My USMLE Step 1 experience

7/7/2012 12:49:56 AM
Hello there,

I would like to write about my experience with USMLE step 1. I used this forum a lot in my preparation in viewing what other people have gone through.

I want to start by saying the road to these exams is not easy but it is not difficult neither.

A little background info about my self: I am an IMG, graduated in 2009. I came to the US in Oct. of 2010. I am ECFMG certified now, I got 233 in step 1, 244 in step 2 CK, and passed all three exams in less than 6 months period.

It took me 8-9 months for the whole prep for step 1. My step 1 preparation was the best thing that I have ever done, because if you get a good score your chances of getting a residency position will go up and the other thing is you will find it very easy to take Step 2 CK (many of the questions will have the same style as in step 1)

I used kaplan LN, Kaplan videos, First Aid, and Goljan audio and some of Goljan book(Rapid Review of Pathology).

First 6 months I was working 4 days a week, so I had about 3 days which I studied and I improved my study plan with time.

Last 2 months, were the review months: I did Uworld Qbank, timed, unused and mixed. I did 2 blocks a day, first thing in the morning with taking a break in between. It helped me very much develop a stamina for answering the questions in the exam. At night, I will review only the wrong questions and take notes. I finished the Qbank in 22 days. A tremendous improvement I saw in the assessment scores with this style.

The take-home points:
* set a goal for your self and keep that goal in mind all the time. Aim for a high score, even if you want just a passing score, it will help you to get the best of your work.

* Try to relax every now and then to regain your energy and Know that when study for this exam you will see that you forget a lot, that's normal. and If you feel stressed out, train your self to shut down all the thoughts that are stressing you out and focus on the task in hand in your study plan. For e.g.: If you are studying Anatomy, and you keep thinking oh how am going to study biochemisty and what about immunology, oh and what about my exam date??!!. Forget about it, tell your mind: Hey just focus on Anatomy and believe me you will see in a day or two that everything that you were thinking about has a solution now. I used this technique and believe me it works.

My scores:
Kaplan Qbank: 59% (subject per subject, just to get used to the questions)
NBME 7 (2 months before the exam): 203 (It was my stimulus to study hard and get a better score).
UWorld Qbank overall: 65%
USWSA 1: 228 (5 weeks before the exam)
USWSA 2: 234 (4 weeks before the exam)
NBME 11: 226 (3 weeks before the exam) after that I just reviewed first aid with DIT (which are videos that help you memorize first aid, you can finish it in only 15 days.

Real deal: 233.

Good luck to everyone and I hope this helps. Ask if you have any questions.


MJ


7/7/2012 5:51:26 PM
Hi! Thanks for share your experience! I have on KAplan, UW and usmlerx around 60%. I was mostly using Qbanks subject by subject. Now Im going through FA.My exam in September. How should I organize my time for study in this time? Good luck on your next exam!


7/7/2012 10:45:19 PM
eveli wrote:
Hi! Thanks for share your experience! I have on KAplan, UW and usmlerx around 60%. I was mostly using Qbanks subject by subject. Now Im going through FA.My exam in September. How should I organize my time for study in this time? Good luck on your next exam!


Hi,

My advice is to simulate the real conditions of the exam so that you will be well prepared to the setting of the testing, this will add to your confidence and will help you answer whatever question you will face.

What I think you need to do now is to switch from doing the questions subject per subject to all mixed, timed, unused, so that you can simulate the real exam.

What I did two months before my exam is that I took an assessment exam (NBME 7) and I got 203!. It was a big motivation for me because I wanted to score more and I kept telling my self that.

So what I did in the two months of review, I will wake up in the morning and eat my breakfast and do two blocks of Uworld without seeing the score in between and doing it timed, unused, mixed, to simulate the real exam and then at night I will spend 2-3 hours reviewing my WRONG answers and write notes about the explanation and I focus on why I chose the wrong answer and what are the missing points in my knowledge that I keep getting the same questions on the same subject wrong.

Doing that was of a great help, I improved with time, I used Uworld and the Qbanks as a learning tool not an assessment tool (most of the time). I did USWSA 1 after I finished Uworld and I got 228 and couple days later I did USWSA 2 and I got 234.


My advice is make a solid review plan, DO NOT read new material (just review what you have studied), do the questions as the same way that will do them in the day of the exam and train your mind to stay focused, even if you don't get the good scores that you want in the Qbanks, but eventually after you follow this approach you will see a tremendous improvement.

