Dr. Anam Warraich’s USMLE Step 1 Experience – MUST READ !!
MY USMLE STEP 1 EXPERIENCE ☺
Preparation time : Almost 1 year
I was one of those who just know the word USMLE but actually didn’t know anything regarding books and how people pass this exam .
I just knew that I want to pass USMLE . Right after my graduation , I started looking for the guidance around . My bad luck was that no one from our college has ever done USMLE and its just 2,3 students who ever did but didn’t guide anyone so I joined an academy because I thought it’s a must for the preparation . Later on ,after discussing with some of other students in academy I found out that I can prepare myself . Academy was the bad idea but the only positive thing which I can now say about that I gave me the knowledge about the books ,uworld , how people prepare and give exam according to their desired Match year . (guidance regarding USMLE ) . I quit academy in 3,4 months because it was hell slow and I knew that I can study myself better .
I restarted my own preparation then .
I watched Kaplan videos and read all kaplan series . it took me 3 months.
I revised Kaplan books without videos again in 2 month .
Took some break in between as well .
I started uw and took 6 month subscription . i started doing 1 block daily and started fa along with it . started applying for application procedure .
A lot of time got wasted due to application process and my college had no idea where to put a stamp on . My first application got rejected due to wrong college stamp and then I had to stop studying for a while and request dean and admin for a using official college stamp . this whole process took me 2 months …
I started studying fa and uw again .
I did uw twice and made many notes which I thought its new information, not written in fa or Kaplan .
I used uw in random , time mode , mixed and scored 82% in first go .
I liked uw more than Kaplan and then focused more on uw and fa later on.
I did offline NBME in between my preparation whenever I had no mood to study anything . NBME offline should never be judged as your score prediction. It should be considered as a random qbank . I really encourage everyone to do online nbme whenever you need to actually assess yourself and get an exam kind of feeling .
Offline nbme I did were
NBME 5 :170/200
NBME 12 :170/200
NBME 13 :181/200
Online nbme were
NBME 15: 230 ( It was 3 weeks before my exam and I freaked out . first it was anxiety because it was my first online so had a phobia in mind so I recommend to do 3,4 online to get comfortable, I made a mistake which was that I bought it self paced, extended . I believe that the more time you get in a question , it is more likely you gonna over think and make it wrong so I suggest to buy NBME standard paced and extended )
I revised fa twice and worked on my weak subjects which were in my NBME 15 and I know I cant delay my exam because I already had extended it so I had no choice .
I gave my last NBME 16 ( it was standard paced , extended ) just two days before my exam and got 239 . I was happy because atleast I made some progress in last 2 weeks .
I revised fa pharma and anatomy uw notes a day before my exam because its so volatile .
I took half alprazolam because I use to study at night and my circadian rhythm was going opposite for so long lol . anyways , I offered my isha prayers , took medicine and slept . I woke up near 5:30 , offered my fajar prayers . I had some left uw anatomy notes to read so started reading them in 2 hours .
I started getting ready for my exam and thought its time to leave everything for now .
I went to the prometric center an hour before , took snacks , burger ,energy drinks ,candies ,water etc with me . I was having anxiety and was trying to keep calm as much as possible . My headphones were not working so my tutorial time wasn’t saved much . I started my exam . did 1st block which was easy but I did some silly mistakes due to anxiety . I took a break for 5 mins to keep myself calm down . 2nd block was alright . I did break for 7 mins . I went to washroom to wash my face and drink water . I started my 3rd block . it was alright too . some of the questions are just straight forward from fa and some were from uw . but few were tricky and you just have to follow your gut feeling and move on .
I took 5 mins break after 3rd block . and then started 4th block . this time I was totally mentally drained . I had no idea what I reading and what I clicking .. this time I knew I had to take a longer break after this block . so I took 15 mins approx break . I ate burger and drank energy drink because I was totally exhausted and my brain stopped working . i washed my face again before going inside exam hall . I requested the examiners to keep the A.C temperature slow down because it was making me more sleepy .
At that time I was totally fresh , I have no idea how i got fresh . I truly believe at that time Allah helped me for sure . I was so much fresh and active again for my last 3 blocks . some of hard questions were there in these 3 blocks . In a sense that they were not in fa , uw or Kaplan . it was just random questions . but they were just few .. so dun worry about it . a lot of biostat calculations came , genetics . rest of the questions were doable if you know Fa well .
I was really happy that this exam was over in the end .
Exam score: 241
The things which I regret doing :
- Shouldn’t spent much time doing Kaplan . should do for once .
- Don’t take much longer breaks
- I should had started online nbme a few month before my exam .
Things which I did right :
- i revised fa many times until im familiar with pages and mnemonics a bit in fa mentioned .
- I did pathoma along with fa and uw notes till my last days .
- i made my own notes so it was easy to revise at the end even though i wasn’t able to revise them all . they were too many .
- I took break in all blocks .
My advise :
- Guidance is the main drawbag so always be willing to help others as much as possible . Allah helps you in many other ways then .
- Persistence is the main key .
- Anyone can get high scores , it is just matter of time and how much you are determined .
- Focus more on fa and uw . Exam is totally doable . its not exactly like nbme or uw but its doable if you know your books well .
- Don’t focus much on old nbmes . you can do them if you have much time and just for practice .
- STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE AROUND . ONLY YOU KNOW THAT HOW MUCH YOU ARE CAPABLE OF AND BE CLOSER TO ALLAH . He will definitely help you out of your imagination .
Stay blessed and please do remember me in your prayers . Need prayers for my step 2 ck ahead .
JazakaAllah khair . ☺
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