USMLE Step 1 Experience – 272
Preparation Time : 11 Months
BRS Behavioural Science
My approach was to use minimal resources and master them. Rather than taking years to give the exam.. I felt that doing few resources but doing them well is the key to winning in USMLE. I did the above resources in following order:
FA + Pathoma —-> UW —–> BRS Anatomy & RoadMap Anatomy —-> NBME
I first started out by doing lectures of Sattar and Pathoma book together with FA. I did General & Systemic Pathology sections from FA during this stage. After doing this well i did the rest of the subjects: Biochem, Behavioural, Microbiology, Immunology. While doing FA + Pathoma.. I would make sure i knew each and every word. I made Anki cards of each and everything that was hard to remember. I would look up on google each and every topic which i could not understand in FA. I had to understand and memorize everything in the books before i go forward..else i would not go forward. In this way i took 5 months to do FA + Pathoma..
After this i was tense as i had not done a single question.. So i started UW.. Let me tell you UW is the most important resource and it took me 3 months to do it well. Again i would do each and every word of UWorld. I would google whatever i could not find.. I would make sure that i know the meaning of each and every word inside out before i moved forward. I would go to wikipedia, google, medscape, uptodate.. everywhere and anywhere.. I would search google images for relevant images of things like livido reticularis.. I would see YT videos for complex topics which i had hard time understanding. The goal was to make sure i learn every sentence before i move forward. I would not move forward if i dont have 100% grasp over the topic. So it took me 3 months for UW. I got 82% average score and i did mixed and not system wise.
Then after this much I started revision and doing NBMEs. The NBMEs were very helpful for my progress. I would give NBMEs even back to back sometimes if i felt in the right groove to do it. The reason NBME helped me is simple: Analyzing my mistakes and doing each and every single question with explanations. The important part was that i did the explanations for each and every question. This helped me learn many topics in great depth and that is not covered in UW, FA and Pathoma.. But its asked in test.. So if i had not done NBME with explanations maybe i would have got considerably low score.
I had packed a good dry snack in advance. I did not want to take a heavy meal with me..so i packed light food..Fruits, Red Bull, Chips, Energy bar and water. I did not take a full meal as it was meaningless to eat heavy and fall asleep in exam.
The exam was tough and the last 2 blocks were quite tiring.. Still i was alert throughout. I slept well the night before.. so i did not have an issue of sleepiness.. I recommend you to sleep well before the exam. I did not study 1 day in advance of the test and i also did not stay up till late.. So that helped me get optimal performance. I recommend you do the same.
Journey is long and tough..make sure you go ahead with faith in yourself and god.. You will do very well.