AYMAN SAEYELDIN STEP 1 EXPERIENCE – 249

USMLE STEP 1 - 249 Experience

USMLE STEP 1 – 249 Experience

 

Al-Salam Alaikom Everyone;

  • My name is Ayman Saeyeldin, I’m currently a 6th year medical student in Egypt. Around a year ago I came across the EAMTAR main group and my jaw dropped from the massive amount of useful information I found on the group and the website, all from people who didn’t want a thing in return. These people gave me a new perspective in life and a concept I’ve been missing through my college years; this would be to help others as much as you can and not to keep the information you have simply because you do not own it. Each new thing I knew was by virtue of one of these great people. So here I am, a year later, finally having something to share with newcomers and that would be my step1 experience.
  • I was going to write my experience and what I did in the past couple of month, but then I remembered how different people are and how unworthy this might be. And since I learned how valuable time is, I tried to enrich the following document with multiple opinions and tried to answer most of the questions I encountered through the year I spent on the step1 group. Kindly tag me if you have further questions or if you want to ask about anything not covered in this guide.
  • Read carefully if you have no idea about step 1. if you’re familiar then you can skim through or use CTRL+F to search for a particular point.
  • One more thing, as much as I’ve tried to avoid imposing my personal opinion on how to study, nobody is perfect. So you should realize that this is my posteriori and whatever suited me may not suit you because as I said, everyone is different. And now with everything settled, let’s start; this guide will consist of tips about:

 

  1. Introduction: Things you need to know before you Start
  2. Paperwork and when you should apply
  3. Studying Phase I : Starting / collecting the Sources
  4. Studying Phase II : Your first read
  5. Studying Phase III : Question banks
  6. Studying Phase IV : Assessment and Final Revision
  7. Things to do before the exam
  8. Exam night
  9. The Actual Exam

Now let’s start;
================================================================

1) Introduction:

This is a tough path, but not so tough if you are committed and if you have a goal in your mind. If you studied well and managed your time you’re likely to get a high score. So aim high because everyone can do it.
You have to be determined that you’re going through the USMLE pathway. If you’re a student like me then you’ll have the dilemma of college Vs. Step1. In my case Step1 was my priority and I spent the hours studying for it even through dull rounds and boring lectures. I’ve tried to cope with both of then though as I didn’t want to postpone my final year exams, but I couldn’t and I ended up postponing my final year exams to May (a decision I don’t regret at all).

This raises the expected question, is it doable to achieve both? A high score and to finish your college exams as well? the answer is YES, you can. In fact, two of my friends did it, but this needed extra effort. I’ll emphasize one more time over the priority thing, the USMLE study should be the priority over the college work, so if you’re aiming for high grades or (Awa2el El dof3a) kind of thing I think this will be much harder. If you’re okay with your medium college grades then you should be okay.

The time period is variable; I would say the average time is 7-9 months. I started on January 2013, but I had some off periods (travelling / college exams) so I would say I took around 10 months. Some people achieved very high scores in 6 months though, so the time issue is really up to your schedule, work, how committed you are to studying.

—————————————————————
2) Paperwork and when you should apply:

  • You should apply once you feel you have a schedule going on and you have a valid study plan. For me I’ve applied 3 months after I started preparation. At this time, I fixed a 7 hour study hours/ day, I had a schedule of when I’m going to finish first read, how many qbanks I’m gonna answer and how many days I’m going to revise, then I applied.
  • When you apply you choose a three month eligibility period through which you can take the exam. You can choose any three months of the current year.” the upcoming year scheduling is not open until September”. So you understand why is it important you have a schedule in your head before you apply. You can postpone only once and to the successive eligibility period, this is 70$ fee. If you still can’t meet your exam date you’ll lose your fees, so choose wisely.
  • Once you’ve paid the fees you’ll find one more motivation added to your mind. Many people study better after Paying.
  • The actual application process: I couldn’t possibly go through it better than this wonderful guide. This goes through every tiny detail you’ll need during your application. Read it carefully because the application has some tough parts. http://goo.gl/tUPkPS

