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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took my step 1 exam in a couple of weeks ago. I spent an entire year studying but had a few breaks in between because I got married and am now 8 months pregnant. I kept having to change the date because of life events that kept happening and would jeopardize my performance if I hadn't - I'm wondering now if maybe USMLE flagged me or something for changing it so many times (like 6?) because the exam I got was absolutely nothing like UWorld or Kaplan and the questions were super detailed about things that are either completely omitted or are covered in a few lines in First Aid. I could have taken it a year ago and it wouldn't have made a difference because UW, FA and Pathoma were completely useless for my exam. Not only that, the 'system' that I got was anatomy - I had at least 50 detailed anatomy questions. I don't know about anyone else, but the majority of people I have spoken to are so relieved they did not get anatomy because it's one of those subjects students tend not to retain, nor can they review from First Aid. I got maybe 20 questions out of First Aid info but not more than that. The whole time I was shaking my head like 'what the heck are they even asking, where is this from, I've never seen this'. I don't know anyone else who had an even remotely similar experience. People were like 'OMG, know your FA' or 'UW was gold for my exam' or 'my exam was literally like Kaplan qbank'. They came out of the exam being able to track the majority of the material back to these primary resources (UW, FA, Pathoma). I'm about 95% sure I failed because I felt like I was blindly guessing - I had no clue what was going on in that exam. I've gone through UW twice, Kaplan qbank once, Pathoma and FA (2015) at least seven time thoroughly. The last NBME I took was in December, but I've taken all of them throughout the year so I knew taking another one would be an inaccurate score as I've seen all of the questions.

I'm not really sure what to do. This isn't one of those situations where you just 'feel bad' about an exam and end up doing well. This is one of those 'there's no way I passed' feelings. This isn't a matter of capability, I did okay on my NBMEs but I know at least 80% of first aid and pathoma and the qbanks were giving me good scores too (75%+). I know based off of my discussions with other students, and my looking at the NBME questions that those questions are VERY different than what I had. This exam felt like an exam for another field of medicine entirely - none of the big concepts (or small ones for that matter) were on there. I literally go through each chapter or FA and cannot remember a single concept tested from that chapter.

My heart is broken as I've invested so much into this, and this was literally my nightmare experience in my mind - I didn't want an exam that asked me questions I wouldn't be able to at least recognize, and I was also praying I wouldn't get anatomy. Further, all of my peers have moved on and I was okay with that because I got married and am having a baby, which are both blessings I'm grateful for - but to fail it now, because of a serious streak of bad luck, is really devastating. I'm devastated and I don't know what to do.

Please don't post any negative comments - I'm already really bummed as it is. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Could this be because I changed my exam so many times? What else can I possibly do now to do well - take an anatomy course?? :(

Thanks ahead of time. </3
 

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To begin with, it sounds unfathomable to me that you've been "flagged" because you changed your date. You did so within a set of regulations and you didn't break any laws. It sounds almost impossible that they would punish you by giving you an unsolveable exam. I mean if they had any problems with your behavior, they could've just prevented you from taking the exam altogether. So I believe that's a thought you need to get off of your mind.
An important thing to remember is that everybody who leaves the exam says the same thing: the exam is unlike all the questions we've seen before, so you're definitely not alone to feel that way. I encourage you to read experiences of people who scored really high, then check the posts they posted before receiving the result, almost all of them felt they did worse than they should, and a few of them felt they would actually fail. Remember: you are measured against a curve, so doing more mistakes on the actual exam might actually correlate with the same score with less mistakes on UW/NBME.
You gave it all you've got, delayed multiple times in good faith, did all the questions you could and honestly I can't see what you could've done more.
Take some time off, trust your nbmes, and believe in yourself.
 

