USMLE Step 1 Experience – 271 – IMG
My experience is to the point without any fluff.. Many people talk about the struggles they faced..the problems they had. How they were frustrated. Now while all of these are very valid points..they don’t really mean anything to a person reading an experience. Sure someone was tired and frustrated with USMLE prep..but then who isn’t ? Its not useful information and hence I will skip it in the experience of my USMLE Step 1 prep and exam.
Exam: mid november 2017
Primary study resources: UFAP + NBME + Questions from BRS series
UFAP = UW + First Aid USMLE Step 1 + Pathoma (Fundamentals of Pathology by Hussain Sattar)
BRS = Board Review Series
Anatomy: FA + UW + BRS Anatomy (only questions)
Physiology: FA + UW + BRS Physiology (only questions)
Biochemistry: FA + UW
Microbiology: FA + UW + Sketchy
Immunology: FA + UW + Kaplan Immunology Lecture Notes
Pathology: FA + UW + Fundamentals of Pathology (Pathoma)
Behavioural Science: FA + UW + Kaplan Medical Ethics by Conrad Fischer – 100 cases
Pharmacology: FA + UW + Picmonic
UWSA1 & UWSA2: 260s
NBME 15: 252
NBME 16: 265
NBME 17: 257
NBME 18: 267
NBME 19: 255
My UWSA scores were long time ago and i dont remember but i would like to highlight that it is a known fact that UWSA is not very predictive in nature and hence should be taken only as practice..not as assessment. Also along with the NBMEs i also did their explanations.. now again this is a tedious and time consuming process to do all 3000 questions with answers and explanations but it is a good preparation.. I suggest you to do NBME as it is made by USMLE exam conducting body and the questions are very good practice.
My exam was in winter and was it insane inside the exam hall or what. I don’t know how these USMLE and Prometric test conducting people are able to take 1K USD per test and still provide terrible service ? I mean isn’t it their job to make sure that the room isn’t so cold that if you touch the meta of the table you don’t get frost bite ?? (Ok well frost bite is an exaggeration but it was really cold in there.. i dont know how they could keep it so cold..they should have central heating for the amont the charge us). Anyways the exam was tough. They asked a lot of weird MRIs. I recommend you do MRI and CT scans well. Also make sure to do Perineal and Pelvic Anatomy. For Biochemistry do knock in and knock out mouse well along with other esoteric molecular biology topics. Behavioural Science was always tough for me and in exam also it was confusing as i was able to narrow to 2 options..and then just picked my gut instinct. There weren’t many patho-histology.
All in all, do UFAP + NBME and make sure you google and search wikipedia for getting the topic understood well. Whenever in trouble..like if you have an issue with understanding Ruxolitinib..then just google “Ruxolitinib USMLE”.. Follow the query by the word USMLE and it works wonders as only USMLE relevant info is given..and not general info.. Like if you search just “Ruxolitinib” you will get many searches from pharmacy type sites talking about how the drug is physically manufactured..that is worthless info. So put USMLE in the google search after the phrase that you want to search. Make sure you have UFAP + NBME done cold.. If you know it with understanding..then exam is not necessarily the big monster it is made out to be. And always aim for the stars and be optimistic. It is vital to do so and have a good temprament. 🙂