missmod

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I think I'll start the thread, since I just finished Step I today! Boy does it feel good to have it over with. In case you guys are wondering, my med school is on a different schedule, so we do basic sciences in 1.5 years, do one year of clerkships, and then take the boards.

So I started a 6 week study schedule (started after new years). The first five weeks, I studied for about 9-10 hours with a lot of breaks and took weekends off to either have fun or catch up/review. The last week I saved just for review and as many questions as I could fit into my 10 hour day. I have to say, this last week was the worst. Not in the no-sleep-cram-for-a-test kind of way, but in the huge-weight-on-your-shoulders kind of way.

Now for a breakdown of the subjects...

Biochem: There was not a lot of biochem on my exam. A few key enzyme deficiency ones (Lesch Nyhan, Maple Syrup Disease) but all of the questions were very obvious and did not require you to put much thought into it. Don't blow off porphyria and lead poisoning-- for some reason I got so many questions on that!

Molecular Bio: This was a big one! I think the NBME is moving away from the biochem towards questions on molecular bio. Many questions about DNA regulation, transcription, translation, bacterial plasmids, etc. Sometimes these questions look very scary -- they are always so long and use long names for molecules or restriction enzymes that you have never heard of. You need to get used to the question style and realize that what they are asking is very simple. The NBME forms have questions very similar to the molecular bio ones I saw on the exam.

Pharm: Another one I thought would be difficult but not. Big drugs you should know a lot about (like antihypertensives, drugs for hyperlipidemias, cardic drugs, etc.) However, I wouldn't worry too much about the side effects for every tiny drug -- especially the chemo and immunosupressant drugs that kept on tripping me up so much.

Micro/Immuno: I had not a single question on parasites! That huge chart of worms and helminths in First Aid had me worried for a while, but it was not a big part of my exam. If anything, just know the key phrases because if they do test you on it, it would be a really obvious scenario. Mostly bacterial processes and what you would use to treat them... or what was their mechanism of disease (i.e. endotoxn, exotoxin, etc.) Know immunology and cytokines well, as well as the functions of all the cells. Different immune deficiencies were all asked on my exam (there is one page in First Aid that sums them up very well).

Anatomy/Neuroanatomy: Always combined with a pathology question or an imagine. I had a few branchial plexus/lumbar plexus questions. Many questions would give you a clinical scenario, then ask you to identiy the artery/nerve/organ on a CT scan/MRI/angiogram/brain cross section. Again, I think Qbank does not help you much at all because there aren't that many images. All i can say is look through some atlases quickly as you are studying anatomy -- not Netters bc that won't help much, but books that will give you real radiographic images.

Physio: This was almost always combined with Pathology--they would ask the physiology behind some path process. I had so many questions where the question asked "what would be the levels of x, y, and z enzymes/hormones?", answer choices being "increased, decreased, etc"

Pathology: Not as detailed orientated as Kaplan. Very little histology related pathology -- most of the questions though, required you to make a diagnosis and then know something about the pathophys of the disease or the treatment of the disease. There were also a lot of images -- MANY more than Qbank's representation.

All in all, I think the test more manageable than Kaplan's Qbank. Don't let Qbank discourage you -- ! Doing the questions help you to learn, so if you were getting them all right then the questions are too easy and not really helping you much. I do remember many questions that I knew only because I got the question wrong on Kaplan's Qbank. Also, the NBME tests are VERY good and very representative of the real thing. They also help you get used to the wording of the Q's, which can be a LITTLE different from what Qbank is like. I did forms 2, 3, and 4 and I thought 2 and 3 were the best. A few images on those practice exams were repeated on my actual exam.

Goljan's book and lectures were great. He pointed out lots of things that wound up being on the exam and presents them in a way that really sticks. Also, his images are a great resource.

I've been lurking for a while and haven't really posted since applying to med school, but I have to say you guys have really helped me out during my boards studying. Good luck to everyone else getting ready to take this monster.
 

Jabez

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Thanks for posting the first exam experience of the year, missmod!
just one more thing - you haven't mentioned anything about Behavioral Science. What was it like?
Also, how do you suggest we prepare for Mol Bio? I'm just planning to use Kaplan..but now I'm not sure whether I should use HY Mol Bio as well.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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thnx for the post. i have a similar concern about mol. bio. i already did kaplan mol. bio, and i really dont know if its enough. imo, i thought it was poorly written. is it worth it to spend bucks on hy mol. bio and go through that one as well? im hoping it wont take me as long since i already did kaplan.

did you do kaplan path as well as goljan path? i am plannin on omitting kaplan path since im using goljan. any perspectives on this correlating to the exam?

goodluck on your score.
 
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missmod

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I thought the molecular bio questions mostly covered basic topics - transcription, translation. Don't overlook the bacterial mol bio stuff (e.g. ways bacteria transfer DNA, etc). I only used the Kaplan biochem book, which had a good amount of Molecular Bio material. I think, though, that if i had time, I would have spent less time on biochem pathways and more time reading something like High Yield Molecular Biology because they seemed to go more in depth with all that stuff.

Behavioral Science was okay. Some psych, making psych diagnoses, psych drugs, and then the typical "what would you say" questions, which are really hard to study for, in my opinion. I only skimmed through HY behavioral science, which I regret because they did ask many questions about biostatistics (nothing with really complicated calculations though) and they asked two questions on Medicare/Medicaid/HMO's (I was kind of surprised since this wasn't really in First Aid).

As for Kaplan vs. Goljan, I used Goljan all the way. His new review book is very good and he has a lot of good pictures in there. Even though it looks like a lot of pages, it has questions at the end, large margins, and lots of pictures which makes it easier to digest. It pretty much follows his audio lectures and I would recommend it -- because he makes connections to a lot of biochem and physiology in his lectures.
 

ms. a

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missmod (and anyone else who recently took Step I),

Have you gotten your scores back? How long does it usually take? I was thinking that since fewer of us take Step I this time of year, it would be faster, but I really don't know what to expect. I just took the exam on Wednesday (we are on the same schedule with basic sciences in 1.5 years).

Thanks!
 

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missmod (and anyone else who recently took Step I),

Have you gotten your scores back? How long does it usually take? I was thinking that since fewer of us take Step I this time of year, it would be faster, but I really don't know what to expect. I just took the exam on Wednesday (we are on the same schedule with basic sciences in 1.5 years).

Thanks!

Since you just took the exam this week, I was curious as to your exam experience (since this is the thread for it). Anything to add that you think might be helpful (anything from preparation to actual test day)??
 

