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My Step 1 Journey, brief.

6643 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  doctorindistress
Dear all,

This is, in short, my little journey with step 1. First of all, let me tell you about myself a bit briefly, I was average student in the College of Medicine, University of Baghdad. I was not one of those studious people, however, I was not on of those really at the bottom. My decision to come to USA was rather a condition, not a decision. When I first started preparing for Step 1, my ultimate goal was 90-plus. But gradually, along the preparation process, my limit was going up, till the point where less than a 99 would have been considered a failure for me.

Kaplan books only, I did not see anything apart from them, in my opinion, they are more that what is needed for the test, but that is still ok, as the test has no limits and you will always need extra. I did not see the 1st Aid and nothing else at all.

First-time study( normally 3.5 - 6.5 months ),
Preferred order ( Physio., Biochem., Anatomy, Behavioral, Immuno. & Micro., Pharm. and Finally Patho.
Way of Study ( I used to watch a Kaplan video in the evening, starting from 7, for 3 to 4 hours, depending on how patient you are. Then I studied what I watched next morning till the evening, then another video, then again....

Revision ( 3-4 Months ),
Here, a lot of possible options, you could start doing questions ( I started with Kaplan's Qbank), one block ( timed and mixed ) early in the morning, then after the block I studied the books again, in the same order mentioned above, then in the evening, I revised the block I already solved, at the beginning, each block took me 2 days to revise, until I revised 4 books, then I was going a block each day.
Some other optioin is that you revise the books only, in 6 weeks then start doing Qs only till the test.

Questions, I started with Kaplan's Q bank, then I shifted to USMLEworld, I did 90% of the Qbank and only 28% of the USMLEworld. But finishing both of them all is better.

Score, I got a 99 ( 242), as I said before, I did not believe in myself scoring it at the beginning, however, my expectations were giong higher up over the time.

1- 1st study is the most important, spend as much time as possible and try to cover each book very well before you move to the another, remember, by the time of revision, you are too exhausted to memorise somthing new. So why not doing it at the beginning ?
2- Be consistent, try to avoid long time interruptions.
3- I am a bit slow, so the above times are about me, some can do it way shorter, but longer, I do not think it is healthy, unless there are a lot of stuff in your life to deal with.
4- As the test is closing in, start preparing physically for it, do a simulated test ( 7-block) at least once, at least 5 days before the test.
5- If you are taking an NBME, which I prefer, take one or two or both, but not the others, as those two give the most accurate estimate.
6- You can do it, and it is a long process, with a lot of ups and downs, just believe in yourself.

I wish you all good luck, and if there anything I could help you with, please do not hesitate to ask me. God bless you all, and all Iraqis, all the best in following you dreams.

Ammar Salman Dhari Al-Shibli Al-Ameri.
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Congratulations for the great score and the awesome experience
Thanks buddy for sharing your journey with us
My God bless you and wish you all success

Thanks for sharing with us your story
Thousands congrats on the wonderful score and performance
Your determination paid off ultimately
Welcome to USA :D
This is another proof that First Aid is not so great as polled in this thread

Congrats ammarsalman
Great story!

Thanks so much for sharing this inspiring story!
Thanks for the great post ammarsalman

I have one question, Why you did not finish the UW?
Thanks for the great post ammarsalman

I have one question, Why you did not finish the UW?
Well, I am kind of lazy and I have a very low saturation threshold. I was exhausted after 9 months of preparation and I could not take it anymore. Moreover, and most importantly, I reached my ultimate level of knowledge and performance by the time I started the Uworld, so I saw no point in keep diong Questions, in fact I was afraid I would start to forget if I take longer.
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really wow

dear ammarsalam...

oversaturated? im yr biggest admirer now. u sound like one of those real smart ones. :)

good luck in all yr future endeavours!!

ps: carpe diem!
all the best

have a question.............had u other responsibilites as well during these 9-10 months .........or just studies?
Hi ammarsalman,

Congrats with the amazing score!

Did you do any NBMEs?

And how much was your UWorld and Kaplan scores?
u inspire me!

By reading ur story the journey of Step ! u inspired me. i will tke my step1 in march but im not preapared. everyday i read and i feel dat i forget everything again. By reading ur story.......bring back the confidence. thnaks for sharing! congrats!
Hi Ammarsalman
I gained alot of courage from ur post.......thanks alot.
it is so good to kn u score so high congratulation for it

sir can u tell me is histology and neuroanatomy is imp for test and what topics u feel is imp there
thanks a lot for such a useful post .

I appreciate it a lot especially the timings are told very honestly
and it sounds so fair and sincere as well :):):):)
I just love how honest and sincere you were posting about your Step 1 experience.

Do tell us more, if you can. Were you also working/studying while doing the review? I think I can gain much from your experience if that is the case. :)
well done

first of all, congratulations! thank you for sharing your experience and it really is an inspiring story. can u pls share your schedule? i am planning to take step 1 this early january, instead of the originally planned date which was in november and december because i decided to study for 6 months.

how did u keep your pace and how did u not end up getting burned out?

thank you very much.

everyone else is also welcome for replies :)

p.s i decided to use the ZumZum method, but the kaplan videos are making me burned out :toosad:
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