Finally, a relief: USMLE Step 1 preparation and thoughts

USMLE scores are released each Wednesday, and mine just got in. I was relieved that my consideration was in the predicted range of my drill tests and that my prep had not gone in vain. This station will outline my preparation strategy, advice, and my scores leading up the veritable one.

Firstly, my philosophy in preparing according to any exam – USMLE, block exam, NBME shelf – is to leave no stone unturned. As a physician, I fall short to know what’s going without interrupti~ with my patients without doubt. Hence, I like to proceed through all the material, know tot~y the material, and be able to solve all the material. If I can do that, I’m confident in my perception. With that mindset, I approached basic sciences, in the same manner I had a solid foundation of entirely the coursework I had completed. Without this, prepping because of the USMLE Step 1 is aimless.

My first wisdom is to solidify that knowledge base of basic philosophical knowledge. There are many ways to practise this; this is the point of pique a review course.

I started my making ready at the start of my 5th semester (in good time September 2014) rather than waiting till my courses finished

It was strong to juggle classes, exams, and readiness, but I persevered because I wanted to terminate the best that I personally could

To solidify my knowledge base, I reviewed slides from my courses and used:

Doctors in Training

Kaplan Physiology and Pharmacology

Pathoma (official communication that I think Pathoma is phenomenal for reading big Robbins fully)

My approve wisdom is to do questions, not only so if you don’t think you’re ingenious. I started the Kaplan q-bank doing 46 questions a daytime when I started my prep. My scores were initially abysmal, bound slowly they climbed. Every 2 weeks was a reliable 5-10% increase until I fortune a fluctuating plateau.

About halfway end 5th semester I finished Kaplan q-bank and switched to the USMLE-Rx q-bank. By December I was done with that one. I did 2 blocks a day until about 3 weeks before my going off exam (NBME Basic Science Shelf), to what I had full days of dedicated studying. I sooner or later did 3 blocks a day.

After the exit exam and a few festivities on the island, I started studying another time at home with USMLE World in December.

I had honed testing to one art form; my timing, my gait, my breaks, and, most critically, my notice critically methods at this point were altogether efficient. I made index cards in c~tinuance questions and concepts I missed or got honest by good guessing. I reviewed these cards. I got up because of 5 minutes for a break each time. I had a pre-exam real existence sheet memorized. Everything was done in quest of a reason.

My third, and latest, wisdom is to build up vigor. Starting when I began studying, each Saturday (with the exception of weekends through block exams), I forced myself to take 4 twenty-fourth part of a day-long exam simulations.

I was impotent to focus properly for the elementary one and was mentally and physically drained. After the further and third, I was able to be in possession of through all 4 hours, but barely. Eventually I could get through the exam by ease. By the time the exit came around, I was able to not and nothing else take 4 blocks, but review quite 4 blocks in the same twenty-four hours.

When I returned home, I knew I wanted to double the time of point of concentration, so I began training in the corresponding; of like kind way. All in all, there were 2 days at what place I took 7 hour practice exams, and the same draining day where I took one 8 hour exam (NBME 16 + UWSA 2) – with reference to 3 days before the real exam without ceasing February 9, 2015

So, what material did I get through? The think proper below is the order of physical I went through, and the calculate of questions is approximate, with my entertainment given:

Kaplan q-bank and miscellanea: 2500 questions – 75%

USMLE-Rx qbank: 2300 questions – 81%

BRS Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Pathology: 800 questions

Lippincott’s Pathology Q&A: 200 questions (not completed)

NBME 15 : 200 questions – 251 predicted

NBME Pathology Shelf: 200 questions – 99th percentile

NBME Basic Science Shelf: 200 questions – 96th percentile – 260+ predicted

Free questions adhering 150 questions (don’t remember % free from error)

USMLE World: 2300 questions – 80%

NBME 13: 200 questions – 260 predicted

NBME 7: 200 questions – 254 predicted

NBME 11: 200 questions – 249 predicted

NBME 12: 200 questions – 262 predicted

USMLE World Self Assessment 1: 184 questions – 265 predicted

NBME 16: 200 questions – 260 predicted

USMLE World Self Assessment 2: 184 questions – 265 predicted


Total usage questions done questions: 10,000+; veritable score 259

Overall, the real exam felt like just another practice test. There were some bizarre questions that no amount of case can ready you for, and in that place were some nit-picky level of appoint to a special service questions, but overall, I was satisfied by it. I didn’t walk through of the examination center elated, on the contrary I  wasn’t discouraged or depressed one or the other . I knew it was done, and, now that I have my score, I have power to say it was worth going through completely the extra material.

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Kim Komenich whose zeal is nearly matched by his giant collection of photography books.

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