USMLE Step 1 Experience – 250 – American Student

Just sharing my Step 1 experience to those who are yet to sit for it. Took the beast a month ago and got my score report back last week.


Prep duration: 6+ months

Study Resources:

  1. First Aid
  3. USMLERx
  4. NBME
  5. DIT videos + Workbook
  6. Goljan Audio


– Started my prep by going through DIT along with FA, annotated important points from DIT right into FA at the same time, which took me ~3months

– After completed DIT, I finished USMLERx in a month and proceeded with UWORLD

– I took quite awhile to complete UWORLD, taking an average of 5-6 hours to review each block and annotate into FA. Did UWORLD just once, without having time to go through it twice or the incorrects

– Took a NBME before I started UWORLD and several NBMEs nearly a month leading to exam date

– Goljan Audio during my workouts in the gym or whenever I am on the go!


Qbank percentages & Self assessment scores:

– USMLERx (timed, randomed): 67%

– UWORLD (timed, randomed): 67%

– NBME 12 (10 weeks left): 203

– NBME 16 (3 weeks left): 238

– UWSA 1 ( 3 weeks left): 245

– NBME 18 (2 weeks left): 240

– UWSA 2 (10 days left): 245

– Free 120 (5 days left): 87%

– NBME 19 (3 days left): 236

—> USMLE Step 1 Score: 250


My 2cents on Step 1:

–> What would I have done differently?

– As mentioned above, I didn’t use Kaplan lecture notes or videos which are highly recommended by most people and have been proven to be very helpful for setting up a foundation for step 1. If I have more prep time, I would definitely incorporate it into my study plan

– Casually read Goljan Rapid Review Pathology before my prep for Step 1 but I found it too dense and decided to stop using it halfway. It is Gold but it might not be the book for everyone. Would definitely go for Pathoma. Once again, due to time constraint, I was not able to fit Pathoma into my study plan but i managed to sneak in just a couple of videos in between my break time just to find out why it is one hella resource for Step 1

–> Qbanks, NBME, Self assessment:

– Many have said that going through UWORLD twice is recommended but personally I think that as long as you do it properly and without rushing for the first time, a 2nd bank might be a better investment

– Mind that I was constantly feeling demotivated throughout my run through for UWORLD as I have a relatively low percentage but now looking back retrospectively, I strongly believe that as long as you do UWORLD with heart, the percentage does not fully reflect where you stand to your actual step 1 score. So, for those who are still prepping, don’t get too bothered with the percentages

– I personally think NBME should be done online if possible in order to have a real feel of sitting for the real exam. In terms of predictive value, I think it can be quite predictive but it can sometime be highly varied among individuals. Most importantly is to stay calm during exam day and hopefully perform on the actual exam


Lastly, for all future Step 1 takers, keep pushing hard everyday, keep up the good work and strive for the best. It is all about the struggles and picking yourself up after every let down. I have gone through much struggles during my prep and I am just so lucky to have got the score I wanted. I believe everyone can achieve their goals with hardwork & perseverance. All the best everyone!

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


USMLE STEP 1 – 253 Experience – Indian IMG (Malak Modi)

USMLE Step 1 – 261 – Experience – IMG 2017

September 28, 2017
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