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Official 2012 Step 1 Experiences and Scores Thread

Discussion in 'Step I' started by amavir281, Feb 15, 2012.

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  1. rolen05

    rolen05

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    I took it monday, was difficult but fair.. I'll post my nbme's and stuff once I get my score. Does anyone know when I should expect it? I looked on the nbme website and they don't have a date listed for my score report yet...should the score report date appear right away?
  2. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    257/88

    Took it on March 2nd.
    Pretty happy.
  3. dragon529

    dragon529 MS-III

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    Congratz on that AWESOME score. Mind sharing the resources and techniques you used? :D

  4. Gannador

    Gannador

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    A good lesson in not doubting yourself for future test takers!
  5. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    Thanks!

    The post Gannador quoted basically has the resources I used.

    Such a relief to be done with..
  6. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    No, it stays blank until your score gets released then there will be a link to click on
  7. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Congrats, that's a huge improvement for 6 weeks. Would you mind telling us how you distributed your study time during that period?
  8. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    An 86% on Uworld questions?? That's ridiculous!

    LOL there was no way you were ever going to get a 220.
  9. gravitywave

    gravitywave fourth year

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    fo real
  10. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    Yeah, I'll write some stuff later today/tomo.
    Have classes all day..
  11. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2012
  12. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    :thumbup: I thought about responding to that message, but I didn't want to feed the trolls if I didn't have anything entertaining to post (like that picture)...
  13. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    That was really funny! :laugh:

    Sorry to edit your posts, didn't want that link to remain around. ;)
  14. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    No problem, glad you enjoyed it. :laugh:
  15. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    So my study plan was basically as follows:

    I had just shy of six weeks to study and wanted to make two passes.

    First pass:

    Broke up each subject and system as far as I could (i.e. Cardio anatomy, cardio phys, cardio, pharm, etc.). I would study each of those sections individually mostly in first aid and brs text only using outside refs if I needed clarification. I then would take all the questions over that specific section of the system in USMLErx q-bank and review only missed questions or marked questions that I got right. Each afternoon I would review all the path from that system in goljan text. That was basically what I did the first 2.5 weeks to try and re-build my foundation. It was more time intensive than the second half but I got through about 3,000 (the whole USMLErx bank) in that time. Studied a solid 7-8 hours a day with a day off each week at some point. Took NBME 6 at the end of first pass. If applicable, each morning to get started I would take the pharmacy pre-test questions on the drugs from what I studied the prior day.

    Second pass:

    My mornings would be either 3 or 4 blocks of random questions on UWorld. I would then review again only the ones I got wrong or marked and happened to get right. If it was a concept I wasn't quite getting I would spend a few more minutes reviewing, but I usually just read the explanation pretty well and moved on. Afternoons were spent reviewing each system/subject again in first aid to make sure I got through it all again as well as listening to all the goljan audio. Took NBME 11 about a week into this and 12 about another week later. Again, a full or half day off each week.

    General things I felt helped:
    -Dropped whatever I was doing at 11am each day to workout and eat - super key in keeping me sane I think.
    -Got rid of call of duty for the time I was studying, since it would have ruined me and taken all of my time
    -Set an absolute cut off time of like 5/6pm to make dinner (this was more so the first pass, second pass I sometimes decided to review casually after dinner for like an hour)
    -Used a huge whiteboard to keep a running list of equations and mnemonics that I had a hard time remembering so I could glance at it every day

    And I for sure think its quality over quantity of time studying. There were only a handful of days I actually studied more than 7 or 8 hours of actual study time. If I was being unproductive towards the end of the day - I called it quits or took a break and watched TV then got back at it. I tried to only be at my desk or with books when I was studying. Don't get intimidated by people who say they are/were studied 10-14 hours a day because no one can get quality time in like that consistently - just make the time you are studying count.

    I think that is basically it. Let me know if you have more questions.

    I guess the last thing is I would say not too stress too much too early on about missing practice questions since the utility of the q-banks in my opinion is to learn and get used to taking questions - the NBMEs are for gauging your ability.

    Cheers
  16. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Thanks for the advice; looks like your study plan was quite similar to mine, and you seem to have learned some of the same lessons that I'm just learning now. I might steal your idea and get a big whiteboard...
  17. iCY

    iCY Junior Member

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    elektroshok, How long did your first pass/2nd pass take?
  18. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Just a general question for everybody...

