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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. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator

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    People should also take into account that a large chunk of students posting here are IMGs. Because of the bad rap they get during applications, I'm sure there is an inflated expectation of a good score on the step 1 so that they can ensure that they are taken seriously.
  2. djquickfingers

    djquickfingers Member

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    Let's not also forget the vast majority of people who take this test and do not post on here. I'd
    even venture to say that there are some readers who don't get the score they want and won't post.
    Those who get respectable scores will be more than happy to share so we get a very skewed sample.
  3. tfc

    tfc timidforestcreature

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    and on top of that we are assuming everyone is honest about their score.
  4. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck

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    I will be elated with anywhere near 230ish...
  5. TStallion

    TStallion

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    Hey guys,

    Took the beast yesterday. Not gonna say much since I would just be repeating what others have said already.

    The test is fair...
    10% you prolly haven't seen since those long boring days in class, but if you get lucky with something you remember, they are answerable. For me it seemed like Anatomy/Neuro came from here...
    5% you may have never seen or heard about.
    60% directly from FA/Uworld - might either be a simple regurgitant fact from FA or a concept you've seen tested in UW
    10-15% questions you've never seen before about topics you know. These are the questions you need to do well on in order to score high in this test, IMO. Usually physio, pathophy, path

    I had lots of Anatomy/Neuro + Behaviour...was not happy about it but what can you do.

    I was scoring consistently around 235 on practice tests so hope to get at least 235 or above..hopefully they underestimated :p

    One thing's for sure: I am so excited to finally get this test behind me and start third year :)

    Thx to you guys who post on here and respond to PM's
  6. Daedra22

    Daedra22 ~Harm None~

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    Same here. I plan to report my score/experience regardless because these threads have been invaluable in planning my board prep this year.
  7. AnclyT

    AnclyT

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    total exam! :thumbup:

    thanks and good luck to you
  8. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    The bold statement is what makes this whole process much more assuaging. For anyone out there (LIKE ME) who generally feels strong overall (knock on wood) but is still "freaking out" because of the inevitable possibility of a heavier anatomy-based exam, this guy had about FIFTEEN that were convoluted and still did well. In other words, if you know your stuff, but unfortunately get confronted by a large # of anatomy questions on the exam, that's probably normal.

    I'm going to edit this post:

    Now obviously the anatomy that comes up on the exam could be anything, but regardless, Elektroshok, I'm curious as to if you could share what you remember from the anatomy on your exam? Thanks so much,
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  9. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    Of the stuff I can remember I had about three on shoulder muscles and rotator cuff injuries, had like one asking about a shoulder exam and the patient could/couldnt move at a certain position past like 90 degrees, what nerve was it?

    Had like seriously 4 or 5 on the PED/TIP mneumonic for the lower extremity (which was nice)

    Had 3-4 on the brachial plexus, one of which had a drawing sort of like NBME 3 I believe where you had to define where the lesion was.

    Those were basically the easier ones I remember getting, the harder ones I don't remember specifically but I do remember some CTs/Xrays and identifying structures and what not or the questions started off the same as the easier ones but the last sentence (or answer choices) were just weird.

    I had an anatomy question about like the second best external rotator of the hip and none of the muscles I would have guessed were listed so I literally guessed and moved on.

    But kind of like someone was saying - There are going to be some you just dont know and no matter how much more I studied or reviewed I honestly think I wouldn't have gotten those extra points. I think a lot of the base score you will get comes from first two years and the rest is icing on the cake.

    GOod luck
  10. rolen05

    rolen05

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    Everyone usually get their score in 3-4 weeks?? The thing said may take up to 8, can't wait that long!!
  11. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    Thanks for posting that.

    That being said, if anyone else on here is reading this who can recall anatomy from the exam, could you please share what you had?

    Thanks!
  12. TStallion

    TStallion

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    Lower limb arteries
    Lower limb veins
    Upper limb muscle action
    Basic heart anatomy
    Lower limb innervation
    typical psoas major question

    Most if not all had accompanying CT/Xray
  13. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    Can those who've taken the test chime in on High Yield Neuroanatomy? I'm wondering if I should use this book. I've heard others mention that it's too detailed for Step 1 and that just using FA may be alright.

    As an alternative, I saw the First Aid Organ Systems book (link) has a Neurology section (which expands on the pertinent topics in First Aid). I ask because I feel like I didn't learn neuroanatomy very well in my course.