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Experience 1:

well...i don't know where to start...i don't want to scary anyone..cause i know how i felt when an exam experience was posted...but ..all i can say it was the most difficult exam i have ever taken....
there is a saying,...that what starts bad finishes even worse...well that was true in my case....i got at the prometric site 1 h earier..and the lady there was very suprised to see me...and i was suprised that she looks at me and asks me what i was doing there...she old me that the evening before they got an email from the "chief prometric" telling them that all exams have been canceled for that day...and we would be notified personaly...well..it wasnt the case..anyway..the lady told us to wait for another 30min so she can call the chief prometric center in holland so they can tell us when they will reschedule us...and after 2 hours..surpirse..they didnt want to reschedule..they wanted us to wait there till they will fix te problems..eventually they sent another exam files and we could take exam...
about exam...well i got 2 HOX question that i had no idea about, some embrio questions that again i didnt know what they were asking me, tones and tones of anatomy and neuro (MRI especally)...and it wasnt the usual stuff that u read in the books..and after anato, my second night mare..pharma....again many questions...patho lots of micro pictures..very very very few physio (unfortunateley for me)...imuno not a lot...behavioral...i didnt have many maybe 10 questions ..but i didnt know what to chose..i was stucked with 2 options..and i have the feeling ive chosen he wrong one..
Idont remember much from exam...i either remember some answer but not the questions, either the question but not the answer...
Exam wasnt nothing like NBME, their practice CD, or kaplan...maybe its more like UW
The questions were long...i dont think i got 2-3 line questions..they were all more than 5-6 lines...
Well...i hope it will be fine in the end..im praying that God will help me pass this exam and get into a hospital for residency.....but right now i have no idea if i will pass....im more tempted to say i wount but im hoping it wount be the case....

For more see:
http://www.prep4usmle.com/forum/102

There are lot of experiences posted.
 

Teejay

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Experience 1:

well...i don't know where to start...i don't want to scary anyone..cause i know how i felt when an exam experience was posted...but ..all i can say it was the most difficult exam i have ever taken....
there is a saying,...that what starts bad finishes even worse...well that was true in my case....i got at the prometric site 1 h earier..and the lady there was very suprised to see me...and i was suprised that she looks at me and asks me what i was doing there...she old me that the evening before they got an email from the "chief prometric" telling them that all exams have been canceled for that day...and we would be notified personaly...well..it wasnt the case..anyway..the lady told us to wait for another 30min so she can call the chief prometric center in holland so they can tell us when they will reschedule us...and after 2 hours..surpirse..they didnt want to reschedule..they wanted us to wait there till they will fix te problems..eventually they sent another exam files and we could take exam...
about exam...well i got 2 HOX question that i had no idea about, some embrio questions that again i didnt know what they were asking me, tones and tones of anatomy and neuro (MRI especally)...and it wasnt the usual stuff that u read in the books..and after anato, my second night mare..pharma....again many questions...patho lots of micro pictures..very very very few physio (unfortunateley for me)...imuno not a lot...behavioral...i didnt have many maybe 10 questions ..but i didnt know what to chose..i was stucked with 2 options..and i have the feeling ive chosen he wrong one..
Idont remember much from exam...i either remember some answer but not the questions, either the question but not the answer...
Exam wasnt nothing like NBME, their practice CD, or kaplan...maybe its more like UW
The questions were long...i dont think i got 2-3 line questions..they were all more than 5-6 lines...
Well...i hope it will be fine in the end..im praying that God will help me pass this exam and get into a hospital for residency.....but right now i have no idea if i will pass....im more tempted to say i wount but im hoping it wount be the case....

For more see:
http://www.prep4usmle.com/forum/102

There are lot of experiences posted.

I pray you''ll do great. Just go have fun and drink some beer cuz its over now.
Well, you mentioned that the questions resemble usmleworld. So do you suggest i use usmleworld for practice. I have Kaplan Q-bank now but plan to buy Usmleworld for 30 days(prior to my exam). What do you think? and what would you suggest as someone who's been there?
 

guitarguy09

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Dragon: Try to keep your hopes up, I know some people who said similar things (feeling terrible after the exam, etc.) and everything worked out fine for them. However, I understand how stressed you must feel (I'll feel the same way this June I'm sure). Anyway, best of luck with everything and thanks for the post.
 

ms. a

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Since you just took the exam this week, I was curious as to your exam experience (since this is the thread for it). Anything to add that you think might be helpful (anything from preparation to actual test day)??

Wow, Dragon2007's experience sounded horrible - and not at all like what I experienced! I started my exam around 7:40am, after a quick check-in. I had prepared with mostly BRS, plus Langman's Embryology, Micro Made Ridiculously Simple, and some class notes. I also used QBank big time and am very grateful. The questions were very similar in style, yet QBank was more picky and detail-oriented than the real thing. I felt that the practice NBME exam off the NBME website was very representative of the real thing. Pathology and pathophys was heavily represented. There was a good bit of pharm, too. Not much anatomy (maybe 15 questions) and only a couple embryology questions. I had done the practice full length exam on QBank (it was part of my subscription), and I am very glad I did that. You can also take a practice exam at your Prometric site for a small fee, which I think would be a good idea if you don't have any other practice exam. It's a good way to get a feel for how you do after several blocks in a row, and you learn when you need to take your breaks.
 
M

mountainman123

Well, I just finished my exam and I feel good. Mainly because it is over and now I can relax. Overall I thought the exam was pretty representative of NBME 3, but a little harder. There was about 25-30 questions that were just ridiculous and you could tell that some of those were experimental because they had repeated answers and were very poorly worded.
The main focus seemed to be very random on my exam. There was quite a bit of pathophys and endocrine. There was maybe 20 anatomy/neuroanatomy questions that were 80% doable. The micro stuff was overall pretty easy with the exception of a few. There were some Pharm questions about side effects that were ridiculous and not major side effects that are usually attributed to those drugs. Behavioral Science stuff was very obvious and I had no calculations of Biostats stuff, just understanding of the concepts.
I had a good experience with checking in, breaks, noise, etc... There was another 20 questions or so that you just had to know and were not in any review books that I saw and I read most of them. The embryology was pretty straight forward. Sorry for being all over the place but I am tired and happy that it is over.

Got my score today:
USMLE Step 1: 251 (99). I am so excited that I am still shaking.
 

Inquisitive

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Well, I just finished my exam and I feel good. Mainly because it is over and now I can relax. Overall I thought the exam was pretty representative of NBME 3, but a little harder. There was about 25-30 questions that were just ridiculous and you could tell that some of those were experimental because they had repeated answers and were very poorly worded.
The main focus seemed to be very random on my exam. There was quite a bit of pathophys and endocrine. There was maybe 20 anatomy/neuroanatomy questions that were 80% doable. The micro stuff was overall pretty easy with the exception of a few. There were some Pharm questions about side effects that were ridiculous and not major side effects that are usually attributed to those drugs. Behavioral Science stuff was very obvious and I had no calculations of Biostats stuff, just understanding of the concepts.
I had a good experience with checking in, breaks, noise, etc... There was another 20 questions or so that you just had to know and were not in any review books that I saw and I read most of them. The embryology was pretty straight forward. Sorry for being all over the place but I am tired and happy that it is over.