    I seem to be reading everywhere that UWSA2 overestimates your score a bit, but based on the scores that people have been posting here and in the 2011 thread (and on some other forums), I'm not so sure if that's true. It seems like most people get about the same scores on UWSA1 and UWSA2 if they take them at about the same time, and if not, they usually score better on whichever one they take later (as you'd expect). And when they take it close to the real test date, it seems to be fairly accurate, although not highly precise... most people are within about 5-10 points in either direction. I think the only notable exception is the people who get 260+, but most of us aren't in that range (although I guess the SDN average might be a couple of SDs above the mean).

    Am I missing something? Or is it just that the people who started the idea about it "underestimating" are the people who are in the really high score range?
  19. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    Basically 2.5 weeks each.
  20. justinbaily

    justinbaily

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    UW average: 80ish percent first pass, high 90s second pass. Always did timed random full blocks.
    Kaplan: No particular pattern to how I did these. I mostly did them on my phone while at the gym or when I had some down-time.
    UWSA1: 259
    NBME11: 262
    UWSA2: 264
    NBME 12: 263

    Real thing: 260

    All of my scores are in a tight distribution because I always wait until the end of a study period to start taking full-length practice exams. I basically followed the Taus method and studied for a very long time. I think that my school (UVA) made it very easy to study for classes using board review materials because they didn't test weird minutiae, but rather clinical presentations and broad concepts, so I took advantage of that. I also think that going to a system-based fully integrated school helps with step one because it prepares you to be ready to answer a random mixture of pathogenesis, pharm and management questions once you've localized the organ system. I also had a little bit less than two months of dedicated prep time. There isn't much I can add to the collective wisdom on the board. The test was very similar to what the gold-standard prep material and question banks prepare you for.

    Exceptions: there were a number of drugs that I had never heard of and some side effects that weren't in first aid, but I just shrugged those off and chose at random. It would have taken way too much time to learn dozens of atypical drugs. On the score distribution sheet I scored very far to the right on pharm, which makes me think that the questions where they point blank ask you the MOA for "drug X" that you've never heard of could just be experimental to see if the schools have started to teach them. There were also many more dentistry questions than I would have expected. I had at least four, and I don't think they were experimental because the questions were well-developed.

    Otherwise it was a very fair test and it felt like it went by very quickly. Good luck to everyone and thank you to all the students who took the time to type up their impressions and strategies!
  21. ipizzy

    ipizzy

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    congrats on the great score!
  22. kaleerkalut

    kaleerkalut

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    Would you mind listing your study materials? Congrats on great score!
  23. justinbaily

    justinbaily

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    I didn't really follow a set schedule or limit myself to a particular set of resources, so it's difficult for me to list what I used. I'm really bad at setting a plan and following through with it, so I would go between a number of different resources depending on what I felt like doing that day. The main thing was First Aid, but I also used: Robbins Basic Path, Big Costanzo, BRS phys, CMMRS, PharmCards, Rapid Review Path, an old copy of BRS path, HY anatomy, BRS Biochem, Levinson's Immunology, MicroCards and various internet resources. I didn't study every page of most of these resources but, for instance, I felt like I didn't remember much cardio phys at all, so I read the entire section of the large Costanzo phys book, or I had a difficult time with the musculoskeletal stuff, so I reviewed it in HY anatomy. In contrast, I felt like I knew GI very well, so I only studied what was in First Aid and RR for that system. I also used these resources during the school year to study for my normal classes, so I was already familiar with them.

    The ones that I used in their entirety and went through multiple times were FA, CMMRS and RR path, and the others were for clarification or I felt that they covered a particular organ system well. I was really into annotating FA and I probably have more written into FA than was originally in there. For questions, I used UW and Kaplan.
  24. AnclyT

    AnclyT

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    real deal: 251/87
    uworld: 74% one pass, random

    CBSSA: 252
    NBME7: 233
    NBME11: 247

    Mainly did Uworld + FA during the last 4 weeks.

    Overall, I thought the STEP1 was extremely fair, and I thought that it was easier than the NBME's. The answer choices just seemed to be more obvious to me. I guess I just didn't like some of the questions in the NBME's for some reason.

    The exam hardly required any memorization, the ones that did were MAJOR.

