5+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2011
bay area
Medical Student
My test is in 2 weeks, and I'm in terrible terrible shape. I'm a good test-taker (speaking from past experience) but my fund of knowledge for Step 1 is very weak. My school was P/F the first two years and I was irresponsible and only crammed for exams to pull off Bs, but nothing went into long term memory.

I'm averaging about 50-60% on UWorld sets, without pharmacology (my weakest subject). If I were to include pharm questions, I would miss probably half of the pharm questions and the ones I get right it's probably from guessing.

I've only finished 20% of UWorld. My last NBME was 2 weeks ago and I failed that. Ever since failing, I've been studying hardcore for the past 2 weeks but now I realize that I don't have time to learn everything thoroughly, or even superficially b/c I keep freaking out.

So I'm 2 weeks away, still need to finish 80% of UWorld, and need to take some NBME practice exams.... It seems very obvious (to me) that I'm not ready to take this, but I talked to some people and they were all just like "keep trying your best, things can really turn around in the last 2 weeks" etc. Several people have said that it all came together in the last week for them. So... is something like this possible for me? Or not. Because I'm leaning towards not, but I do have a tendency to push exams back (delayed the MCAT twice, and did well, but still, I don't know how to stick to a schedule).

Oh and I would have to take a Leave of Absence for the next 4 weeks if I were to push back the date. Everyone says having an LoA is a huge red flag on residency apps. But so is a potentially failing or very low Step 1 score. LASTLY, and probably the most important point (?), is that if I delay my test, I will have no free time to study for Step 2. Basically I've have to study for Step 2 while being on rotations.


Jun 18, 2015
Medical Student
Honestly, the most important point is passing the test, and doing it well. If I were you, I'd def cancel and prepare properly. On top of that, lots of basic things you have to know for step 1 are heavily tested on CK, so it's a win-win. Lastly, it's the good step 1 score that's going to open the doors, or, ultimately, not, in case you fail/pass with a low score.


2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2015
Hi. Well I am a non US IMG and I have paid the step twice. Since both times I wasnt getting the score I want for the residency I want. So the point is there is no shame on Cancelling it if you know (unless you have good connections) that you cant get into what you want with the score you're getting.! Good luck!
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