This too is a video guide to the application process by Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman “For Arabic Speakers” http://goo.gl/qzLPuf

————————————————————————————————————
3) Studying Phase I:

Starting is always the toughest part. Some people freak out with the amount of material they have to study. This is not abnormal. Also you’ll feel weird and disorganized, and not having a clue what to do next. If you’re an IMG like me you’ll feel weird with the different way of studying. This is Normal and so most people advise to start with an Easy material, so that you can get hold of the material and how things are going. And I suggest Physiology or Anatomy.

The Step1 materials are as follows :

Physiology
Anatomy, which includes [ Gross Anatomy – Embryology – Histology – Neuroanatomy ] Biochemistry, which includes [ Molecular bilogy – Genetics – Nutrition – Metabolism] Microbiology
Immunology
Pharmacology
Behavioral sciences, which includes [ Biostatistics – Ethics – Developpement – Psychiatry] Pathology
We’ll talk about them with more details with the sources.
The Studying period is better divided into phases:

The start phase in which you get used to the method of studying and understanding how things are going.
Then the first read which you gather as much concepts as you can and try to understand everything.
Then the question phase in which you apply these concepts and see how everything can be asked about.
The last phase is Assessment, you can see what subjects you’re weak on and then work more on them. .

The sources you’ll need will be in the form of Videos and books, let me combine the sources with subjects so we can get a better perspective, but let me give a general idea and state a few things before that:

The purpose of first read is to understand not to memorize, you just need to understand the concepts. Memorizing comes later and you’re certainly not going to memorizing these large books, this would but a waste of time.

Kaplan videos and books are awesome, they give you a very good start point and alongside with Kaplan videos you can be very good and you can understand many of the concepts to go to the next step. However, it’s not perfect in all subjects; we’ll go through better sources when we talk about subjects solely.

There are other videos like DIT, people say they are good, but personally I didn’t, Kaplan videos were enough for me.

The Single most important book is the “First Aid” book. It contains all the material you’ll need in all subjects and it’s updated yearly with new information and graphs. I cannot emphasize enough on how important it is. I couldn’t believe how EVERY SINGLE WORD in the book was an exam material until I took my exam. So, my Advise, memorize that book, read it at least four times before the exam.

The First time you’ll do First Aid you’ll feel horrible, You’ll probably hate the Authors and hate yourself, don’t worry it’s normal.

Keep in mind that the purpose of the first read is to make you comfortable with FA book, so now you see why it wouldn’t be wise to go over them again and again, better save the time to FA revision and more question answering.

It’d be wise to start FA reading ASAP. Don’t finish the whole first read then open FA for the first time. I found it useful to read FA subjects after I finished this subject from Kaplan. That made me familiar with FA and minimized the first time shock of FA.

Now Regarding Subjects: I’ve written what’s (enough to do) next to each subject title because this is what people usually ask about, and explained below what I actually did, so if you’re familiar or in a hurry just read through the titles. FA = First Aid Book & UW = Usmle World question bank.

(*) Physiology: Kaplan / BRS + FA + UW

Not “easy” as in a piece of cake, but fun to learn. Great subject to start with, you’ll feel confident understanding those hard concepts and you’ll get in the game fast.
Kaplan videos are great. But if you don’t have time you can only watch (Cardio – Respiratory – Renal).
The rest of the videos are good too, but you can do without them. Dr. Fischer wasted more time on endocrine videos screaming and making funny sounds that actually explaining stuff.
Kaplan notes are good too, but better off, use BRS Physiology. It’s more detailed and concepts are explained very well with questions at the end of each chapter. Remember: Understand only don’t memorize.

