Category Archives for USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 255 – Med School Student 1


Here is my “experience”.

Score – 255 , Test date – march 14

Cumulative prep time – 11 months


Im not going to BS you by telling i did this 2x and did that 3x.

So lets keep it simple.


I was very weak at basics , so watched najeeb for relevant topics like neuroanatomy , receptors , biochem ,a few endocrine sections etc.

Did kaplan only for biochem , physiology and pharmacology.

BRS for psy , Conrad and Khan for ethics , HY series for embryo , neuroanatomy and molecular / genetics.

I probably did biochem many times because this was very volatile for me , everytime going back to lectures and watching them at 1.5-2x. This applied to whatever concepts i felt i was lacking in , watched a lot of youtube videos too.


I also took a baseline old NBME , scores were around 200 to begin with. The prep went on for a long time , NBMEs plateaued and i felt lost like anyone else would. But i knew only if i understood what im reading would they improve so thats what i did – “UNDERSTANDING” and the scores improved as predicted.


Dont think doing FA 20x , and UW 30x will fetch you the scores you need magically. FA is just a review book and should be treated as such. The book is gold , only if you know the bigger story behind each and every line they put in there. Dont try to know those lines and sentences by heart , because you should know you are sure to perform terrible if you do that.


Consistency in your efforts is key , if you are the guy who buys a gym membership and visits once a week to use your mobile phone in the gym , you’d probably do the same with your test prep. Its no different , so dont be lazy – come at it and its a full throttle ALWAYS.


And UW ! This is major along with FA. You should read ALL explanations thoroughly , even if you get something right. Cant stress this enough , but understanding is very important , and it doesnt hurt to do UW a second time.

If you do it right your scores will definitely improve else you should reassess yourself and make decisions for yourself.


For your NBME obsessivity , here are my scores (all taken online)

12 – 209

13- 240+ (offline)

15- 236

16- 230

17- 244

18- 244

19- 248

UWSA 1 – 264

UWSA 2 – 260

18 , 19 and both UWSAs were taken during the month before the test date.

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

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 274

How to Save Time on USMLE Test Day ?


December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 254 – American Med School Student


Hello all. Got my score back from the early March exam, thought I’d share. My prep was similar to Anti-PD1’s appraoch. Firecracker for ~1 year (flagged about 75% of topics), listened to Pathoma once with detailed notes and reviewed several times, Uworld in 30 days (one pass), Kaplan bank (~400 Qs) and FA prn. Took notes of all my errors throughout the Q banks. Dedicated study time was 8 weeks.

Uworld avg: 82%
UWSA 1: 258
NBME 18 (one week out): 236
NBME 17 (few days out): 232
Actual Exam: 254

I don’t understand this discrepancy. You can imagine how anxious I felt after taking those NBME’s, as they seem to be the best predictors for most. But Uworld was pretty accurate for me.
This is not an April fools joke, lol.

Questions posed in comments by students which were solved by the examinee who wrote the experience:

Surgeria said:

I have a general question about the time needed to finish 1 block of uworld in timed, random mode. I need 5 hours to finish 1 block, one hour for the block itself and 4 hours to go for all the answers, going in details with every wrong and right answer, why wrong is wrong and why right is right. overall it takes 10 hours for 2 blocks, 6 minutes per questions after doing the blocks itself. Is it considered normal 10 hours? It’s my second run, first run was long 6 month of subjectwise uworld, now I am doing only UFAP. For the last 6-7 month I used kaplans and stuff with uworld (review books, Kaplan videos, pathoma videos, pathoma book). So now I am in style of dedicated period but I have way more time than people in actual dedicated. What’s you average time folks about doing blocks?

I only did one pass, and I also spent about 5 hours for each block (1 hour for Qs, 4 hours review). Two blocks per day.

Surgeria said:

Please tell me why you had lower scores on nbme compared to uworld? people getting 80+ uworld as I remember were getting way more high nbme scores. What was the problem?

