USMLE Step 1 Experience – 271
Dear friends, this experience i hope helps you just like your experiences in the past have helped me. When i started USMLE..my home country Iraq was in chaos so we had to flee to UAE.. So i did my USMLE while i was in UAE.. I had to go through a lot of hardships to reach where i had reached.. so this experience.. I hope it helps you to prepare USMLE in a more streamlined way. hen i started preparing for USMLE i did not even have any help from anyone in Abu Dhabi as i only had some non-medico relatives here.. I did not have any colleagues and any seniors who i knew here to guide me.. So whatever help i got was by reading other people’s experiences share don the USMLE forums.. i am thankful to everyone who helped me in this journey..including some friends i made in the way..i.e. my homies: Musheer al-Yamin, Isaam el-Majeed, Alawi al-Zaman !! Thanks bros.. your support helped me through this tough journey..
My journey was interrupted in the middle because i had to move to UAE from IRAQ.. so i studied for 5 months in IRAQ and then i had to go to UAE.. i studied for 7 more months in UAE… but had a 2 month break in between which destroyed my rythm.. whether you are in a condition like me or you are in a better condition..i recommend you to not take a break as taking one destroys our tempo and destroys the momentum in prep time..
So i started out with Kaplan lec notes + videos.. I also did Pathoma and FA with Kaplan… I did all this in the first 5 months in IRAQ.. I had planned that i will give test in 7 months.. but boy was i mistaken.. After doing just theory and no questions for 5 months i gave an NBME and i bombed it.. i got just 220s in it.. I thought that i will finish this exam and then i will go to USA.. but it was impossible for me after this terrible NBME.. so i went to UAE.. It was better in UAE and i prepared peacefully there.. First i started doing UW.. and i realised soon that in this exam there is simple equation:
MORE QUESTIONS PRACTICED = MORE MARKS ON THE TEST
Guys.. thats the secret formula nothing else.. because you have higher chance of a topic repeating in the test if you have dont the topics in the past..if you have seen a question once you will likely not forget it..theory you can forget but not questions..thats just how our minds are hard wired whether we like it or not.. at least mine is..
so i did UW…Kaplan Qbank..USMLE Rx.. and Becker Qbank.. I also did 3000 questions of NBME.. If i had to redo it.. I would say following is the priority you should have:
NBME >> UW > KaplanQbank > USMLE Rx == Becker
that is decreasing order of priority according to me..
So i did Questions + FA + little bit i would refer to the books here and there if need be.. but primarily i was just doing questions..
I recommend you to do the same..
Now when it comes to questions of NBME :
An important thing is that it is created by the USMLE organization.. It is the same body that creates your exam.. Guys.. the organization creating the questions of your exam has made a Qbank of sorts divided into 15 tests of 200 questions each.. I see every day people go crazy about UWorld.. but what they dont get is that NBME..it is the most important organization and it has 3000 questions !!! I recommend you do each and every question with utmost care..as it is the most important questions.. You should do correct answer explanation along with incorrect ones too.. I recommend to give 2 months minimum for NBME.. ignore NBME at your own peril.. It is a must do..
So having said that i bid you best of luck.. according to me secret sauce of USMLE is questions prep.. Make sure you know FA UW NBME very very well.. do it inside out.. thats all needed to win !!