Doctor Ali's Step 1 experience
Alright! I am now going to write my experience about STEP 1 that I took on August 28, 2013. Received my score three Wednesdays later, and I passed with score of 191. I thanked the GOD for everything and this forum where I was able to communicate here. Okay, okay. All of you will come up and start arguing “that’s low score. You won’t get anything from this score. Good luck to you” and etc. I got question for you guys. Which one is really better? Passing at first time on first try? Or, fail the first try and then pass on second try? See my point?
Now before I tell you what and how I study for this beast, let tell you about myself. In my whole nature of life, I was never good standardize exam taker. I am good at passing exams of the courses but not on standardize exams. For example, when I take the test and/or quiz for any class, I end up getting 85 – 100%; and my final grade would be just that. On the standardize exams such SAT and MCAT, I score extremely low. For example, on SAT I score 840 out 1600. But I still got into college – 2 yr and then 4 yr; receiving Associates and Bachelor degree respectively. On MCAT, which I took twice, I score 11 and 12 respectively. But guess what? I made it into medical school and studied for STEP 1 and finally it’s over with passing of 191.
The medical school that I went to is Windsor University School of Medicine. It’s located in St. Kitts. You can check the website of the school of your own interest for its information. I on the other hand, will summarize this way: They don’t really help at all. That’s all I am going to say about it.
Okay, now how I prepare myself for this exam? It took me 2 full solid and half years of my life. First year all I did was reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, and reading. That’s all I did. I swear it was the most stupid thing of me did. Reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, and reading. Not at once it occurred to me that I should also start doing questions while reading. How stupid I am. Then towards the end, my exam was on Dece 27th 2011, I went to Step 1 program called USMLE Eagles for eight weeks. On the 9th week was my exam. As I intended the classes, I realize and the instructors had pointed out that I was indeed not ready and due to that the fact that I didn’t do any qbanks. Therefore, I never took that exam. Came back home and I had to start all over again. Yes my parents were angry and gave me nothing emotions that I didn’t really needed.
Second full year, January to December 2012 you guessed it. I was doing UWORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First time by the way. So I was doing UWorld. Taking notes. Reading explanation of both right and wrong choices. I was doing this format: one system and 4 Ps. Example, Cardiovascular plus physiology, pathology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology all in one block. I was doing this for all systems. Then I did anatomy, immunology, behavioral, biostatics, genetics, and embryology. I skipped microbiology, histology, neuroanatomy, and biochemistry. I did and I went over and over again. I did at least 5 times in total run, reset it 2 times. I paid for it. That took whole year.
Finally, from January to August 2013, a lot of things happening. Register ECFMG again. Renew UWorld again. Brought USMLE Rx qbank first time. Start reading again. Start doing microbiology first time roughly three months before exam. Start doing biochemistry two months before the exam. Found out about PATHOMA!!!!! Life savior. Start doing part doing pathoma in April 2013, and it took whole month because I was taking notes and pictures from him. I restart doing pathoma second round roughly two weeks before my exam; finished it in ten days because I already have everything in front of me. Exam date was August 28th 2013, which was on Wednesday. Okay. That week, Sunday to Wednesday 2am, I was doing USMLE Rx qbank over and over and over again especially Microbiology. Review biostatics calculations again. Wednesday morning I took the train to my center and on the way I was reading embryology. Got in and start the exam.
Exam itself was hell, tough, rough, and it was in UW format. For every block I had to mark at least 15 and then go back to check over. Block 2 was the worst of all for me. Block 2 I felt yelling the crap of it. Block 2 I missed 6 questions. Block 2 I will never forget about. Maybe that’s was the reason why I felt low throughout. Rest it was okay. After the exam was over I felt relief of pressure. Got onto the train and headed home. While headed home, I recall some questions and the answers that I chose was indeed correct. As weeks passed by some more questions came up and I looked up and they were right and one wrong. Finally the Wednesday came by and I couldn’t sleep at all the night before; thinking about the score. I checked my e – mail at 10:30am, got the message, went to ECFMG and checked and I passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thanked to GOD for everything.
Materials I used:
1. UWorld 5x
2. USMLE Rx, for micro I did 12x whereas others I did 4x
3. DIT only pharm
4. BRS Physiology and its questions
5. Pathoma 2x
7. USMLE express videos, it goes over FA
8. High yield anatomy and embryology
9. Lange Pathology flash cards
10. Lange Pharmacology flash cards
11. Lange Biochemistry flash cards
12. Pretest pathology
That’s pretty much it. Here’s my report. See the attachment.
As you can see, behavioral, genetics, and general principles let me down. So based on this where you guys see? Where am I? Where can I lead myself? I want to teach medicine, do I have a shot? If I want to be IM, do I have a shot? I am here to listen. So please speak up.