well...got my score

2/9/2011 2:28:33 PM
hi guys...it's been a long and rough road for me reaching this moment but at the end it made me so happy; i own this forum a lot and since today i receive my score, it's time to give it back maybe will help other guys like me. here is my story: after struggling badly on step 1(got an 79/195), i decided to try a different approach: i read all the kaplan books+MTB(no FA) and then i bought 2 months of uw; i went twice to all the q's and after i did one more time the psychiatry(my weakest subject overall)+wrong q's;

after my first pass through uw q's i took NMBE 4(mid december): got an 350/195;i was so scared and depressed so i postpone my exam.after nbme, i finish my 2nd rewiev from uw and then i choose to go with more q's; i did 2009 kaplan qbook(fantastic book), FA Q&A(1000 q's) and Lange usmle step 2(i did 200 q's).

january 21st-exam; 2 days before i took UW SA-520/222 and 1 day before i did the free NBME/Usmle CD-got an 82% q's right overall; on february 9th i got my score: 99/230;

for those of you who are in the same boat like me, my adivice might help you; in my opinion if you can do what i did, there is high chances you will get an score like mine:
step 1:read all kaplan books at least 1 time(i read them once but i made a bunch of flash cards)+MTB for step 3(i don't know anything about MTB for step 2)
step 2:do kaplan qbook(not qbank! do it right after you finish reading kaplan books and MTB)
step 3: do the first aid Q&A;70% of the q's are subject wise and at the end there are 8 simulated tests;
step 4: buy uw.make sure you go at least 1 time through all the q's(my opinion go 2-3 times) and read every single time the right and wrong answers. if you have enough money you can buy kaplan qbank too; my budget was tight so i prefered to go to the medical library where i got some q's books for free.
step 5: take an NMBE.if you are happy with the score, go to exam; if not do more q's(my plan was to do another 2000 q's from 'NMS step 2 ck' and Lange); unfortunatelly i had no more time

in my opinion: if you go 2-3 times through kaplan, read all the UW q's 2 times +- kaplan qbank, do kaplan qbook and FA Q&A(read all the explanations from books), you have almost 5000 first time q's; if in general you score above 75% from the books and above 60-65% in UW/Kaplan qbank, there are very good chances you can achieve an 99.

my preparation time: about 5 months(first 2 very poorly and only during the night-maybe 3-4 hours/day because during the day i had to take care of my son; starting with end of october, my mother in law came to US; she took care of my son so i study during the day; from this moment, i study minimum 10 h/day(average 12-13 h/day); i only took off 2 days for thanksgiving, 2 days for christmas and 2 days for new years eve when the library was closed).

my scores:
UW qbank: 55% first time and a 46 percentile; second time i was arround 67% and 75 percentile
FA Q&A: subjects: 76.06%; SA: 75%; overall: 75.67%
Kaplan qbook: subjects: 72%(no SA in the book)
Lange Q&A usmle step 2 ck: 75%(i did 200 q's from the SA);
NBME 4: 350 with an extimate of 195 on real exam(this was done after i went once through the UW q's);
UW SA: 520/222 done 2 days before exam(january 19th)
Free NBME/Usmle CD: 81.75%(37,37,35,3) one day before exam
exam date: january 21st
real deal: 99/230 received on february 9th(i am soooooo happy )

at the end i really wanna say thank you to everybody who helped me in this forum; thanks to my wife, to my mother in law who helped me a lot and the last but not least thanks to my son who was always in my mind(he really inspired me). Thank you GOD for giving me strenght and power to achieve this;with HIM next to me everything is possible!


2/9/2011 4:34:04 PM
first of all congrats im really happy when people get what they want .
i have a question for u i studied kaplan books twice UWorld once and then i stopped my study for a whole 40 days im depressed , with low energy, im thinking of studying for example peds then do UWorld ped questions do u think its a good way then im thinking to take nbme4 please advice me i will appreciate that and thanks..


