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  #1  
Old 04-19-2012
rooshy's Avatar
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Smile You can do it ... 256 in ck!

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

You're absolutely weak , but if you asked for power and and help from the source of all powers, you will be very strong, I won't be able to do that without the generosity of Allah on me , I still believe I don’t deserve that score , but he is the most merciful , the most generous , gave me more than I deserve. I have to thank my mom , she really supported me believed in me when no body did. My elder brother Mohamed who supported, and was like a father for me when I needed one , My dear friends , Esraa, Etiwy , Maria, Bhairvi, Siri, Dr Hazem Shoeir, Dr Mohamed Bassiony, Dr Nariman Gobara, Dr Ahmed Hamdy , Dr Tamim Hamdy, Dr Mohamed Hegazy, they all shared their experiences with me , and all those awesome doctors who shared their experience on the Forum ,, all Usmle forums staff … I owe you all a lot …..


Introduction for the beginners!

How are you doing, everybody?

I'm class of 2010 , from Egypt .. my grades in med school wasn't that good , I've been always an average student( good – very good). I tried to be a good student, but I couldn't .. the only time I got excellent in the 4th year and it was the first and last time


I knew about USMLE for the first time at the end of my fifth year , after my fifth year exams ( I was very depressed , I studied Internal medicine very hard and didn't get a good grade (hardly very good) I have to find an alternative pathway..


I started to gather as much information as I can in my sixth year , read every possible experience , what books I should study from ,then I came across a lot of people who did it and scored high , and they got residency in USA , so I thought , well, it's possible, , when I asked them, they all agreed , it's not about intelligence , it's all about how you work hard , persistence and perseverance, and dr Ahmed Raslan ( Egyptian Neurosurgeon in USA ) used to tell me all the time " if you have a will you have a way , you have to prepare yourself for really hard work, but the pay off is amazing .

In my 6th year , My dear father died , my mother got really sick, plus I was so busy gathering information , I didn't study at all .. I had a big drop!!.. I got good in SURGERY and failed in OBG !! Everybody was like > you failed in college , tell more about how you wanna do USMLE and take residency in USA ,, of course you won't be able to !!

Obviously, I didn’t study, and for the first time in my life I tasted what the feeling of being such a loser!! but I asked Allah for help , and said I don't care I will do it anyway !! well, I have nothing to lose !

My results 6th year results appeared on Feb. 2011 and I stated studying for usmle at march 2011, I didn't care and I started by reading Kaplan notes with a sp from Malaysia, it was my first read and I was cramming , just taking an idea ,I did that for 2 months ( I read Kaplan in IM , didn’t finish it , Kaplan in bio stat and psych , and watched videos in psych , the old video , I love it more , read a little from mtb in IM , but didn't finish it.
Then I started the paper work at April just to discover that The ECFMG have no idea about our school and they didn’t send paper with the names and signatures of authorized officials since 1999 !!!!!!!!

I was like what !!! what can I do now ! I can stop because I got bad score, but to stop just because some stupid paper works!! no, I won't accept that ( some of my friends looked at me as if I'm crazy , I can never do that – convince the dean to make new papers and send them again to ECFMG , mostly because the authorized officials have absolutely no Idea what I'm talking about! they have no email addresses, they have to make new ones ! this process took me 2 months ( from the 2nd half of April till mid june 2011) .


I sent my papers the first time, but it was rejected because the dean signature didn't match , then Al7amduAllah I created a format and made the dean sign on it and all other vice deans signed on it , another paper with the school address and the new emails and phone numbers and was sent by my school along with the 2nd 183 form … this time it was accepted el7amduAllah


Now, it's july 2011 ..i stopped studying for USMLE , started to study for obg to pass , so I studied for month and half or so and had my exam at end of july and I passed ! such a relief !

I scheduled my step 2 exam at nov. 2011 , so I started studying right after my obg exam , August 2011 , I started reading kapaln again along with doing qs from Kaplan q bank for like 2 months , my subscription was for 2 months and it expired and I finished only about 65 % of it , it was the first bank I do. During these 2 months I read Kaplan in ped, surgery and obg for the 1st time , Kaplan IM , I was completing the 1st time and after reading the chapter I used to do qs from Kaplan q bank. I had only 4 months ..so my plan was 2 months Kaplan q bank and reading Kaplan notes , and 2 months UW with MTB and first aid , of course I was dreaming !