    Thanks.
  14. sylvanthus

    sylvanthus EM/IM/CC PGY-2

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    I think its overkill. FA was sufficient. But, then again, that was my test, I had very very little neuroanatomy on it.
  15. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    Thanks, I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions also.

    To piggyback that same question. Any ideas on "Rapid Review Biochem"? I purchased this book and found it pretty involved compared to FA also.

    I'm just trying to figure out what is overkill and what isn't.

    The sources I'm planning to use are: FA, BRS Physio, RR Path (that's pretty much it)... good idea or bad idea?
  16. RedSoxSuck

    RedSoxSuck

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    Alot of friends of mine who have used RR said it was overkill. Friends also used Pathoma and RR and found that pathoma ALMOST covered everything. Since you are using BRS physio, you might want to use pathoma instead of Rapid review.

    If you really want to use "goljan" then perhaps audio/transcript might be better.

    So FA, BRS, Pathoma + goljan audio/transcript.
  17. chet

    chet

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    Its sounds kind of weird to say something that takes one full day to read is overkill. I can definitely see how RR Biochem or Path could be considered such, cause those books take at least a week to get through. But literally, one day you can read High yield neuro.
  18. kaleerkalut

    kaleerkalut

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    What is the PED/TIP mnemonic?

    On another note: I've been doing a block of UWorld everyday. I've noticed my averages are steadily rising but I'm afraid I'm giving myself a false sense of security. I find I answer questions that I'm not 100% on when I answer (although I've narrowed to 2 choices mostly sometimes 3 choices) and I end up getting those right. I'm usually reasoning my way through things rather than straight up recall and I'm not sure if this is others' experience as well? I'm worried that I'm just guessing right on a lot of stuff and that on test day I'm going to get hammered by getting a bunch of questions I can't reason through because I don't have the knowledge.

    Any advice or comments appreciated! Thanks :D
  19. Radonkulous

    Radonkulous

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    What are people's thoughts on BRS anatomy clinical boxes? I too am somewhat weak on anatomy as it's been over 1.5 years since I took it. It might be my weakest subject, especially given the fact there is no consensus text people turn to that covers most anatomy succinctly. Also, comments on HY Neuroanatomy, Moores blue boxes, and Kaplan anatomy?
  20. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    PED = Peroneal Everts and Dorsiflexes ... if injured -> foot dropPED

    TIP = Tibial Inverts and Plantarflexes ... if injured -> can't stand on TIPtoes

    As for your second question... I'm worried about that too. Even after taking a few of the NBME's, I feel like I'm doing better than I should be doing, and when it comes actual test time, that I will miss most of the 50/50 ones. It's probably a normal feeling.
  21. lookmanohands

    lookmanohands

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    I had a question for whoever took the exam about the heart murmurs- for the "digital stethoscope," are you allowed to move it any where on the chest (like to the axilla or along the sternum)? Or are there preset locations where you click to hear the sounds (like the kaplan high yield lectures where you can only click on one of the "APT M" locations) Thanks!
  22. elektroshok

    elektroshok

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    4 preset locations
  23. colts

    colts

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    what does everyone think of the goljan audio and goljan rapid review text? Is it worth it or does FA and uworld pretty much cover everythng?

    My plan right now is just doing first aid and uworld, what do u guys think?

    Also, has anyone been doing the kaplan high yield vids? I have those, but haven't really been using them, are they good?
  24. DoctwoB

    DoctwoB

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    Goljan audio = fantastic. He doesn't cover everything, but does a great job explaining the "how" and "why" in a way that helps you remember it. It's about 30 hrs, and I listened to it 3x (1x w/ classes, 2x before boards) doing an hour a day at the gym.

    Goljan RR = meh IMO. The pictures are great, and I would definitely look at those alongside the audio, but the text itself is overly detailed and is just a wall of facts to memorize (many of which will be very low yield)
  25. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    This topic has been discussed extensively, so I'll try to summarize the findings for you.

    1. Together, Goljan audio/RR are considered to be the gold standard in pathology prep. The problem is that RR is quite extensive and time-consuming. If you don't have time for RR, Pathoma is a good alternative.

    2. FA + UW is the gold standard for general comprehensive prep. Of course it doesn't "cover everything", but most people say that it'll cover about 85-90% of the material in some level of detail.

    Of course, just because your desired information is in a particular text doesn't mean that you'll retain it. I don't remember every little reaction intermediate in FA biochem. That's why the secondary resources are good for highlighting the parts that matter most.
  26. colts

    colts

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    Thanks for the help.

