Aoa! It's been 13 months since I decided to embark on the USMLE journey and alhamdolillah it has been a good one.
I started my USMLE Step 2 CK prep in August 2011. I had previously gone through the Kaplans for CK once previously. As I did not know about the exam difficulty scale, so I decided to go through the USMLE World books and found that I was able to get around 70 percent of the questions right. This also helped me in identifying my weak areas i.e. Obs/Gyn and Psych. I also started to make my own notes from Uworld and it was a good investment in time. It took me a month to go through the UWorld books. I started my second Kaplan read in September and it took me around 40 days to do the second read which was slower than my expectations. Perhaps that was because the first read was more than 6 months back! Anyway I decided to gauge my level (October 2011) and attempted the online NBME form 2 and got a 3 digit score of 239 which was very encouraging. I decided to book my exam quarter for Dec 2011 to Feb 2012. I then started the Online UWorld and the percentages were decent alhamdolillah. I added onto my UWorld book notes meanwhile from the Online version. When I finished my Online UWorld QBank for the first time, I had a percentage was 82 % which my friends who had taken the exam already as good. It was around 15th November when I got my Exam permit and I was already done with UWorld. I then went through MTB for Step 2 which took a week, plus the 100 ethics cases by Conrad Fischer (attached with the email). I also practiced heart sounds/murmurs from Youtube and went through some online Drug ad questions which I found on Google and the USMLE forums. I decided to give NBME form 4 and scored 259 which boosted my confidence and I booked the exam for the 1st December (incidentally the first day of my eligibility period). I also took the UWorld Self Assessment and got 265 (the maximum that you can get in it) so I was satisfied alhamdolillah. The last week before the exam was very strange because I did not know what to do. I just went through UWorld again esp. the questions which I had messed up. The exam experience was good. My 5th block was quite tough and that was when I felt a little fatigued. But after that, I didnt remember much. I just remember that I was really happy when I started my 8th block because I knew that the end of the tunnel was near. The exam difficulty level was of a similar scale to UWorld. I only used the Psych lectures and they were really helpful. Although people really liked Conrad Fischer's IM lectures too but they were so much more time consuming that I skipped them. It was exactly 4 months of prep and alhamdolillah I was satisfied. Result was declared on 21st December and I got a score of 264 which I must say was more than what I had ever anticipated. All praise be to Allah!
I started my Step 1 prep slowly in January and I accelerated it in February and March and was done with my 1st read by the start of April. I used all Kaplans expect for PAthology which i substituted with Goljan. I only used the Pharma Lectures which were simply brilliant and helped my retain Pharma. I also used Genetics Lectures a little but they weren't great. I decided to gauge myself like CK and gave the online NBME form 12 and got 240. It was another encouraging start alhadmolillah. I gave a read to First Aid before attempting the NBME. I started my second read and did ANatomy, Physio, Pharma and Patho... I had a little break due to local Residency Entrance Exam which tested the same subjects as Step (FCPS 1) I resumed after that and gave my second read to BS, Biochem and Micro which finished on June 30. I decided to start the Online UWorld straight away. I made my notes while going through it, and did around 2 blocks everyday. My percentages were better than step 2 CK so I decided to give UWorld Self Assessment midway during my Uworld and got 265 (upper limit) alhamdolillah. I decided to book my quarter for August to September 2012. It made me spur on the rest of UWorld relatively quickly and I finished it on 24th July with a percentage of 87 % percent alhamdolillah. Since I was selected for FCPS Residency (Pakistani) so I had to take a little gamble by making a relatively premature attempt at Step 1 and I attempted NBME Form 13 and got 261. I immediately booked my exam for the 2nd of August 2012. Due to a lack of time, I could not go through FA again although I did selected topics from Virology and Biochem for revision's sake. The tables were really helpful. I then gave my UWSA 2 and got 265 again. I revised the heart murmurs again as you will get at least 2 of them in the exam as in CK. The exam experience was good and I was satisfied. The score was again, more than my expectations. I got 268 alhamdolillah when it got declared on 21st August