(*) Anatomy:

Gross Anatomy: FA + UW.
I started with it since it was an easy subject, but I made the mistake of giving it more time than it should. Usually it’s a very small part of the exam. Something like a question/ block.
I did Kaplan videos which were great, but not a must. Kaplan notes too and took some notes.
Some people suggested High Yield Gross Anatomy book but I found it too detailed and big. I read some chapters but decided not to go Any Further. I say FA+UW are enough.

Embryology: FA + UW
Same little importance as gross anatomy, Kaplan videos were enough for me.
Didn’t even care to add notes to FA. There’s actually a great book I used for the hard parts: BRS Embryology.Very useful and has questions at the end of each chapter. But also too detailed and the embryology part is very little on the Exam.

Histology: FA + UW
Don’t try Kaplan videos, the guy sucks big time. A time waste indeed. Skip the notes too. Very little on the exam. Just try to answer more questions as you can to gain new concepts.

Neuroanatomy: FA + UW + HY Neuroanatomy

Silly subject, Kaplan videos SUCK. The same histology guy, don’t do them they’ll waste your time. Kaplan book wasn’t bad, better off there’s the (High Yield Neuroanatomy book). Very helpful and it has some REALLY important CTs, MRIs and angiograms. Make sure to check it out. Some people suggested Dr Najeeb Videos. I found them too long so I didn’t watch them. But those who did said he’s really great.

(*) Biochemistry:

One of the big beasts, a huge part on the Exam since it has many branches within, make sure to do Biochem before Pharmacology it’ll be of much help.

Molecular biology: Kaplan +FA + UW
I can’t say I know exactly what to do in molecular biology. Stuff is new and advanced and I didn’t know much about it in college. Kaplan molecular biology videos are not that good but useful.
After assessment I found that I’m weak in MB so I did the HY molecular biology book and the last chapters of BRS biochemistry and molecular biology. They had some really good info that I was glad I knew. They also explained the laboratory tests very well, so consider them a source to know more about hard points. However, I can’t say they were of much help on the exam.
I had many weird molecular biology questions I didn’t have a clue about in my exam. This was one of my toughest weak points indeed.

Genetics: Kaplan + FA + UW
Kaplan videos were great. I really liked them, the notes weren’t brilliant though. UW questions are tough so focus while answering.
This is one of the subjects you’ll benefit from a second read of Kaplan since FA is kinda deficient here.
If you still feel lost, you might benefit from BRS Biochemistry and genetics, read the genetics chapters they are really great.

Nutrition: FA + UW + Goljan
A small chapter but heavily tested on the exam. My advice, read through the Nutrition chapter in Goljan Rapid Review. Really awesome and helpful and add them to your First Aid.
Kaplan videos were a charm, simply because they were by the great Dr. Raymon [ My Kaplan hero]

Metabolism: Kaplan + FA + UW
Kaplan videos are AWESOME. You’ll really miss a lot if you don’t do them. One downside though, when you follow the metabolic pathways in Kaplan notes, you won’t be able to ditch the Kaplan book and you’ll keep studying the pathways till your exam day. But it’s okay they are really organized and great. UW questions are good too.

(*) Microbiology: MMRS + FA + UW

FA is great in Microbiology. Organized and thorough, added to UW and you need nothing else.

As an introduction to FA I did a GREAT book called (Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple = MMRS). It has some hilarious graphs and useful tables that will make you familiar with Microbiology because it’s one of the big guns on the exam.

Didn’t do Kaplan, found the videos too long, but people say they were Okay. Most people recommend MMRS though. If you’re short on time then FA and UW are enough.

(*) Immunology: Kaplan videos + FA + UW

Tough little subject, heavily tested. Drove me crazy at first.

Kaplan videos are a must, I couldn’t possible go through if it weren’t for them, Dr Moscatello is helpful, though, I didn’t like her. Only 9 hours.

I didn’t do Kaplan notes, I watched the videos and annotated FA during which saved me time. I realized that this is a good strategy later on.

