USMLE Step 1 – 258 Experience
I will try to make my experience as helpful to you as possible.
My journey was long with lot of struggles…but in the end I made it.. If u have questions just comment below and i will help u..
I am an average student who prepared for USMLE after my medical college graduation.
Study period: 7 months
Study Materials: Kaplan, UW, FA, Pathoma, Goljan… I never finished all resources.. I just read till i got all questions well..but did not memorize word to word as i didnt have time at the end & also it’s so vast its impossible.
The study materials you use are very important and it can vary from person to person as their pre-existing knowledge may be different. I did those resources which I felt will be of most use based on previous prep.
Anatomy: I am terrible at anatomy. They were saying anatomy is asked a lot so I saw all the diagrams and CT MRIs from as many sources as I could. I used Netter for the images and google. Google is very vast and u can find lot of helpful things. In my prep whenever I was stumbling and couldnt go forward in a topic I would sop and open google and read it inside out so that I have a good grip over it.
Physiology: You ned to understand all the graphs and curves and arrows well in this and it is an integrated subject. I used a bit of BRS but didnt like much as it was pure memorization. So I did kaplan videos 2 times with lecture notes. It was more than enough to cover the Physiology of my exam.
Biochemistry: For me this was the beast… I hated Biochemistry. Fortunately the Kaplan LN is very nicely written and Kaplan+FA+UW will cover each and every question on exam.
Microbiology: Its total memorization subject.. do it well as its CASH MARKS if u do memorization. Know the viruses well as its asked indepth.
Pharmacology: Do this one only from FA and UW..its very straightforward and simple..u will get full marks if u do this much.
(Both Micro Pharmac = CASH MARKS if u read well)
Behavioural science: Its another of my hated subjects.. The 2 Bs..Biochem and Behaviour are both B*tches (pardon my language wink emoticon ) I did from UW, Kaplan, BRS still i was getting low score in NBME…dunno what i was missing… even in real exam my performance was not good. I cant help much..all i can say is read and understand..the memorization topics of Behaviour are not asked much. Do the Conrad Fischer 100 cases as it is good book and i had many direct repeats.
Pathology: Its the largest subject and most asked. Even basic science questions are all clinical only.. like they will give u full pateint History and u have to do D/D. In my exam there was lot of Respiratory and Reproductive Pahology.. but its straightforward.. Know the Breast lesions well.. i had those in 3 questions… also know the various Obstructive and Restrictive disease and know D/D. Pathoma and FA covered most things. I did Goljan but i was never able to finish. Sattar Sir gives great lectures. He has actually taught in Madrassa and he said his teaching style is from there. I really liked it and didnt like Goljan as its just memorization. Honestly, not even one question on my test was like that…means Pathoma is good enough
NBME 11: 241 (1 month beofre exam)
NBME 13: 237 (3 weeks before exam) (I felt bad and almost panicked after this frown emoticon But I kept faith and determination that i will do good no matter what)
NBME 15: 251 (2.5 weeks before exam)
NBME 16: 256 (2 days before exam)
I gave in above order and as u can see I have got gradually increasing score… NBME 13 was hardest for me and score is very predictive by NBMEs. I took all online and recommend same to u.
Mistakes and what I would change:
I would spend less time on Kaplan.. I would spend more time on Pathoma. I saw once but I wish I had seen 2 times…
I slept so less before exam…just 3 hours unsure emoticon frown emoticon
I thought i was screwed but i got good score so it OK i guess grin emoticon
Try to finish course on time so that u dont do like me…
In exam I had question on Achondroplasia gene..and I got it wrong.. I made stupid mistake.. I ticked FGF instead of FGFR it was last block and I was fatigued.. i think it was third last question..my mind was numb.. there were other options.. all looked same.. I just ticked FGF and after I finished exam in like 1 second I was like.. What the f*ck did I just do ! I was very sad for all of the 3 weeks after exam and thought its all over…I just remmbered my stupid mistakes over and over again.. If u r newcomer u will not know but people whose exam is near they know that FGFR3 is so damn classic for achondro and i got it wrong..
Anyways whats happened has happend…juts make sure u rest well.. I could have cracked 260 if i would not have made these 3-4 stupid mistakes.
The thing I hate about USMLE is so many resources are there.. I wish there was one book…why do we have t pay 200 $ for UW and so expensive books and then we have to copy from one book to another..well its not in our hand but hopefully some Quran/Bible/Torah/Geeta/
This is the method of a mediocre student like me who was always marginaly passing in college…if u r smarter maybe u will and can get better score.. but i am an average student and I had to face lot of hardship to reach here… I will be happy to help u if u have questions… very few ppl helped me..ppl even booed me that i will fail..but i kept faith and it paid off… smile emoticon
If u have questions…just post comment..and I will try to help.
Have faith in whomever u believe.. Allah/Jesus/Ram/Buddha… because he will guide u to ur success 🙂
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