Ashley’s USMLE Step 1 Experience – 266

USMLE STEp 1 (5)

USMLE STEp 1 (5)



I was a regular MS2 in a large well know university and scored average on my tests in med school. I was never really a class topper but i worked my ass off for this test and it paid off.

Books and question resources i used:

First Aid USMLE Step 1

Fundamentals of Pathology by Hussain Sattar

Rapid Review Pathology by Goljan

BRS Gross Anatomy

BRS Behavioural Science

BRS Physiology

BRS Embryology

Kaplan Biochemistry Lecture Notes

Doctors in Training


Self made Anki deck


Kaplan Qbank

Becker Qbank


Kaplan Qbook

First Aid Q&A

NBME 15,16,17,18,19 online

NBME 1-14’s actually just 10 tests offline(some numbers NBME haven’t been released by them so it’s not 14 tests offline but rather 10 offline..go figure !!).. Do all the NBMEs if you want a score over 260 !! Don’t skip them !!

Topics to be done well divided by subjects:

Anatomy: Perineum and Pelvic anatomy; the nerve, lymph drainage, vascular supply,etc everything of that part is important. CT Scan and MRI of the upper and lower limbs, head and neck. Coronary angiography. BRS Gross anatomy has a TON of questions. Do that and the questions from the question banks and NBMEs and you will be gold. You will do very well in USMLE if you know the imaging and have done tons of questions. I was afraid of anatomy before the exam and i got a very high percentile in it (based on the score report page with the bars i was on the extremely accurate end)

Embryology: BRS Embryology questions were very good. In addition to this Qbanks and FA are good enough to nail this. While you will get probably only 4-5 questions on this, don’t ignore things like pharyngeal arches and developmental anomalies very well. You will get all the questions right

Physiology: Endocrine is very important as i had a ton of up down arrow questions from it. This subject is dealt with well in Costanzo’s BRS Physiology. I did not do the big Costanzo book but this book was enough. Do CVS well too.. there are questions about responses to hemorrhage and shock types in almost every qbank and also on the NBME

Biochemistry: This was the only subject in which i did Kaplan Lecture notes for biochemistry as this s the only one which has to be done well. The doctor.. i forgot his name Dr. Wilson or something in Kaplan Biochemistry is very good and he does a great job of teaching Biochem. I recommend you to do biochem from kaplan as it is tough well with a good integration between normal biochem and the abnormal disease.

Microbiology & Immunology: This is one subject which i wish i had done less as FA + UW is actually enough. If you know those 2 very well then you will ace this test, You dont need to go overkill this subject as it is pretty much direct memory based. I used Sketchy from my room partner’s subscription.

For Immunology you need to do Hypersensitivity and autoimmune diseases very well. You also need to know things like normal lymph drainage of the entrie body. But that is very obvious..cant expect to get a good score if you dont know FA and this is covered well in FA> The Qbank questions and NBME questions were very helpful as seening the clinical vignettes helps understand how these autoimmune diseases are presented in the test. Like we may memorize SLE however we need to integrate things like the clinical presentation of pericardial rub explained in word (they wont say pericardial rub they will describe it).. integrating the clinical vignette knowledge into the way in which the disease presents in important.

Pharmacology: This is rote memorization

Behavioural science: BRS Behavioural science + Qbank questions + NBME questions. If you want to do overkill you could do the AMA code of ethics handbook. I actually bought that book and used it along with my prep as it was referenced throughout the Uworld qbank. You dont need to but i did.

Pathology: Obviously the big dog of the hood. Lolz. This subject is to be done from as many resources as you can do. As a matter of fact Firecracker was pretty helpful in this as the topics in there are an aggregate of the pool of knowledge from Pathoma and Goljan and also some data is in there from the Qbanks too.

September 26, 2018
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