(*) Pharmacology: Kaplan videos + FA + UW

If we’re talking about plain drugs then FA + UW are enough. But you’ll lose a lot if you didn’t see Dr Raymon’s Kaplan videos. The guy is extraordinary and he was able to broaden my horizon about pharmacology and tie it with literally every branch out there, with his clever hints and smart notes I felt superior with pharmacology.

You can ditch Kaplan notes and add the extra info in the videos directly to FA, except with General pharmacology chapters and Autonomic you kinda need Kaplan notes because FA is deficient.

If you’re short on time watch Kaplan videos on General and autonomic only, but as I said the rest is just awesome.

(*) Behavioral:

This might sound like an easy subject but it’s not that easy, it has sub-branches :

Bio-statistics: Kaplan videos + FA + UW
I don’t know about other IMGs, but if you’re Egyptian then you’ve never studied this before. At first it’ll be like hieroglyphic, but don’t worry, once you get down with the questions you’ll feel better.
Kaplan vides were a must for me since it was my first time to actually study statistics, the doctor was awesome and very helpful and made it simpler.
The key to biostats is QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS and more QUESTIONS. Solve as many questions as you can. Reading the notes is useless if you understand the equations. Just the questions.
If you still have hard time after UW questions, do the UW Biostats Plus questions. About 60 questions with explanations but take care they have some tough concepts. The questions on the exam are exactly like the ones on usual UW blocks, no one complained before.

Ethics: Kaplan+ Fischer’s 100 cases + FA + UW
This is actually the only hard thing about behavioral. Not because the material is tough or anything, on the contrary it’ very fun to learn. But it’s VERY CONFUSING. Most of the time two or three answers would seem perfectly fitting the situation and you’ll end up convincing yourself with one which may be wrong.
Kaplan videos were VERY helpful and I recommend them. But sadly they’re not enough. Solve the 100 cases by Conrad fischer they’ll strengthen things up in your mind.
Kaplan book is not bad, better off, if you still having a hard time with Ethics: BRS Behavioral sciences or High Yield Behavioral sciences. The same book actually with the same chapters and the same author, but BRS is slightly detailed over HY and it has questions at the end of each chapter. I did the HY behavioral book and I liked it very much since it’s not big and I already had a background so I chose it over BRS. But really they are the same book.
Some people mentioned Khan’s medical ethics, but I honestly don’t have an idea how good is it.

Development: Kaplan videos + FA + UW
Easy stuff, not exactly a development chapter, they are some random info about children and geriatric patients, Sleep and some other stuff. Kaplan videos only no need to do the notes and read FA carefully + UW questions

Psychiatry: Kaplan videos + FA + UW
Also easy, videos and no need to do the notes, just annotate FA with new info you get from the videos. Notice that this is a separate chapter in FA you’ll find it among organ systems.

(*) Pathology: Pathoma + FA + UW

This is the big beast; the largest subject and the one you’re most likely to spend the most time doing. Not hard but the amount of info is HUGE and you cannot get enough.

There’s no ultimate source for pathology, you have to collect info from wherever you can get. It’s suggested that you make it your last subject simple because it connects all other subjects so it’d make more sense if you do it last.

Most of you are familiar with the Endless debate about which is better: Goljan or Pathoma. My opinion, I did both, but Pathoma is way better. Pathoma videos are simple, straight forward, gives you exactly what you need, tons of useful pictures and Dr. Sattar has made an awesome effort with them. On the other hand, Goljan Audios were good too, but they are a very old version, the 125 Goljan pages were okay but not enough with the Audios or this is what I think. If you’re planning to go with Goljan you’ll need to read more than these 125 pages. But certainly the big RR book is great, but VERY DETAILED.

I used the 600 pages RR book for hard stuff and points I wanted to know more about and not covered in Pathoma. Pathoma was amazing especially with general pathology but it’s not perfect you’ll need to Google some EM and LM sections and search pub-med for some strange points you’ll find in FA.

I’d say Pathoma + 125 Goljan Pages + FA + UW are a perfect combination.