Imp note : when you do a plan be a man and stick to it ! I wasn't that good in sticking to my plans , so when I stopped I had to start all over again and read again and wasting more time , don't start subject and leave it before finishing and jump to another , bear it, finish it and don't waste time !

My scores in Kaplan q bank , was very very very bad .. like 45% , and sometimes 60 % .. This freaked me out ! what will I do now ?? :O , so on Oct. 2011 I extended ! for more three months , and because of that I've become very lazy, I wasted a lot of time , mostly because I felt I have a lot of time and felt like I can build a base now I can listen to goljan audio and read the 125 pages high yield , so I listened only to 5 tapes and started a new strategy for studying , but I kept wasting time and didn't study very hard

But I used to do something ,I got Kaplan notes , mtb 2 and first aid … so I made an index in each chapter for ex. I read cardio in Kaplan notes and make an index with topics mentioned there and read mtb and make an index with topics mentioned there and also first aid , and then I compare between the 3 of them .. which one I liked the most ? which one is deficient more ? what was the topics that are only mentioned in one place so I will have to come back later for it even if I won't study that chapter from that book , I have to come back for this topic ,,, I know this can be hard and time consuming but , it's the only way that make my conscious sleep and make me feel I didn’t miss a thing ! Sometimes I used to add notes from Kaplan q bank , which I didn't find time later to review at all !!

Its Nov 2011 and am still doing the same thing , then I stopped studying for like 1 month and half .. I was sick of everything, almost had a depressive episode..burnout syndrome ! so when you feel that .. turn to God , ask for help .. ask your parents to pray for you , go run as a reward after studying , watch to motivational movies ( I do recommend pursuit of happiness , read motivational books , like the Alchemist , or listen to motivational music .... the process of studying can be very boring and there are a lot to know and understand ,,, don't expect you can stay for like 15 day and cram it all , you have to be patient and the information will stick into your brain by Repetition and reading more than once .. so be patient be patient be patient ..Patience is genius !

Because of my laziness I wasted like 1 month and half , plus i got like very severe bronchitis , I was sick I couldn't study .. then I started to realize , that this is a one time chance , it's either you get a high score or you …. !

It's December 15th 2011 and I stated studying again , now I'm reading mtb and first aid , along with doing offline UW , I wanted to finish the offline first then do the online ….. don't do that … start with the online better for you !

It's January 2012. and My dear friend and brother Allway adviced me to start online UW NOW !! and do it multiple times, I took it for 3 months and I started doing it, my scores in the beginning was 65 timed mixed , I did 4 blocks timed mixed , then I found it take me a lot of time to do it mixed , so I started doing it subject wise .. my strategy was to read mtb in renal for ex. And do all the qs about renal in UW .

I was again a very lazy person , I hated to write the notes and take it from UW , if I was to finish the block in 2 hrs , with writing and taking notes , it took me like 4-5 hrs .. plus my hand writing is bad so I have hard time reading it after words, so I discovered such an amazing notes >> girl interrupted notes … they are not very popular , but it was a collection of all UW notes in all chapters , except derma and toxicology I think , so I printed it out and I started doing all the qs timed without reading explanations , then read all the notes from girl interrupted in that chapter I just did in UW and then come back to my qs and read the explanations and add the new points , because these notes were a little bit out dated .

In the last 3 months before exam, I studied very hard , like I never did in my whole life ! The first 2 months I did UW 1st round , I was slow in the beginning , 1 block a day , then in the second month , 2 blocks a day , like it was subject wise , I used to read from mtb and FA ( no more Kaplan ) and do the qs in the chapter and then do girl interrupted , then back to explanations and adding few small points.