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unfortunately i totally understand what you're going through. my exam felt the exam way, i felt like i was sitting for a PhD biology test, for instance i was tested on CYP-450 subtypes on my exam which i never even dreamed of in a million years. and the big concepts, all those last minute review pages that kaplan teachers prophecized, even details from FA did not show up on my exam. now that im watching the videos again i kinda wanna shout and scream at those things they said were important for the exam.
i had an instant feeling after the 3rd block that i was not doing nearly as good. and you are absolutely right, its not true when people complain that they're gonna fail and the score 245!
my only explanation for you is, people like you and me were just simply out of luck with the test as the questions are picked randomly from a pool.
i hope you did better than i did. nevertheless you shouldnt give up, even if you fail, stay focused and even more motivated.
 

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I just took my step 1 exam in a couple of weeks ago. I spent an entire year studying but had a few breaks in between because I got married and am now 8 months pregnant. I kept having to change the date because of life events that kept happening and would jeopardize my performance if I hadn't - I'm wondering now if maybe USMLE flagged me or something for changing it so many times (like 6?) because the exam I got was absolutely nothing like UWorld or Kaplan and the questions were super detailed about things that are either completely omitted or are covered in a few lines in First Aid. I could have taken it a year ago and it wouldn't have made a difference because UW, FA and Pathoma were completely useless for my exam. Not only that, the 'system' that I got was anatomy - I had at least 50 detailed anatomy questions. I don't know about anyone else, but the majority of people I have spoken to are so relieved they did not get anatomy because it's one of those subjects students tend not to retain, nor can they review from First Aid. I got maybe 20 questions out of First Aid info but not more than that. The whole time I was shaking my head like 'what the heck are they even asking, where is this from, I've never seen this'. I don't know anyone else who had an even remotely similar experience. People were like 'OMG, know your FA' or 'UW was gold for my exam' or 'my exam was literally like Kaplan qbank'. They came out of the exam being able to track the majority of the material back to these primary resources (UW, FA, Pathoma). I'm about 95% sure I failed because I felt like I was blindly guessing - I had no clue what was going on in that exam. I've gone through UW twice, Kaplan qbank once, Pathoma and FA (2015) at least seven time thoroughly. The last NBME I took was in December, but I've taken all of them throughout the year so I knew taking another one would be an inaccurate score as I've seen all of the questions.

I'm not really sure what to do. This isn't one of those situations where you just 'feel bad' about an exam and end up doing well. This is one of those 'there's no way I passed' feelings. This isn't a matter of capability, I did okay on my NBMEs but I know at least 80% of first aid and pathoma and the qbanks were giving me good scores too (75%+). I know based off of my discussions with other students, and my looking at the NBME questions that those questions are VERY different than what I had. This exam felt like an exam for another field of medicine entirely - none of the big concepts (or small ones for that matter) were on there. I literally go through each chapter or FA and cannot remember a single concept tested from that chapter.

My heart is broken as I've invested so much into this, and this was literally my nightmare experience in my mind - I didn't want an exam that asked me questions I wouldn't be able to at least recognize, and I was also praying I wouldn't get anatomy. Further, all of my peers have moved on and I was okay with that because I got married and am having a baby, which are both blessings I'm grateful for - but to fail it now, because of a serious streak of bad luck, is really devastating. I'm devastated and I don't know what to do.

Please don't post any negative comments - I'm already really bummed as it is. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Could this be because I changed my exam so many times? What else can I possibly do now to do well - take an anatomy course?? :(

