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
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