Congrats on being done!! :thumbup:
 

Teejay

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Wow, Dragon2007's experience sounded horrible - and not at all like what I experienced! I started my exam around 7:40am, after a quick check-in. I had prepared with mostly BRS, plus Langman's Embryology, Micro Made Ridiculously Simple, and some class notes. I also used QBank big time and am very grateful. The questions were very similar in style, yet QBank was more picky and detail-oriented than the real thing. I felt that the practice NBME exam off the NBME website was very representative of the real thing. Pathology and pathophys was heavily represented. There was a good bit of pharm, too. Not much anatomy (maybe 15 questions) and only a couple embryology questions. I had done the practice full length exam on QBank (it was part of my subscription), and I am very glad I did that. You can also take a practice exam at your Prometric site for a small fee, which I think would be a good idea if you don't have any other practice exam. It's a good way to get a feel for how you do after several blocks in a row, and you learn when you need to take your breaks.

Congratulations Pal, you finally did it:thumbup: :thumbup: . Go have a beer now. You said something about going to your prometric center to take a practice exam for a little fee. Which practice exam are you talking about? Is it your full-length kaplan or another practice exam? How many practice exams can you schedule for at your prometric site?
 
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Congrats on being done guys!!! i was wondering if any of you used the goljan high yields? if so, what did you think? is it worth putting in the time to read through high yields if i have listened to the audio and read his book?
 

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Congrats on those being done!!!Keep posting your experiences for those who just took this beast.
 
M

mountainman123

I listened to all of the lectures and I read through about half of the 100 page HY notes and there were 2-3 questions that I got right only because of the HY notes. I didn't see the info for those questions in any other book. I think they are worth the time if you use them when you are tired and sitting on the couch reviewing at night and what not. They can't hurt- at worst they are a good quick review of a lot of info.
I don't think they would be enough as a primary source....
 

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Above post and this one are not mine. Ths is from another forum and I thought would be helpful for clearing some confusion regarding the Q-banks.

===

Hi every body,
returned back from prophometric centre.
Tooooo tired!
Want to convey only few important issues:

1.Its an exam of knowledge,concepts,its appliaction,your IQ,Patience and stamina to keep your mind in place after a long and continuous strenous brain drainers.

2.The pattern is changed........now the exam is not like kaplan.The new provided by certain members in recent past is true.

3.DON'T FORGET TO THOROUGHLY GO THROUGH EACH AND EVERY CONCEPT OF USMLEWORLD.Read explaination of every option provided make new concepts and prepare your own notes for the weired concepts and your weak areas.

4.The length of Q is increased and they asked too many weired appearing concepts from UW!(I'M NOT SELLING UW BUT ITS TRUTH.I WAS THE PERSON WHO TOLD EVERY BODY THAT FIRST PREREQUISITE IS KAPLAN Q BANK FOLLOWED BY UW IN MY UW SCORE THREAD BUT AFTER GIVIBG EXAM I CHANGE MY VERSION............UW IS MUST!!!!!)

5.OUT OF 7 FIRST 5 BLOCKS WERE MODERATE AND LAST 2 HARD.

6.They are asking 70% of the routine things but in a different and complex way!

7.had too many MRI,ANGIO,SLIDES but being a radiologist they were too easy for me.

8.Manage your time carefully in hard blocks

9.They covered every thing.....NO SUBJECT IN EXCESS

10.Gebetics was tough but limited Q

11.BIOSTAT & pharma straightforward

12.Asked too many weired receptors and side effects of AIDS drugs.

13.150 Q I feel i knew the answer without reading options. 100 I answered with some reasoning,70 Q with 50-50 chance and 30 highly weired-known nothing about them!

14.regarding my preparation,i will talk after score as it was highly unique and individualized according to my need and working hours(As I told you I'm a working radiologist and prapared part time for 4-5 months only.I worked 8-10 hrs a day,6 days a week and also an old grad passed in 1998....so it is entirely different story and will be dealt later along with the score).

15.And don't forget to practive other Q banks and appear in NBME before 15 days of exam........it allows you to assess yourself and you may postpone it accordingly

GL to every body!
 

ms. a

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Congratulations Pal, you finally did it:thumbup: :thumbup: . Go have a beer now. You said something about going to your prometric center to take a practice exam for a little fee. Which practice exam are you talking about? Is it your full-length kaplan or another practice exam? How many practice exams can you schedule for at your prometric site?

You should contact Prometric about your questions. The practice exam is a 4-hour practice exam, I believe, at the site, in the USMLE format. It is not the Kaplan exam. I don't know how many you can take, but it's about $50 or so for a 4-hour exam. I think there may be other options, but all this into is on the Prometric website. I would check there and call them.
 

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The study plan:
4 weeks of dedicated review, 10-12 hours per day, every day. My base study resource was First Aid which I added notes into from the following. In the last 2 weeks I just read FA over and over, probably 8 times total.
Goljan RR Pathology (excellent)
Costanzo Physiology, BRS Physiology (excellent)
Lange Medical Micro/Immuno (freaking amazing)
HY Behavioral Sci (excellent)
Goljan 100-page HY (excellent)
HY Embryo (good)
HY Histo (surprisingly good)
HY Neuroanatomy (good but only skim it)
Clinical Micro MRS (good)
HY Cell Bio (so-so)
Moore's Anatomy for reference

The test:
I concur with what the last couple of posters have said about the exam.
Lots of pathophysiology and physiology, asked in difficult ways with graphs, data from experiments, etc. The most difficult questions on the test drew from multi-system pathophys concepts, like derangements of volume, hemodynamics, metabolism, all in the same question.
About 10-20% of the exam are "knee-jerk" associations that you learn from Goljan, along the lines of "Man with AIDS has diarrhea, what bug is it" or easier.
Micro and antibiotics were VERY straightforward. Emphasis was bacteria and abx > viruses > immuno > parasites.
Pharm was dominated by autonomic/receptor/2nd messenger questions, but questions about side effects were always either the #1 or #2 side effect (such as, lithium causes hypothyroidism).
Behavioral sci was sometimes very difficult, and the "quote" questions are very difficult to prepare for.
Biochem/cell bio/molecular bio were generally straightforward but I got several blow-your-mind questions, with complicated experiments and/or detailed questions about proteins I've never heard of.
I had one flawed question where the answer choices were incomplete, so I assume this was an experimental question.

To summarize and offer advice:
Learning concepts well in 1st and 2nd years are the best way to prepare. We can all memorize bacterial virulence factors but only good teaching/learning can get you a question that requires your knowledge of equilibrium potentials. Goljan is money. FA will cover almost everything but you need to revisit conceptual stuff that you learn in class.