Thanks ahead of time. </3
good try bruh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To begin with, it sounds unfathomable to me that you've been "flagged" because you changed your date. You did so within a set of regulations and you didn't break any laws. It sounds almost impossible that they would punish you by giving you an unsolveable exam. I mean if they had any problems with your behavior, they could've just prevented you from taking the exam altogether. So I believe that's a thought you need to get off of your mind.
An important thing to remember is that everybody who leaves the exam says the same thing: the exam is unlike all the questions we've seen before, so you're definitely not alone to feel that way. I encourage you to read experiences of people who scored really high, then check the posts they posted before receiving the result, almost all of them felt they did worse than they should, and a few of them felt they would actually fail. Remember: you are measured against a curve, so doing more mistakes on the actual exam might actually correlate with the same score with less mistakes on UW/NBME.
You gave it all you've got, delayed multiple times in good faith, did all the questions you could and honestly I can't see what you could've done more.
Take some time off, trust your nbmes, and believe in yourself.
Thank you for your encouraging words, I appreciate your taking the time. I just don't understand how we as students could be guided by so many different sources to study one thing or the other and then get something completely unfair on test day. One reputation that Step 1 has always had was how fair it was, that it 'is't that bad' - but this was nothing close to being true to that. I'm more in a state of shock and honestly, my peers may look at me like I didn't take the exam seriously, when in fact I got something completely different than anything I've been advised to study. Score comes out next week - let's see where things are gonna go. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your reply also - I'm sorry to hear that you went through something similar. This is so unfair - we work our butts off, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get where we are, sacrifice so much of our own lives to do well, and sincerely go in to do our best and still get something so unrecognizable that we are set up to fail. I don't understand how this is even allowed. I'm really depressed because who's to say this won't happen again the second time - at which point, if a student fails twice, what is left of their career? We are drilled about Step 1 from the first day we step foot in medical school so after a blow like this, what is the recovery going to look like? I come from a seriously disadvantaged background so I really worked hard to make this career work - and now to potentially lose it all? :scared:

Best of luck with your moving forward - I hope things work out well for you too.

unfortunately i totally understand what you're going through. my exam felt the exam way, i felt like i was sitting for a PhD biology test, for instance i was tested on CYP-450 subtypes on my exam which i never even dreamed of in a million years. and the big concepts, all those last minute review pages that kaplan teachers prophecized, even details from FA did not show up on my exam. now that im watching the videos again i kinda wanna shout and scream at those things they said were important for the exam.
i had an instant feeling after the 3rd block that i was not doing nearly as good. and you are absolutely right, its not true when people complain that they're gonna fail and the score 245!
my only explanation for you is, people like you and me were just simply out of luck with the test as the questions are picked randomly from a pool.
i hope you did better than i did. nevertheless you shouldnt give up, even if you fail, stay focused and even more motivated.
 

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Hello,

I took my exam on the 25th Feb and I can't stop obsessing over all the things I got wrong. I did really well in NBMES and simulations and finished uworld at 80+ cumulative score. The exam went horrible. I got very nervous and made terrible mistakes. The first three blocks were a complete haze. I had a melt down later in the day. There is another week until the results come out and I have no idea how to wait or what to expect. It is truly heart breaking to see all this hard work go to waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello,

I took my exam on the 25th Feb and I can't stop obsessing over all the things I got wrong. I did really well in NBMES and simulations and finished uworld at 80+ cumulative score. The exam went horrible. I got very nervous and made terrible mistakes. The first three blocks were a complete haze. I had a melt down later in the day. There is another week until the results come out and I have no idea how to wait or what to expect. It is truly heart breaking to see all this hard work go to waste.
I'm so sorry to hear you had that experience. I'm pretty nervous too so know you're not alone. My next semester starts on Monday and I'm taking a huge chance and spending a lot of money to go as I can't get any financial aid until I know that I passed (special case) so waiting really stinks for me as well. Plus I'm *very* pregnant so moving around sucks that much more for me right now. I think my results come out on the same day as yours. Next Wednesday right?

Don't worry for now - I think the fact that you can at least recall questions is a good sign. I'm coming closer to accepting that I'll most likely have to take the exam again but that brings on a whole new set of concerns, namely, the possibility that I could get struck with the same situation again - an exam full of unknowns that I've never been exposed to :(. I think people in your situation are the ones who generally do better than they think they did - your situation being that you can recall questions that you got wrong but *could* have gotten right. I literally only have a handful that I can trace back to the books, some of which I changed correct answers to wrong answers, something I unfortunately do time and time again but now, especially can't afford to do with my test being so ... not FA or UW or Pathoma, etc. Stay positive and pray if you're into that. That's all we can do now. I know I'm praying for a miracle.