2/9/2011 4:37:53 PM
i forgot i did UWorld self assesment exam twice one before i do any UWorld question i got 320 the second after i finished UWorld i got 530 please give me ur opinion,,,


2/9/2011 5:11:25 PM
my opinion: 40 days of not studying anything is quite a long period but not long enough to forget everything you already learn; if i would be you i'll go like this:

read one more time the entire kaplan books(i would say no more than 1 months)+MTB(i did not use FA so i can't help with that)....then do the kaplan qbook(you get only 850 questions but are very very nice and well prepared-just like UW); next i would do FA Q&A....you get another 1000 questions; if you do about 150 questions per day reading all the explanations, both kaplan qbook and Fa Q&A will take you about 14 days(studying for at least 10 hours daily).....after you finish this you can go with UW qbank(i'm not recomanding this for you because you already bought it and unintentionally you will get a bunch of questions from your previously time) or go with kaplan qbank(best choice for you); make sure for either qbank you use to go at least 2 times through all the questions(i would suggest to go 3 times through your weak areas)....if you do this in a 6-8 weeks period, you will be able to take the exam in about 2-2 and a half months from now; the only thing is why i am suggesting to do so many questions is because as many as you do, it will be much easy for you to catch the most important things from a vignete in the real exam(you could read tons and tons of books....if you don't know how to approach a question, you will have problem with the time, understanding what they are asking you, etc)

if you follow what i'm suggesting, you get 1 entire read of the materials, you get 850 questions from kaplan qbook, 1000 questions from FA Q&A and another 2200 from UW/Kaplan qbank....totally will make up to closely 5000 first time seeing questions; if you score constantly above 75% from the books and above 65% from qbanks, you can get a 99 pretty good.....hopefully it helps.


2/9/2011 5:31:21 PM
thanks for the advice but how i can but those question books and thanks


2/9/2011 5:38:05 PM
get or buy


2/9/2011 9:22:02 PM
kasem wrote:
thanks for the advice but how i can but those question books and thanks


there are 2 options:

1st: go online or on any library and buy them(the expensive source)
2nd: google it, find them online, save them to your computer and print them(or even you can do them directly from your PC)-the cheapest source; i suggest to print or buy them cause it will save you a lot of time-it will be very hard to follow all the answers and the questions by 'jumping' from a certain page to many more behind or ahead from were you are reading.


2/9/2011 9:43:27 PM
Anan54446797; Hello .first congrats from me you got execellent score 99/239.i i want to take my exm step2 in june.i read advise it is very helpful for everyone.NBME4 which choice is better comprehensive clinical science or any other choices where i click.they charge $50/$60 for 4hrs exam. what time befoe exam should i buy KAPLAN QBANK/ USMLEW QBANK.When idid q&a of FA I GOT 29/46 THIS SCORE IS GOOD OR NOT . how about MTB STEP3 should i buy or not.i will be thankfull of you if you reply me soon. thanksSHME77646266


2/9/2011 10:55:58 PM
SHME77646266 wrote:
Anan54446797; Hello .first congrats from me you got execellent score 99/239.i i want to take my exm step2 in june.i read advise it is very helpful for everyone.NBME4 which choice is better comprehensive clinical science or any other choices where i click.they charge $50/$60 for 4hrs exam. what time befoe exam should i buy KAPLAN QBANK/ USMLEW QBANK.When idid q&a of FA I GOT 29/46 THIS SCORE IS GOOD OR NOT . how about MTB STEP3 should i buy or not.i will be thankfull of you if you reply me soon. thanksSHME77646266


thanks very much for your words.....here is my advice:
NBME comprehensive clinical sience or the simple forms are pretty much the same(the more expensive ones is giving you the explanation to the questions...the cheaper form is not but both are giving you their aproximate score)....depending on how much money you want to spend, you can choose what you want
MTB is a safe investment: you will need it for the step 3 so is not bad to get it from now and is an excellent book for step 2
starting with an 29/46 is not bad(that is an 63% which is close to a passing score) bt remember you still have a lot of time until june
about uw/kaplan qbank: you should buy it 1-2 months before exam and make sure you go at least once through all the explanations(good or bad) and insist on your weak areas.
hopefully this help...take care now!