I took screenshots from Pathoma pictures and annotated them so I think you might found it useful http://goo.gl/tgYNTt

Here you can find the 59 pages of Goljan highlighted with points not in FA, this is the same 125 pages but in the form of points http://goo.gl/EMJcnh

Some people used WebPath. It’s a free online Atlas. They say it’s great for pictures, make sure to check it out.
I think this is all about the subjects and sources, not let’s move to:
————————————————————————————————————
4) Studying Phase II:

Your First read as we said aims to help you study from First Aid.

It took me 4 months because I did FA also during. I found this a good strategy because it made me familiar with FA.

Many ways to fix a schedule during First read, I think the best is to calculate the video hours and give yourself a daily amount to finish. I used to do three hours of videos every day. And after I finish each subject I read it again fast then did the FA in this subject. This would be easy in most subjects but might be tough in Pharma because you’ll pause every minute to add notes, and three hours would take double the time. On the contrary, I did four hours in Behavioral because the videos were fun.

After you finish each subject you’ll get a false sensation of getting hold of the subject. It’s false because questions will twist your mind and make you feel the opposite. This is normal don’t worry, so I think it’s wise not to spend much time in First read because the rest of preparations is as important.
If you feel like forgetting everything after these 3-4 months don’t freak out. Just revise FA and add your notes. If you find yourself VERY weak then it’s okay to read this part again from Kaplan or from wherever you did it.

IF you don’t like combining FA to your first read then it’s okay. Just read FA thoroughly after you’re done with Kaplan books and videos.

Some people would answer UW questions after each subject. I didn’t do it but this might be a good strategy to add all the notes at once and get used to questions types. For me I thought it was best to solve it Random and timed to get used to the exam style but this required me to finish all the subjects first. I also wanted to get a true UW score first time so I solved it AFTER the first read.

By the end of First read you are now supposed to have applied your papers to ECFMG.

It’s okay to celebrate after your first read is finished, but don’t stay away from books for more than 3 or 4 days. This is usually a silly phase, the rest is better you’ll feel more confident and you’ll be more familiar with how things are going, and you’ll be ready for the next phase.

————————————————————————————————————
5) Studying Phase III:

The single most important question bank out there is Usmle World (UW). The questions are beautifully fabricated and although they seem tough they are really spot-on and tell you what the HY points to stress on are.

I subscribed for one month. Solved 2 blocks per day random timed. Score at the end was 69%. Did it again at my late preparation in 9 days with 89%.

It’s important to read the answers carefully. Even the answers for questions you got right. Add these notes to your FA they are valuable and HY. This might sound like a tough thing to do but believe me you’re not wasting time.

After you’re finished there’s an important step to do: a massive revision with all the UW notes you took. This will take time but it’s okay, but try to finish it in less than a month.

UW self assessments are okay. But they over estimate your score by ~10 marks. But they can tell you what subjects you need to stress more on. There are two of them and most people purchase them with the online subscription. Each has 4 blocks; each block has 46 questions with 60 minutes, just like the actual exam. At the end they give you a three-digit score report and a performance scale. My scores were 244 UWSA1 / 245 UWSA2.

The other great qbanks are Kaplan and USMLERx qbanks. I prefer you do them if you have time and AFTER assessment to see exactly which subjects you need to stress more on. And of course after you master UW qbank and take all the notes. If you don’t have time they are not a must, but more questions is always good.

USMLERx is easy, just a means to memorize FA, if you can do it on your own it’s okay, I solved in 7 days only in my late preparation and hardly found any new information. As I said you don’t need to do it.

Kaplan qbank is hard. Many questions were weird and very complex with new info. As people say, they’re torturing you for not memorizing their books. I did it after UW and t took me around 3 weeks. Didn’t keep track of the overall score because I did it offline. Don’t stress on weird concepts and new drugs / info they won’t help you much on the exam and they are very low yield. Some subjects are really WTF like Genetics and molecular biology.