Before finishing UW , I took NBME 1 … 40 days away from my exam , I wanted to know where I stand now , so I took it & my score was 214 , I continued to study and finished UW , took NBME2 > 218 , then I started my second run on UW in the last month
, I was doing like 2-3 blocks in the first half , and then up to 4 blocks a day in the second half , along UW, I started the step 3 kaplan q bank (1 block a day ), did about 50 % of it , it was nice , I kinda loved it more than the step 2 kaplan q bank !
Imp note about UW : eat UW !!!! it took me 2 months to finish the 1st run of uw ..why ? because I read every single word in it , even the wrong choices !! the 2nd run you can only read the explanation and the wrong answer you did , if you got it wrong and the educational objective.

Then I took nbme 3 > 230 , UWSA > 240 , NBME 4 > 246



So let's summarize it all !!

-Total preparation time: 8-9 months
4-5 months of lazy work (2-4 hrs/day.. not all days) + 3.5 months of very very hard work (6-10 hrs/day).


-Infrastructure sources:

Kaplan lecture notes in all and videos only in IM

-Important helping sources:
MTB more than 3 times( mtb 2 in IM and psych, mtb3 in obg , ped , surgery) ,
FA :some chapters along with mtb ( GIT , NEURO, RENAL, PULMONARY, CARDIO( cardio I didn't love it awe in FA, but have some good info) )
USMLE secrets (I did about 20 -30% of it ..i wish I could find time to finish it ),
Girl interrupted notes, I did that twice. It was very important source for me!

-Questions Banks:

1) KAPLAN Q-bank : I did about 65% of that , couldn't finish it .. it was long and boring ..but it's a must as an eye opener q bank

2) USMLE world: 3 months
1st round subject wise, timed
2nd round I marked all the qs and did it mixed timed, I did the wrong qs twice I think
in the beginning I was doing like 1 block a day , then the 2nd month I did like 2 blocks a day , the last 20 days I was doing like 3-4 blocks a day,
my average score in the beginning was 68 % , then after the second time I hit the 81 %

3) NBME 1: 40 day before exam > 214 ..i was like WHAT !then, I SAID IT'S OK, I didn't finish UW , I will finish that and take another NBME .. I will do better in the next one inchAllah, my friend Esraa shokry , was such a great support , adviced me to do it again offline and see what I have done wrong ? and study that and look for where I slipped and how I think and manage qs ..


4) NBME 2: 1 month before exam. Scored 218 ( .. I was really sad !! oh God ! what should I do ! I've just finished UW !! and the qs in NBME 2 were hard , it's not like I know it and I can't remember.. it was more like I have no idea what the heck is this :O !

5) At this points one of my friends told me , that she was in my place and took Kaplan q bank for step 3 !!! it was only 900 qs and I thought .. why not ?? may be it will help me raise my score and I started doing UW for the 2nd time , 80 % of my time was doing qs

6)NBME 3: 22 day before exam , I was very depressed … had panic attack , couldn't sleep , so I woke up at 12 am to do NBME 3 !! … I got 230 I was so happy that I jumped to 230 .. almost there !

7) UWSA : 15 day before exam, another sleepless night ended up with me taking UWSA at 5 am and I scored 244 !! I was jumping all around from happiness !! but then again I thought… what if UWSA is over estimating me??

8) NBME 4 : 5 days before exam , I didn't want to study ! and I was so scared to take it , because all ppl said it's the hardest of them all … so I took it because I don’t like to be afraid of something ! > scored 247 !!!

I called Esraa, my dear friend .. she was all happy, told me if you didn't study for the next 5 days , your score will drop .. it's up to you !!

So I finished what left for me in UW, 2 days away from exam I did like 6-7 blocks a day , and I did another quick (very very quick ) review as much as I can from mtb and FA

The day before exam , I didn’t sleep for 2 days , so that I will be able to sleep the night before exam , and I reviewed the weak chapters from girl interrupted notes , then I slept , woke up at 3 am , ate and prayed and talked to my mom , I couldn't study a word and I felt like .. bring it on !!

-Important tips:

1) Work with a good motivating study partner ! maybe better than you to push you through , don't waste your time !! you will regret it later , look for someone you can compete with in a good way. Studying with the sp should be in the beginning to warm you up, but if you feel it's gonna waste your time apologize politely and study alone! don't do qs with sp , study partners should be for reading ( the boring process in the beginning when both of you need a push ) but then do qs alone , I used to review the uw notes quickly like 1-2 hrs a day with my friend bahirvi and she was really very smart and helped me a lot .. so pick your study partners very well ! but most important , don't stay alone , surround yourself with ppl who share with you the same dream and have exam in the same time maybe , report to them and they report to you .. This will help.