2/10/2011 12:10:30 AM
Hi congragulations on ur score. I am in same situation I got less score in step1.I am very confused on how to study for step2.Did u listen to kaplan videos are they important.Will doing more questions help me to get good score.Which is more important reading lectures or doing questions .please help


2/10/2011 11:03:09 PM
hi everyone: i have exam in april, i have done kaplan video/lecture and qbook, working on FA and uworld, and scoring reasonable.
my question is what is MTB, is it (master the boards by Dr. Conrad Fischer)?


2/11/2011 11:50:52 PM
DrDr31577174 wrote:
hi everyone: i have exam in april, i have done kaplan video/lecture and qbook, working on FA and uworld, and scoring reasonable.
my question is what is MTB, is it (master the boards by Dr. Conrad Fischer)?


yes, MTB means master the boards(conrad fischer)


2/12/2011 12:01:21 AM
focusstep2 wrote:
Hi congragulations on ur score. I am in same situation I got less score in step1.I am very confused on how to study for step2.Did u listen to kaplan videos are they important.Will doing more questions help me to get good score.Which is more important reading lectures or doing questions .please help


hi...thanks for your kind words; my situation might help you: i read once the kaplan books but i made a bunch of flash cards; on average i think i read 2 times the books(1 time initially and one time from flash cards); i did not listen for the video's but i did a bunch of questions;

my advice: go twice through books and when you are done start doing questions(i had in mind to do 150 per day-this includes reading ALL the explanations); start with the more accesible ones(FA Q&A, kaplan qbook) and before exam buy 1-2 months of UW or/and kaplan qbank; after you will do 5000+ questions first time seen, take an NBME(form 4 is the latest).....if the aproximate score is good, then go to exam; if not, you will have to do more questions and studying(i am pretty sure you will get a decent score after 2 readings and 5000+ questions)....hopeflly it helps.


2/15/2011 8:52:05 PM
hi i took ur advice im reading kaplan books and mtb and doing kaplan q bank for each subject for example peds kaplan peds mtb peds q bank in a month i will finish it all then i will do usmle wolrd q bank for 20 days mixed mode for 2nd time do u think this way is good please advice and thanks
because im really scared i heard that the exam is more harder but u give me a lot of hope with ur experience ...


2/16/2011 9:14:28 AM
kasem wrote:
hi i took ur advice im reading kaplan books and mtb and doing kaplan q bank for each subject for example peds kaplan peds mtb peds q bank in a month i will finish it all then i will do usmle wolrd q bank for 20 days mixed mode for 2nd time do u think this way is good please advice and thanks
because im really scared i heard that the exam is more harder but u give me a lot of hope with ur experience ...


hi kasem....regarding your studying method: everything is good as long as you are learning and understanding the books; i saw many guys doing this and they had success; but in my opinion you should do many many questions; i've been stressing all of you and i will still do it but the ideea is to do as many questions as you can;

bottom line: now you are reading kaplan books+MTB and after every chapter/subject you read you do kaplan qbank(i hope i got it right); this is excellent; after this you said you will do UW; i would highly sugest after you are done with the readings+kaplan qbank to do the FA Q&A and kaplan qbook; in my opinion, do right now what are you doing(books+kaplan qbank) then go with ONLY FA Q&A and Kaplan qbook and at the end finish strong with UW;
you are doing questions from kaplan Qbank....this will start giving you confidence about how to aprroach them.....after that keep building on that confidence by doing more questions from FA Q&A+kaplan qbook; at this moment you should be able to do at least 3-4 tests per day(i'm talking about 150 and plus questions per 11-13 of hours of studying daily-from those books you get about 1850 questions and with 150questions per day, this will be done in less than 2 weeks); you will see that at this time some of the questions will seem ridiculously easy; after this do UW; it will make you feel so good and be confident that there are very few things that you don't know by this time. why i am keep suggesting FA Q&A and kaplan qbook? this books are not that hard as UW but they focus mainly on high and medium yield topics; from my point of wiev, they filled many many gaps in my knowledges; UW is fantastic but in my opinion has too many hard questions which are rare in the real exam(from my experience i can say that the exam is not focusing on hard questions; you will get a few of them but most of them are medium and high yield topics; for this, kaplan qbook and FA Q&A are 2 excellent sources);
i wish you good luck and keep trusting yourself.....i know a lot of people say that this exam is hard but if you study hard, you will be so happy at the end!


