A little panicked about step 1

Discussion in 'Step I' started by FindingVeritas, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. FindingVeritas

    5+ Year Member

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    Hey all, I wanted to ask you guys a question about step 1. I'm currently ~6 months out and I'm on a shortened preclinical curriculum (1.5 years) that is systems based. I've already bought uworld and I'm going through that now, not doing great at all (30% bad, on class sections that I have had already). I'm currently working on a first pass through FA and Pathoma atm.

    In class I have cardio, pulm, renal, endo/repro, and heme still left to go. I am reviewing the rest, planning to do micro and biochem towards the end of my 4 months or so of class. Then I have 2 months of straight Step 1 prep. Do you think I could achieve around 230? I know MCAT doesn't correlate, but my undergrad was solid and I had a 37 on my MCAT. I'm a good test taker but I completely got sidetracked during my first year and lost focus/burnt out. I spent this past summer teaching MCAT and more or less taking it easy to recharge my batteries. Now I am feeling a lot better and motivated to give this my best shot. If I could hit 220+, I would basically not consider the next option.

    So my second question would be...can you guys elaborate on the discussion with admin on 'research' year? Is it possible that if everything went wrong that I could postpone my step 1, then take a LOA for research at the end of my second year, study for Step/take step/do some research then come back a year later and start clerkships with the next class down from mine? My school just has a policy that you finish med school in 6 years total.

    Lastly, I have one last question. How additive do you all think step 1 is? As in, many people refer to it as a cram exam, and I find myself not remembering very much from material that I have covered before (this is 99% because I was lazy and completely burnt out). I know it is far less in depth than my actual med school curriculum. Do you think that only having a sorta of shallow understanding of biochem/micro/neuro and a decent understanding of GI/Psych/Ethics that I could still re-study the weaker subjects and score around average on Step? I realize this is a tough question to answer, but I am begging for an answer to this question.

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this!

    TLDR 2 questions:

    1. How do you go about asking for more time to study for Step 1? Does it have to be a research year? If a research year is best to not give off any red flags, can you spend part of the year doing full time step 1 and the other part research? If you don't mind, can you share a personal experience/or PM me one? I'm on a shortened preclinical so I know we have extra time built into 4th year, maybe that will help?

    2. How additive is Step 1 based on an average score (vs. 240+ where it definitely requires lots of built-upon knowledge). I need to basically learn A LOT of things from scratch.


    Thanks again everybody!
     
  2. Pisiform

    Pisiform Oh Crap!!!
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    Take a month of Leave of absence to prepare for boards. Try to see if they bump your rotation month which you will miss to vacation month if you have

    1 year is a lot of time. Might as well repeat the year idk
     
  3. zyxab

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  4. TheShaker

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    I'm not quite understanding why you're worried. Because you're getting 30% on UW? You haven't studied any of the high yield organ systems and UW is supposed to be really hard. That's completely normal. None of what I read in your post sounds out of the ordinary, you're giving up before you even started. If you're still failing practice exams when you're less than a month out, then go ahead and think about rescheduling. No reason to get worried when you're 6 months out and haven't even done the big organ systems yet.
     
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  5. lymphocyte

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    1. UWorld is a demoralising prognostic tool. You should be using it to learn. Period. Full stop. Doesn't matter if you start in the 30%s as long as you're learning every single word in the explanations and the corresponding sections in First Aid.

    2. You're 6 months out and haven't even learned the highest yield systems yet. 30%s would be normal for most people in your shoes.

    3. 220+ on Step 1 is very doable. Most people do it. But you can't know know if you'll hit that score now. You'll need one or two diagnostic tests (the recent NBMEs are the gold standards) before you can say with any reasonable certainty.

    4. If you want to delay Step 1, the best advice is to rearrange blocks to schedule vacation for study period. Taking a LOA just for Step 1 is a bad idea. You have explain that LOA on ERAS. Doesn't look very good to say that you needed more time when the vast majority of applicants don't.

    5. If you do a research year, would you actually enjoy it? Would you get meaningful publications/connections out of it? There's a big difference between a Doris Duke and 2 5th author abstracts. PDs know the difference.

    6. I believe @Phloston did a year for research/studying for Step 1 and smashed out a 260+. He also offers tutoring services and is a really helpful bloke.

    Best bet is to keep studying and making preparatory moves if you don't hit the score you want on the NBMEs a few months from now. Surely you have time to pull the trigger on rescheduling vacation (good), taking a LOA (bad), or taking an entire research year (good or bad or both). But I actually think you're perfectly normal right now.
     
  6. Phloston

    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

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    Nice use of the word bloke. Cheers for that mate
     
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  7. lymphocyte

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    Hahaha... I very honestly didn't even notice that until you mentioned it.
     

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