Aug 19, 2015
4
2
Status
Medical Student
Okay so I am an IMG that transferred to another school because I had a lot of financial problems and I was on the verge of getting kicked out, I decided to pack my things up and transfer to a lower tier school (Big mistake). I took my Step 1 back in June and failed with a score of 140 (yes the lowest of all). I didn't sleep the night before and anxiety got the best of me.. but reality of the situation, I wasn't completely ready nor was I prepared to do what I had to do. I just had a really bad test day. I walked out thinking I did okay but not this bad.. I was scoring well on NBMEs beforehand.. Even after all of that, I decided not to focus on the negativity and revamped my study plan, went thru all of Kaplan, uworld 2x, dit and pathoma and retook the exam and just got my score back.. it was a 234.

Now, the honest question.. Have I screwed myself over? The national average is getting higher and higher and on top of that a 140 truly speaks volumes when applying for residency. I know I have turned it around with a completely different score but the fact that I am a IMG with red flags such as these... is it logical to continue with the profession or should I not waste more money on rotations. Like I said I am financially inept, I'm not stupid as you can see with the retake score but are the residencies out of reach and just a dream? Should I switch careers, medicine is my passion and I know I can trump Step 2 and rotations... Any help or advice will be truly appreciated. God Bless :)
 

RLSGrasshopper

2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2015
69
26
Status
Medical Student
So there is a friend of mine who failed his step 1 the first time. Passed it the second and kept moving forward. He didn't match for 2 yrs. He is now married and has matched into Psych. There many more stories like this. Patience is the key to any journey, and to be a physician you need to have patience.
 
OP
N
Aug 19, 2015
4
2
Status
Medical Student
Thank you RLSGrasshopper.. Those are really encouraging words but the PD's will look at the 140 and throw my app in the trash worries me to death. I have learned a lot from this experience and learned how I needed to grow up and accept my situation.
 

RLSGrasshopper

2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2015
69
26
Status
Medical Student
Stop worrying, trust me I am worried myself. I have a low step 1 score. At the end of the day you've improved and not only that, continue on and crush CK. You never know what is in store for you. Trust me on this. You've come this far, and you passed. A lot of people still fail. Those stories aren't out there bc who wants to talk about it? Keep pushing.
 

super_mom

5+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2014
118
38
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Okay so I am an IMG that transferred to another school because I had a lot of financial problems and I was on the verge of getting kicked out, I decided to pack my things up and transfer to a lower tier school (Big mistake). I took my Step 1 back in June and failed with a score of 140 (yes the lowest of all). I didn't sleep the night before and anxiety got the best of me.. but reality of the situation, I wasn't completely ready nor was I prepared to do what I had to do. I just had a really bad test day. I walked out thinking I did okay but not this bad.. I was scoring well on NBMEs beforehand.. Even after all of that, I decided not to focus on the negativity and revamped my study plan, went thru all of Kaplan, uworld 2x, dit and pathoma and retook the exam and just got my score back.. it was a 234.

Now, the honest question.. Have I screwed myself over? The national average is getting higher and higher and on top of that a 140 truly speaks volumes when applying for residency. I know I have turned it around with a completely different score but the fact that I am a IMG with red flags such as these... is it logical to continue with the profession or should I not waste more money on rotations. Like I said I am financially inept, I'm not stupid as you can see with the retake score but are the residencies out of reach and just a dream? Should I switch careers, medicine is my passion and I know I can trump Step 2 and rotations... Any help or advice will be truly appreciated. God Bless :)
Was it June last year you failed the first time or this year? I wanted to ask how long it took u to bring your score up to 234 and if you can tell me your nbme and UW assessment breakdown your second time around pls. I am planning on taking mine next month. You got a good score and I think you can match if your step 2ck goes well also try to do well during your rotations so u can apply to those hospitals.
 
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OP
N
Aug 19, 2015
4
2
Status
Medical Student
Was it June last year you failed the first time or this year? I wanted to ask how long it took u to bring your score up to 234 and if you can tell me your nbme and UW assessment breakdown your second time around pls. I am planning on taking mine next month. You got a good score and I think you can match if your step 2ck goes well also try to do well during your rotations so u can apply to those hospitals.