I did kaplan just in the beginning of my studies and I did it as you did, but I left it 2 months before the exam and I stayed focused only on UWorld which the best Qbank out there (it has lots of good explanations and many of the questions in the exam are of similar concepts). Your score is pretty good for 60% in Uworld. Mine was 65%. So you do great just keep the good work.


Good Luck and feel free to ask any other questions.

MJ


7/8/2012 10:19:28 AM
imghosty wrote:
eveli wrote:
Hi! Thanks for share your experience! I have on KAplan, UW and usmlerx around 60%. I was mostly using Qbanks subject by subject. Now Im going through FA.My exam in September. How should I organize my time for study in this time? Good luck on your next exam!


Hi,

My advice is to simulate the real conditions of the exam so that you will be well prepared to the setting of the testing, this will add to your confidence and will help you answer whatever question you will face

What I think you need to do now is to switch from doing the questions subject per subject to all mixed, timed, unused, so that you can simulate the real exam.

What I did two months before my exam is that I took an assessment exam (NBME 7) and I got 203!. It was a big motivation for me because I wanted to score more and I kept telling my self that.

So what I did in the two months of review, I will wake up in the morning and eat my breakfast and do two blocks of Uworld without seeing the score in between and doing it timed, unused, mixed, to simulate the real exam and then at night I will spend 2-3 hours reviewing my WRONG answers and write notes about the explanation and I focus on why I chose the wrong answer and what are the missing points in my knowledge that I keep getting the same questions on the same subject wrong.

Doing that was of a great help, I improved with time, I used Uworld and the Qbanks as a learning tool not an assessment tool (most of the time). I did USWSA 1 after I finished Uworld and I got 228 and couple days later I did USWSA 2 and I got 234.


My advice is make a solid review plan, DO NOT read new material (just review what you have studied), do the questions as the same way that will do them in the day of the exam and train your mind to stay focused, even if you don't get the good scores that you want in the Qbanks, but eventually after you follow this approach you will see a tremendous improvement.

I did kaplan just in the beginning of my studies and I did it as you did, but I left it 2 months before the exam and I stayed focused only on UWorld which the best Qbank out there (it has lots of good explanations and many of the questions in the exam are of similar concepts). Your score is pretty good for 60% in Uworld. Mine was 65%. So you do great just keep the good work.


Good Luck and feel free to ask any other questions.

MJ


Thank you very much! so i will concentrate now on FA and mixt qs! I want be done it with success! Good Luck to you!


7/9/2012 8:09:04 PM
irir48028936 wrote:
HI! I HAVE ONE QUESTION IF YOU DON'T MIND
I FINISHED FIRST READ OF KAPLAN ,GOLJAN AND NOW GOING IN SECOND READ WITH FA AND WRITING DOWN INFO FROM KAPLAN TO FA BECAUSE FA IS DRY,SO HAVE I TO PUT INFO, CONCEPTS FROM KAPLAN TO FA JUST ABOUT THE STUFF WE HAVE IN FA OR ABOUT MISSED INFO TOO OR THIS MISSED INFO WILL BE IN UW OR KAPLAN QB?
THANK YOU


Hi,

Sorry I didn't understand your question quite well.

From what I understand, I think try to study each book as a separate one and try to review what you have studied before the exam.

Kaplan style is to make you understand the material and concepts and know why things are happening.

FA has different style than Kaplan, and it's easier to memorize the facts in first aid, so you can use it as a review before the exam and it will be just one book so it's easy to review. You can go through first aid while you are studying Kaplan and Goljan and add some concepts but don't add too much, because it will take time and energy.

Try to understand what Kaplan is saying and focus on the high yield material in Kaplan and the clinical correlates and understand what it's saying. You will be able to use your understanding later on when you do the Qbanks.

For the Qbanks, if you plan on doing Kaplan try to do it while your are studying early on, so you are exposed to questions from the beginning. Use Uworld in the last two months in exam style, timed, mixed, unused. You will prepare your mind and body really well this way.

Good Luck and please if you can ask the question in the original post next time so that I know which post I am replying to.

MJ


4/20/2016 4:07:01 PM
imghosty wrote:
Hello there,

I would like to write about my experience with USMLE step 1. I used this forum a lot in my preparation in viewing what other people have gone through.

I want to start by saying the road to these exams is not easy but it is not difficult neither.

A little background info about my self: I am an IMG, graduated in 2009. I came to the US in Oct. of 2010. I am ECFMG certified now, I got 233 in step 1, 244 in step 2 CK, and passed all three exams in less than 6 months period.

