Ahmad Hefnawy – USMLE Step 2 CK Experience of 258

 

It’s finally out,258
here is my experience:
the misdirected period:i was studying first aid and doing uw 2015 and kaplan 2012 offline qbank mcqs after each chapter,i took a very long time doing that,around 10 months,i was working and may be studying only for an average of 4 hours a day
i guess during this period i was working average effort but not in the right direction,especially that i was doing uw with no regard to time at all,i didn’t know except after my first nbme that i am doing really bad work as regards time factor(thought i did uw 2 times during these months)
after these months of basic studying i did nbme 4,i knew it is the most predictive between the 3 available nbmes 4,6 and 7,i was really shocked to get 227, coz i thought i was really good!!
the next phase of studying was the well guided one,which i really owe most of it to my dearest friend Aly Eldin Mohamed Elgamil as i was devastated and asked him then he directed me to the proper sources and time use,
the result of nbme 4 showed me that i have a little defect in thinking but a big defect in memorizing basic and easy things so
i used nbme 4 as a guide,not the report it provides,but i counted my mistakes and which specialties that i have the most mistakes in,so i noticed i have the most mistakes in 4 specialties (neuro,hemat.,derma,and peds) so i had to take a really slow in depth round in them, for heme. i read mtb and revised uw thoroughly,for neuro i revised uw thoroughly again,for derma i read mtb and did uw again and for peds i read kaplan peds and all of uworld,this period took me a month,during which i also did cms for psych,neuro,peds and GS and planned to do the rest in the next month but kept on postponing them till the next day till the night of the exam but found more important things to do and never did them
the last month i knew i had to improve the rest of specialties as possible and redo uw,i took a month off my work,so i watched kaplan 2014(classroom anywhere)videos in both surgery and obgyn,i would say if you don’t have time for both then surgery was more important,dr. farooqi’s lectures really changed how i think and was really useful afterwards,but obgyn are also helpful if you got time
after finishing the videos i had to finish off my third run of uworld,which i did timed online subject wise,after each block i used to read my markings and notes(which was the best thing i did in the misguided phase!) and also all educational objectives with special care of any guidelines(which i believe was very very important and one of my main defects in 1st nbme),i used to take pictures with my phone camera of the parts that i need to read the night of the exam esp. in ID chapter that needs lots of memorization though not well represented in the exam,as well as all guidelines and flowcharts,my average was 86% and my percentile was 96%,it largely helped me repair my defects in time usage during the exam,because u need to have full sense of the 90 sec duration allocated for each question,so when u take more than 90 sec u feel you are taking another question’s time,in the middle of this month, i took nbme 7 to know where i stand,i knew it underpredicts by 10 marks or more so when i got 247 i said to myself “very good” and helped me keep going on,
after finishing the third run i had may be 2-3 days before the exam,so i thought the best thing was to do was to read the educational objectives of my most deficient chapters,so i found in uw they were obgyn(that’s i think would be common between uw offline users coz obgyn was one of the most changed subjects in uw this year) and peds(during my uw offline studying i downloaded only pediatrics 3 blocks and didn’t know that they are really about 380 questions in the online version lol!) so i had to read their educational objectives as well as the algorithms in uw again,at that time i took my uwsa online and got 260(i guess if done close to the exam date and with similar settings to the exam e.g 4 hours with 5 minutes break in between blocks then it is the most predictive assessment available)don’t care about your percentile or percent correct coz you may get a poor percentile(mine was 62%) and a good 3 digit score,only the 3 digit score counts,so if you get a good 3 digit score be reassured that you will mostly score close to that score
take home messages:
1-uw is the main,most important and most inclusive source,my answer to the usual question,”does uw cover all exam topics” would be yes,but you have to learn to think with what u already have,u have to get abilities of jumping to a right choice without knowing exactly the diagnosis,raise your common sense and anticipate vague questions with calm attitude and properly use exclusion if you don’t already know the answer to the question from the question stem
2-it was very important during the exam to know when to move on with only an unsure guess of the question u see,because wasting much time on a difficult question would make you lose time of an equally important easy question
3-a weak assessment is not the end of the world,i planned to take my exam 10 days after that weak assessment (nbme 4) but after it I postponed and made 31 point difference in 2 months,the key was to use that exam as a guide to work on my weaknesses,focusing on high yield stuff and timed uw training
4- from what i found during the exam and before it,what mattered most wasn’t the amount of knowledge as much as the adequate usage of information i.e being able to think of a question you may not know anything about which u certainly will encounter during online uw practice
5-the most valuable assessment was uwsa,really it was the most similar to the exam,esp. in the length and vagueness of the questions,keep it till the end because it is more accurate and gives self confidence
6-properly select your sources,i wasted a lot of time studying outdated low yield resources,that outdated kaplan qbank took a lot of time and didn’t help much,just like the time also wasted in FA 2012,though i think it is a good book still to read from,you have to decide branch by branch which would you prefer in mtb/FA or kaplan,i think if i did a good source selection from the beginning I could’ve scored better
7-read “basic science of patient safety” from kaplan step 1 behavioural medicine book(last chapter)really helped in my exam
8-don’t worry if you can’t solve some difficult questions on the group,i never could,only use them “as well as cms series” as learning tools,the assessment tools are the nbmes and uwsa,nothing else
finally i have to thank each and every person and every contribution in this wonderful group,you were my greatest help!
Good Luck

October 11, 2019
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