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  #1  
Old 11-20-2013
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Experiences Nino CK Exam Experience (243)

Hi guys! I just got my score report----243.
I took the exam on the 30th of October. By the way, I'm 5 years post medical school.

Total prep time-----4 months.
Intense prep time---3 weeks to the exam.
UWSA 2 weeks out---252.
NBME 4 one week out-----242(accurate predictor)
Free 150 2 days out------85%
U world average---67%
Actual USMLE step 2 score---------------243

My prep wasn't very typical to be honest. Started with U world and as I went along, I began reading MTB2. In the beginning my prep wasn't serious, averaging 3 hours a day on a good day and on several occasions 5-6 days went by and no reading was done at all! I have a toddler and an infant you see, so it wasn't easy juggling everything.

I tried my best to be thorough with U world though I wasn't able to run through it a second time due to time constraints so redid only my marked questions.

Exam day----I had read quite a bit of horror stories on here so I went into the exam braced for a rough ride. However my exam wasn't as bad as I prepared in my mind. I would say the questions are about the same length and difficulty as Uworld, obviously with some shorter and some longer. I found the abstracts tough only because they were so lengthy! Geez! I left them till the end. Drug ads were doable.
On some blocks I finished with some time to review some marked questions and on other blocks(esp the ones with abstracts), it was a race against time.

Here are some tips I think you guys might find useful:
1. You have definitely heard it before but I will say it again for emphasis---UWORLD IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR PREP, PERIOD! Every other thing is secondary.

2. Google is your friend. Google derm pictures, important ECGs, key opthalmology slides like diabetic retinopathy, CRAO etc. Once u see them u'll never forget them.

3. About abstracts, trying to read and assimilate the entire thing was not only time consuming but almost impossible really cos that's a whole lot of information. I found that reading from the answer option into the question stem was more useful;u can rule out the obviously wrong answers or u could pick the right one. Once I started a block, I would check to see if there were drug ads and if there were, I would speed things up.

4.This exam is long! It wasn't until I started my exam that i realised it was 8 blocks and not 7 like step 1. It will pay u to have some stamina training done within a week of the exam, save about 7-8 blocks of Uworld for that.
5.Good sleep is AN EXAM STRATEGY! Do not go in there without getting at least 6 hours worth if u can.

I'll be happy to answer whatever questions you guys might have. All the best to everyone!
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2013
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did u do only 1 q bank.Whats ur step 1 score by the way
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Old 11-20-2013
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Thanks Nino. Congratulations and good luck.
How did toy check if block had drug ads? You went through questions quickly untill answering them?
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  #4  
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congratulation and thanks for sharing your exxperience

how did you train for this long exam and question solving strategy
what did you do in last week ?
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamta View Post
Thanks Nino. Congratulations and good luck.
How did toy check if block had drug ads? You went through questions quickly untill answering them?
Drug Ads are usually sequence questions and those are easy to fish out by just looking at the number pane.
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  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrocephalus View Post
congratulation and thanks for sharing your exxperience

how did you train for this long exam and question solving strategy
what did you do in last week ?
One week to my exam I did the NBME 4 and that showed me my weaknesses which were O&G and Paeds. So I used MTB3 to brush up on those. 5 days to my exam I did stamina training with 7 blocks of Uworld which I had previously saved just for that purpose. 2 days to my exam I did the free 150. In between all these I kept reviewing my marked Uworld.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polok15 View Post
did u do only 1 q bank.Whats ur step 1 score by the way
I only did one Qbank. My step 1 score was 234.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Is uworld + MTBS enough ?? SHould we read from any other book secrets or FA ?
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2013
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Originally Posted by a_usmle View Post
Is uworld + MTBS enough ?? SHould we read from any other book secrets or FA ?
In my honest opinion, Uworld and MTBs were enough. However, if you find that you do not understand some concepts, it is a good idea to refer to Kaplan lecture notes or videos to clarify.
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Unhappy Step one baby step

Hi Nino,

Wow, 243 is AWEMSOME! You must have worked really hard with an infant and a toddler! And you left med skoo 5 years ago! What else I should say ,,,congrates!!!!!

I also left med skoo abt 5 years ago. I just wanted to start doing step 1 usmle. I would really appreciate if you could share how did u do it? Did you reAd first aid? Or you attempted the questions first?

Your feedback is much appreciated.

