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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Praise the Lord!

Very grateful. Now time to give back.

Before I say anything, if there's one thing I could have done differently, it would definitely be to have started solving questions much earlier than I actually did.

Total prep time: 11 months (on and off, took time off in between, etc..)

Sources used:
FA
Pathoma + some Goljan lectures (general principles: inflammation, neoplasia, cell injury)
HY neuro (only for reference)
Conrad ethics (100 cases)
Kaplan videos

Qbanks:
UW (average 70%)
Kaptest (average 79%)

Phase 1:
Kaplan videos: help you lay a foundation, especially if you haven't touched the basic sciences in a long time.
Must watch: Behavioral, biostats, neuroanatomy, embryo.
Physio videos are a bit of an overkill, have many low yield stuff but they do help you understand a lot of concepts and graphs. I'd say watch them all if you have the time. You don't need vids for micro, haven't watched pathology and did pathoma instead.
Took me 4 months, which is way too long but I wasn't studying dedicatedly yet and I was a bit lost at first as I was too concerned by minutiae and understanding and memorizing every single word, which was a mistake but at the time I didn't know what's High Yield and what's not.

Phase 2:
First read of FA: just to familiarize myself with it, took me a month.
Also did pathoma, watched the videos only and took some notes into FA, but never used pathoma as a dedicated study book. Pathoma lectures were excellent at the time but I only did them once and never touched the book again. The book is great, but I was trying to minimize my sources.

Phase 3 (MOST IMPORTANT):
UW + annotations into FA. Admittedly, I should've started this much earlier.
I did UW online, timed, subject wise. At first I was in the 50's then by the time I finished it I was in the 80's. My overall average was 70%. Took extensive notes and googled pics and explanations and didn't leave a stone unturned. I believe this was the most important element in my study. Nothing comes close to UW explanations, they have been written with love and dedication. I came to realize how well they're written when I started doing kaplan qbank.
I finished UW only once, then did my incorrects.

Phase 4:
Kaptest + NBMEs
Kaptest (online): question stems and explanations aren't as well written as UW. Great for anatomy (covers a lot more anatomy than UW), molecular bio, immunology, social sciences (especially safety science and quality improvement)
Physio questions in kaplan are a HUGE overkill imho, lots of low yield questions and graphs.
Finished it once in 3 weeks with an average of 79%. Didn't take notes or do incorrects.

NBMEs: did most of them online, the closest to my result was NBME 17
I believe 18 is a bit under-predictive
UWSA 1 (4 months out):234 (I believe it's over predictive)
NBME 16 (6 weeks out): 237
NBME 17 (3 weeks out): 247
NBME 18 (10 days out): 243
FRED free questions (1 month out): 91%

Do as many as you can, ONLINE. Work on the weaknesses suggested by the NBME then take another one, and beware as it's very tempting to keep working on your strengths. Don't yield to that, focus on your weaknesses.

Exam day:
Wasn't as stressed out as I thought I'd be. Took a break after every block (I strongly recommend this, your mind needs to stay fresh). Ate a lot of snacks and had some redbull. Anxiety was gone after the first couple of questions. I would say the questions and answers rely massively on word play, they twist even the simplest of concepts in a way to make you unsure. TRUST YOUR FIRST INSTINCT, it's usually right even though your mind will play tricks on you. More often than not, overanalyzing a question will lead you to the wrong answer. Don't assume there is a trick; either you clearly see the trick or you don't. I can't stress on this enough. I marked a lot of questions (around 10-12 per block), but then again I've always been an avid marker, it's a bad habit, try to get rid of it if you can. Had 2-3 mins left in most blocks, except 2 blocks where I finished exactly on time. In UW and kaplan, I usually had 15 min left. In NBME's, had around 5-7 min left.
After the exam, at first I felt good but then I kept remembering the stupidest mistakes, this is completely normal and stupid mistakes are bound to happen. The only way to minimize those is to solve as many questions as possible.
Real exam score: 250 - 255

Do's:
-Try to integrate everything into FA, because I took extensive notes in a notebook and I ended up not having enough time to revise them. Minimize your sources to revise before the exam.
-Solve Qs early, as many as you can, ONLINE and keep FA beside you to cement your photographic memory of it and take notes.
-Learn how to be a smart test taker (don't spend too much time on questions you won't know, don't think about previous Qs, only mark questions you actually stand a chance at getting right if you spend more time in, etc..)
-Do as many NBME's as possible, online, worth the money
-Read FA at least twice
-Have faith in yourself, it's a very long, tiresome, excruciating journey. Your faith will be tested, your mind will play tricks on you and you will question everything. Don't lose hope, pray and be consistent.

