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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are the preparation materials that I used :

Gross anatomy, embryology : Kaplan videos and lecture notes.
Neuroanatomy : First Aid 2016.
Behavioural sciences : First Aid 2016 and a few selected Kaplan videos
Biostatistics and Epidemiology : Kaplan videos and lecture notes
Microbiology : First Aid 2016
Immunology : Kaplan videos and lecture notes
Biochemistry, genetics : Kaplan videos and lecture notes
Physiology : Kaplan videos and lecture notes
Pharmacology : Kaplan videos and lecture notes
Pathology : Pathoma videos and book.

My tip regarding study materials is that studying a particular topic from only one resource is sufficient. For example, I studied Microbiology from FA, so I didn't read Microbiology from Kaplan or anywhere else.
Similarly, I studied Immunology from Kaplan so I didn't bother reading the Immunology section from FA.
Studying the same topic from different resources usually serves to confuse and muddle things up, rather than making things clear - so its best to stick to one resource and do it well.
The USMLE is a concepts based exam and does not test your knowledge of minute details, so you don't need to memorize things from different resources as long as you have a basic understanding of the subject.

I think Pathoma is absolutely the best resource out there for Pathology. I cannot comment on Goljan because I didn't bother reading it (although I did buy the book, it never got off my book shelf), but you do not need anything else other than Pathoma for Step 1 pathology, imo.

Question banks I used :

Usmle World (I did this twice).
Kaplan question bank
USMLE Rx.
Firecracker question bank (they offer a free one month subscription). I only managed to complete half of this.

Self-assessment exams I took :

UWSA 1 (several months out) - 230
UWSA 2 (several months out) - 232
Kaplan full length simulated test 1 (7 weeks out)- 80%
NBME 17 (6 weeks out) - 262
NBME 12 (6 weeks out) - 251
NBME 15 (4 weeks out) - 258
NBME 13 (4 weeks out) - 262
Kaplan full length simulated test 2 (3 weeks out) - 87%
NBME 18 (3 weeks out) - 269
NBME 16 (2 weeks out) - 264.
Free 120 (1 week out) - 90%

Test day experience :

My experience at the prometric center was good. The staff were courterous and cooperative, and I didn't have any software glitches during my exam.

I didn't have any time issues. I was able to complete most of my blocks within 40-45 minutes.
The questions were very vague though. None of the tested content was unfamiliar to me, but the questions were just framed in a way which made it really difficult to pick any one option as correct.
My exam had a lot of biostatistics, but that wasn't really a problem for me.
The ethics questions were very, very vague and obscure and unlike any I had encountered on all the questions banks that I had solved.

I also ended up second guessing myself and changing my answer from right to wrong on a couple of easy questions that I should have gotten right.

Overall, I was not happy with the way my exam went. I felt my exam was tougher than most of the NBME forms except NBME 12 - which had felt really difficult to me.

Anyways, got my score a couple of days back. It is a 258

Although I am very relieved I didn't slip down too far from my NBME average, I am a little bummed about narrowly missing the 260 mark. :toosad:

If I have missed anything out or you want any more advice, feel free to ask.

(Please do not ask me for the questions I got on my real exam, I can NOT reveal such information because that is against the rules of the USMLE)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
how was pharm? and what organ system questions you recieved the most?
and anyother resource u recommend ither then uw, fa, pathoma?
Pharmacology was very concept based. You need to have a clear understanding of the mechanism of action of prototype drugs of each class. Memorizing obscure drugs is not vital, they don't test those.

As I said in my main post, its best not to get bogged down with too many resources. If you have time, you should do as many questions as you can though. Once I was done with UWorld, I did both Kaplan and Rx, but Kaplan was better, imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Congrats on your great score....can you tell me did you do histology from Kaplan or from FA???
Kaplan.

I didn't like the Histology teacher in the Kaplan videos though, so I just read the notes.

Histology is pretty low yield on its own, when tested its usually integrated with Pathology - reading Pathoma should cover that.
 

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Hi!

Congratulations!

Hard work paid off!

You mentioned 4.5 months of dedicated studying. How many hours each day? Would you kindly share what's your typical schedule/day like?

Thank you and congrats!

Oh btw, which specialization do you plan to get in to?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi!

Congratulations!

Hard work paid off!

You mentioned 4.5 months of dedicated studying. How many hours each day? Would you kindly share what's your typical schedule/day like?

Thank you and congrats!

Oh btw, which specialization do you plan to get in to?
Thanks :)

I didn't usually keep a count of the number of hours I spent studying. I would wake up and just make a goal for the day "X number of topics to study, X number of UWorld blocks to cover" and then try to do that much regardless of the number of hours it took me.

I took a lot of breaks while studying. I would lift weights, do push ups or take my dog for walks in between study sessions. Also, I went swimming
in the evening.

I also went through a nocturnal phase for a couple of months in my study period when I would sleep through the day and study only at night.

I have about three different specialties in mind - all of them primary care fields. I am definitely not interested in anything surgical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Did you annotate kaplan into FA or just uworld ?
Also , which kaplan qbank year and usmle rx year did you use ?
Btw , congrats :)
I did not annotate much into FA, except for a few new concepts covered in UW which were not mentioned in FA.
I made the biggest bulk of my annotations into Pathoma.
Anytime I learned something new from any of the QBanks (UW, Kaplan QBank, Rx, etc) - I would jot it down into Pathoma.
My Pathoma book was very heavily scribbled and probably had double the amount of original information by the end of my study period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi
Congrats for your awesome score
I want to study just first aid,pathoma, lecture notes and will solve uworld in the end. Is it enough to score 230+?
Or Do i need to do anything else?
Yes, its definitely enough to get a 230+ score. You should also take the NBME self-assessment forms before you go for the actual exam to make sure you are scoring at or near your target score.
 
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