    The day before the exam, I felt like I didn't know/remember anything... I even wanted to postpone the exam... so don't panic if you have this feeling, trust in your studies

    I personally felt that I only had 4-5 anatomy questions, 4-5 direct pharm questions, 4-5 micro questions, (and these were MAJOR topics/drugs~metronidzole/bacteria... don't waste your time on the tiny details/symptoms!!! especially not the last several weeks) and the rest seemed to be well distributed... with probably >90% being from FA + uworld alone.

    But, I think the key is to do well during your first 2 years.
    I felt like I would have scored the same, even with only 2-3 weeks dedicated study time, but who knows.


    I wish everyone the best of luck!
    The exam is a lot more basic/simple than most people probably anticipate.
  25. djquickfingers

    djquickfingers Member

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    are you saying you had 4-5 questions total of each on your exam or just per section??? Congrats and great score!
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  26. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    I'm pretty sure that they meant total. I would agree, I felt like my exam had pretty low anatomy and pharm (maybe 10 total for pharm and <5 for anatomy).Maybe one embryo q....
  27. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Huh, good to know. Does "anatomy" include neuroanatomy? And how was the micro?
  28. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    Yeah. The micro was all pretty reasonable stuff. That was the majority of my "picture" questions, actually. All but one had sufficient info to ID the bug without the picture.
  29. Daedra22

    Daedra22 ~Harm None~

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    I took NBME 1 effectively "pre-study" (just started reviewing biochem last week) and made a 190. I have around 9 weeks to my test, 4.5 of which will be dedicated study. Is it realistic to make a jump to 220-230 with that schedule? I know it's probably the SDN bias going on, but everyone on here seems to have started with very good practice scores. :-/
  30. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    That's definitely reasonable.

    We took one at my school and I scored somewhere around a 185 without studying at all. I think after 3 weeks of studying I hit 226 on NBME 6.

    Is this SDN bias real? It seems like everyone is 250+, kind of depressing. I will feel disappointed with a 240.
  31. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    I think it is totally realistic to jump up that high, though I'd be much more confident if you took 5.5 weeks. Still, I think it is very possible in 4.5.
  32. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator Gold Donor

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    Unlike the MCAT, where you can retake, the mechanism of step 1 implies that yes this propensity for 250+ reporters on this board MUST be reporter's bias.
  33. DoctwoB

    DoctwoB

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    Took the beast yesterday. I'll give y'all a detailed write up when I get my score back. A couple of quick thoughts though.

    Broader range of difficulty then the NBMEs and UWorld. More nobrain easy questions, a few more WTF questions also. On the whole I felt that first aid and Uworld (I also did kaplan and GT) were adequate, but there will still be plenty of things you're not sure of even if you memorized first aid word for word. The easier questions are pure fact regurgitation, while the trickier questions find new ways to ask questions, or compare topics that force you to make judgement calls based on the information you know. Even if you know the underlying information cold, you'll still be not 100% on the answer. The topics were pretty well dispersed for me, nothing seemed particularly over or under represented. I'd say just knowing the facts and common presentations will get you to that 230-240 range, while going above requires an ability to use your understanding of physio and path to make educated guesses about how disorder X will cause paremeter Y to change and so on. My NBME scores were very solid (250 nbme 11 pre-designated period, 265 nbme12 2 weeks away, 272 nbme 13 5 days before, and 265/265 on UWSA 1/2). On all those tests though, there were lots of educated guesses like I was talking about. How many of those turn out your way is huge, hence the fact that I'm still pretty nervous about how things will turn out (shooting for a very competitive residency, so need the scores).

    Be warned that the heart sounds bit is a little tricker then kaplan. They allow you to listen from all four points, making you interpret the sounds rather then saying "loudest at the lower left sternal border". Its actually a pretty cool system, you can see the patients carotids pulse in time w/ the heart sounds (and yes it was bounding on the aortic regurg patient).
  34. Chirurg

    Chirurg

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    dude, you were on fire!
  35. osias

    osias

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    Here's my stats- I had 6 weeks to study

    CBSE (before studying): 205
    NBME 6 (3 weeks out): 221
    NBME 11 (2 weeks out):238
    UWorld on random: 74%

    Real thing: 250

    First 2.5 weeks went through all of FA and did UsmleRx questions corresponding to each section. Took NMBE 6.

    Second 2.5 weeks did 3-4 blocks of 46 questions random on UW in the am, went through a section in FA in the afternoon/evening. Listened to Goljan + read RR Pathology once the first pass and again during the second pass.
  36. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    :thumbup: Congrats!