I suppose it was test taking strategy. Mostly silly errors, or overthinking the Qs. I was able to narrow it down to two answers for most.

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

Thabet Qabaja – USMLE Step 1 – 273

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 274

How to Save Time on USMLE Test Day ?

December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 257 – American Med School Student


Hello all –


Got my score today, thought I’d post my NBME trend for others to correlate to.


NBME 16 – 237 (4 weeks out)

UWSA2 – 247 (3 weeks out)

NBME 17 – 250 (2 weeks out)

NBME 18 – 244 (1 week out)

NBME 19 – 242 (3 days out)


UWorld – 78% 1st/only pass (untimed, random)


Step 1: 257


I’ll defer from adding my method because I don’t think that it was any different than others here. Mostly UFAP with firecracker during M1/2. I found my test to be incredibly difficult (more difficult that UWorld and any NBMEs) and was extremely worried after test day. I counted numerous questions that I answered incorrectly. My best advice is to just trust in your studying and know that you will likely do fine if you have put the time in. Good luck!

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


Thabet Qabaja – USMLE Step 1 – 273

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 274

December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 260 – American Medical Student – MS2

Step 1 advice


The following is riddled with opinion, so what works for me might not work for you. Eventually, we all find our journey. Also, the following might sound a bit extreme, but let me put it into perspective for you. You are giving up your best years, paying (or someone is paying) >$150K to get a license to practice, and you want to have as many doors open to you when the time comes. MS1 and MS2 = Step 1. Two years = 3 numbers. Get your head in the game. Go. H.A.M.


As I write this, the nagging question is, what is your goal/who are you. I think there’s a fork in the road when it comes to Step 1. You are in one of 2 crowds:


1) You have a superb memory, have always crushed standardized tests -AND/OR- you have a goal of scoring in the 230s, 240s

2) You have an average memory, work hard for your grades (99% of us) -AND/OR- you have a goal of scoring in the 250s+ (ROAD + competitive surgeries, university IM, or you’re a DO who dared to think about ortho )


If you belong to group 1, the standard doing well in MS1, MS2 + UFAP/Sketchy during dedicated will be fine for you. I describe that more below, but you’ve heard it in most people’s post-Step 1 write ups.


Group 2 is more interesting to me, because most of us aren’t geniuses, and a lot of us need high scores to fulfill our dreams.


So, if you are in Group 2: Start from day 1 of medical school. I don’t mean read FA, that would be weird. Avoid being weird. I mean do well in class, and start a spaced repetition program. Your current choices are Brosencephalon’s Anki deck or Firecracker. You can trial either and see what you like. The point is, you learned in genetics, in your first semester of medical school that amino acids linked to tRNA come into the A position of the ribosome, then shift left, then form a new peptide linkage, then exit etc etc etc. The problem is, the last thing you learned before your dedicated period was Heme/Onc and the side effects of chemotherapeutics. You WILL forget about how translation works. That’s just how your brain is. You never demanded it to remember how translation works after you took your genetics block test. So don’t blame your brain, blame yourself. The solution is a spaced repetition flashcard program.


I used Firecracker, you can use Brosencephalon, or better yet, create your own Anki deck as well. It takes 1-2 hours a day. It seems mindless and you will want to quit every now and then, but, having done all of this, I can say without Firecracker I would have scored 10-20 points less. If you are already an MS2 right now, there isn’t enough time to do this, that is fine, just focus on UFAP/Sketchy. If you are an MS1 or are 12 months from your exam date, I highly recommend this approach.


Now, in terms of materials:


Firecracker/Bros/Anki: Your spaced repetition if you have time etc


UWorld: Live and die by this QBank. Better questions have never been written. Do every single question, and thoroughly read every explanation. Keep a UWorld notebook. I ended up filling our 2 notebooks, which I eventually didn’t read, but just the process of writing it down with your hand helps. Read these notes if you can. I am not a fan of doing UWorld twice. You’re just testing how well you remember these 2400 questions. Doing the incorrects might help if you have time. Also, never convince yourself ‘they would never ask that on the real deal.’ Wrong. It’s their job to ask that on the real deal. Make yourself want to know the what and why of everything. Browse Wikipedia if you have to. Just know why. That’s your job.


