Thabet Qabaja – USMLE Step 1 – 273

USMLE Step 1 - 273 - Experience

USMLE Step 1 – 273 – Experience


This experience is written by an IMG who scored above 270 on his USMLE Step 1. The books used and other preparation materials is listed below for your convenience. I advice you to check out all the books used to get a USMLE Step 1 score of more than 270.  

I would like to thank everyone in this group as your experiences helped me a lot during my preparation.

Exam date : Sept/11/2017

Score date : Oct/4/2017




14 months, I had a lot of interruptions during my preparation.



First Aid USMLE Step 1 2018 (5-6) times

Uworld (2 times)

Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Lecture Notes & Videos

Fundamentals of Pathology – Hussein Sattar (Pathoma)

Uworld biostat

BRS Physiology

100 cases of Kaplan USMLE Medical ethics

Check out the USMLE Step 1 books used by a top scorer to get a 270+ score on his USMLE:


NBME 12 – 12 mistakes (2 months before exam)

NBME 13 – 12 mistakes ( 2 months before exam)

NBME 19 online – 271 (2 months before exam)

UWSA 1 – 279 (1.5 months before exam)

UWSA 2 – 273 (1 week after UWSA 1)

NBME 18 online – 267 ( 2.5 weeks before exam)

NBME 17 online – 271 ( 1 week before exam)

NBME 16 online – 263 ( 3 days before exam)

Free 120 – 93%


I am a 6th year medical student at the university of Jordan. I started my preparation in July, 2016. I started with kaplan and pathoma along with reading first aid. It took me 4 months to do Kaplan USMLE Step 1 lecture notes and Fundamentals of Pathology – Hussein Sattar (Pathoma). As I said, I had a lot of interruptions during my preparation, sometimes lasting more than 2 months. I started uworld in December, 2016. It took me 6 months to finish uworld (because of interruptions, it should have taken less time). I used to do 60-70 questions a day. I think doing uworld was the most important part of my preparation. I read the explanations very well and took notes. I did uworld for the second time in July-August, 2017 ( 1.5 months).



I only slept for 2 hours on the night of exam. I saw everyone posting about how long the exam questions were , but I didn’t find them long at all. Some of the questions were as long as NBME questions, others were as long as uworld questions. Anatomy questions were hard in my exam.

I did 2 blocks – break – 2 blocks – break – 1 block – break – 1 block – break – last block. I had to take a red bull and a lot of coffee to the exam to keep me awake. I also brought chocolate and a sandwich (you will need them)

ADVICE (in my opinion):

1- Do not waste a lot of time on Kaplan Lecture Notes for USMLE Step 1 books trying to memorize everything in them. I thought they were useful because they made it easier to read and understand things in First Aid USMLE.

2-Start uworld early in your preparation. Uworld helped me a lot in knowing what is important for step 1 (high yield subjects get a lot of questions on uworld compared to low yield subjects), so eventually you will be familiar with these subjects. You should master these subject because they can guarantee you a passing score on step 1.

3- NBMEs are very important as a learning and as an assessment tool. Make good use of them.

In the end, everyone has his/her own way of studying, so don’t be taking other people’s experiences as a strict guideline for your preparation and do what is best for you.

Good luck to all of you.

List of Books Used:

– First Aid USMLE Step 1

– Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Lecture Notes

– Fundamentals of Pathology (Pathoma)

– BRS Physiology

– Kaplan USMLE Medical Ethics – 100 cases

Check out more articles on How to prepare a particular subject ? & Best Resources to use to Ace the USMLE !

If this experience helped you, we recommend you check out the following experiences:

USMLE Step 1 – 242 Experience – US Medical Student

US MS2 – USMLE Step 1 Experience – 250

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 259 – American Medical Student

October 7, 2017
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