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Hello! First of all I would like to post a big THANK YOU to everyone in this forum for all the help and courage they gave me during all my time studying for step 1. I know I haven't been a great contributor but now that I am through I feel that I really need to help anyone in this situation.

PREPARATION FOR THE TEST:

7 months

First 3 months: 8 hours/day
4th month: 6h/day
5-6-7: ALL day, from 9 o'clock AM, until I slept at night (after 11 PM) of course with breaks for lunch and watching occasionally HOUSE MD episodes :p

One thing that is REALLY important to say is that 2 months before I gave the exam I gave NBME form 7, however I wasn't fully prepared and I scored a 440. That was really frustrating because I was scoring an average of 67% at UW (40% done) and I was expecting something higher. That was the point that I GOT DISAPPOINTED SO MUCH!!!! Given my hopes for a 99 I thought that I was long before I could achieve this. But then I started studying really hard, and I pushed myself to my limits trying to keep my dream alive. And then, after a month of complete cessation of USMLE world and intense studying, I started USMLEWORLD again and started scoring 75 and 80%!! And I was like: whats going on here? :)):)) That was a confidence booster. And then I tried form 3 which predicted 570 (238) which was a HUGE leap for me! Probably the first form underestimated me however this was a critical lesson for me for the following reasons:
1) If you want a good grade you should study intensely in order to keep almost everything in your head simultaneously, this will help you LEARN and RETAIN information
2) I read many people that posted that NBME forms look straight into our souls and you cannot really get any better after 1 or 2 months of studying if your scores are low and
3) YOU SHOULDN'T GIVE UP!
4) When you don't get good grades in usmleworld or NBMEs you shouldn't be offended and engorge in denial! You should accept that these people know the system a lot better than you and you SHOULD TRUST them!

Anyway, I boosted my UW score to an average of 72% and with an NBME of 570 I decided to give the exam after 1 month in order to do an intense revision of key facts, end the rest UW and read first aid from back to cover again and again.

EXAMINATION:

Of course I am not allowed to say anything about my examination however listen to me carefully: Trust the First aid and study the free materials of the USMLE.org because 5-6 of them were from there. Also, sorry for repeating myself but by studying UW I certainly got a lot of answers correct and they were no-brainers!! Also, the test examined difficult neuroanatomy, the difficult questions were from genetics-which I almost believe they must have been experimental. And again, first aid first aid first aid first aid :happy::happy::happy::happy:

The thing is that I felt prepared for most of the questions and this was a confidence booster which gave me power to carry on and not lose powers.

PREPARATION

Books that I used:
First aid (ALL OF IT)
BRS physiology (ALL OF IT)
HY Neuroanatomy (Skipped some parts)
HY embryology (ALL)
Road map Anatomy (plus upper and lower limb of Kaplan videos) (ALL)
Katzung pharmacology (skipped some parts), Lange pharmacology flash cards (all of them, they are excellent I highly recommend them), LIR pharmacology (read some parts) (In pharm i was to excessive I admit it)
Biochemistry LIR (which I regret because in my exam biochem from FA was enough) (all)
Microb Ridiculously simple (excellent book!)
Genetics Kaplan
Behavioral Kaplan
Bioethics by Kaplan (read it fast)
Immunology Kaplan
Pathology by Goljan (read it in detail)
1h of Goljan lectures before i go to sleep (do this for 1 month and you should finish them, plus it helped me to sleep:))) {for those of you who want to hear them on iPOD just right click on iTunes and click on "convert aac version:D}

Anyway, guys, don't freak out so much, remember that thousands and thousands of human beings have given the same exam and that they are not superior than you!

YOU CAN MAKE IT!

P.S: I will post my score as soon as it gets out

Summary

Preparation: 7months (NON-STOP, with weekends in the last 4 mo)
Years from graduation: 2
NBME7: 440 2months before
NBME3: 570 1month before
UW(100% OF QUESTIONS): 72%

P.S2: For those of you that think that they can fool themselves by doing off-line NBMEs I have some news for you: DON'T DO THEM! I know a friend of mine that got 74% correct with a predicted 550 and I had 73% correct with a predicted 440. So, please, for your own sake don't take offline NBMEs unless you want to study their questions (and by the way, study NBME7 because 2-3 questions where taken from that one!!!)

Hope I have helped you

Cheers and NEVER GIVE UP!

Pray and your prayers should be answered!
 

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Great post

Well done.
We are glad to see that even infrequent posters such as you are willing to share their exam experiences.
Your post is well written and your story is a role model for others to follow.

