Thank you all guys
my prep got serious in late August, so it took me roughly 4-5 months of hard studying. The only exception is goljan (book+audios) which I had already studied during my last year of med school.
From late august to mid October I went through all Kaplan notes along with the videos. I've found that watching the videos speeded up my reading as it forced me to keep the pace of 1 subject per week that I had planned. I believe that for all fresh graduate or even med students the pace that I kept is a reasonable one, but I understand it can be harder for older applicants who are not so fresh on the subjects this exam deals with. While watching the videos I used to keep open both the notes and first AID, so that I could add all the missing information and relevant details to first aid. The idea here is that after having watched a video and read its corresponding pages on Kaplan I would never go through it NEVER AGAIN, just stick to FIRST AID and the extra notes that I had taken on it.
Btw, after finishing kaplans I purchased a 2 months subscription to usmleWorld. Everybody says this is the best qBank out there, so I thought why should I subscribe to other qBanks??? I finished it in early December, only did 46 mixed-unused questions blocks, final result was 75%. My advice is to use it as a learning tool, so I wrote down everything new that I was learning from it.
At this point I took NMBE 12 and got 257. I was planning to give my exam in mid December but I have underestimated the time it takes for ECFMG to process one's application, so I could not take an appointment any earlier than January the 15th. In the last month I just went over and over again through first aid and took NBME 13 and 15, scoring 240 and 253 respectively.
Exam day: I could not sleep at all, but when I got to the test center I was not feeling tired, epinephrine surge was quiet high I guess
and also a redbull worked fine.
I felt uneasy during the whole exam, the biggest problem I had was the length of questions. I was able to hardly finished every block in the last minute of allotted time, which had never happened to me in the NBMEs. After the exam I felt like I had underperformed, as I got out of the center I soon realized I had 5 easy straight forward questions wrong and started feeling guilty. Time was a major issue in my exam.
The result turned out to be 251, when I started my prep I set my goal at >240, so i'm super happy I broke the 250 wall.
Just one more personal advice: if you are feeling low during your prep, just go and watch some video on YouTube from Eric Thomas, it helped me a lot.