Do all of QBank even though sometimes it's ridiculous.
I did all of QBank and was getting high 70's at the end.

Do as many of the NBME forms as you can or feel you need to. I did 3, in this order:
Form 3: 234
Form 4: 252
Form 2: 250
Form 3 was hardest and closest to the real thing, Forms 2 and 4 were a little easier than the real thing and pretty close to each other.

I'd say the 95% CI for my score is 235-245. We'll see though. Good luck everybody.
 

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The study plan:
4 weeks of dedicated review, 10-12 hours per day, every day. My base study resource was First Aid which I added notes into from the following. In the last 2 weeks I just read FA over and over, probably 8 times total.
Goljan RR Pathology (excellent)
Costanzo Physiology, BRS Physiology (excellent)
Lange Medical Micro/Immuno (freaking amazing)
HY Behavioral Sci (excellent)
Goljan 100-page HY (excellent)
HY Embryo (good)
HY Histo (surprisingly good)
HY Neuroanatomy (good but only skim it)
Clinical Micro MRS (good)
HY Cell Bio (so-so)
Moore's Anatomy for reference

.
r u sure that BRS physiology is sufficient, some told me that i should read Kaplan notes........?.......... and i'm not so motivated 2 read about 500pgs at this time:(
some also told me 2 read BRS physiology cases..............
SO WHAT I "LL DO?
 

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r u sure that BRS physiology is sufficient, some told me that i should read Kaplan notes........?.......... and i'm not so motivated 2 read about 500pgs at this time:(
some also told me 2 read BRS physiology cases..............
SO WHAT I "LL DO?

Kaplan's Phyisology is not "actually" 500 pages, it seems that they used pages very "generous" way, the lateral sides of the pages are blank for noting etc.
It's not that hard to read - except endocrinology section which is 150 pages long and made me tired a bit :rolleyes: . Also, there are question and explanations at the end of the every section so this also contributes to those 500 pages.

And lastly, I didn't read BRS so I can't compare :cool:
 

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fakin' the funk, Thanks for the heads up...I can only hope to do as well as you probably did :)

Overall, did you end up doing pretty well your 1st 2 yrs or really ramped up studying for the boards?
 
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fakin' the funk

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Overall, did you end up doing pretty well your 1st 2 yrs or really ramped up studying for the boards?

Good luck!

My school is P/NP so it's hard to say. I did OK, probably in the 2nd-from-the-top quartile of the class. I didn't sweat trying to memorize every little detail for each organ system, and tried to emphasize learning concepts and learning them in the context of clinical presentation.

I feel like I either got lucky or underappreciated the quality of teaching at my school, as at the start of my boards study I felt pretty well-prepared already. I had been going through Goljan and following along in FA for the 2-3 months before that. So most of my board study was doing pure memorization things like bacterial/viral classifications, pharm side effects, disease features, etc; taking practice exams and doing QBank; and learning the "classic" knee-jerk associations like "A man just got back from California, what bug is causing his pneumonia" that Goljan is so handy for.
 

ertugrul

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For those who want to know more about HOX (and PAX):

There are regulatory proteins which control embryonic gene expression for cell differantiation. Those proteins are encoded by genes namely HOX(homeobox) and PAX (paired box) genes.
There is an mutation in a PAX gene in Klein-Waardenburg syndrome.

For more: refer to Kaplan's Lecture Notes, Biochem. & molecular bio & genetic, page 45
 

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I took Step I today, so I thought I'd go ahead spew out everything before it dissolves away...

The usual: 7 blocks of Q's, 50 Q's each, blah blah blah

Embryo: I had 2 or 3 questions at the most. A friend only 1.

Anatomy: I had more of these than I thought. I usually think of questions that pertain to pathology, but requiring anatomical knowledge to be pathology. I'm also not including neuroanatomy (which pretty much asked you to identify which parts of the brain do what). I had about 3 or 4 direct anatomy questions per block (ie Which artery goes through which foramen?). That sucked, seeing as how I hate anatomy. One brachial plexus diagram. One MRI of the shoulder.

Microbio: Not as many direct questions as I thought there'd be. There were more questions were you had to make the diagnosis and THEN answer some pathology or pharm question.

Pharm: Same deal as microbio, but the ultimate question was usually what mechanism or what side effect. I don't remember many, if any at all, questions testing your knowledge of simply what a med does.

Pictures (H/E, EM, gross, etc): I thought the pictures were pretty fair. They were big enough and showed what they wanted pretty clearly. Only one of them, though, asked me "what's that arrow pointing to?" See microbio and pharm.

Psych: I'm guessing some of these questions fall into the psych rubric, anyway. I had a few questions on mental illnesses, but not many. I had twice as many "ethics" questions. I put that in quotes, since I don't think the ethics questions are done very well. If you've used Qbank, they're pretty much identical.

Biochem/Mol Bio: About the same as psych, roughly. Most were doable. There were a couple of crazy research type questions, but I think it might have been my lacking. I did manage to figure out a few of them and realized they weren't especially hard once you figured out what they they were talking about. They bascially masked simple questions (how many segments does virusX have in its genome?) by burying it research jargon. I guess they could be considered multi-step questions too, where you have to know resesarch/lab techniques and then answer a question. For those of you scared of research, First Aid has everything you need to know, but working in a research lab might help gel it together and make the jargon seem less scary. Just a theory, though!

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right...: I only had about 5 or 6 questions with a bunch of arrows going all which ways. They were mostly dealing with renal stuff or cardio. I thought I'd add this as a separate category since I always have to spend more time on these to work out each thing in my mind. It's like 5 questions in one for me.

The rest: By far, the majority of questions started out with "A XY old man/woman/boy/girl/infant presents with ABC symptoms. Some would give you the diagnosis, but some wouldn't. Then you'd have to know how to treat it, what other symptoms/signs would you expect, how does a particular symptom work, what alternative therapy can be used... they just go on and on.

Math: Oh yeah, you can't use a calculator and you don't need one. All the math could be done with the scratch pad they give you, and you don't need it very often.

I didn't have any questions where I went WTF!? I did go [email protected]#&!!! more than I would have liked to.

I found First Aid to be a good repository of information, but I found it hard to study from. StepUp was pretty good, but the layout is absolutely horrible. They should fire the copy editor. I also liked High Yield Pathology and High Yield Anatomy. The new HY Anatomy is about 5 times thicker than my hand me down, so I'm not too sure how high yield it is anymore. The Goljan audio stuff floating around is pretty good. He's a little scattered but he's got some good info. I liked the BRS flashcard sets because they had big print and few words. Qbank is OK. It's nice to have a couple thousand questions at your disposal. Some of them are pretty ridiculous, though, so don't feel bad if you're getting a lot of them wrong.