    I'm assuming that no one has any experience with the new kaplan high yield program??

    What about practice exams, I'll probably have time to do 4 (5 max) practice exams, what of the NBME's are considered the best?

    Are the uworld practice tests better than the NBME? Or should I do the NBMEs and if i get a chance do the uworld ones?
  27. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    Firstly, it depends how far out you are from the exam.

    Last year, when I was more than a year out, I had listened to about half of the 36 Goljan audios. I thought they were fantastic. However, I realize now that that's because I was seeing the material for the first time. Goljan really helps solidify the concepts if you are learning them for the first time (or have learned them before but don't feel very comfortable with them).

    I've already done two passes on FA and am ~2/3 through USMLE Rx at the moment, and I personally have decided that I'm not going to listen to the Goljan audios again, nor the remaining ones that I haven't already listened to, because there are better ways to utilize time once the concepts are already down. Do more questions and FA reading. You are absolutely correct by thinking to do that.

    Only use Goljan if A) you are >6 months out, or B) you are 3-6 months out but your path is only average and you want it better. If you are <3 months, just do questions and FA, no questions asked. If you are spending time in the final three months watching the daisies and listening to audio files, you're not using your time well. The final three months need to be FA and questions. The exception is if you are a heavy commuter and need to burn time on the road anyway. Then Goljan is fine regardless. I'm just reiterating the fact that he should not be a major study contribution as the exam nears.

    I know there are people who swear by Goljan. I'm sure some people would actually get angry that I don't unequivocally support his audios (as though I'm saying Gandhi were a bad guy or something). But once again, to each his or her own.

    Path is actually my strongest component in QBank right now (along with micro and neuroanatomy), and I attribute that to having memorized BRS Pathlogy and having done the University of Utah Webpath questions (I also read Robbins during second-year, but I don't specifically feel that helped me with USMLE-style questions, believe it or not; Robbins has mostly helped with images).

    I also own Goljan RR. I feel it is way overkill if you are within the 6-month mark, but I can tell it's a good book if you're starting off second-year.

    I feel you should really check out the University of Utah Webpath questions (http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/webpath.html). I feel they are a much stronger investment than either Goljan or RR if you do need to spend more time on path.

    I hope that helps,

    ~Phloston
  28. CrimsonMirage

    CrimsonMirage

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    How many multimedia questions did people have on the exam? Was it just heart and lung sounds? Thanks :)
  29. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    That's actually a good point. He spends a lot of time explaining things that I already know pretty well by now... it was very useful in 1st/2nd year, but recently, I haven't felt like I've been learning much from listening to Goljan at the gym. Still, it makes me feel like I'm still studying while I work out, which is somewhat beneficial.

    Pathoma, on the other hand, is still quite high-yield, probably because he's more to-the-point. He just says "here's a high-yield point" and makes the point instead of spending a lot of time explaining something that you should already know by now. And if you don't already know it, you can look it up on your own.
  30. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Question for recent test-takers:

    Going through the Kaplan Qbank, I often notice a question where the answer choices are something like:
    a. Positive-sense single-stranded RNA naked icosahedral virus
    b. Positive-sense single-stranded RNA helical enveloped virus
    c/d/e (three other similar answer choices).

    My question is - do those sorts of questions actually show up on the real exam? Or are they just examples of Kaplan Qbank's notorious nitpickiness?
  31. lookmanohands

    lookmanohands

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    I assume they're there for a reason. I thought a few UWorld questions asked about it (all the qbanks are a wash for me now) and First Aid must have it for a reason too
  32. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Well, I realize that they're there because they've been on tests in the past, but I just want to know how many people actually saw them on their tests. The USMLE insists that they're trying to make Step I questions more and more clinical, and facts might make it into FA/Kaplan/UW just because they've showed up on somebody's test in the past. I'm sure the question is still in their bank, but if there's a 25% chance that I'll see it, then I probably won't invest too much time making sure that I can tell the difference between a calicivirus and a picornavirus...
  33. bacanator

    bacanator

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    derp derp
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  34. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    If you think you're sharing "too much" information from the exam, I think it's best not to.