3/1/2011 7:06:41 AM
anan54446797 wrote:
hi guys...it's been a long and rough road for me reaching this moment but at the end it made me so happy; i own this forum a lot and since today i receive my score, it's time to give it back maybe will help other guys like me. here is my story: after struggling badly on step 1(got an 79/195), i decided to try a different approach: i read all the kaplan books+MTB(no FA) and then i bought 2 months of uw; i went twice to all the q's and after i did one more time the psychiatry(my weakest subject overall)+wrong q's;



my scores:
UW qbank: 55% first time and a 46 percentile; second time i was arround 67% and 75 percentile
FA Q&A: subjects: 76.06%; SA: 75%; overall: 75.67%
Kaplan qbook: subjects: 72%(no SA in the book)
Lange Q&A usmle step 2 ck: 75%(i did 200 q's from the SA);
NBME 4: 350 with an extimate of 195 on real exam(this was done after i went once through the UW q's);
UW SA: 520/222 done 2 days before exam(january 19th)
Free NBME/Usmle CD: 81.75%(37,37,35,3) one day before exam
exam date: january 21st
real deal: 99/230 received on february 9th(i am soooooo happy )

at the end i really wanna say thank you to everybody who helped me in this forum; thanks to my wife, to my mother in law who helped me a lot and the last but not least thanks to my son who was always in my mind(he really inspired me). Thank you GOD for giving me strenght and power to achieve this;with HIM next to me everything is possible!


Thank you anan, i m sure your post will be really helpful for me...


3/1/2011 2:32:29 PM
anan54446797 wrote:
hi guys...it's been a long and rough road for me reaching this moment but at the end it made me so happy; i own this forum a lot and since today i receive my score, it's time to give it back maybe will help other guys like me. here is my story: after struggling badly on step 1(got an 79/195), i decided to try a different approach: i read all the kaplan books+MTB(no FA) and then i bought 2 months of uw; i went twice to all the q's and after i did one more time the psychiatry(my weakest subject overall)+wrong q's;

after my first pass through uw q's i took NMBE 4(mid december): got an 350/195;i was so scared and depressed so i postpone my exam.after nbme, i finish my 2nd rewiev from uw and then i choose to go with more q's; i did 2009 kaplan qbook(fantastic book), FA Q&A(1000 q's) and Lange usmle step 2(i did 200 q's).

january 21st-exam; 2 days before i took UW SA-520/222 and 1 day before i did the free NBME/Usmle CD-got an 82% q's right overall; on february 9th i got my score: 99/230;

for those of you who are in the same boat like me, my adivice might help you; in my opinion if you can do what i did, there is high chances you will get an score like mine:
step 1:read all kaplan books at least 1 time(i read them once but i made a bunch of flash cards)+MTB for step 3(i don't know anything about MTB for step 2)
step 2:do kaplan qbook(not qbank! do it right after you finish reading kaplan books and MTB)
step 3: do the first aid Q&A;70% of the q's are subject wise and at the end there are 8 simulated tests;
step 4: buy uw.make sure you go at least 1 time through all the q's(my opinion go 2-3 times) and read every single time the right and wrong answers. if you have enough money you can buy kaplan qbank too; my budget was tight so i prefered to go to the medical library where i got some q's books for free.
step 5: take an NMBE.if you are happy with the score, go to exam; if not do more q's(my plan was to do another 2000 q's from 'NMS step 2 ck' and Lange); unfortunatelly i had no more time

in my opinion: if you go 2-3 times through kaplan, read all the UW q's 2 times +- kaplan qbank, do kaplan qbook and FA Q&A(read all the explanations from books), you have almost 5000 first time q's; if in general you score above 75% from the books and above 60-65% in UW/Kaplan qbank, there are very good chances you can achieve an 99.

