Journey to 250+ USMLE Step 1 – Dr. Donmez

Dr. Mustafa Donmez - USMLE Step 1 244

Dr. Mustafa Donmez – USMLE Step 1 244
























Try your best and left rest of it on The Creator who creates you such a perfect complex body.

All thanks belong to Almighty and Merciful God.

Sorry for my poor writing.

There are many things I couldn’t write here to avoid letting you bored. If you have any question, pleasure to help.





Roughly 7 months

My Background:

Dr.Necip videos in 2th-8th semester of MBBS and goljian pathology 6-9th semester in MBBS. These were the two meaningful things for my preparation. I don’t want you waste your time with Dr.necips video and Goljian. I did these two materials when I have no idea about Usmle.


FA, Uworld, Kaplan Qbank, RX Qbank, Other supportive materials (Kaplan, Brs, Netter,Goljian)

Methods and Tips:

1-Put FA at the center of your preparation

My journey started with FA end ended with FA. I also put FA center of my preparation. I also advise you to the same. I don’t want you waste your times with Kaplan, Brs. I know that my brain is so leaky, I didn’t read those books. Rather than reading a bulky book without memorization, I only focus on FA understanding and memorizing without losing any single facts in it by space repetition method.

2-Use other books just to support your understanding of FA

FA is 70-80 percent of all exam content. Most of the medical student find FA tough to understand at the beginning of preparation as I do so.  When I was facing with a new term in FA in which there are no good explanations about it, I was always checking from Wikipedia, google, Kaplan, so on.  You will definitely need those supportive materials to boost your knowledge and to feel more confident when walking into the exam.

3-Select your own way to study

I have two options to offer you if you are the beginner of your prep or mid-time of your prep with bored methods. First one is my one described below with detailed explanation. My study was only on the computer for convenient propose. You can easily search things on the computer and take notes very fast by copy face and revise wisely via anki by space repetition methods. The second option is that you will anode everything on FA, study again and again. I don’t like the second option since hate taking notes by hand because of a sweating problem.

3-Use ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI ANKI for your short-term memorization

Anki is an application designed to memorize things by the most easiest way. I was using this app from beginning to end of my preparation and am still using to revise step 1 materials for step2 prep. First aid RX flash cards in apkg format(anki only import flashcard with this format) This app let you memorize FA by its flash cards which include all content of FA. Even I didn’t open my FA book. I was always using apps to memorize and checking the things from other materials which I didn’t understand. I finished all Usmle RX flash cards which composed of around 10000 flash cards prepared from FA in about two months.

4-Use space repetition methods for your long term memorization

This is the most important method that I can use it for my whole life when I want to memorize something.  I may not say precisely but it is that when you learn some new fact or knowledge you should revise it at least 4 times to memorize it permanently. A revising in a week, a revising in three weeks, a revising in three months, a revise in a year. This may change according to your memorization skill. For me, I revised more frequently. may you think that is that time-consuming? No, it really worth it and your time requirement for revise is gradually decrease. At the beginning of preparation I was finishing 200-300 flash cards, at the end I was finishing 1500-2000 flash cards.

5-Plan your study according to Space repetition for each week and execute your plan as this will give you so much confident and motivation.

Make a plan and execute it. I was making a plan for each week, I feel confident when I finish my work. Your plan should be realistic and according to space repetition. We often see some people in the Usmle prep group are depressed because of forgetting things after starting other materials.  What I did is that I restrict my materials with FA flashcards and my own flash cards from uworld, Kaplan,etc, it was very easy to revise everything quickly and by space repetition. Especially when you start Uworld which will takes a long time, you should revise your background often.

6-Make your own flash card in Anki

Taking notes from Qbank(uworld, and others)  is important as FA is not enough for the exam.  I was making my own flash cards when I was solving Qbanks. I have taken almost 10000 flash cards from my preparations aside from 10000 flash cards in First Aid Rx flash cards. I after I made my own flash cards I revised all the decks by space repetition methods. The link below shows you how I make own flashcards.

7-Do NBME for your assessment and studying tools

I did almost all NBMEs exams except 18, 19, 6 as far as I remember (my exam was three months ago, result is delayed some document issue.)

Nbme 11-215(Three months before)  others mostly btw 220-250

Nbme 15-220(two and half month before)

Nbme 17-234

Nbme 16-256

Nbme-18 it was tough, I did two blocks and gave up

Kaplan 7 Hour sample exam: 78 percent            

Kaplan 7 Hours sample exam: 72 percent

8-After revising three time’s First aid flash cards you should read FA quickly.

After consolidating your memorization of FA via flashcards by space repetition methods you should read FA in 2-3 days for 2-3 times in the last month of your preparation. You should also consolidate your own flashcards from Qbank before the exam and revise at least one time in the last month of your preparation.

9-After accomplished your plans many times; you will be definitely relaxed when you are going into the exam. So just try your best in exam left rest of it on The Creator.

My Mistakes:

1-I did Uworld offline, you should do online.

2-I did some useless qbank, you shouldn’t

My Q banks Ranking

Uworld (offline)

Kaplan q bank (paid online), It was most similar to my exam.

Pastest q bank (free online)

Rx q bank 2014(offline)

Mustafa Ridvan Donmez

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

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 243 – American Student

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 260

USMLE Step 1 Experience – 265+ – American Student

November 22, 2017
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