And I couldn't agree more, with all the effort we put in, it's very hard to have a positive outlook on everything. We do so much, invest so much time and money and sacrifice time with our families, something so invaluable and irreplaceable, for the sake of this career so I would have thought USMLE would make absolute sure to be more fair in their examining us. As a medical student especially, you've seen many unfair exams along the way, but not only did I expect USMLE to be more fair being that they are, well *THE* USMLE, but that's what a lot of people have told me also, that it lives up to its reputation of being based on these 3 primary resources and being fair. I was actually really excited to take the exam because I was so confident in my knowledge and couldn't wait to see what kinds of questions I'd get. But what else besides failure (and subsequent depression) is expected from students when they're tested on material they've never seen? My poor baby has suffered with me all along the way too. It's all just very heartbreaking. I wanted to do so much good with my degree and help so many people in this world. I hope I still can. We'll see next week. :O

Best of luck! I'll pray for you too.
 

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hey, hope for the best. i pray for all of you who are waiting for the results
my exam is in two weeks..sorry to ask you all now, but can you please post your nbme scores. please

I'm so sorry to hear you had that experience. I'm pretty nervous too so know you're not alone. My next semester starts on Monday and I'm taking a huge chance and spending a lot of money to go as I can't get any financial aid until I know that I passed (special case) so waiting really stinks for me as well. Plus I'm *very* pregnant so moving around sucks that much more for me right now. I think my results come out on the same day as yours. Next Wednesday right?

Don't worry for now - I think the fact that you can at least recall questions is a good sign. I'm coming closer to accepting that I'll most likely have to take the exam again but that brings on a whole new set of concerns, namely, the possibility that I could get struck with the same situation again - an exam full of unknowns that I've never been exposed to :(. I think people in your situation are the ones who generally do better than they think they did - your situation being that you can recall questions that you got wrong but *could* have gotten right. I literally only have a handful that I can trace back to the books, some of which I changed correct answers to wrong answers, something I unfortunately do time and time again but now, especially can't afford to do with my test being so ... not FA or UW or Pathoma, etc. Stay positive and pray if you're into that. That's all we can do now. I know I'm praying for a miracle.

And I couldn't agree more, with all the effort we put in, it's very hard to have a positive outlook on everything. We do so much, invest so much time and money and sacrifice time with our families, something so invaluable and irreplaceable, for the sake of this career so I would have thought USMLE would make absolute sure to be more fair in their examining us. As a medical student especially, you've seen many unfair exams along the way, but not only did I expect USMLE to be more fair being that they are, well *THE* USMLE, but that's what a lot of people have told me also, that it lives up to its reputation of being based on these 3 primary resources and being fair. I was actually really excited to take the exam because I was so confident in my knowledge and couldn't wait to see what kinds of questions I'd get. But what else besides failure (and subsequent depression) is expected from students when they're tested on material they've never seen? My poor baby has suffered with me all along the way too. It's all just very heartbreaking. I wanted to do so much good with my degree and help so many people in this world. I hope I still can. We'll see next week. :O

Best of luck! I'll pray for you too.
 

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Hey,

Thanks so much for the prayers. I am so in awe of you that you took the exam while pregnant, that too 8 months! wow! You must have nerves of steel.

I can't imagine begin able to recall questions being a good thing. I got so nervous. I can tell off the top of my head SO MANY silly things I got wrong. In your case, if the things were so out of FA and the popular, mainstream books then the chances are that a lot of people won't know them, which means the curve will help you do better. I really hope you do well.

I must say, hats off to you for doing it while pregnant. I hope your baby is born healthy and happy. Best of luck!
 

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You have just described exactly how I felt after my test, down to the smallest details. I was absolutely devastated during for weeks it took to get the result. I was also pretty certain that I have failed. But to my surprise I have received very reasonable score ( pretty close to my average nbme, just a little bit lower than I was hoping for before the exam). Keep your fingers cross and good luck!
 