my preparation time: about 5 months(first 2 very poorly and only during the night-maybe 3-4 hours/day because during the day i had to take care of my son; starting with end of october, my mother in law came to US; she took care of my son so i study during the day; from this moment, i study minimum 10 h/day(average 12-13 h/day); i only took off 2 days for thanksgiving, 2 days for christmas and 2 days for new years eve when the library was closed).

my scores:
UW qbank: 55% first time and a 46 percentile; second time i was arround 67% and 75 percentile
FA Q&A: subjects: 76.06%; SA: 75%; overall: 75.67%
Kaplan qbook: subjects: 72%(no SA in the book)
Lange Q&A usmle step 2 ck: 75%(i did 200 q's from the SA);
NBME 4: 350 with an extimate of 195 on real exam(this was done after i went once through the UW q's);
UW SA: 520/222 done 2 days before exam(january 19th)
Free NBME/Usmle CD: 81.75%(37,37,35,3) one day before exam
exam date: january 21st
real deal: 99/230 received on february 9th(i am soooooo happy )

at the end i really wanna say thank you to everybody who helped me in this forum; thanks to my wife, to my mother in law who helped me a lot and the last but not least thanks to my son who was always in my mind(he really inspired me). Thank you GOD for giving me strenght and power to achieve this;with HIM next to me everything is possible!


3/1/2011 2:36:55 PM
hey, firstly I would like to congratulate u for ur intense hard work and ur determination that kept u gng and made u reach ur dreams.
I want to ask u that I too got low score in step 1, and i gave my step 2 ck so I want to ask that low score of step 1 will it matter to us or not and what else should i do to improve my CV.
Since you are in US you could tell me better, and I don't have any of my known there do please help me if possible.


3/1/2011 3:35:41 PM
sugu51037677 wrote:
hey, firstly I would like to congratulate u for ur intense hard work and ur determination that kept u gng and made u reach ur dreams.
I want to ask u that I too got low score in step 1, and i gave my step 2 ck so I want to ask that low score of step 1 will it matter to us or not and what else should i do to improve my CV.
Since you are in US you could tell me better, and I don't have any of my known there do please help me if possible.


hi....thanks for your words; regarding your question....YES, low score will indeed affect our chances for a residency position but depends very much what do you want: if you don't care that much what programm and where you will get it, a low step 1 score might not be that bad(i'm talking about family medicine, internal medicine or pediathrics in places where not too many AMG are applying); if you wanna get a competitive programm, then a low score will pull me/you down a lot; i heard that next to scores, a very important characteristic is USCE(US clinical experience).....probably this is what i have to do since i am in us(after i will finish with CS, i will try to get observerships and if possible even externerships); logic, those USCE should give me/us some LOR's(letters of recommandation) which will help us; at this moment i have no USCE or LOR's.....so, from my point of view i need so badly some observerships/externerships+LOR's cause otherwise i might not get any kind of residency in july 2012.....

bottom line: try to get good LOR's(from your country or from US) and have clinical experience somehow; i think with those 2 our chances will improve.....otherwise, at least from my prespective, i will not be able to match in march next year


10/19/2013 7:56:47 PM
Hello anan54446797,
Good score on step2. Thanks for the advice on the study plan.
I know I am reading this bit late.
But just wanted to know did u match?
and what exactly you did to improve your CV.

do reply if you're reading this. thanks
edited by on 10/19/2013


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