On behalf of the USMLE Forums staff we genuinely wish you a great score and we are confident you'll be posting your 99 soon ;)
 

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heyy tht was a great post :) ..... did u do kaplan q bank ?.....n the real exam was it close to uworld or kaplan ? .....i am planing on doing only uworld do u think it will be enough ? n yeah i am planing on giving my exam in feb ending
 

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Discussion Starter #4
heyy tht was a great post :) ..... did u do kaplan q bank ?.....n the real exam was it close to uworld or kaplan ? .....i am planing on doing only uworld do u think it will be enough ? n yeah i am planing on giving my exam in feb ending
Hello TAAOM, no I didn't do kaplan qbank. Doing 2000 q's from this one and 2000 q's from world in my opinion is an exaggeration. I recommend that you do fewer questions but study them harder...
 

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Congrats on finishing step1,hope ull get a high score...
I was wondering what do u think the best source for studying pharmacology?IS (LIR) enough?I think Katzung is way too detailed....

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Congrats on finishing step1,hope ull get a high score...
I was wondering what do u think the best source for studying pharmacology?IS (LIR) enough?I think Katzung is way too detailed....

Hello and thank you for your message!

I think that LIR should be enough! However, do LANGE cards afterwards-trust me- you will like them very much because they will tie everything together!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Really same with my experience . . Really really inspiring .. hehehe Thank you . .:D:D:D:D
Really! I am glad that someone shares a similar experience! Do you have your score? It would be great if you could post it here just to know where I stand!

Thank you!
 

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Hello taoom:), doing more than qbank of questions better than do one q bank and read the book again? I want to make only q after first reading
 

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m a lil bummed to read tht barely anyone suggests kaplan for pharm...most recommend Lir..m done with first read from kaplan n now it seems like a waste..shud i do lir now or stick to kaplan..m givin the exam in three months n this is my first read:s
 

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No no, Kaplan pharm is awesome - covers everything in an easy to remember fashion. Some of their best instructors are pharm instructors... If you do Kaplan pharm properly you should be set...

m a lil bummed to read tht barely anyone suggests kaplan for pharm...most recommend Lir..m done with first read from kaplan n now it seems like a waste..shud i do lir now or stick to kaplan..m givin the exam in three months n this is my first read:s
 

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thanks

Hello! First of all I would like to post a big THANK YOU ....Pray and your prayers should be answered!
tkourkou.. thanks for the great post.. very inspirational.. even i am at a similar stage of my preparation - month to go.. UW average at 71 and scored 236(560) on form 3...

I am a bit worried about anatomy..UW and NBME didnt ask much from it but i am hearing that its being tested more frequently now. I have read Kaplan twice - including neuro.. and i am wondering what more i can do at this late stage.. but i feel underprepared with anatomy.. do you have any suggestions.. and can you give an idea of the importance of the subject in your exam ...apart from neuro as u mention??
 

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Discussion Starter #18
tkourkou.. thanks for the great post.. very inspirational.. even i am at a similar stage of my preparation - month to go.. UW average at 71 and scored 236(560) on form 3...

I am a bit worried about anatomy..UW and NBME didnt ask much from it but i am hearing that its being tested more frequently now. I have read Kaplan twice - including neuro.. and i am wondering what more i can do at this late stage.. but i feel underprepared with anatomy.. do you have any suggestions.. and can you give an idea of the importance of the subject in your exam ...apart from neuro as u mention??
well, friends told me of a few difficult gross anatomy q's but i didn't encounter any difficulty except from neuro. I didn't feel well prepared either, and i found anatomy videos (not all of them but the ones with upper and lower limb) extremely useful. Be prepared to maybe face 3-5 cross sections on brain stem or medulla. Thank you for your kind words. In case you haven't read i got 243 on the step so i guess you will do similarly! ;)
 

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Hey thanks a lot for the quick reply.. Yes i agree, the kaplan anatomy lectures are not bad. i did theneuro lectures too.. so i understand that you would consider Kaplan adequate.. ill revise those yet again.

as for your score.. its fantastic.. and you deserve it.. given the effort you describe specially in the last month :eek:. I just pray i even come close. Good luck on the future i hope you achieve your dreams. :)
 

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Felicidades!!!!

Such an inspirational post. It really turns my engines on!!!! :happy:

Thanks for posting.

@StepTaker: I believe there are many, many of us (I shall include myself) that read and appreciate every question, information and detail that is posted in forums like this. It helps a huge community of future doctors debrief and prepare for all of this. At least in my case, I've recently started studying and lack information to contribute as much as i'd like. Little by little, I guess, you'll see more of me. From the depths of my heart, thank you all for an awesome forum!! :rolleyes:
 
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