Kaplan Qbank: I recommend this Qbank. Lots of annoying questions and details, and guess what, that matters on test day. Sure it’s not the highest yield. So, do this Qbank before UWorld if you have the time. I did ~800 questions.


USMLE Rx: Medium and hard questions are useful for content review. These questions are never really challenging. If you have time, you could use it to quiz yourself on weak areas. I did ~800 questions.


Sketchy Micro: Great program if micro gives you trouble. It has everything First Aid has. If you need it, do it. Definitely worth the time. I only used it for a few viruses, and apparently did well on micro, so you who knows.


Pathoma: Listen to every word this man says. Multiple times. You should hear him in your dreams. This is a good thing. Remember, this is high yield for examination purposes.


FA: Use it to review and reference. It’s a really boring read. Doing questions is key. If you did spaced repetition, you will eventually have memorized all of FA.


Timeline wise: if you are Group 2, you do spaced repetition, then when you get to dedicated, do UFAP/Sketchy. Add more questions, like Kaplan Qbank before dedicated if possible. Group 1, do well in class, do UFAP/Sketchy during dedicated.


Practice tests: you can do a baseline NBME if you need to. I’m not a fan of doing an NBME every 2 weeks. What does it tell you that UWorld can’t? UWorld tells you your weaknesses. I think NBMEs should be saved for the last 2 weeks. You need to learn how the test writers ask questions. You also need time to adjust using your knowledge on NBME exams. This includes learning to trust your hard-earned knowledge.


UWSAs are good too. They are basically more UWorld. People say NBME or UWSA is more accurate. I think it comes down to which batch of questions you get on your test day. If the questions play to your strengths, you will say NBME or UWSA is more accurate depending on which you scored higher on and vice versa.


Test day: It’s super important that you are in game mode on test day. Remove any crap from your mind. Forget about everything. (If you’re a Falcons fan, don’t think about the SuperBowl). Just be at peace and preserve your energy. I took USWA2 the day before, but if you can, avoid that. Maybe just leaf through FA the day before, whatevs. Take breaks on your exam, pace yourself. You will feel tight on time, so make sure you learn to test efficiently when you are taking practice exams. The MOST important thing here is, just trust yourself. Yeah, they can ask you about some random BS about some disease that 4 people in Borneo get every year. Don’t get phased by that. The concept is always something you have learned. Every question relies on a basic fact or mechanism that is in FA. Mentally, after reading a question stem, ask yourself, okay, what do these tools want from me? Then deliver. Deliver to the tools.




NBME 15: 255

NBME 17: 250

NBME 18: 252

NBME 19: 255

UWSA1: 262

UWSA2: 269

UWorld average: 84%

Free 120: 93%


Real deal: 260

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

EXPERIENCE – How I went from USMLE Step 1 227 to 273 ?


Thabet Qabaja – USMLE Step 1 – 273

December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 246 – American Medical Student MS2

First time here on SDN. I’ve been lurking on SDN for a while seeking comfort in reading about other people’s success. I really hope I can do the same for others.


NBME 12: 200

NBME 13: 215

UWSA 1: 237

NBME 15: 217

NBME 16: 225

UWSA 2: 239

NBME 17: 234

NBME 18: 236


Step 1: 246 March 9th, 2017


By the grace of God, I achieved a score that I don’t deserve. Anything can happen if you work hard and sincerely hope that you will be successful.


My study period started on Dec 26th, 2016 and ended on March 8th, 2017. I studied around 8 hours a day and took Sundays off or had a light review. The only resources I used were Uworld (did it 1.5 times), FA (read it probably twice in its totality), Sketchy pharm and micro, BRS physio, Pathoma and Boards and Beyond. Pathoma videos are key for mastering path and Boards and Beyond for everything else that Pathoma doesn’t cover (such as biochem and physio). Achieving a 240+, in my opinion, is doable and anyone can do it if they study smart. The most important thing to do during your dedicated study period is to keep your resources thin and to really master Uworld. Uworld is the most important resource you have. It is much more important than FA and knowing it well is the key to breaking the 240 mark.