In need of a REAL help..
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nino View Post

Here are some tips I think you guys might find useful:
1. You have definitely heard it before but I will say it again for emphasis---UWORLD IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR PREP, PERIOD! Every other thing is secondary.
Hello Nino! Thanks for the great advice. Your words help calm me down a little. I'm somewhat in a similar position. My exam's next month - 28th Dec - and I have about 17 days of U World left. Studying has been challenging as I'm 27 weeks pregnant and my brain feels like it has to be pushed along.

My question is, how did you benefit most from U World? I'm done with most of it, averaging 67%. Trying to do a couple of blocks daily. Did you take notes while doing U World for CK? Or did you just do a quick review and move on?

I feel like I need to spend time on my reading too (Kaplan, MTB etc) but keep shifting between UW and reading. Freaking out a tiny bit because of closeness of exam, my own sluggishness with UW (probably pregnancy related). Any help would be MUCH appreciated!
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2013
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Great Score , best of luck for the other exams and match
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2013
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Originally Posted by harmonis View Post
Hi Nino,

Wow, 243 is AWEMSOME! You must have worked really hard with an infant and a toddler! And you left med skoo 5 years ago! What else I should say ,,,congrates!!!!!

I also left med skoo abt 5 years ago. I just wanted to start doing step 1 usmle. I would really appreciate if you could share how did u do it? Did you reAd first aid? Or you attempted the questions first?

Your feedback is much appreciated.

In need of a REAL help..
Hi Harmonis! It was quite tough I must tell you but I didn't have a choice but to perservere till the end.

For my step 1, I attended the Kaplan Live lectures for 7 weeks after which I studied for a little while with FA and Uworld then took the exam.
If you are unable to attend the lectures, no problem at all---the KLN and videos are fine. My advice will be to go through them system by system and at the end of each system, study the corresponding section in FA. After you have done this ONCE(not more than that) you start Uworld. No amount of reading(passive learning) can replace doing questions(active learning).

While you are doing Uworld, pay attention not only to your scores but the analysis of your scores. This will help you identify what areas need strengthening. This is the time you can go back to the specific area in KLN and/or FA to understand the concept better. Aim to finish U world and go through it again, if not everything, your marked and incorrect questions.

Closer to your exam, if you can, run through FA once or even better twice. It will be a faster read cos then u would be familiar with the concepts. I wish I had the time to do this. I recall there were a lot of questions from FA on my exam that were difficult for me to recall cos I hadn't looked at them in a long while.

Finally, the only objective way of knowing you are ready is the NBMEs. If you get a score you are happy with, go ahead, if not,postpone.

Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. All the best!
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2013
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Congrats and great job!!!
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameerakhan View Post
Hello Nino! Thanks for the great advice. Your words help calm me down a little. I'm somewhat in a similar position. My exam's next month - 28th Dec - and I have about 17 days of U World left. Studying has been challenging as I'm 27 weeks pregnant and my brain feels like it has to be pushed along.

My question is, how did you benefit most from U World? I'm done with most of it, averaging 67%. Trying to do a couple of blocks daily. Did you take notes while doing U World for CK? Or did you just do a quick review and move on?

I feel like I need to spend time on my reading too (Kaplan, MTB etc) but keep shifting between UW and reading. Freaking out a tiny bit because of closeness of exam, my own sluggishness with UW (probably pregnancy related). Any help would be MUCH appreciated!
I can relate with your situation because I was 7 months pregnant when I did my step 1. You just have to push yourself and do not be tempted to postpone it because when the baby comes, your schedule will only get tighter with little or no study time.

To answer your question, No I didn't take notes while doing Uworld cos it was too cumbersome and time consuming. No I didn't do a quick review and move on. I did a detailed review actually making sure I knew why the correct answer was correct and why the wrong options were wrong. In Uworld every answer option is a potential question so you need to NOTE KEY DIFFERENCES between disease presentations.

While doing Uworld, I would mark the questions I got wrong that I didn't understand, the ones I got right but got the reasoning wrong(this means I was just lucky) and some questions that I felt had important explanations that I would like to refer to again.

Like I said in an earlier post, pay attention to the breakdown of your scores in Uworld. It tells you what your strengths and weaknesses are. Go back to MTBs and/or Kaplan to review your weak areas ONLY.These are the areas that can trip you up. For instance, In Uworld, I had very low scores in Psychiatry(I'm talking less than 30% correct overall). Frankly I neglected that area in my reading. Guess what? My performance in psychiatry in the real exam was in Lower area with a star to the left!