    I took NBME 11 a couple of days ago and got 235, I still have a few weeks left. I'm hoping I can improve as much as you did!
  37. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck

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    I know i am very late to the party but i have accepted it. I have accepted the fact that EVERY score that is being posted or will be posted here will be >235. *SMH*:oops:
  38. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    For the guys who took the test recently - would you mind telling us a bit about the breakdown of questions? Seems like a couple of people have said that the test was very light on anatomy (including neuroanatomy), micro, and pure pharm questions... was that your experience also?
  39. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    Great score osias!

    ;)
  40. osias

    osias

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    I took the exam 4 weeks ago, still feel adept at commenting on the content.

    Anatomy: I had a lot of anatomy questions... or anatomy questions I was not prepared for. Probably about 2-3 questions per block, so a total of 15-20. This did not include neuroanatomy, of which I probably had 3 or 4 total questions. Questions like: which muscle do you remove to release brachial plexus compression (ant scalene) or which nerve innervates the lower edge of the lip and would be compromised in a jaw fracture (lingual).

    Micro: Nothing too out of the box, of the ones I remember, there were like 10 total question of pictures of bugs/skin rashes and you had to ID the bug, so knowing just what they do wasn't sufficient.

    Heme/Onc: I literally had 15 questions on B12 DEFICIENCY. So, know the difference between B12 and folate deficiency. Other questions were very straightforward; translocations of cancers, lead poisoning, etc.

    Pharm: was one of my weaker points going into studying, but knowing the basically: 1)MOA 2) what the drug is used for 3) side effects will get you 85% of the questions. I had 3 questions about drugs I hadn't heard of, but by process of elimination I narrowed it down. And 1 or 2 random pharm-kinetics questions which I honestly usually just make an educated guess on anyway.
  41. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    I had a ton, TON of anatomy on mine. Some basic stuff but some other random stuff too that I just guessed on.

    Pharm and Micro were straight up I thought - one pharm question on a drug I never heard of but was able to logic through it based on the question and what they were asking.

    If I had to re-take it I would focus on molecular and cell biology as I felt like every fourth question was something on cell/molec. (prob a little exaggerated but still was def more than the NBMEs portrayed).

    Behavioral stuff - I mean, hard to really study this stuff. The clear cut questions you will get but the others its going to be hopefully a good guess.

    I kept track of my questions and did just shy of 6,000 practice questions to prep - looking back I might have tried to do even more or add in some robbins questions at the end to get some more detailed questions/convoluted questions and hopefully had picked up a few extra points on the random ones I probably missed.

    A good chunk of the exam felt like I got right due to purely taking so many questions and kind of knowing what they were AND what they weren't asking for.
  42. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    235? lol. You would be lucky to match into a Family Medicine residency in South Dakota with a 235.
  43. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck

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    Lol
  44. gravitywave

    gravitywave fourth year

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    people repeatedly ask this question. you must must must understand that everyone's test will be different. someone was talking earlier about how every individual test form seems to have one topic that is completely over-represented relative to how much it was discussed in the review materials. how much of this is subjective, i don't know, but i agree that you will very likely have this sense both during the exam and in the days after.

    the thing is, that topic could be anything. the question breakdown could be anything. asking people what the breakdown was on their exam is really very pointless. better to focus on yourself, and to know your weaknesses so you can work on them. go for breadth, and then for depth.
  45. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    :laugh: Oh, SDN. The only place where less than a 250 means you should consider flipping burgers...
  46. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    I'm pretty sure I don't even know what a good score is anymore because of this site
  47. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    No joke, I was at a dinner with some classmates and residents and someone mentioned they got a 230-something and was promptly congratulated by everyone for a solid job well done. First I thought they were joking, then I thought everyone was trying to make them feel better. Thanks, SDN. ;)

    Hint: a 230 is a good score. Not derm good, but good.
  48. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck

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    Yea, I know. Anything above the average is a good score. Goal is to master the material not a particular number. If an individual can master their weakness, then a good score will follow.
  49. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    I have a friend who seemed pretty disappointed with a mid-230s score. She wants to go into EM. I think she spent too much time on SDN...
  50. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    The majority of people are being set up for disappointment when they read this site and expect a 240 at the bare minimum. It also sets unrealistic expectations for what specialties are an option early on in med school when people see person after person getting 250's+ on SDN.

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