Good luck everyone and please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

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

Insane 276 USMLE Step 1 Experience – Must Read

EXPERIENCE – How I went from USMLE Step 1 227 to 273 ?


December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 247 – American Medical Student


Got my score this week as well. Fell short of my goal but am relieved because I came out of it feeling like I screwed up hard. Didn’t sleep well the night before, psyched myself out on an early experimental q, was overall a mess and cried in my car afterwards. Because of all the mistakes I made on exam day (I estimate about 20 questions where I panicked and changed to the wrong answer, which has always been my biggest hurdle in taking tests), I feel like I should have gotten a higher score with my level of preparation and knowledge base, if only I could’ve pulled myself together. Propranolol for CK for sure…

My school advisor almost scoffed when I said I wanted 250. Here are my practice and real scores. NBMEs were taken about a week apart. I hope it helps someone.

School CBSE 170
NBME 12 before dedicated 184
NBME 15 215
NBME 13 209
NBME 16 221
NBME 18 209
NBME 17 244

Frankly I was ready to test on the day I took NBME 17, so the week leading up to my actual exam date gave me a lot of anxiety and probably did more harm than good. I felt like I stopped studying productively and started to forget more than I could retain.

Step 1 247

My advice? Trust your gut. Mark the answer. Never look back.

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


Insane 276 USMLE Step 1 Experience – Must Read

EXPERIENCE – How I went from USMLE Step 1 227 to 273 ?

December 27, 2017

US Medical Student scores 256 – USMLE Step 1 Experience


Got a 256. I changed my answers on 5 of them to the wrong ones so may have gotten in the 260s if I hadn’t done that. But still very, very happy with my score :).

I used FA, Pathoma, Sketchy Micro/Pharm, and subject review books specific to behavioral science, physiology, biochemistry, and anatomy. I went through UWorld in its entirety twice and did both practice tests. I did all of the available NBMEs, and this definitely helped.

If I could redo the way I studied, I would have gone over FA way more and much earlier. I would have taken more notes in UWorld on the questions I missed and also not worry about some of the questions that were way too detailed and specific. I would have gone over Sketchy Pharm a bit more and reviewed it more a couple days before the test. I did this with Sketchy Micro, and it paid off. I would have not used my anatomy review book and just used the high yield stuff from FA and also from my actual anatomy class with an emphasis on clinical correlation. Pathoma didn’t pay off as much as I would have liked, but it was still worth it.

One of my strategies was to not lose for sure points. For me, this meant nailing all of the behavioral sciences/biostats questions and to know sketchy micro/pharm 100%. My review book for behavioral science worked well. I pretty much knew sketchy micro 100% and this paid off, and I think I would have scored higher if I had known sketchypharm 100%. I don’t think the questions in these categories are generally hard, but they are also usually ones you know them or you don’t.

My NBMES predicted from 250s-260s, so they were pretty accurate. My UWorlds predicted in the 270s and 260s, so they over predicted.

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

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 268 IMG USMLE Step 1 Preparation


Insane 276 USMLE Step 1 Experience – Must Read


December 27, 2017

US MS2 scores 253 on USMLE Step 1 – Experience of 253


Hi everybody! I’m a UNM student who loved looking at this thread before taking Step 1, and wanted to share my experiences:


CBSE- 222- (6 weeks out, given by the school)

UWSA 1- 254 (three weeks before test)

UWSA 2- 245 (two weeks out)

NBME 16- 228 (Three weeks out)

NBME15- 236 (2 weeks out)


UWorld- Only random, timed. Started in the mid sixties average, moved up to averaging about 76% on the 15 or so blocks before the test- cumulative was 70%. Finished 85% of it, did a few blocks of incorrect towards the end, weak-subject specific (Neuro and anatomy)


Kaplan, USMLE-Rx– Used sporadically, if I would have studied more I would have made sure to finish them. Found them both much less satisfying and more spotty than using UWorld. Would recommend doing most of these as timed, subject specific during Phase 1, then using just UWorld for random in the six weeks or so before the exam.