The freebie USMLE questions you can download are very similar in difficulty and content, I think. The set up and design of the interface is exactly the same as the real thing. I did a few of the NBME tests you have to pay for, but for some reason they use a different interface. Weird. You can search the forums regarding these guys. I pretty much agree with what's already been said. Form3:160, Form4:190, Form2:210 in that order if you were curious.

I'm kind of regretting that I slack off in med school. Even though did some really hard studying over the past few weeks, I still felt horribly unprepared and encountered many questions I couldn't answer. I just hope I passed. I don't want to do this again!

Well that's it for now. I emptied my brain, and it's time to go get some EtOH to make sure it stays gone!

-X
 
M

mountainman123

Got my scores today:
I got a 251 (99). I am ecstatic and thought I would post it here because it is thanks to this site that I made my plan and for hope and encouragement, etc.. Thanks everyone for their help.
 

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mshakhatreh - 03/21/07 12:51

Hello Everybody, I can't tell you how happy I am today!
I received my score today, you won't believe it:

2-Digit Score: 99
3- Digit Score: 267

Al-Hamdulillah!!

Thank you all for your very helpful questions and discussions, believe me everybody if you study the right way, and review right with a lot of questions (especially usmleworld! I got about 10 questions in the real exam that were on usmleworld) you would ace this exam easily.

My prayers go to all of you who yet have to take this exam, it is very important that you take this exam with high confidence and don't be afraid of it!!

Good Luck!

http://usmleforum.com/files/forum/2007/1/172825.php
 

DrThom

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Got my scores today:
I got a 251 (99). I am ecstatic and thought I would post it here because it is thanks to this site that I made my plan and for hope and encouragement, etc.. Thanks everyone for their help.

That's awesome! Congrats!

9 days until the beast for me...

By the way, what were you scoring on the NBME exams....I'm trying to find if there is a strong correlation
 

Dragon2007

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doctoria - 03/21/07 09:21

Hello, everyone ! This is the first time i logged in in 2 weeks, my internet conection is not working anymore...i'm writing from a net caffe, so no time for very detailed info...
I finally had my exam , 3 weeks later than i wanted, because Prometric Romania had some "problems" and had to push back again the exam. And also, i had no full time for a review, i was working in the hospital and doing night calls untill the last moment.

I want to thank everyone on the forum, the forum is really great, i was lucky to find it ! There were 2 things that made my exam preparation seem nice and were also extremely helpful for the exam: this forum and UW.

The exam was just DOABLE. 40% qs looked easy to me, 40% were kind of hard, 20% were a bit too much :) and some of these last ones were out of my world.

First block was easy, the next one harder, the 3rd even harder, and then the rest of the blocks were ok towards hard...not as easy as i hoped. Anyway, i do not want to discourage you, i must say i am never pleased with my performance, so this message might seem pesimistic to you! But this exam is not easy, that's for sure. And it is not extremely hard either.

I thik it is important to fight untill the last q. Durig the 6th block, i kind of let it go, i was sleepy, did not care much, just wanted to finish. That was a crazy thing to do. Don't do this !! Every q is important.

I managed to finish every block in about 50 minutes and then 10 minutes i used to recheck some qs i was unsure of.

The qs stem was variable, some were 1 liners, some (not many ) had long stem, but overall it was medium (maybe 8-9 lines).

Anatomy-quite a lot of qs. Most of them about nerve injuries, so it was classic. 1 embriology q, i don't even remember it, 1 histo q, the one with muscles - A band, H band- picture - don't remember what they asked, had to identify one of this bands i think. Neuroanat qs - there were some with pictures, i had some problems with 2...:( Some head CTs...very good quality- they asked to identify some structures (mamillary bodies for ex). One q about a brain stem lesion (medial midbrain ) had to pick up the deficit that the patient will have...and i could not find an answer(between ABCDE ) to look good to me :(

Biochem-this was not my strong point..:( so i guess i am supressing, i don't remember the qs...

Cell and moleculat biology- it was hard...i had about 15-20 hard qs, i used to read them once, did not understand much of it, read it again, and then make an educated guess or just a guess.

Fiziology- pulmonary and a lot of endocrinology ws. One easy gut q...the secretin one.

BS and biostat- well, i had some real strange BS qs, that tested some concepts i never encountered (like from a list of procedures made to a patient, which one will give the doctor a benefit that is most acceptable?!) Biostat - some qs were easy (Se, Sp, PPV) some were not...or i just did not get the trick. One selection bias q.

Pharmacology- it was the last think i read before the exam, so it looked easy to me, some qs (2-3) with graphs. MOA most of the time...One of them was not very hard, but i got the right answer 1 second after my time was finished, i had to think really hard for this one...and not fast enough it seemes. It was about some monoclonal Abs against an enzyme and there was a graph with the their activity, they asked about affinity to the enzyme, the concept was not hard, but the way they asked the q, and that graph make the q look very sophisticated.

Genetics- not hard.

Microb and immuno- i had some mico qs that i was unsure of, also some immuno qs...Overall not hard, staph, strept, some fungi, 1 or 2 virology qs (know + or - RNA, DNA so on)...

Pathology- not as many qs as i expected, but harder then i expected. I had acutally a lot of qs that i was unsure of. 2 or 3 of them did not get them at all, made no sense to me. But i think this is because you don't have the time during the exam to think too much about a q, in order to understand what they want from you, so you have to make a choice no matter how absurd the q looks to you...and do it fast.

Not many detailes tested on my test, or i felt so...I was afraid that i'll have a lot of qs where i will not remember the information (that type of dull and stupid detailes), but it was not the case.

UW format is exacly the same like the format of the real exam. Also the qs are similar and there were some concepts tested in the test that i encountered in UW...and that UW clarifyed very well. It helped me a lot, i almost felt like the exam was familiar. So i suggest you should do UW.

http://usmleforum.com/files/forum/2007/1/172758.php
 

mesoderm

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Got my scores today:
I got a 251 (99). I am ecstatic and thought I would post it here because it is thanks to this site that I made my plan and for hope and encouragement, etc.. Thanks everyone for their help.

You are my new hero :love:

CONGRATULATIONS, UNM2009!!!!!!!!!!
 
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pinky65

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Got my scores today:
I got a 251 (99). I am ecstatic and thought I would post it here because it is thanks to this site that I made my plan and for hope and encouragement, etc.. Thanks everyone for their help.


congratss!! that's awesomee :thumbup:
 

pinky65

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Got my scores today:
I got a 251 (99). I am ecstatic and thought I would post it here because it is thanks to this site that I made my plan and for hope and encouragement, etc.. Thanks everyone for their help.


I had read your posts about your prep/exam experience so glad to see the amazing score. So I have a question - the day you gave yours how did you feel you did. I gave mine today and i'm still kinda dazed. It wasn't hard, I thought it was very fair but the time limit/fatigue factor really kicked in. Midway through it it felt so robotic just reading and clicking. I don't even remember more than 20 questions on the test - like I said i'm still dazed so wana know if that's normal or does that mean I screwed up. I honestly have no idea how I did - everything is a mental block right now. All i feel right now is relief that it's over.
 