If you don’t want to do the whole Kaplan qbank, the important chapters would be Pathology / Immunology / Ethics / Pahthophysiology / Autonomic pharmacology. I think it’s even better you do the subjects you are weak on, and you know that after doing an assessment.
————————————————————————————————————
6) Studying Phase IV:

Assessment is important, assess yourself regularly. It’d be unwise to revise all things all the time and not focus on your weak points.

Between assessments, make sure you read FA thoroughly at least once. Each time you do FA it takes less time than before.

We talked about UWSA before, vide supra. This would be a good way to assess after you’re done with the revision after UW. They have some new info for sure.

The best assessment services are provided by NBME. There are 15 forms available, but I think some of them were discarded lately. The most relevant to the exam is the latest: NBME 15. There’s also NBME 11, 7 they are predictive of the exam as well. 13 was easy, 12 was hard and worthless. I don’t know about the rest.

Each NBME has 4 blocks; each is 50 questions in 65 minutes.

Try to do at least on online NBME 3 weeks before your exam. It’ll pretty much predict your score +/- 5 marks. And you can boost it in these weeks by FA revision and questions answering.

I did two online NBMEs, NBME 15: 247 two months before exam / NBME 7: two weeks before: 250.

How to stress on weak subjects: you need to read it from a new source. If you’re weak on behavioral for example then read HY behavioral sciences and then memorize FA again. After that solve Kaplan and Rx qbanks. This will be a very good strategy.

If your scores were low, rearrange your priorities. See if you can make use of the 3 months you’re postponing or not. Remember it’s a one life time exam and you’ve invested time and money so don’t do the (just take it) kind of thing. Think wise.

————————————————————————————————————
7) Things to do before the exam:

Now you’re done with studying, you took your NBME and you have three weeks before your exam. Calculate the days and keep a plan.

At first go through your weak subjects as we said before. Read FA very well and answer as much questions as you can.

Then memorize FA again and again. It’s better to do it in 10 days or so, I did it in 6 days before my exam, and this was my sixth time. During, I took some notes of the forgettable points and subjects to do those again just days before the exam. (For example: I re-did the lipid lowering drugs and blood supply of the CNS …..)

Some subjects need to be done days before the exam. I re-did immunology, general pharmacology and general pathology. Simply because they are small, yet heavily tested with tons of general concepts and small points so I felt comfortable doing them again and again.

————————————————————————————————————
8) Exam night:

A week before the exam, see where you will spend the night. It’s better not to travel at the exam day because your exam starts early, and you need every bit of energy in these tough hours.

This point goes for Egyptian residents: A good hotel is Kanzy. It’s very near to Amideast and very comfy. Call them a week before the exam and reserve via phone. When you arrive you’ll find your room ready. On the outside, you’ll feel like going into a shack. There’s no evidence that this is a decent hotel and the reception feel like an (2ahwa). But don’t worry the rooms are clean and good. The only thing that bugged me was that there weren’t any Neon light. But it was okay I didn’t study that much either that night.

Phone number is: 02-33379461. The locations is easy, just type this in Google Maps (30.041504,31.198166). You’ll see it’s very near to (Ma7atet Metro El Behouth). The driving instructions are extra easy too; find them on Google Maps as well.

This is Amideast (30.039749,31.20049) & this is metro el Behouth (30.035978,31.199967)

When you arrive, leave your bags and go get some things to take to the exam. Some chocolate and juice, Snickers is a good option it’s like an ATP bar. Don’t get much soda because they are very diuretic. You have a fridge in your room. WiFi is free too.

There’s a Starbucks nearby.

The hotel reservation includes a breakfast, which you’ll need. It was fair and includes a caffeine drink as well (tea or Nescafe).

If you don’t have a car, you can leave your bags and take them back when you get back from the exam.

Don’t make studying plans for this day. I only read some stuff because I was thinking about the exam all day. Just immunology, saw some pictures and some forgettable points.

Sleep well, at least 8 hours. You’ll need every bit of energy. And try to stay calm because you’ve done your best. Worrying is useless now.