Don't 's:
-spend too much time on kaplan videos
-try to memorize every single word in FA, you'll be frustrated as it's nearly impossible. Do read it a couple of times but don't make memorizing FA your ultimate goal
-obsess about UW scores, think of UW as an educational tool rather than an assessment

Feel free to ask questions but please do not ask me about exam questions :)
 

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hey i have my exam in 10days....do u suggest me to go thru social sciences???? most of them seem new and so i never did them.....do u recommend gng thru those 130ques???
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hey i have my exam in 10days....do u suggest me to go thru social sciences???? most of them seem new and so i never did them.....do u recommend gng thru those 130ques???
Yes I would skim through them but don't spend too much time on them. half a day maximum. At this point concentrate on giving FA a quick power read and try simulating a full exam to develop stamina.
Good luck! i'm sure you've worked very hard, it will turn out better than you imagine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congrats
What abt the toughness of the exam is it same as NBME?
in a way yes. some UW q's are a lot more twisted though.
 

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I did nbme 17 2 days back offline....made 20 mistakes and took uwsa 2 and got 245.....
Really weak in resp, reprod, biochem and genetics.....thot of gng thru uw explanations mrw...wud u instead suggest solving Kaplan??? I wanted to do as I have the subscription but many said me not to nd I didn't :(.... I did t long back around 60% (dnt remb a word lol) and prev solved a few blocks...
What wud u suggest!!! I want to score more than 240 but if there s a chance even more that!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did nbme 17 2 days back offline....made 20 mistakes and took uwsa 2 and got 245.....
Really weak in resp, reprod, biochem and genetics.....thot of gng thru uw explanations mrw...wud u instead suggest solving Kaplan??? I wanted to do as I have the subscription but many said me not to nd I didn't :(.... I did t long back around 60% (dnt remb a word lol) and prev solved a few blocks...
What wud u suggest!!! I want to score more than 240 but if there s a chance even more that!!!
20 mistakes in NBME 17 is definitely >245, so you have nothing to worry about, that's a great score already.
I would focus on those weaknesses for 3-4 days (solve kaplan in those subjects, kaplan is especially very good in repro and genetics) then take another NBME, please take it online with extended feedback if you can, the analysis is really useful.
 
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Yea I have oly nbme 18 left!!! Thank u mitochon!! I remb u replying nd encouraging me once in my journal!! I'm happy tat you are done with it and that to with flying colours!!!

I have 10days oly!!! Planning to give both Kaplan sim tests!!!!

Plz suggest if I have to do anything else!!!! 10 days oly and I'm a little ......am I kidding......very scared!!! Haha:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yea I have oly nbme 18 left!!! Thank u mitochon!! I remb u replying nd encouraging me once in my journal!! I'm happy tat you are done with it and that to with flying colours!!!

I have 10days oly!!! Planning to give both Kaplan sim tests!!!!

Plz suggest if I have to do anything else!!!! 10 days oly and I'm a little ......am I kidding......very scared!!! Haha:p
Don't mention it! We all went through the same thing.
About kap sim tests, I honestly haven't done them even though I had the subscription and nobody said anything about their predictive values. You can do them but don't be too affected by their results. I think nbme 18 is much more important at this point. Trust your hard work and your NBME's!
 
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Thanks mitochon!!! Oly my nbme 17 score is promising as the last online nbme I gave was 16.... 3 weeks back and scored 232... So yea relying on nbme 18..... Solved the old ones too and scored fine. I'm waiting to get done with t haha!!
Yea I'm dng Kaplan only for stamina as i felt really tired while giving uwsa2 today and made silly mistakes......and they are actually quite predictive...someone in another forum had their scores around t....maybe +6 points!! Anyways its oly for stamina!!
Anyways time for to u party!!!!! :rolleyes:Happy-2:D
 

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Congratulations for impressively passing Step 1 mitochon! I would like to ask if you watched all Pathoma videos or just selectively watched some subjects? Do you recommend watching all of them? Thank you so much.
 

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length

how long were the questions?
did you have time left towards the end of each block?
how would you compare the difficulty level of the actual exam to a past nbme's? past UWSA?

Congrats and gluck on your next exam!!
 

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hey congrats onthe score..how were the anat q ..on which topics did they stressed more? what sources did u use for anat..i m very stressed for it..pls advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Congrats :D

Was pharm just from FA ?
i personally did pharm from FA + UW + kaplan qbank. this was more than enough
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Congratulations for impressively passing Step 1 mitochon! I would like to ask if you watched all Pathoma videos or just selectively watched some subjects? Do you recommend watching all of them? Thank you so much.
i watched all the videos. i recommend watching all of them. Dr sattar is great and simplifies everything.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
how long were the questions?
did you have time left towards the end of each block?
how would you compare the difficulty level of the actual exam to a past nbme's? past UWSA?

Congrats and gluck on your next exam!!
mostly had 2-3 min left. i suggest train yourself to finish 10 min earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hey congrats onthe score..how were the anat q ..on which topics did they stressed more? what sources did u use for anat..i m very stressed for it..pls advise.
well as i clarified in the last line, it's illegal to discuss exam content.
but i personally did UW + kaplan qbank and i think those are adequate
 
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