M

mountainman123

I had read your posts about your prep/exam experience so glad to see the amazing score. So I have a question - the day you gave yours how did you feel you did. I gave mine today and i'm still kinda dazed. It wasn't hard, I thought it was very fair but the time limit/fatigue factor really kicked in. Midway through it it felt so robotic just reading and clicking. I don't even remember more than 20 questions on the test - like I said i'm still dazed so wana know if that's normal or does that mean I screwed up. I honestly have no idea how I did - everything is a mental block right now. All i feel right now is relief that it's over.

I actually felt the exact same way. I still try to remember some of the questions and all I remember is the 2-3 questions that really pissed me off. I felt fine after the test and that actually scared me more. I think it is normal and you are not alone. Congrats on being done. I am sure you did excellent. Now it is time to relax and feel extremely bored after doing nothing but study.
 

goldensnow

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Got my scores today:
I got a 251 (99). I am ecstatic and thought I would post it here because it is thanks to this site that I made my plan and for hope and encouragement, etc.. Thanks everyone for their help.

hi UNM. Congratulation for ur awesome score, can u just tell me ur UW and NBME scores. so that i can do some correlation.thanks for posting ur experience.
 

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drash - 03/22/07 00:12

hello everybody ,
im an img from india n hav been an observer at this forum for quite some time ... though this forum has given me sleepless nites it has also been a gr8 help during tough times with respect to guidance n downloads ......
i gave my step 1 in feb after abt 6 mnths of preparation and got my results a few weeks ago n was more than happy to see a 99 percentile ( 246 ).
well ive had lots of help frm other ppls exam experiences n am obliged to do the same ... i guess 5-6 mnths is the right amt of time required for the preparation of this exam ...
ill first right abt my exam experience -- the step 1 was much more tougher than i had expected as compred to the q bank 2006. the pattern n style of q,s was very similar to the nbme forms though !! my greatest problem was that ther wer many q,s in which i cud narrow down to 2 options but wasnt sure which one it was ,,, this ended up in a waste of lots of time n i invariably had like 5 mins for my last 10 qs in abt 4 of the blocks...n happened to miss 3 qs totally ( dint even see 2 of them ) in one of the bolcks ... so guys pls keep a strict vigil on ur time ... at the same time dont chek ur time after evry q as u end up wasting time n also lose in on ur concentration ...
one technique i found very helpful was reading the last line first in the reele long qs and im sure guys, evrybdy will get lots of such long qs .... as far as the distribution of exam goes ... i guess i had lots of physician pt q,s and ofcourse whole lot of pathology and yes biochemistry, immunology ...
i wud say neuroanat was also very prevalent in my set ... had quite few CT scans and abt 3 arteriograms ....
okie ill jus emphasize on wat my exam seemed to hav stressed on subjectwise ---
Anat -- as evrybdy says n knows ther wer q,s primarily on nerve lesion n their effects ... simple qs .. to the point n srtaightforward .. jus needed to hav a basic idea of anatomy to answer most of them
Physio -- was full of graphs ( ones i had never seen b4 in notes or qbanks etc ) ,, most of them are answerable once u hav ur concepts clear n hav an orientation of the axes ... some wer jus to b guessed hopin theyr experimental ...
Biochem -- had lots of qs frm molecular biology and some qs frm various metabolisms etc ... stic to ur biocehm charts ( if uve made them that is )... the overall idea of various cycles n connection n integrations between them is very imp. to kno ...
Pathology -- i must say is the baap ( father) of step 1 .. u good at it n u invaribly will do well ... the q s ( most of them ) wer integratin 2 n sometime 3 concepts together , so i actuallyt had to stop at the q and think for a while b4 i figured out the answer ... dont expect the one liner qs in pathology ( atleast i got none)
Pharmac -- was kinda easy ,, they dint get into gr8 detail n most of the qs wer related to MOA and S/E ... a few q s did ask abt treatment of choice though ..
Micro -- was reele simple,,, atleast i felt so ( except for viruses, wher i got big time confused between their classes etc etc ) ,, but luckily dint hav manyt qs frm viruses ... i wud suggest u dont waste much time on myco n parasito coz i guess theyr not HY as i had jus one q frm each of them n that too some wierd names i had never heard of b4 ..
Immuno -- i had lots lots immuno in my exam ,, some wer simple but som wer totallyt unheard of .. so prepare well for immuno ,, atleast u can bag the simple ones right ..n hop the others are jus experimental ..
Behav sci -- well i used to think i was reele good at it until i gave my exam .. the physician pt q,s screwd me royally n i was totally uncertain as towhwther my ans. was right or wrong ... ther wer also a few graphs which i had to interpret n use in calculatin various rates ... for such graphs i recommend that u jus relax on encounterin such a q focus on the axes once again ... make sure u clearly kno wat theyr askin for n also wat teh graph actually is reflecting ... usually such qs are very simple,, only the sight of like 10 graphs sittin in front of u tends to work u up a bit ... so dont worry at all .. relax n then think !!
my study sources were --
i basically stuc to kaplan notes for most of my subjects and saw the dvds once ..
did behav frm BRS as well and also physio neurology frm BRS,
did Pathology frm goljan notes nad listened to his audios twice ... i highly recommend his audios ,,as the man is reele confident and helps u in understandin patho real good ...
did a little bit of readin frm HY for anat and neuroanat ( u shud chek out their CT scans )
i gav 3 readings to my kaplan notes altogether ...
n also did the kaplan 2006 qbank online ... was contemplating doin the uworld as well but dint hav the time to start with another qbank.. abt kap qbank , i suggest u shud use it as a studyin tool as well as an assessing tool .. i scored roughl around 70 % on it .. do not expect to get q,s like the qbank.. it just teaches u how to learn stuff , interpret qs and also wat to focus on ... i dint hav a single q as the qbank on my exam ,,, but yes a lot of similar concepts wer tested ..i also gave the nbme form 3 online and found it to be very helpful n similar in difiiculty level to the usmle step 1 ... i took it abt 3 weeks b4 my step 1 .. the last 2 days of my preparation i jus went thru the FA ( i hadnt done it b4 though ),,but it helped me in recollectin a lot of imp. n HY stuff ...
i also took the usmle cd 3 days b4 the exam n found it to b a tremendous confidence booster ... the qs being slightly more simpler than the actual usmle !!
the last few days i sugest u shud relax ( the little that is possible) .. eat well and sleep well .. i had read in a lot of exam experiences that its so diff. to sleep b4 the exam ... but im tellin u its totally possible n also necessary that u do so ... jus lay down on ur bed n think of anyhting but ur books ... it atleast helped me ..
on the day of exam -- b4 u enter the exam room .. promise urself ull give it ur best shot n hav a small talk with ur god .. to the exam centre >>>take a pain killer with u for sure ,,, jus incase u need it n also some sandwiches preferably with jam ( u dont wanna eat much n at the same time u also want to hav a high energy level )... plan ur brks the day b4 n keep atleast 15 mins of spare time jus in case of any emergency ... the last 2 bolcks will be good ... atleast they hav been for whomever i hav asked n heard from ... i dunno if its the fact that ur exam is gettin over or its jus that uve become more tolerant to the continuous stress of the usmle qs in the exam ...
once ur done with the exam,,dont ponder over the qs n try figurin wat went wrong or wat was right ... jus accept the fact that its now done n party whatsoever u think ur performance has been ... im sure u totally deserve the break or outing ...
all in all ... the exam is tottaly doable n if u hav ur concepts clear n hav been sincere in ur preparartion thers no need for u to woory abt passing ... a lot of us ( atleast i did ) freak out seein the qs posted in this forum n end up upsettin rself n the rhythm of r studies ... dont do that ,, though very many qs are helpful .. sometime the exam experiences i guess are a bit over the board !! anyways, thats my personal opinion .. no offences to anybdy pls .... n yes hats of to all those who hav given or are in the process of givin the steps even though theyr married n often hav children ... way to go ppl .. i reele admire ur courage, hardwrk n dedication ... im sure ull will prove to be great drs soon .. giv it a good effort n also a good shot !!!
well thats it for now ... do remember me in ur prayers n hope to hav my exam experience on th ck forum soon ..

