Dr. Anam Warraich’s USMLE Step 1 Experience – MUST READ !!

USMLE Step 1 Experience - Dr. Anam Warraich

USMLE Step 1 Experience – Dr. Anam Warraich




Preparation time : Almost 1 year


I was one of those who just know the word USMLE but actually didn’t know anything regarding books and how people pass this exam .

I just knew that I want to pass USMLE . Right after my graduation , I started looking for the guidance around . My bad luck was that no one from our college has ever done USMLE and its just 2,3 students who ever did but didn’t guide anyone so I joined an academy because I thought it’s a must for the preparation . Later on ,after discussing with some of other students in academy I found out that I can prepare myself . Academy was the bad idea but the only positive thing which I can now say about that I gave me the knowledge about the books ,uworld , how people prepare and give exam according to their desired Match year . (guidance regarding USMLE ) . I quit academy in 3,4 months because it was hell slow and I knew that I can study myself better .


I restarted my own preparation then .

I watched Kaplan videos and read all kaplan series . it took me 3 months.

I revised Kaplan books without videos again in 2 month .

Took some break in between as well .

I started uw and took 6 month subscription . i started doing 1 block daily and started fa along with it . started applying for application procedure .

A lot of time got wasted due to application process and my college had no idea where to put a stamp on . My first application got rejected due to wrong college stamp and then I had to stop studying for a while and request dean and admin for a using official college stamp . this whole process took me 2 months …

I started studying fa and uw again .

I did uw twice and made many notes which I thought its new information, not written in fa or Kaplan .

I used uw in random , time mode , mixed and scored 82% in first go .

I liked uw more than Kaplan and then focused more on uw and fa later on.

I did offline NBME in between my preparation whenever I had no mood to study anything . NBME offline should never be judged as your score prediction. It should be considered as a random qbank . I really encourage everyone to do online nbme whenever you need to actually assess yourself and get an exam kind of feeling .

Offline nbme I did were

NBME 5 :170/200

NBME 7:177/200

NBME 11:169/200

NBME 12 :170/200

NBME 13 :181/200


Online nbme were

NBME 15: 230 ( It was 3 weeks before my exam and I freaked out . first it was anxiety because it was my first online so had a phobia in mind so I recommend to do 3,4 online to get comfortable, I made a mistake which was that I bought it self paced, extended  . I believe that the more time you get in a question , it is more likely you gonna over think and make it wrong so I suggest to buy NBME standard paced and extended   )

I revised fa twice and worked on my weak subjects which were in my NBME 15  and I know I cant delay my exam because I already had extended it so I had no choice .

I gave my last NBME 16 ( it was standard paced , extended ) just two days before my exam and got 239 . I was happy because atleast I made some progress in last 2 weeks .

I revised  fa pharma and anatomy uw notes a day before my exam because its so volatile .

I took  half alprazolam because I use to study at night and my circadian rhythm was going opposite for so long lol . anyways , I offered my isha prayers , took medicine and slept . I woke up near 5:30 , offered my fajar prayers . I had some left uw anatomy notes to read so started reading them in 2 hours .

I started getting ready for my exam and thought its time to leave everything for now .

I went to the prometric center an hour before , took snacks , burger ,energy drinks ,candies ,water etc  with me . I was having anxiety and was trying to keep calm as much as possible . My headphones were not working so my tutorial time wasn’t saved much . I started my exam . did 1st block which was easy but I did some silly mistakes due to anxiety . I took a break for 5 mins to keep myself calm down . 2nd block was alright . I did break for 7 mins . I went to washroom to wash my face and drink water . I started my 3rd block . it was alright too . some of the questions are just straight forward from fa and some were from uw . but few were tricky and you just have to follow your gut feeling and move on .

I took 5 mins break after 3rd block . and then started 4th block . this time I was totally mentally drained . I had no idea what I reading and what I clicking .. this time I knew I had to take a longer break after this block . so I took 15 mins approx break . I ate burger and drank energy drink because I was totally exhausted and my brain stopped working . i washed my face again before going inside exam hall . I requested the examiners to keep the A.C temperature slow down because it was making me more sleepy .

At that time I was totally fresh , I have no idea how i got fresh . I truly believe at that time Allah helped me for sure . I was so much fresh and active again for my last 3 blocks . some of hard questions were there in these 3 blocks . In a sense that they were not in fa , uw or Kaplan . it was just random questions . but they were just few .. so dun worry about it . a lot of biostat calculations came , genetics . rest of the questions were doable if you know Fa well .


I was really happy that this exam was over in the end .


Exam score: 241


The things which I regret doing  :

  • Shouldn’t spent much time doing Kaplan . should do for once .
  • Don’t take much longer breaks
  • I should had started online nbme a few month before my exam .

Things which I did right :

  • i revised fa many times until im familiar with pages and mnemonics a bit in fa mentioned .
  • I did pathoma  along with fa and uw notes till my last days .
  • i made my own notes so it was easy to revise at the end even though i wasn’t able to revise them all . they were too many .
  • I took break in all blocks .

My advise :

  • Guidance is the main drawbag so always be willing to help others as much as possible . Allah helps you in many other ways then .
  • Persistence is the main key .
  • Anyone can get high scores , it is just matter of time and how much you are determined .
  • Focus more on fa and uw . Exam is totally doable . its not exactly like nbme or uw but its doable if you know your books well .
  • Don’t focus much on old nbmes . you can do them if you have much time and just for practice .

Stay blessed and please do remember me in your prayers . Need prayers for my step 2 ck ahead .

JazakaAllah khair .

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

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USMLE Step 1 – 262 – Experience

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December 4, 2017
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