Ok guys, thought I would share my experience with you. A few days after my exam and I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP. Why? Because my exam was so fç%"ing easy, probably the easiest exam there can be! But I just couldn't remember everything that I had learned. I knew that I did learn it, I knew which book, which page, but I simply didn't remember.
Background: IMG, started to study in october for 2-3months because I had planned to go the US. There were a few difficulties from my school and my trip was cancelled. I wasn't done studying anyway and I needed a good score, so I cancelled my exam. After that, my rotations began and I was really exhausted in the evening, but I kept studying for 1-2h a day. And then BAM, suddenly my school got everything right and I was set to go in 4 weeks!!! Problem: I wasn't even done going through all the stuff ONCE. So I started turbo mode and finished everything with 2 weeks out. Then I started repeating everything. But I couldn't finish... I tried everything, slept for 5h/day, drank every legal stimulant drink there is on the market for nearly 2 weeks, but still.. way to much stuff. I got to finish repeating everything except Biochemistry, Pharm and Pathology. I had a good night sleep before the exam (who wouldn't after 2 weeks of 5h/d), but of course I still felt very tired the next morning.
Exam: Very easy, very straightforward. 80% of the questions were just "what's the diagnosis, what's the mechanism". Rarely you would have to think more than 1 Step. The mix of questions was quite balanced. There was 1 WTF question on my exam and maybe a few that took me long to figure out.
Pathology: Of course the most important topic. I had learned a lot of the stuff 3-4 months ago, therefore it took me quite a while to remember and put the stuff together during the exam. Because of that I got into time trouble, but I looked a few thing up after the exam and they were the very classic presentation (e.g. I had forgotten that you get splenomegaly in ET, but still got it right, yay
). Goljan + FA = 100% of the questions.
Physiology: Not a lot, in my exam quite underrepresented. BRS will do the thing.
Pharm: Straight forward, except for 1 questions where I hadn't heard of the drug that was asked about. Really, FA is the ONLY thing you need for that. Unfortunately I didn't get to repeat everything, so I got only 50% of the questions right. I'm still mad about that.
Behav.Science: Very very easy. BRS will do the thing.
Biochemistry: A few vitamins here and a few pathways there. There were 2-3 questions about storage diseases, but nothing too fancy. FA is the way to go.
Anatomy: Got quite a lot here, good mix of Ana/Neuro/Embryo. But the neuro questions were quite hard. They asked for a specific region that was lettered, but the letters were all next to eachother and I couldn't really remember the pinpoint exact locations of them. FA definitely comes up short here. HY neuro helped a bit, but there were still a few weeeiird questions.
Microbiology: Quite a lot there, FA + UW will do the thing. Nothing fancy. In fact, I could swear I had seen a few questions in UW.
So all in all, a really fair exam. I swear to God, if I had finished repeating everything I would have gotten a 290 in this exam. No kidding. My original goal was to get 260+ because I wanted to apply for a surgery residency, but now I think I can be happy if I get 230. It's just so depressing... (No offense to you guys, but an IMG needs a higher score)
A few hints for you guys:
1. Once you have gone through the stuff and Uworld, you will see that FA has 90% of the content that's on the exam. If you can "feel" what FA wants to tell you and you can tie in the connections (instead of just studying useless facts), then you're more than ready to go. For the rest use Goljan RR and a few supplements for your weaknesses.
2. I had the Goljan audio, but rarely listened to it. Mainly when I was bored. I listened to 4-5 lectures, but honestly, there were about 5 questions that I remembered straight out of the audio file!! Asked exactly the way he presented it! I would listen to it guys... That stuff isn't outdated.
3. Take a break after each block. Go to the toilet even if you don't have to necessarily. It sucks when it's urgent and you are in the middle of a block.
So the message is: FA + UW = 95% of the stuff. I didn't believe it either... but it's very true. I went through UW (100%). End% was 80+. In the last few weeks I was hitting between 85 and 95%. If I didn't have to keep a deadline I would have postponed the exam for 1-2 weeks. DON'T TAKE THE EXAM WHEN YOU ARE NOT READY. It sucks to realize that you you've learned everything but can't recall it. Take 1 more week and revise if necessary. I hope you guys do well, you can take Step1 only once in your life.... (And btw if this was a question stem in your exam, it would be time to assess whether I'm delusional or suicidal