failed and need advice

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10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2004
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Hi! okay, so i had a lot going on in "real life"...serriously i really did:: between my dad being admitted to the hospital for 2 weeks and close friends trying to commit suicide in front of me, with a kitchen knife....all 2 weeks before step 1....I still went for it and took step 1 despite where my mind was wandering.....managed to fail by 2 points after studying goljan for 1 week before my test date!!!

question is....how bad did i screw up? if i retake step 1 and do decently well will i still be able to get an okay residency? i am freaked out a bit and need reassurance but i'm afraid to tell classmates and residents that i round with about my failure...advice is much appreciated !! :)

i feel like i need to take amphetamines like everyone else who did well on boards in my class lol. is that the answer or does anyone else have better advice? i'd appreciate any words of wisdom, thanks!! :)


Fear... The Stig
10+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2005
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I've heard people say that failing once then re-taking with a high score is better than barely passing the first time around.

So there is definitely incentive for you to push for a great score. Yes, you can still land a terrific residency. But don't worry about that for now, just focus on acing Step 1.


10 cc's cordrazine
15+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2002
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It's debateable whether barely passing the first time around or retaking after failing and killing it the second time is better than the other. The obvious advantage of passing the first time around is that you don't have to worry about that exam again, the advantage of retaking is that if you get a great score you can blame the first failure on other factors.

The only thing you need to do now is to pass step I with a great score.

After third year, I'd advise taking early and scoring well on step II. The conventional wisdom is that you shouldn't take step II early if you have a great score, but if you have a so-so step I, then you need to compensate with an early and awesome step II.

Of course, if you are shooting for a competitive specialty, you need great scores on both.