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I did my step 1 exam recently and I got 98. I am an old IMG grad and I want to share with you a tip that I figured only after I've gone through the mistake.

Your first reading of Kaplan lecture notes is very very important. No matter how many times you repeat the material after the first reading it's still the first reading that engraves the concepts in your brain.

Here's what happened with me;

I was having enough time and I did the Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Microbiology in a relaxed schedule. I was reading the chapter carefully and listening to the videos with frequent pauses and rewinds and digging into the material and swallowing everything. Even I was opening wikipedia and various large textbooks to supplements what I think is deficient in the Kaplan notes. First Aid, specific Qbook chapter, and two USMLE World blocks came after finishing each of these Kaplan books.

Then I started working and had some family/personal issues that made me hurry up with the other books namely Pathology, Pharmacology, Behavior, and Physiology. I just read the books superficially and barely finished the videos.

Then came the big time, the time of review and doing Q banks. I realized that I cannot remember anything and I have to review the materials again.

So I did, and the first three books (those that I read carefully six months before) were all finished in one week! Yes, one week. But the other books, I kept reading, and reading, and reading, and never felt am competent in them no matter how many times I returned to them.

Even then when I was doing the random USMLE World qbank and the Kaplan Qbank those four books continued to by my weakest points consistently.

Even my USMLE score showed an abnormal skew toward the books that I initially read carefully.

So guys, take this advice. Read the first reading very very carefully and do not hurry up. This will really make your life easier later on in the preparation.

God Bless ...
 

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