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I wanted to thank everyone on this forum for your guidance in preparing for the Step 1 especially the moderators...you all are awesome! I figured the best way to thank you would be to give advice...

This exam requires mental, physical and spiritual preparation.

MENTAL:

This one's obvious. If you know you're weak in a particular area, you may need more books on a particular subject. For instance my weakness was neuroanatomy. You can use whatever books you choose but I'll tell you what I used.

1) KAPLAN BOOKS (all)

I don't think the Pathology is that helpful but the other ones are awesome. I also took the class which I would recommend if you need structure and a nudge/push to start your preparation.

2) GOLJAN PATHOLOGY BOOK AND AUDIO

This was the most helpful book in my entire preparation and the lectures were awesome. I would recommend doing this after finishing the other subjects because Dr. Goljan ties everything together nicely. I rocked Pathology on the exam because of this book.

3) FIRST AID FOR THE STEP 1

This is a great book to use throughout your preparation. The mnemonics are fantastic. I wrote notes from Kaplan and question banks into it so during my last month I only read FA.

4) NEUROANATOMY MADE RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE

This is a very easy book to read and I found it helpful. If you're good at neuroanatomy and neurology though then you probably don't need it.

5) BRS NEUROANATOMY

I skimmed through this book. I just looked at the diagrams which were quite helpful.

6) QUESTION BANKS

a) UWorld - This is the best question bank to prepare for the Step 1! You must go through this. People say to go through it twice, but I didn't have time to go through it nicely the second time. At least go through this once!

b) Kaplan - I used this at the end just to stay fresh. The questions are for the most part a lot easier than UWorld. Nonetheless, it's very good practice.

7) EXAM PRACTICE

NBME 4, 5, 6, 7

USMLE World Practice Exams 1 and 2

Practice Test at the Center -> I HIGHLY recommend doing this. I was more calm the day of the exam because I had been to the center before.

(I don't remember my exact scores on these but I think I have them on the forum in my earlier posts. You must do at least one NBME Form before the exam to make sure you're ready.)

8) THIS FORUM:

Ask whatever questions you wish. Share what you've learned. This is an awesome forum and I spent a lot of time on here learning and sharing knowledge.

SCHEDULE:

I took the Kaplan class the first 6 wks and had rotations in between then began properly preparing for the exam. I went through the books in about 1 1/2 months except Goljan which took a month on it's own. Then, I went through them again with First Aid and UWorld for about 2 months. After this, I spent my last month reviewing everything and doing NBME and UWorld Forms.

Honestly I think it's very difficult to spend more than 6 months studying for this exam. By the end of my studying, I was getting fed up and irritated from looking at the same material again and again. You will NEVER BE TOTALLY READY for this exam so just go take it. It gets harder and harder every year so you might as well get it done. Take it at your peak when your NBME scores are good and you should be fine.

EXAM DAY:

I was so nervous for the exam. I think this is normal though haha. I arrived at the exam center a bit early. I signed in with the guard and showed my ID. Then I got a locker key and put my stuff away (I brought some sandwiches, juice, almonds, raisins and chocolate to eat and paracetamol in case I got a headache.). I was wanded and patted down and my documents were checked. I went into the exam hall and got my white board, markers and erasers. I was fingerprinted and signed in. I began the exam. I skipped the tutorial except to check that my headphones worked. My first block was hellish but after that it was fine. There will always be questions where you feel like more than one answer is correct or where you have no idea. Don't worry...guess and move on. I took appx 5 - 10 minute breaks after Blocks 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. I didn't like the idea of taking a long lunch break so I did it this way. It's totally up to you. Experiment with different options to see what works for you.

AFTER THE EXAM:

You feel like **** (excuse the foul language but it's true). I honestly thought I failed and kept all my books in case I would need to read them again. The long wait until you get your score is agonizing. Apparently, this feeling is normal though because others I've talked to felt the same way. When I got my score I was sooo relieved and happy. I've never been so happy in my entire life. Seeing your hard work pay off is priceless.

PHYSICAL:

Stay active. Find some activity to do as a break from studying. For me, this was yoga and dancing. You need to stay sane and your muscles get sore from all the sitting and studying. You can also try walking around your room and explaining things to yourself outloud or just going for a walk outside. Anything that gets you away from studying for about 1 hr a day is good.

Eat properly and eat healthy. Take your vitamins. I probably sound like your mom but this is essential. You can't afford to get sick and you have to be in the best shape possible on exam day.

SPIRITUAL:

Even if you're not religious, you need to be in a very focused mindset on exam day so spirituality is important. Imagine yourself getting an awesome score (whatever your goal may be). Imagine getting your score report with those numbers on it. Imagine telling your friends and family how well you've done and celebrating the results of your hard work. Write down your goal score and how you're going to get there step by step. More importantly though, FOLLOW YOUR SCHEDULE! Keep one day off a week to catch up.

If you're religious, then set aside some time everyday to pray. I did a 10 minute prayer every morning when I asked God for help and guidance in preparing for the exam and for help in understanding the concepts so that I could become a good doctor in the future.

I hope this helps you. I would've posted my three digit score as well but I found out my classmates are on here also and I don't feel like being compared to them. It's higher than the average score for American medical students and it's pretty similar to my NBME scores. If you have any questions I'll try to answer them. GOOD LUCK!!! :)
 

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Let me be the first congratulate you! That's so awesome you're done and aced the exam. Thank you for posting your experience, that's very encouraging :happy:
 

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Awesome post

Thank you dazzles for the awesome post. This is certainly going to be a wonderful reference for future test takers.

You are the seventh monthly contest winner who's getting 99! We are so excited about it :rolleyes:

Good job and your scores are great and we wish you all the luck in your future endeavors.
 

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Congratulations on your success. I wish you the best for step 2. I will be taking the exam real soon and was wondering about your score correlation with nbmes? would you say within 5 points of your three digit score from nbmes? a ballpark figure would be fine, thank you
 

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Well done!!!!!!

Congratulations...... you difinitely deserve it.....

This is a fantastic news.......

Thanks for sharing it with our members....

Good luck for your step 2...

Keep the momentum going on....:happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the congrats. I feel blessed. Someone wrote brother...I'm a girl haha. Girls are entering medical school at rates equal to or higher than boys. :)) Anyway as to my three digit score, it's roughly within 5 points of my NBME score so please do NBME Forms especially 6 and 7 they predict your score well. Good luck everyone! I hope you all get awesome scores as well!!
 

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Congrats

hi Dazzles congrats on the top notch score:)... just out of curiosity can you tell me about what percentage of the questions you saw on exam day were from microbio and were they like knitpicky details or would doing the kaplan lecture notes be sufficient for them :) thanks for the study tips also :)
 
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