http://usmleforum.com/files/forum/2007/1/173001.php
 

pinky65

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I actually felt the exact same way. I still try to remember some of the questions and all I remember is the 2-3 questions that really pissed me off. I felt fine after the test and that actually scared me more. I think it is normal and you are not alone. Congrats on being done. I am sure you did excellent. Now it is time to relax and feel extremely bored after doing nothing but study.
thanks alot. That actually helped make me feel better :)
 

pinky65

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well now that i'm somewhat back to normal i can write about my exam experience. The test wasn't hard - it wasn't the big beast I had expected and been so scared of (dammit if I had known beforehand it was doable I would have calmed myself down and rested the last couple days). The nerves didn't get to me either during the exam but the lack of sleep the night before due to tension really really got to me during the exam. I was achy/nauseated/wallowing in self-pity during the entire exam but i answered everything and most things with some confidence. The first four blocks were pretty easy but the next two were harddd and the last one was of moderate difficulty. As for the subject distribution, aside from the path/pathophys i had alot of pharm questions and some were weird - asked for best drug in scenarios I wasn't familiar with. I got wayy more anatomy than i would have liked, not just CTs and MRIs but everything, muscles nerves you name it i got it. Micro was very simple straightforward typical stuff. Not alota biochem/genetics, had a couple strange experiment setup q's - didnt know what they were talking about so didnt waste time with em. The ethics qs always left me with two choices and i just would pick whichever one. Not much embryo. All in all a fair test - one that resembled uw alot, even more than the nbme's (i know everyone says the opposite but i felt differently). Actually I had no probs doing UW qs (cum avg 75% random timed), but I didn't like the nbme 1 qs at all. I took that 4 weeks out and had gotten a 570/234 (thought it tested too many lil details- the either you know it or you don't kind) and nbme 2 I did after a week of doing uw and got 650/248. So UW was very very helpful for me, during the prep and on the real thing. There were some questions on the real thing that it would have taken me alot of time to figure em out if i hadn't leanred the concepts from uw, and those concepts had been so drilled in I didn't need to think - i just clicked and moved on. that was most of my test reading and just clicking without doing heavy duty thinking. The rest of the qs, i duno how i fared on those- those are the ones making me nervous and giving me this ugly unsatisfied feeling because I couldn't go back and check em and think through em, didn't have enough time. That was another thing, it used to take me 40-45 mins to finish a block of uw/qbank but on the real thing I felt like i had to rush towards the end of half the blocks to finish. All in all i duno how i feel abt my performance but can't do much abt it now soo just gona try to distract myself until the scores come.
I guess that covers everything, if you guys have any specific qs abt anything I'd be happy to answer.
 

TheEleventhReel

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well now that i'm somewhat back to normal i can write about my exam experience. The test wasn't hard - it wasn't the big beast I had expected and been so scared of (dammit if I had known beforehand it was doable I would have calmed myself down and rested the last couple days). The nerves didn't get to me either during the exam but the lack of sleep the night before due to tension really really got to me during the exam. I was achy/nauseated/wallowing in self-pity during the entire exam but i answered everything and most things with some confidence. The first four blocks were pretty easy but the next two were harddd and the last one was of moderate difficulty. As for the subject distribution, aside from the path/pathophys i had alot of pharm questions and some were weird - asked for best drug in scenarios I wasn't familiar with. I got wayy more anatomy than i would have liked, not just CTs and MRIs but everything, muscles nerves you name it i got it. Micro was very simple straightforward typical stuff. Not alota biochem/genetics, had a couple strange experiment setup q's - didnt know what they were talking about so didnt waste time with em. The ethics qs always left me with two choices and i just would pick whichever one. Not much embryo. All in all a fair test - one that resembled uw alot, even more than the nbme's (i know everyone says the opposite but i felt differently). Actually I had no probs doing UW qs (cum avg 75% random timed), but I didn't like the nbme 1 qs at all. I took that 4 weeks out and had gotten a 570/234 (thought it tested too many lil details- the either you know it or you don't kind) and nbme 2 I did after a week of doing uw and got 650/248. So UW was very very helpful for me, during the prep and on the real thing. There were some questions on the real thing that it would have taken me alot of time to figure em out if i hadn't leanred the concepts from uw, and those concepts had been so drilled in I didn't need to think - i just clicked and moved on. that was most of my test reading and just clicking without doing heavy duty thinking. The rest of the qs, i duno how i fared on those- those are the ones making me nervous and giving me this ugly unsatisfied feeling because I couldn't go back and check em and think through em, didn't have enough time. That was another thing, it used to take me 40-45 mins to finish a block of uw/qbank but on the real thing I felt like i had to rush towards the end of half the blocks to finish. All in all i duno how i feel abt my performance but can't do much abt it now soo just gona try to distract myself until the scores come.
I guess that covers everything, if you guys have any specific qs abt anything I'd be happy to answer.

Thanks for the post Pinky. I'm sure that you did great, especially since you were scoring really well on the NBME's. I have one question for you: How long did you use UW? I won't be taking my exam until the end of August, but it seems like many people are using UW and other Qbanks as a learning tool and not just to test what they've already learned. I was just curious if you used the same approach?
 