It is normal to freak out but try to keep yourself focused. Finally, remember that you are pregnant so don't forget to feed both yourself and the little bun in the oven. It is also important to get up and stretch your legs every few hours. Your health is top priority, don't forget that.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2013
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Congratulations!

did you do that NBME 4 online? and if yes, was it with or without the extended "feedback" of which questions you got wrong.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2013
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Congratulations!

did you do that NBME 4 online? and if yes, was it with or without the extended "feedback" of which questions you got wrong.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Yes I did it online and it was extended feedback. I got 26 questions wrong.
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2013
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congrats !!!
which part was more heavily tested on exam ?
and which part did u find more challenging ?
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  #19  
Old 11-23-2013
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congrats !!!
which part was more heavily tested on exam ?
and which part did u find more challenging ?
Internal medicine was definitely the most heavily tested. I found the abstracts to be the most challenging part.
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  #20  
Old 11-23-2013
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My biggest appreciation to girls who managed doing exam while being pregnant especially third trimester. When i was in yerevan i remember two women there telling stories about brave Georgian girl who took exam and how they were worrying about her. Maybe that was you Nino
Congratulations and good luck again
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  #21  
Old 11-23-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nino View Post
I can relate with your situation because I was 7 months pregnant when I did my step 1. You just have to push yourself and do not be tempted to postpone it because when the baby comes, your schedule will only get tighter with little or no study time.

To answer your question, No I didn't take notes while doing Uworld cos it was too cumbersome and time consuming. No I didn't do a quick review and move on. I did a detailed review actually making sure I knew why the correct answer was correct and why the wrong options were wrong. In Uworld every answer option is a potential question so you need to NOTE KEY DIFFERENCES between disease presentations.

While doing Uworld, I would mark the questions I got wrong that I didn't understand, the ones I got right but got the reasoning wrong(this means I was just lucky) and some questions that I felt had important explanations that I would like to refer to again.

Like I said in an earlier post, pay attention to the breakdown of your scores in Uworld. It tells you what your strengths and weaknesses are. Go back to MTBs and/or Kaplan to review your weak areas ONLY.These are the areas that can trip you up. For instance, In Uworld, I had very low scores in Psychiatry(I'm talking less than 30% correct overall). Frankly I neglected that area in my reading. Guess what? My performance in psychiatry in the real exam was in Lower area with a star to the left!

It is normal to freak out but try to keep yourself focused. Finally, remember that you are pregnant so don't forget to feed both yourself and the little bun in the oven. It is also important to get up and stretch your legs every few hours. Your health is top priority, don't forget that.
Thank you, Nino!! I appreciate you going all the way and writing that down for me.

It's already gotten better. I've started focusing more on U World - doing 3 blocks a day in timed and exam mode - with timed breaks between blocks - and building up my stamina like I did for step 1. In fact, my reading speed has improved too and it feels more and more like step 1 prep where I learned to just scan questions towards the time my exam date got near.

I'm also focusing on reading the explanations now rather than making notes - yes, it has helped. I figured I could always grab some UWorld notes online or use the time to focus on hi-yield info.

And yes, pregnancy is a huge factor - I *am* taking better care of myself now. Baby doesn't usually mind me focusing on studies although sometimes during UWorld blocks, I get that flurry of activity inside that's just the tiniest bit distracting. Haha! But seriously, yes, I will, God-willing, be done with this as scheduled and won't postpone it for after the baby.

Thanks again for the advice!!
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Old 11-23-2013
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... and yes, if people can take this exam on while being pregnant or when they have kids, you guys out there can too... don't feel too down-in-the-dumps and count your blessings aka free time and optimum health!
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Old 12-26-2013
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Thanxx soo much Nino
xxx
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Old 12-27-2013
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Default Hey NINO..!! Congratulations

If you could help me with my queries...
1. i dont have time for doing KL for paeds , so opting for MTB 2N3 and UW. Do u think it will be enough?

2. Bio stats.. are d questions same like step one.?

3. i am almost done wid UWORLD for the first time. My avg says 60% but 30th percentlie. Have only two mnths to go.. What shud i infer from ds?

4.In the end .. i just want to know is ds exam doable with compl MTB2 N 3 n uw n readind kaplan once ??

5 oh yes .. About the drug ads and the absracts? What r they and where to do them from..??

THANKS A TON NINO..

I know they are too many questions....

God bless
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