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You have just described exactly how I felt after my test, down to the smallest details. I was absolutely devastated during for weeks it took to get the result. I was also pretty certain that I have failed. But to my surprise I have received very reasonable score ( pretty close to my average nbme, just a little bit lower than I was hoping for before the exam). Keep your fingers cross and good luck!
Hey,

Thanks. If you don't mind me asking, how many points lower was it? Not the exact score hurt how many points lower? Although, I doubt that will make me any better because my exam was an absolute disaster. 3 more days until results.

A
 

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Hi!
5 points lower than NBME 15(did it 3 weeks before exam) and 15 points less than NBME 17 (5 days before). And 16 points lower than uwsa1,2.
And for me my exam was absolute nightmare.. But .. I did it and I hope you too !!! Good luck !!!!
 

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Hi!
5 points lower than NBME 15(did it 3 weeks before exam) and 15 points less than NBME 17 (5 days before). And 16 points lower than uwsa1,2.
And for me my exam was absolute nightmare.. But .. I did it and I hope you too !!! Good luck !!!!
Hey,

That sounds so weird because I can't make any correlation! I got the same score on uswas and nbme 17 (1 point difference) so I don't knkw what to think. Also, my exam was so horrible. Nothing like nbme or uswa! If it falls by 16/17 points then I am so screwed!
 

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outcome

I just took my step 1 exam in a couple of weeks ago. I spent an entire year studying but had a few breaks in between because I got married and am now 8 months pregnant. I kept having to change the date because of life events that kept happening and would jeopardize my performance if I hadn't - I'm wondering now if maybe USMLE flagged me or something for changing it so many times (like 6?) because the exam I got was absolutely nothing like UWorld or Kaplan and the questions were super detailed about things that are either completely omitted or are covered in a few lines in First Aid. I could have taken it a year ago and it wouldn't have made a difference because UW, FA and Pathoma were completely useless for my exam. Not only that, the 'system' that I got was anatomy - I had at least 50 detailed anatomy questions. I don't know about anyone else, but the majority of people I have spoken to are so relieved they did not get anatomy because it's one of those subjects students tend not to retain, nor can they review from First Aid. I got maybe 20 questions out of First Aid info but not more than that. The whole time I was shaking my head like 'what the heck are they even asking, where is this from, I've never seen this'. I don't know anyone else who had an even remotely similar experience. People were like 'OMG, know your FA' or 'UW was gold for my exam' or 'my exam was literally like Kaplan qbank'. They came out of the exam being able to track the majority of the material back to these primary resources (UW, FA, Pathoma). I'm about 95% sure I failed because I felt like I was blindly guessing - I had no clue what was going on in that exam. I've gone through UW twice, Kaplan qbank once, Pathoma and FA (2015) at least seven time thoroughly. The last NBME I took was in December, but I've taken all of them throughout the year so I knew taking another one would be an inaccurate score as I've seen all of the questions.

I'm not really sure what to do. This isn't one of those situations where you just 'feel bad' about an exam and end up doing well. This is one of those 'there's no way I passed' feelings. This isn't a matter of capability, I did okay on my NBMEs but I know at least 80% of first aid and pathoma and the qbanks were giving me good scores too (75%+). I know based off of my discussions with other students, and my looking at the NBME questions that those questions are VERY different than what I had. This exam felt like an exam for another field of medicine entirely - none of the big concepts (or small ones for that matter) were on there. I literally go through each chapter or FA and cannot remember a single concept tested from that chapter.

My heart is broken as I've invested so much into this, and this was literally my nightmare experience in my mind - I didn't want an exam that asked me questions I wouldn't be able to at least recognize, and I was also praying I wouldn't get anatomy. Further, all of my peers have moved on and I was okay with that because I got married and am having a baby, which are both blessings I'm grateful for - but to fail it now, because of a serious streak of bad luck, is really devastating. I'm devastated and I don't know what to do.

Please don't post any negative comments - I'm already really bummed as it is. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Could this be because I changed my exam so many times? What else can I possibly do now to do well - take an anatomy course?? :(

Thanks ahead of time. </3
How was the result? im in a simular boat thts y i ask, had to postpone so much too.
 
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