2) Sleep and wake up at regular times, that was a big problem for me because of my insomnia, don't do that control yourself , wake up at 5 am > pray > study , have breaks , turn on your stop watch , see your cumulative hours per day .

3) Isolate yourself except from you people you study with!! I was all alone here , no one of my friends ever thought about usmle , and they don't know the amount you need to understand and know , they can't imagine , so explain to your friends that you're really busy and this is a big exam, you have to stay away for a while , deactivate your facebook account , if you were a facebook addict like me , if you wanna have fun , go out as a reward for yourself after studying, go out running to stay in shape and to have some endorphins

4) That was my first step .. I didn't take step 1 ..so it's absolutely doable before step 1 .. but why ? I mean do yourself a favor and start with step 1 > you can finish it in like 8-9 months , and then take step 2 in 3-4 months , instead of spending 8 months in both steps , it will save time and give you a solid base that I had very hard time to built, like pharma drugs and infectious diseases.

I wish you all the best , , am sorry if am not very organized , but I wanted as much as I can tell you everything I did , if you have any questions , plz do ask wish you all a 260 + )))))
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2012
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Congrats..I read your post during my 7 hour flight.

Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2012
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congratssssssssssss
from which med school in Egypt you graduate?
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2012
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congrats rooshy !! u did really well !!
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2012
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Default Girl interrupted notes?

Hey! Congrats on getting such an amazing score!! I'm aiming at your numbers!! :sorry:

I was wondering what are the girl interrupted notes? I have never heard of that before!!! Not even at school from my fellow step-takers!!

2 minutes later... I read that whole section of the post and answered my own question.. LOL

Last edited by mitsua; 04-20-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2012
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congratulations for awesome score...

In which mode should nbme be done standard or self paced?

which book u advice to revise to cover step 1 for step 2?

After uw which qbank should be done kaplan or usmle consult??

thanks and goodluck.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confident View Post
congratulations for awesome score...

In which mode should nbme be done standard or self paced?

which book u advice to revise to cover step 1 for step 2?

After uw which qbank should be done kaplan or usmle consult??

thanks and goodluck.
nbme> standard

no book needed, i started with step 2, just read kaplan notes for ck very good , do UW twice , kaplan once (first) and mtb for recap or first aid ,,, nothing for step 1 , you will find less 2 or 3 qs in the real thing

do kaplan 1st , then uw twice then go for it
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2012
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hey...i came across this thread today and i must say it was one of the most motivating usmle experience i've heard about so far...congratulations on your score..u truly deserved it...
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2012
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congratulation dr
i dont found pediatrics , pulmonology and endocrinology in girl interrupted notes .. are these chapters found ? thank u dr
----------
also i would ask u
how much Qs about ECG , murmures , multimedia , biostate in the real exam
and about length of Qs ,, ?

what is ur sources to study them ?
thank u dr
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2013
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wow..this is probably the best experience i have ever read..congrats on your acheivement..i hope you get matched into residency of your choice..
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2013
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congrats!!
good work .motivating
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rooshy View Post
nbme> standard

no book needed, i started with step 2, just read kaplan notes for ck very good , do UW twice , kaplan once (first) and mtb for recap or first aid ,,, nothing for step 1 , you will find less 2 or 3 qs in the real thing

do kaplan 1st , then uw twice then go for it
Congrats Rooshy, you have definitely earned that score. I was wondering in terms of Pharm do you recommend using the FA step 1 pharm at the end of each section? And also how were the drug articles (any thing you recommend to answering those questions)?
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2013
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Default Help ?

GREAT WORK -- i hope someone help me to study as i have problem with time pressure and work too -- any advice
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2013
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Amazing score! I am planning to take step 2 before step 1 cus I am a finalist in med school n I am planning to study step 2 along with my final year study. Do u find this doable?
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2013
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Default great!

I hope to finish these notes
Well better get started
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  #16  
Old 05-21-2013
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Great thread and experience
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