First Aid- Only study resource I used besides the Q-banks, found the depth just perfect. From my perspective, I would say use a hard copy and mark it up; I’m pretty sure the science says being able to visualized where something is on a page and what is around it gives it more context, and perhaps an easier time recalling/ using the data to rule out answers. (I say this for people who use an E-version with a text search function – if you have a hardcopy you should probably know it well enough that you don’t need to look things up in the index, and you can find them easily. Enough pontificating on the merits of paper).

Step 1 – 253

Thoughts: As you can see, much better than might have been predicted (just as I was hoping for- phew!). Personal opinion: I loved the questions on UWorld, and found the exam to be nearly identical in terms of question stem length and integration of knowledge required (I would hazard a guess that the average for Step 1 might be in the low 70s percentage-wise, considerably higher than UW’s low 60s, but much harder than the NBMEs with averages in the low 80s). There was a TON of critical thinking required/ able to be used. I keep my studying pretty mellow due to family time constraints, mostly 3 hrs/day x 4 weeks, and so my knowledge of FA was not super strong, but I found this hindered me hardly at all on the real test. Reasoning and understanding were far more important than details. It felt like I was able to think through almost every question to arrive at an answer. From my viewpoint, this made the actual test FAR superior to the NBMEs, which are fairly easy, but with some factoid questions that threw me off (not to mention a super steep curve on the right side, with above a raw 90% required to break 240, or whatever). In light of this integration and thought required, I never finished a block with more than three minutes left, versus my usual 15 on UW. When the Board changed the time per question to 90s to more adequately assess reasoning, they really achieved their goal! I left the exam feeling like it had been written for me, in terms of pushing me right to the limit of what I could handle but not beyond.


Bottom line- If you have always been an strong test taker (e.g., SATs 1500s, MCAT high 30s, medical school studying quite relaxed and non-time-intensive, etc), this test should play to your strengths, and leave you higher than predicted. [Our school’s academic support office swears by the NBMEs as the best predictors, but I found then very lacking in terms of format, challenge and score. UWSAs are where it is at!] If you have trouble with tests, I would really pay attention to the advice that time may prove to be an issue, and do all three q-banks on timed, random, as fast as you can. (I am also a believer in the power of increasing your brain power with reading- lots of dense philosophy, keeping up with the news, fiction etc. The more reading the better).


Best of luck to everyone! May you find your real score is right where you would have hoped!!

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

USMLE Step 1 – 254 Experience

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 268 IMG USMLE Step 1 Preparation



December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 – 240 Experience – US AMG


tl;dr: Planned on UFAP, assorted Sketchy Micro videos, and working on weak subjects in Kaplan/USMLE Rx QBanks over 8 weeks dedicated prep. Moved my test date up by 6 days after scoring close to my goal score (250), but slacked off during the last week. Score in parentheses are NBME scaled scores for CBSEs/CBSSAs



  • UWorld 1st pass average: 69%
  • School-based CBSE #1 (6 months out; 2/3 pre-clinical complete): 195 (68)
  • School-based CBSE #2 (2 months out; at end of pre-clinical): 200 (70)
  • NBME 12 (6 weeks out): 207 (400; 80% correct)
  • NBME 13 (5 weeks out): 242 (580; 90% correct)
  • NBME 15 (4 weeks out): 225 (490; 84% correct)
  • NBME 16 (3 weeks out): 238 (550; 87% correct)
  • NBME 17 (10 days out): 248 (600; 92% correct)
  • NBME 18 (5 days out): 250 (610; 89.5% correct)
  • Actual: 240 – received 3 weeks after test day.