Pray and make Du’aa.

————————————————————————————————————
9) The Actual Exam:

Arrive at prometric not more that 30 minutes before 9 am. Because the waiting time sucks.

Take your passport and scheduling permit. They will scan your passport and give it back to you, and take your picture as well. You’ll leave all your stuff in a locker with the key always with you. You’re not allowed to take anything into the exam room except your passport, your locker key, a laminated paper with your CIN on and a marker pen.

You will be inspected and asked to empty your pockets. No personal inspection though just the metal detector. You’re not allowed to have a watch or cell phones in there. You won’t need them anyways the computer will have a time indicator always.

The exam room is divided into cubes; you’re isolated from the people nearby. Some of them are not medical so they’ll use the keyboard not just the mouse. To avoid the noise, they’ll provide you with a noise reduction headphone; it’ll be yellow or orange. Use it it’s very helpful.

At the cube you’re in you’ll also find normal black headphones for murmurs and sound clips. Make sure to test it in the 15 minutes tutorial. The tutorial itself is not useful except for this step. You can check how the exam software looks like by downloading the free practice material on the Usmle website, here under step 1: http://www.usmle.org/practice-materials/ it’s a software, sometimes it doesn’t work on windows 7 and you’ll get an error message. If this happens, leave the error message, press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, and then run the software again from start menu it will run perfectly.

When you begin your test you must enter your CIN which is 10-digit code, you’ll take it with you on the laminated paper. You’ll also find the picture you took before you go in. Each time you go out for a break you must re-enter your CIN. You’ll also get inspected.

You’re watched with cameras, two prometric personnel are available. Each couple of minutes one of them will walk into the exam room and take a round. Need anything just raise your hands and he/she will come to you. Don’t shout you don’t want to distress other people. You won’t need anything though.

My strategy went as follows: 5 minutes in the tutorial to test the screen and speakers- Block1 – Block2 – 8 minutes break– Block3 – 12 minutes break – Block4 – Block5 – 20 minutes break – Block6 – 15 minutes break- Block7 – Feedback.

Your first block is the palpitations block ? this will go on for like 10 questions before you calm down and get to the questions. Don’t freak out and don’t take long time on weird questions. Take your best guess, mark it and move on to the next. YOU MUST LEAVE at least 8 minutes to read your marked questions because you might get the idea when you read the question again. Otherwise, if you spend 3 minutes on a question you’ll end up convincing yourself with an answer that may be plain wrong.

There’s no doubt you’re gonna see strange questions, you’ll guess a lot, it’s okay just watch the timer and keep calm.

Leave a large break before your last block because you will be tired. In Amideast I went upstairs to get coffee (took 5 minutes + 4 minutes in the rest room). Use the rest room in every break even if you don’t want to. You don’t want your bladder to bug you in the middle of a block. A friend of mine used Oxybutynin which wasn’t a bad idea either.

You can read whatever you want in the breaks. But believe me, don’t. Useless, use the time to eat and drink and calm your brain and refresh yourself.

At the end of each block you’ll get a warning red message 5 minutes before the end. Don’t freak out like me it’s just a software thing.

After last block they’ll give you a short feedback. How organized the prometric was, how well you saw the pictures, were the headphones useful, ….etc.

When you’re finished you’ll get your stuff back, you’ll get a sealed paper that you took the test on your scheduling date too.

Now you’re done, go out and celebrate. There’s a Kentucky and a McDonald’s nearby, or you can take a taxi to (gam3et el Dowal) with many restaurants that you can find on your GPS. Don’t forget to get your bags from the hotel.

Wait for your result three weeks later, and good luck ?

Thank You. Ayman.

If you liked this experience, check out the following experiences:

My Step 1 Experience from 220 to 251 – Rachael Kim

Dr. Moumina – USMLE Step 1 Experience – Despite all odds

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 258 – Abdulmunaim Eid

December 13, 2017
%d bloggers like this: