USMLE Step 1 Experience – 272 – Dr. Khawaja
Dr. Rahmi Khawaja
I was an average student in medical college and hence my background is irrelevant to USMLE score. I started preparing steps 2 years after medical college was over. Hence whatever little I had studied in medical college was wiped clean and i had to start afresh. I took 1.5 years to prepare for this exam which is much more than most people but i wanted to score high on my exam and hence was willing to put in the extra effort.
I started my preparation with DIT and First Aid USMLE Step 1 and Fundamentals of Pathology – Dr. Hussain Sattar. You might wonder why I started out with these 2 books.. The reason was that they give a fast past review of the entire curriculum. I like to have a bird’s eye view of the course before i start preparing. So i did DIT and FA first. Believe me the course is very nice and if you try to memorize the FA well by doing with DIT and googling simultaneously then i am sure you will learn a lot of stuff. I also did Kaplan Lecture Notes for USMLE Step 1 sporadically and not continuously because I did not find the books to be very helpful. I found Biochem and Immunology Kaplan books to be helpful but not all of the books were helpful. Once I was done with these.. I started doing UW questions. I did them tutor subjectwise the first time round and got 84% correct. I did them subjectwise because i felt that it would be more beneficial to me to do the questions subjectwise while also simultaneously doing the texts.
Once i was done with this, I went on to the following:
Kaplan Medical Ethics 100 cases by Conrad Fischer
BRS Gross Anatomy
I then started to do NBME retired forms as i wanted to see where i stand. I did these NBME forms at a pace of 1 form per week.. I would do the NBME tests (aka forms) one per week and then do the answers and explanations in the rest of the week. This was very helpful as I was getting a lot of practice and these questions are actually very helpful in the test too as there are repeats.
Subsequently, I started doing UW for a second time.. I got 97% correct because i already knew most of the stuff.
I then started doing the rest of the NBME tests. I made sure that i do them in a perfect testing environment to simulate the real deal.
NBME scores were between mid 250s to mid 260s. I never got a 270 on my NBME forms and never in my wildest imagination did i think i will score that much.
Exam was tough but do-able. The questions were from the topics i had studied albeit presented in a difficult manner. Work hard and you will score well. Journey is tough but not impossible.