USMLE STEP 1 EXPERIENCE – 267
I am Muhammad Albanna a six year student at Tanta university ,Egypt .
I got 267 In the usmle step 1 exam and here are my thoughts on the. Preparation . I hope it helps.
The materials and the plan
Pathoma videos and Fundamentals of Pathology (Pathoma) book
u dont need anything online (1 month uworld subscription with the 2 self assements , and 2 nbmes max if u must). I don’t like study plans just have this picture in ur head and try to finish each part as soon as possible :
(Kaplan videos , pathoma , first read of first aid > offline uworld and note taking with second first aid read > random u world with the nbmes and the last first aid read). I watched almost all the videos available and went through all the qbanks (kaplan , rx , uworld, pastest), read brs physiology and parts of goljan’s Rapid Review Pathology. So trust me when I tell u you dont need any of them just stick with the few I mentioned , it took me 11 month and u can do it in much less (and ya I didnt do anything online not even a single nbme)
I studied in 1 hour sessions with 10 minute breaks and took a day off every week
When I faced something I didnt know I made sure I understood it then I correlated it to what I think has something to do with it then made what I understood into a graph or a table then into an anki card (and never had to worry about it again).
Focus on the big picture ,dont bother with too many details the exam doesnt go beyond the surface.(usually the uworld tables are more than enough)
Kaplan videos are enough , don’t bother with the books.
First aid is much easier with videos (the best videos are boards and beyond).
Uworld is the only bank u will need, do it early (starting it early orients u to what u should know and gives u more time to revise ur notes )and take ur time as if u will never revise it again.
The best source for ur later studies are ur uworld notes (I made them into anki cards and studied them every day).
Do all the nbmes and the free 120 qs ,the exam is very close to them (I got 7-8 wrong in 16 , 17 , 19 and 10 wrong in 18 and got 96% right of the free 120).
In addition to uworld and first aid for heart sounds use easyauscultation.com , for cts youtube videos describing the basic anatomy are enough ,for ekgs just know the famous patterns (i had 3 in my exam and all were direct recognition) ,and know well all the images and curves of the nbmes.
Handling the questions
I read the last line of the question then the stem then all the answer choices before committing to an answer.
There are 2 outcomes when u see a trick in a question and u forgo the simple answer for a smart one either the smart answer is right then it will add little to ur score (as most people will miss it) or the simple answer is the correct one then it will do serious damage to ur score(as every body probably chose it) so always ,always choose the simple answer.
Don’t change your answer unless u see something grossly wrong with it ( usually u see in the first reading of the question a simpler picture , and the more u read the more complicated it gets).
Sleep all the week before the exam is important ,the night before it isnt (I didnt sleep and was absolutely alert during the exam).The most important thing is to make the time enough (the random timed uworld will get u there). • All the questions are doable if u have enough time to think them through. ………….. And please Check with ur school at the start of ur eligibility period if ecfmg sent for verification so ur score wont be delayed. … Good luck
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