Teejay

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well now that i'm somewhat back to normal i can write about my exam experience. The test wasn't hard - it wasn't the big beast I had expected and been so scared of (dammit if I had known beforehand it was doable I would have calmed myself down and rested the last couple days). The nerves didn't get to me either during the exam but the lack of sleep the night before due to tension really really got to me during the exam. I was achy/nauseated/wallowing in self-pity during the entire exam but i answered everything and most things with some confidence. The first four blocks were pretty easy but the next two were harddd and the last one was of moderate difficulty. As for the subject distribution, aside from the path/pathophys i had alot of pharm questions and some were weird - asked for best drug in scenarios I wasn't familiar with. I got wayy more anatomy than i would have liked, not just CTs and MRIs but everything, muscles nerves you name it i got it. Micro was very simple straightforward typical stuff. Not alota biochem/genetics, had a couple strange experiment setup q's - didnt know what they were talking about so didnt waste time with em. The ethics qs always left me with two choices and i just would pick whichever one. Not much embryo. All in all a fair test - one that resembled uw alot, even more than the nbme's (i know everyone says the opposite but i felt differently). Actually I had no probs doing UW qs (cum avg 75% random timed), but I didn't like the nbme 1 qs at all. I took that 4 weeks out and had gotten a 570/234 (thought it tested too many lil details- the either you know it or you don't kind) and nbme 2 I did after a week of doing uw and got 650/248. So UW was very very helpful for me, during the prep and on the real thing. There were some questions on the real thing that it would have taken me alot of time to figure em out if i hadn't leanred the concepts from uw, and those concepts had been so drilled in I didn't need to think - i just clicked and moved on. that was most of my test reading and just clicking without doing heavy duty thinking. The rest of the qs, i duno how i fared on those- those are the ones making me nervous and giving me this ugly unsatisfied feeling because I couldn't go back and check em and think through em, didn't have enough time. That was another thing, it used to take me 40-45 mins to finish a block of uw/qbank but on the real thing I felt like i had to rush towards the end of half the blocks to finish. All in all i duno how i feel abt my performance but can't do much abt it now soo just gona try to distract myself until the scores come.
I guess that covers everything, if you guys have any specific qs abt anything I'd be happy to answer.

Congratulations on finishing your exam. You should relax now cuz its over. I have a question though i'm going to create an entirely new thread for this question because its very important. What was your strategy on the real 350exam test? Did you take a break every block, two blocks etc and how long of a break did you take.
 

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Thanks for the post Pinky. I'm sure that you did great, especially since you were scoring really well on the NBME's. I have one question for you: How long did you use UW? I won't be taking my exam until the end of August, but it seems like many people are using UW and other Qbanks as a learning tool and not just to test what they've already learned. I was just curious if you used the same approach?

i used qbank as a learning tool, i did 60% of it then got frustrated with it because i couldn't go beyond 72-73%, so i took nbme 1 and wasnt too thrilled with it. then i did a week of UW and finished 70%of it during that week so after that week I took nbme 2 and improved by a 100 points so i guess that's due to UW. so i would say i used both qbank and uw as learning tools but uw also helped test the concepts i had learned in different ways. just do as many qs as you can, whether you're using it as a learning tool or assessing yourself just do em until you get tired of em. it'll make a huge huge difference in terms of the ease with which you can answer qs on the real thing. qs will do all the work of integrating concepts for you.
 

pinky65

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Congratulations on finishing your exam. You should relax now cuz its over. I have a question though i'm going to create an entirely new thread for this question because its very important. What was your strategy on the real 350exam test? Did you take a break every block, two blocks etc and how long of a break did you take.
i took a break after every block, i had no choice because i was tired/nauseated from teh sleepless night going into the test so i knew that i wouldn't be able to last 2 blocks in a row. i found that taking a break after each block was very helpful. i would go have a power bar or chocolate with gatorade. gatorade helped alottt - like my so says gatorade for the win. I skipped lunch. I would come back after each break with renewed energy, also taking such frequent breaks didn't make the exam seem so long. All in all a doable test if you h aven't killed yourself with the tension beforehand.
 

Teejay

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i took a break after every block, i had no choice because i was tired/nauseated from teh sleepless night going into the test so i knew that i wouldn't be able to last 2 blocks in a row. i found that taking a break after each block was very helpful. i would go have a power bar or chocolate with gatorade. gatorade helped alottt - like my so says gatorade for the win. I skipped lunch. I would come back after each break with renewed energy, also taking such frequent breaks didn't make the exam seem so long. All in all a doable test if you h aven't killed yourself with the tension beforehand.
Thanks for the reply.
 
M

mountainman123

hi UNM. Congratulation for ur awesome score, can u just tell me ur UW and NBME scores. so that i can do some correlation.thanks for posting ur experience.

Sure:
NBME 1- 234 (approx 6 wks out)
NBME 2- 238 (approx 4 wks out)
NBME 3- 258- 1 week out
I did not use UWorld. I ended up with a 77% average on Qbank and a 78% on USMLERx.
 

Dragon2007

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I have been a silent observer, but I have learned a lot from this forum. I hope my experience might be somewhat helpful.
I took the exam on Feb. 27 and got my socre on Mar. 24. 225/94. Not a stellar score, but I am more than happy. I graduated in 1994. I wasn't interested in practising medicine at that time, so I went to research. I got my Ph.D. in 2003 and did several years' postdoc after that. And then I just lost motivation in pursing research. You see, it took me more than ten years to decide to go back to medicine. I have been studying on and off for six months. The last two months was pretty intense. I have a full-time teaching job in an undergraduate college, so I couldn't take any time off before the exam.

Material I used: First Aid (did four times, the last reading was done one hour before the exam), Goljan Path Audio (twice), and USMLEWORLD (55%). Didn't do Kaplan Notes or qbank. Didn't do NBME online. Did the downloaded NBME 3 a week before the exam: 41/36/38/42 and had no idea where I stood and went for the exam anyway, since my extended eligibility period ended in Feb.

All the subjects were evenly distributed in my exam. 1/3 of the questions are straightforward. 1/3 are twisted and require logical thinking. Rest of the questions are difficult and long, very much like those hard ones on USMLEWORLD. Over 2/3 of the questions can be answered if you know FA well. So my suggestion is do FA at least 4 times and try to remember every word. Since I didn't do Kaplan qbank, I cannot compare it with UW. But I do think UW is a very good learning tool and explains the concepts very well, even though the score can be depressing.

Even though understanding concepts is extremely important, please do not overlook details, which are heavily tested in my exam. Again FA, FA, FA...

I will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Best wishes for all of you! If I can do it, you will definitely do better.

http://usmleforum.com/files/forum/2007/1/174240.php
 

Wings4Marie

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^This post rocks. it just made me super confident, my test is tomorrow and all ive been doing this week is FA FA FA FA FA FA FA (with my complete annotations of course!)

and dont knock your score bro, its damn good.
 
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