My average without the first 3 scores was ~240 without the CBSEs & NBME 12 (229 with them included), so it ended up being pretty spot on. I didn’t do any step prep prior to dedicated, however, I did complete 1 pass of Pathoma and most of Sketchy micro during pre-clinical, which was a 1.5 year systems-based curriculum. In addition, I used most of Kaplan and USMLE-Rx Qbanks throughout pre-clinical, but seldom used First Aid before dedicated step prep. Unsure of my class rank, but my block average was above 90%. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t change the way I approached studying during pre-clinical, even though I was freaked out once I started UWorld.



As I mentioned above, UFAP was my primary study method. Though I planned on taking 8 weeks to prep, I was sick of studying after finishing my 1st pass through UWorld and started redoing incorrects (72% through a pass w/ 74% average). I adhered pretty strictly to completing 80 UWorld Qs/day, 5 days/week – took at least 1 day off per week and the 6th day was usually for NBMEs. I finished a 2nd pass through Pathoma a bit later than expected and watched Sketchy videos I missed in pre-clin + some pharm videos in my weak areas. Only made 1 full pass through First Aid and if I’m honest, it might not even be a full pass. I hated reading FA, so I tried to review relevant pages while reviewing UWorld questions (see more on this below).


Started by doing timed/random Qs, however, it was taking forever to review my answers (~4-5 hours/40 Qs), so I switched to random/tutor in week 3. In addition, I reviewed relevant pages of FA as I went along and I got more efficient at reviewing Qs (~3 hrs/block). I marked each full page in FA after reading it to keep track of what I covered, then I finished whatever pages were left over in week 5. This probably isn’t the best way to review FA, as it was extremely fragmented, but I couldn’t get myself to read it otherwise. Looking back, I still wouldn’t do another pass through FA and the bulk of what I learned came from UWorld.


Overall, my score is a little bittersweet, but in light of everything that’s happened in the past year, it could have gone way worse. My last two NBMEs were at my goal score, so the 10 point drop stung a bit, however, I did have weak areas in my knowledge base and made silly mistakes on test day. That being said, I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and hopefully I can still pursue the specialty I’ve been eyeing. Good luck to everyone else!

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

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 245

USMLE Step 1 – 254 Experience

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 268 IMG USMLE Step 1 Preparation

December 27, 2017

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 259

first time posting here

I am an IMG . finished my med school 7 months ago am in the 30% in my patch am not super smart

YESTERDAY I did my exam

I know I should share my experience after getting the score , but I guess my exam experience may help those who have there exam in 3 weeks .


my experience:

6 months of slow studying : FIRST AID , PATHOMA , 50% uworld system wise offline ( started with around 60% ending with around 80% )

in those 6 months I studied around 4-6 hours /day and not more than 10 pages of first aid .. I tried to understand every single word ,,UNDERSTAND …and thanks for google for this ..


after those 6 months I did NBME 11 offline and scored 245+ I was happy with it since my target is 240+


then I got a 2 months UWORLD subscription ..I did it RANDOM TIMED UNUSED , I finished all the questions with explanations in 1 months , I did 80 Q average a day between 6-10 hours a day . started with 80% ended with 90%


then I did my first ONLINE NBME 17 a month before the real exam : 263! I was so happy with it …


in my NBME I was borderline in behavioral and MSS so I decided to read KHAN 101 ethics which was the best decision I made …its a great book to read as story .. in the bus , breaks..etc


after that I revised the forgettable stuff in FA .. for example micro , some tables and stuff


after that I did my incorrect questions in UWORLD, and revised all the my highlights in UWORLD in addition th the picture .


after that 5 days before the real exam I did nbme 18 : 271!! I feel I got so much luck in it


then for 3 days I did some question of nbme offline tutor mode which was very helpful


yesterday was my big exam … I only slept 5 hours before the exam but the adrenaline in my body did the job >>


things that would help you :

understand every single word …understand …know the origin of the name for every disease …it will help alot …

try to understand the molecular level very will …I had a lot of questions regarding some experiments with wired enzymes names and structures …those so called ” experimental questions” I had maybe 5 or 6 of them … after my experience I am totally sure that they are not experimental ,….I searched for then answers in the internet and all of these are real new 2015/2016 experiments and research .. the answer is in the question step and in the choices …and I got them right with even knowing what is this … I have marked all of them and was sure I will get them wrong .. doing a lot of nbmes will make you know what I mean


do alot of nbme for improving you test skills …not for learning ..try to know why you answered wrong … and improve


I had 3 developmental mile stones questions ..