I took my exam in may this year and got my scores in June. It was during the transition period. I was deeply depressed right away but instead of sulking I realized I have to give it a second chance and got back to work right away rather than waiting so I redid Kaplan fundamentals videos (micro, pharm, physio and biochem), pathoma, uworld and dit. I was doing okay on nbmes the first time around. I did nbme 17 and scored around 218 then 16 around 220. My uwsa1 and uwsa2 predicted around the range of 228 and 230 so I felt confident going in but I didn't sleep a single second the night before was up for more than 24 hours during test day which led me to under/over analyze a lot. It was a rough day.. First 2 blocks I had no idea what I was doing, felt sick to my stomach. I should've cancelled the exam but I didn't and the score reflected how I felt that day. I honestly dropped an egg in the testing center.

The second time around, I realized I had to grow up and take a defeat as a challenge rather than a demoralizing factor.. I did all the offline nbmes and was scoring in 80-90% range, did nbme 17 again and scored a 238, 16 I scored a 240 redid uworld carefully was getting all then info down and learned the basics most importantly than the bigger picture and took the exam on July 30th.. Got my score back yesterday..

I am pleased with it but now that this chapter is over, the anxiety of performing horribly is killing me because I feel that even if I failed with a bit higher marks it wouldn't have made a difference because a fail is a fail.. However a 140 is pathetic.. Even an MD 1 can score that probably. I know I can try explaining my situation if I can get a foot into the door.. But I feel that even that is pointless because they will see the 140. I retook the exam for validation but now I'm just trying to be realistic and practical before I dish out more loan money
 
Jul 11, 2015
58
15
Status
Medical Student
Mate, you are not stupid at all. I read a lot of stories about people acing(more than 230+) step 1 on their 2nd and even 3rd try and they got residency, so I think you must work your ass for step 2ck(more than 250) and cs on first attempt and took step 3 and you definetely find program. Jeez, IMGs with 205 finding somehow a residency in FM so dont worry
P.S. wanted to mention why you are not stupid
>140 to 230 for 2 months
you must be some kind of genius:D
 
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super_mom

5+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2014
118
38
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I took my exam in may this year and got my scores in June. It was during the transition period. I was deeply depressed right away but instead of sulking I realized I have to give it a second chance and got back to work right away rather than waiting so I redid Kaplan fundamentals videos (micro, pharm, physio and biochem), pathoma, uworld and dit. I was doing okay on nbmes the first time around. I did nbme 17 and scored around 218 then 16 around 220. My uwsa1 and uwsa2 predicted around the range of 228 and 230 so I felt confident going in but I didn't sleep a single second the night before was up for more than 24 hours during test day which led me to under/over analyze a lot. It was a rough day.. First 2 blocks I had no idea what I was doing, felt sick to my stomach. I should've cancelled the exam but I didn't and the score reflected how I felt that day. I honestly dropped an egg in the testing center.

The second time around, I realized I had to grow up and take a defeat as a challenge rather than a demoralizing factor.. I did all the offline nbmes and was scoring in 80-90% range, did nbme 17 again and scored a 238, 16 I scored a 240 redid uworld carefully was getting all then info down and learned the basics most importantly than the bigger picture and took the exam on July 30th.. Got my score back yesterday..

I am pleased with it but now that this chapter is over, the anxiety of performing horribly is killing me because I feel that even if I failed with a bit higher marks it wouldn't have made a difference because a fail is a fail.. However a 140 is pathetic.. Even an MD 1 can score that probably. I know I can try explaining my situation if I can get a foot into the door.. But I feel that even that is pointless because they will see the 140. I retook the exam for validation but now I'm just trying to be realistic and practical before I dish out more loan money
wow you have an awesome score and i believe u should move forward with your medical career if anything they will be impressed of how u came from a 140 to 234 in barely 2 months and when you explain your story of how u did not want to cancel even tho you did not get any sleep for over 24hrs because of the financial burden of coughing out another 800 dollars they will understand that things happen. so be very excited about your score and work on step 2.
 