    I know everyone wants to get every possible question right, but to do that at any expense would be wrong.
  35. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    Say what?
  36. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    The above user made a new account because the information he is sharing could be in breach of confidentiality disclosures agreed upon by the test taker which includes sharing examination content and/or answers on the Internet.
  37. ijn

    ijn

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    What I don't get is why question banks and review courses can get away with ripping STEP question concepts from students who have taken the test without consequence (and charge money for it!) but a student on his own talking about it without the expectation of compensation is wrong.
  38. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator

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    i.e. cheating is bad regardless if you are the giver or receiver of the knowledge.
  39. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator

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    This may or may not be true, I wouldn't know. However, the majority of the stuff the major qbanks use is based on retired questions that they purchased from the NBME.
  40. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator

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    I was happy to note that many of the super in depth stuff found in first aid didn't show up on my exam. However, there were a few questions that required this level of knowledge to answer them.
  41. coreytayloris

    coreytayloris

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    SDN is officially the website where the Floyd Mayweathers of the USMLE step1 strut their stuff.

    It's a jungle on here, and if you're not a lion then you're a nobody.
  42. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    Shan564, I know you have the bar set high, so I'm actually a bit surprised that you'd even question whether this stuff is too pedantic. Absolutely learn the micro algorithms, especially if questions based on them have shown up on the QBanks. If you get one or two questions on the exam and don't know them, you'll be kicking yourself, particularly since these are the ones that become more important if you're shooting >250.

    I've found the Sanjiv Microcards to be phenomenal for learning the algorithms, and of any resource I've used for Step1 so far, they are unequivocally the best study tool I've come across. Memorizing the lists from FA for micro isn't good enough. Get the Sanjiv Microcards and memorize the tree-algorithms. I promise it will make micro your best subject if it isn't already.

    For example, I'm not even looking at the cards and I can tell you that choice A refers to Picornaviridae (enterovirus [coxsackie, polio, echovirus, HepA] and rhinovirus) and Caliciviridae (HepE and Norwalk), and that B refers to Coronaviridae (coronavirus).
  43. ijn

    ijn

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    If you've ever listened to Goljan audio or Kaplan CenterPrep, then you'd know that these companies definitely do post test debriefings and get details on specific test question concepts, what kind of pictures were being used, etc. For example Mr. Raymond (Pharm, Kaplan) in one of his video said something along the lines of "Oh, they tested on aminoglycoside side effect of inhibition of the NMJ by showing a diagram of a neuronal synapse and you had to pick the same mode of action as botulinum toxin." Yeah, that level of specificity. Every 10 minutes Goljan in his audio will refer to the fact that things are in his review notes BECAUSE they are based on student feedback from the exam. He'll say things like "One of my students told me this EXACT picture was on the exam, KNOW IT!." Or "I didn't think CD10 was important, but student feedback said that was the answer choice to a question about the diagnosis ALL based on CD markers. So I just added it to the notes. If you had a lecture with me 3 weeks ago it wasn't in them," etc. Yet they're allowed to profit from it...

    It just seems odd. When radiology got busted for having recall question banks for their boards that was wrong and condemned by the authorities/media, but things like UWorld or Kaplan are endorsed by medical schools around the country.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  44. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    Ha, I've definitely been giving off the wrong impression here. 250 is a pipe dream for me.

    But you're right, I shouldn't be lazy.

    Well, that's one heck of an endorsement. It sounds like I need to buy these immediately. Micro is one of my weakest subjects in UW/Kaplan, so I could definitely use the help.
  45. Phloston

    Phloston SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor

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    I would obviously recommend going through all of the Sanjiv Microcards, but the bare minimum is the algorithm cards; these precede the vignettes. And yes, buy them immediately.
  46. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    Those Microcards are seriously gold, I've never been a flashcard person but I love that set. Blows every other Step 1 commercial flashcard set out of the water.
  47. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    How much time did you guys have to invest in the Microcards? I'm not sure if I have enough time to start something new now...
  48. SteinUmStein

    SteinUmStein

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    I've been flipping through them at the end of the day, nothing too intense. I'll probably go through them once or twice fully in the last few weeks to refresh myself. It's worthwhile even if you don't put tons of hours into them.
  49. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    I start a micro block soon, would reading Clinical Micro Made Ridiculous Simple along with theses microcards give a good foundation? I have a week off, so I was thinking of running through them real quick as an overview.
  50. shan564

    shan564 Below the fray

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    I didn't really like that book. I thought I'd love it... I figured that the humor would stop me from getting distracted like I usually do. But it was actually the opposite effect... I kept thinking about the jokes (and the like) and didn't really spend enough time thinking about whatever it was that they actually wanted me to learn.

    But everybody else thinks that it's great.

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