USMLE Step 1 260 Experience – Dr Shaheen

This is an experience of Dr. Aciel Shaheen who is from Egypt and scored 260 on her step 1 ūüôā

Dr. Aciel Shaheen - Egyptian IMG

USMLE Step 1 Experience - 260 IMG

Thank god its a an awesome 260 ???
First off i would like to thank members of this group , ur posts and experiences guided me through every stage in my preparation. 
Prep time : 1 year wizout the interruptions i think i would have done it in 8 months
3rd year dermatology resident i was working during my prep except for the last month 
Exam date :22 oct 
FA 5 times 
Uworld once offline and once online with 94.6% correct 
Kaplan once expect for bio and neuroanatomy i did them twice 
Regarding my sources 
Biochemistry: kaplan 2010 ,kaplan book,fa
Anatomy : kaplan 2014 ,kaplan , fa ,shelf notes
Physiology: kaplan 2014 , kaplan ,fa 
Pharma: kaplan 2010 , kaplan ,fa
Micro : kaplan 2010 , sketchy micro ,fa 
Behavioral : kapaln 2010 , kaplan , fa , 100 cases , randy neil biostat youtube videos r absolutely amazing
Pathology : pathoma , fa and i underlined every line in pathoma that wasnt in FA
* For me kaplan was essential but if u wanna skip it Dont skip neuroanatomy , biochemistry, first 4 chapters of pharm , cardio respiratory and renal physiology 
* First i would listen to the videos along with reading the book and when i am done i would reread the whole book again in 3 days like 100 pages a day followed by uworld offline at this stage i wasnt adding notes i was doing uworld just to get a sense of wats high yield same with pathoma i would do for example cardio pathology videos followed by its uworld 
That took me around 6 month coz i had many interruptions 
Then i started doing fa with DIT videos just to help me go through first aid but i wanna tell u in the beginning i hated FA it took some getting used to but in the end its the holy book of step 1 this took 3 month and again many interruptions 
After i finished first aid and revised it i was about to start uworld online and i wanted to know where i stand like if i am weak in a couple of subjects i should do uworld system wise but if i do good then i am ready for the random so it took Online NBME 16 : 265 that was 3 month before my exam 
* Then i started uworld random mode and tried to take notes which wasnt easy i am not good at taking notes finished uworld in 40 days and i tried to do offline nbme every friday i did 
* Nbme 15 : 9 mistakes 
* Nbme 17 : 5 mistakes 
* Nbme 13 10 mistakes 
* Nbme 12 8 mistakes 
* Nbme 11 8 mistakes 
My advice in doing offline nbmes is open it on ur laptop and on ur phone google for example nbme 12 block 2 and u will find in usmleforum the answers to the whole block in order wiz explanation and if u think an answer is wrong just google it in another tab this is the best way to use it as a learning tool plus an assessment tool by counting ur mistakes
After that i did fa and revised my notes and revised the extra sources like shelf notes
And then in the last month i started doing online assessments and revising FA 
* nbme 19 :244 i was devastated 1 month before the exam
* Uwsa 1 and 2 : 269 in both and i did them bk to bk coz i wanted to start training for the exam 3 weeks b4 the exam
* Nbme 18: 261 followed by fred 92% 5 days before the exam
My plan sounds organized but trust me things come up and ur plan keeps changing constantly and i felt desperate and wanted to quit so many times but just keep going
Dont pressure urself too much and at least give ur self an hour or two daily to chill and do sth fun like workout or meet friends or watch ur fav. Series
I had sever anxiety specially in the last month but i took one of my friend’s wise advice : all we have to do is work hard and its all up to God after that and even if we dont get wat we want its coz god knows better and will guide us to where its better for us even if we cant see it now like if u score lower than u expect u can end up in speciality or a hospital thats better for u that really helped me alot I actually had a very relaxed last week and i went to the exam relaxed listening to music and i didnt care any more knowing that i have done my best
Practice for the exam by doing 300+ questions at least twice by maybe doing 2 nbmes or like i did 2 uwsa and one nbme + fred it really prepares u for the big day
My exam experience 
Cant stress enought the importance of coffee, red bull and chocolate ? and panadol 
The night before my exam was the worst went to bed at 9 woke up at 11 ?stayed in bed till 3 trying to sleep and i knew i was doomed coz sleep is so important but i manged to sleep again from 4 to 6 my exam was at 9 am so total sleep was 4 very interrupted hours but somehow adrenaline saved the day 
* The exam itself looks like uworld not too long not too short it was tough coz it wasnt straight forward like nbmes and lots of new ideas it felt unrelated to all the high yield stuff that we study and full of ethics questions and i came out of the exam horrified and ready to quit this path and shift to PLAB but thank god u i got a score close to my nbme
* ecg , ht sounds and pics were easy u either know them or exclude the rest of the options so dont freak out about them 
* Micro was hell and so was pelvic anatomy 
* My strategy was to read the last two lines and then skim through the question and mark the hard ones to think about them later and that was perfect i finished each block with 10-15 mints remaining to revise my flagged
* 10 mint break after every 2 blocks 
* Never change ur first choice unless when u read the question again u find that u missed an info that lead to that choice 
* Reverse the colors i took that advice from a member of the group and its really important u wont have a headache in the end I was actually ok wiz doing 2 or 3 more blocks ?. U dont feel the 8 hours at all
I couldnt have done it without the support of my famiy and friends specially Qais Zawaydeh Baraa Jouria u guys r my rock my dear friend mohammed khalid who guided me and support me in every step of this prep 
Guys be proud of urself for having the strength to study for one of the hardest exams for med students and i promise its all worth it in the end ……just keep pushing urself and feel free to ask me anything¬†
i wish u all the best                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If this experience helped you, we recommend you check out the following experiences:






November 15, 2017
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