Jun 30, 2015
70
92
Zurich, Switzerland
Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities! Of course you will match! Your 140 cannot be undone, but your 230+ in two month is impressive! If I could give you an advice: Don't focus so much on your Step 1 score number anymore - try to move on: Try to figure out in the next months and years, where your passion in medicine lies, which speciality you want to practice and in which field you want to dive in. Watch, read, learn, teach... Look out for mentors, that will answer your questions and support you. Everyone has a different path! You are not a multiple-choice robot, but a human with an unique story. I know a person, who failed the boards, did "terribly" in med school, but ended up publishing articles in the most prestigious journals and practicing the speciality of her choice. Do not go out and look for successful candidates and try to duplicate them - you'll always end up feeling inferior (no matter what your scores and marks are). You'll have your own way and your own story! I wish you all the best!

medicine is my passion and I know I can trump Step 2 and rotations...
!!
 
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super_mom

5+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2014
118
38
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities! Of course you will match! Your 140 cannot be undone, but your 230+ in two month is impressive! If I could give you an advice: Don't focus so much on your Step 1 score number anymore - try to move on: Try to figure out in the next months and years, where your passion in medicine lies, which speciality you want to practice and in which field you want to dive in. Watch, read, learn, teach... Look out for mentors, that will answer your questions and support you. Everyone has a different path! You are not a multiple-choice robot, but a human with an unique story. I know a person, who failed the boards, did "terribly" in med school, but ended up publishing articles in the most prestigious journals and practicing the speciality of her choice. Do not go out and look for successful candidates and try to duplicate them - you'll always end up feeling inferior (no matter what your scores and marks are). You'll have your own way and your own story! I wish you all the best!



!!
very well said keto….honestly if am see someone who went from a 140 to a 234 in barely 2 months i will be interested to interview them because i will be thinking what the hell kinda fluke is that how was that possible from a 140 not like it was from a 180 or 190. And after they hear your story they will most likely understand.
 
OP
N
Aug 19, 2015
4
2
Status
Medical Student
Thanks guys this truly means a lot! I am going to continue with my passion for this field.. Whatever happens, happens. One hurdle passed the next will also be triumphed when the time comes. I truly appreciate all of you guys' kind words!! :)
 
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inthestepmatrix

2+ Year Member
May 21, 2015
8
1
You will be able to Match. Make sure you pass your CK and CS the first time and with a decent score. I know of IMG's who have failed Step 1 and they Matched just fine. Even going to fellowships and landing awesome jobs. Keep going!!
 

lavenderflowers

2+ Year Member
May 19, 2015
54
28
Hi, I really appreciate your post. The fact that you came out with it, are honest, and jumped to a 234 from a 140 really demonstrates that: 1. You're a mature and reasonable person who will go far in life. And 2. You really worked and persevered to make a humongous jump and are a great test taker!
 
Last edited:
May 11, 2018
1
0
Okay so I am an IMG that transferred to another school because I had a lot of financial problems and I was on the verge of getting kicked out, I decided to pack my things up and transfer to a lower tier school (Big mistake). I took my Step 1 back in June and failed with a score of 140 (yes the lowest of all). I didn't sleep the night before and anxiety got the best of me.. but reality of the situation, I wasn't completely ready nor was I prepared to do what I had to do. I just had a really bad test day. I walked out thinking I did okay but not this bad.. I was scoring well on NBMEs beforehand.. Even after all of that, I decided not to focus on the negativity and revamped my study plan, went thru all of Kaplan, uworld 2x, dit and pathoma and retook the exam and just got my score back.. it was a 234.

Now, the honest question.. Have I screwed myself over? The national average is getting higher and higher and on top of that a 140 truly speaks volumes when applying for residency. I know I have turned it around with a completely different score but the fact that I am a IMG with red flags such as these... is it logical to continue with the profession or should I not waste more money on rotations. Like I said I am financially inept, I'm not stupid as you can see with the retake score but are the residencies out of reach and just a dream? Should I switch careers, medicine is my passion and I know I can trump Step 2 and rotations... Any help or advice will be truly appreciated. God Bless :)



How did you prepare in 2months..Please tell me
 

Syncrohnize

PGY-1
7+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
2,866
2,831
Status
Resident [Any Field]
This is an incredible story and speaks to your resilience in the face of adversity. That being said, IMG+Step failure is a kiss of death for many applications. You may match eventually, but it may take more than one application year. Apply incredibly broadly (talking about 300+ programs) attend any interviews you get, and mentally prepare for SOAP. Also, you’re probably not applying this year because you’ve got Step 2CK to deal with as well.