for the help.. good luck..
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2011
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hi where do u get the free 150 questions from?
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2011
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From the usmle site. (usmle.org)

Here's the link http://www.usmle.org/Orientation/2011/menu.html
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Old 11-26-2014
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Thanks for your post.
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