I had 3 accurate lymph node drainage questions . you might get them right even without studying..but it would take time


I had 2 murmurs questions in asymptomatic patients! and it was not easy to hear like UWORLD audios …find other source if you want to get them right .

biostat Qs were easy

don’t overstudy FirstAid …it’s a waist of time ….repeating questions is better than repeating books


this is all  

I want to thank you all for sharing your experiences and helping everyone

wish me a 255+ so that you hear my feedback after the result


hello USMLEers


my step 1 experience > score = 259


I am an IMG graduated 8 months ago , my rank in my batch is 81/444

step 2 CK not taken yet

initial target : 240 , post nbems target : 250

study duration : 7 months..of which 1.5 months dedicated


sources :

UWORLD (1.5)

first aid (1.5)

pathoma ( only videos )


study method :

first 5.5 months was slow understanding of FIRST AID …only understanding ..very slow… I studied 4-6 hours 5-10 pages every day . I studied with the book sequence of chapters starting which helped a lot…if you don’t have a good microbiology / biochemistry / pathology starting with them will help you in systems .

after doing every subject I solved 50% of the uworld question on that subject


in the dedicated I solved whole the UWORLD random timed(30 days) , spent 10 days reviewing memorable subjects from FA like micro and biochem and studying weak subject in my NBME 17 , solved 3 nbmes


numbers :

uworld average : 89% ( maybe high because I solved 50% of the question offline with systems) , my exams range between 67% and 100%


NBME 16 (offline)(2 months ) : 250

NBME 17 ( online)(20 days out,post uworld) : 263

NBME 18 (online) (5 days out, post studying weak subjects) : 271 ( I guess it was a lucky one)

NBME 15(offline) (2 days out) : 260


real deal = 259


things you should know:

1- start Uworld as early as possible : I believe this is the single best source …and it’s the most trustful one if your percent in the last 5 days in uworld random exams is like 80% I can guarantee you will get more than 245 and less than 260 with a CI of 95% , if you got 50% in your last uworld random exams I guarantee you will not get more than 240 , and so on …I can see this with everyone around me …and those uworld are more accurate to me than NBMEs


2- you should do Uworld random timed …you can do other modes…but you should practice the real deal with random timed …it a questions exam more than a knowledge exam…don’t stuck to tutor mode looking for “not wasting your time on reading the Q again .


3- read every explanation in the Uworld , even those of wrong choices …all of them


4- sleep good days before the exam not only the last night…because you might not because of the stress ..but it would be ok if you slept like 10 hours the day before


5- FIRSTAID is not the real bible of step 1 …I believe it’s uworld , 50% of hard first aid fact will only be seen in less than 2% of the question ,,,so if you reviewed first aid days before and found that you forget too many drugs/viruses / diseases …it’s OK ,… it’s more likely to get a question of peptic ulcer as a side effect of NSAIDS than getting a question about DRESS syndrome as a side effect of the drug I don’t even remember


6- be smart : know why the disease name is like this , use etymology , know that warthin tumor AKA papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum…those thing will help you a lot. know how the trematode looks grossly , just have a look ,,,those easy things might help.


7- if you are not getting better in NBMEs or uworld, or you reached your target…take your exam…the worst thing is delaying …step 1 is about knowing all the high yields for a short time .


good luck

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

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 262 – American Student

USMLE Step 1 – 262 Experience of Dr. Lewis Fourd

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 259 – Dr. Peter – IMG from Russian

December 27, 2017