It took me 8-9 months for the whole prep for step 1. My step 1 preparation was the best thing that I have ever done, because if you get a good score your chances of getting a residency position will go up and the other thing is you will find it very easy to take Step 2 CK (many of the questions will have the same style as in step 1)

I used kaplan LN, Kaplan videos, First Aid, and Goljan audio and some of Goljan book(Rapid Review of Pathology).

First 6 months I was working 4 days a week, so I had about 3 days which I studied and I improved my study plan with time.

Last 2 months, were the review months: I did Uworld Qbank, timed, unused and mixed. I did 2 blocks a day, first thing in the morning with taking a break in between. It helped me very much develop a stamina for answering the questions in the exam. At night, I will review only the wrong questions and take notes. I finished the Qbank in 22 days. A tremendous improvement I saw in the assessment scores with this style.

The take-home points:
* set a goal for your self and keep that goal in mind all the time. Aim for a high score, even if you want just a passing score, it will help you to get the best of your work.

* Try to relax every now and then to regain your energy and Know that when study for this exam you will see that you forget a lot, that's normal. and If you feel stressed out, train your self to shut down all the thoughts that are stressing you out and focus on the task in hand in your study plan. For e.g.: If you are studying Anatomy, and you keep thinking oh how am going to study biochemisty and what about immunology, oh and what about my exam date??!!. Forget about it, tell your mind: Hey just focus on Anatomy and believe me you will see in a day or two that everything that you were thinking about has a solution now. I used this technique and believe me it works.

My scores:
Kaplan Qbank: 59% (subject per subject, just to get used to the questions)
NBME 7 (2 months before the exam): 203 (It was my stimulus to study hard and get a better score).
UWorld Qbank overall: 65%
USWSA 1: 228 (5 weeks before the exam)
USWSA 2: 234 (4 weeks before the exam)
NBME 11: 226 (3 weeks before the exam) after that I just reviewed first aid with DIT (which are videos that help you memorize first aid, you can finish it in only 15 days.

Real deal: 233.

Good luck to everyone and I hope this helps. Ask if you have any questions.


MJ


6/6/2016 8:53:39 PM
imghosty wrote:
Hello there,

I would like to write about my experience with USMLE step 1. I used this forum a lot in my preparation in viewing what other people have gone through.

I want to start by saying the road to these exams is not easy but it is not difficult neither.

A little background info about my self: I am an IMG, graduated in 2009. I came to the US in Oct. of 2010. I am ECFMG certified now, I got 233 in step 1, 244 in step 2 CK, and passed all three exams in less than 6 months period.

It took me 8-9 months for the whole prep for step 1. My step 1 preparation was the best thing that I have ever done, because if you get a good score your chances of getting a residency position will go up and the other thing is you will find it very easy to take Step 2 CK (many of the questions will have the same style as in step 1)

I used kaplan LN, Kaplan videos, First Aid, and Goljan audio and some of Goljan book(Rapid Review of Pathology).

First 6 months I was working 4 days a week, so I had about 3 days which I studied and I improved my study plan with time.

Last 2 months, were the review months: I did Uworld Qbank, timed, unused and mixed. I did 2 blocks a day, first thing in the morning with taking a break in between. It helped me very much develop a stamina for answering the questions in the exam. At night, I will review only the wrong questions and take notes. I finished the Qbank in 22 days. A tremendous improvement I saw in the assessment scores with this style.

The take-home points:
* set a goal for your self and keep that goal in mind all the time. Aim for a high score, even if you want just a passing score, it will help you to get the best of your work.

* Try to relax every now and then to regain your energy and Know that when study for this exam you will see that you forget a lot, that's normal. and If you feel stressed out, train your self to shut down all the thoughts that are stressing you out and focus on the task in hand in your study plan. For e.g.: If you are studying Anatomy, and you keep thinking oh how am going to study biochemisty and what about immunology, oh and what about my exam date??!!. Forget about it, tell your mind: Hey just focus on Anatomy and believe me you will see in a day or two that everything that you were thinking about has a solution now. I used this technique and believe me it works.

My scores:
Kaplan Qbank: 59% (subject per subject, just to get used to the questions)
NBME 7 (2 months before the exam): 203 (It was my stimulus to study hard and get a better score).
UWorld Qbank overall: 65%
USWSA 1: 228 (5 weeks before the exam)
USWSA 2: 234 (4 weeks before the exam)
NBME 11: 226 (3 weeks before the exam) after that I just reviewed first aid with DIT (which are videos that help you memorize first aid, you can finish it in only 15 days.

Real deal: 233.

Good luck to everyone and I hope this helps. Ask if you have any questions.


MJ

congrats on your scores.please i would like to know,what is USWSA?i am new here.thank you


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