How many Qbank questions did you do before Step 1? (Or what is your goal?)

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orthogenes

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Just a quick poll.
How many Qbank questions did you complete before step 1 (excluding NMBE and other practice tests)?

If you were to advise a lower classmate would you recommend they do more, fewer, or similar?

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Max out as many practice questions as you can. So many people spend way too much time on reading material/content and don't spend enough time doing practice questions to test their ability to apply the clues and concepts they have learned.
 
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Max out as many practice questions as you can. So many people spend way too much time on reading material/content and don't spend enough time doing practice questions to test their ability to apply the clues and concepts they have learned.
This is entirely subjective. I didn't touch any specifically USMLE-related practice questions until the latter half of MS2. Granted, between USMLE Rx, Kaplan, UWorld, NBMEs, and random practice questions given by my school throughout MS1/MS2 I probably completed >9,000 questions. Still, I always prioritized reading and mastering content over doing questions.
 
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This is entirely subjective. I didn't touch any USMLE-related practice questions until the latter half of MS2. I always prioritized reading and mastering content over doing questions.
I think it depends on what kind of a student you are. If you are great student (which actually most of the kids on SDN are), it's fine to do more content than application, because you know your averages will be in good shape once you do your questions. If you weren't the great of a student and are honest with yourself (like in my situation originally), your averages are going to be very pedestrian initially and you have to churn a lot more questions than a good student to get your averages to trend upwards to the percentile you want.
 
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I think this is a good portrayal of where some students may go wrong with prioritizing practice questions.
I think it depends on what kind of a student you are. If you are great student (which actually most of the kids on SDN are), it's fine to do more content than application, because you know your averages will be in good shape once you do your questions. If you weren't the great of a student and are honest with yourself (like in my situation originally), your averages are going to be very pedestrian initially and you have to churn a lot more questions than a good student to get your averages to trend upwards to the percentile you want.

I agree to an extent. I was able to focus on sharpening my understanding of the material because I was confident in my test-taking skills. However, I was only able to handle difficult questions because I had already put in the effort to develop a relatively good understanding of the material first. If I approached questions blind without first being familiar with the content, my performance with practice questions would have been abysmal.

If you approach questions without understanding the content, of course your averages are going to be very "pedestrian." In fact, churning out more questions will probably just cause your averages to further plummet. How can you improve if you aren't working outside of questions to strengthen your foundation? That's like trying to paint a portrait without any paint.
 
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I think you mean coordination, there is plenty of paint (resources) to use
If you are trying to answer questions without understanding the content it's like scratching dry paintbrushes (i.e. problem-solving ability) against a piece of paper without any paint (i.e. understanding of content).
 
If you approach questions without understanding the content, of course your averages are going to be very "pedestrian." In fact, churning out more questions will probably just cause your averages to further plummet. How can you improve if you aren't working outside of questions to strengthen your foundation?
Yeah I agree with this. Like for me personally I had to take a foundation course to learn the basics, and they would have us do minimal amounts of questions at first, like 5-10 questions, to get use to doing it. Then by the end of the course, we would be doing 1 block a day. After the course, we would be doing 2 blocks a day in the morning and then review content the rest of the day. A balance needs to be made between the two, swinging heavy with content at the beginning of prep and heavy with questions toward the end of your prep.
 
This is entirely subjective. I didn't touch any specifically USMLE-related practice questions until the latter half of MS2. Granted, between USMLE Rx, Kaplan, UWorld, NBMEs, and random practice questions given by my school throughout MS1/MS2 I probably completed >9,000 questions. Still, I always prioritized reading and mastering content over doing questions.
9000 questions sounds like you did exactly what worldbeater recommended. I don't think I can hit 9000 at this point, aiming for 5000 or more if I can handle it

Yeah I agree with this. Like for me personally I had to take a foundation course to learn the basics, and they would have us do minimal amounts of questions at first, like 5-10 questions, to get use to doing it. Then by the end of the course, we would be doing 1 block a day. After the course, we would be doing 2 blocks a day in the morning and then review content the rest of the day. A balance needs to be made between the two, swinging heavy with content at the beginning of prep and heavy with questions toward the end of your prep.
I'm trying to reach this balance.

Thanks for your input! And that paintbrush metaphor went over my head...
 
9000 questions sounds like you did exactly what worldbeater recommended. I don't think I can hit 9000 at this point, aiming for 5000 or more if I can handle it
I did ~1,200 USMLE Rx questions in the last half of MS2, along with completing Kaplan QBank (2,100 questions). I did UWorld once during dedicated (2,400 questions). I also did 7 NBME forms (200 questions each), 2 UWorld Self-Assessments (174 questions each), the free 138 NBME questions, the NBME CBSE (200 NBME questions), and the NBME BSCE II (400 NBME questions). Finally, I did countless random, class-required practice questions that were USMLE-oriented.

However, not once in my studies did I think to myself, "I have to do as many questions as I can to score well on step 1," or, "I must complete 9,000+ questions to score well on step 1." It just so happens that in my studies I ended up doing this many questions by the time I took the exam.
 
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A little off topic, I haven't opened firstaid once and I will begin dedicated studying tomorrow (I have been using firecracker since day 1 of med school though). Do you guys suggest I start Uworld on random timed or should I learn a section in firstaid and then do questions pertaining to that section?
 
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I did ~1,200 USMLE Rx questions in the last half of MS2, along with completing Kaplan QBank (2,100 questions). I did UWorld once during dedicated (2,400 questions). I also did 7 NBME forms (200 questions each), 2 UWorld Self-Assessments (174 questions each), the free 138 NBME questions, the NBME CBSE (200 NBME questions), and the NBME BSCE II (400 NBME questions). Finally, I did countless random, class-required practice questions that were USMLE-oriented.

However, not once in my studies did I think to myself, "I have to do as many questions as I can to score well on step 1," or, "I must complete 9,000+ questions to score well on step 1." It just so happens that in my studies I ended up doing this many questions by the time I took the exam.


7 NBMEs seems like a lot. What was your strategy there and looking back, would you do the same? I was thinking about doing 2-3, but I know you did well so I'm interested in your thoughts.
 
7 NBMEs seems like a lot. What was your strategy there and looking back, would you do the same? I was thinking about doing 2-3, but I know you did well so I'm interested in your thoughts.
I was able to take form 11 before it was taken down, and form 18 came out a week before my exam. I got lucky and was able to take them all online. Doing every NBME is very important. Also gives you something to look forward to each week if you pace yourself.
 
A little off topic, I haven't opened firstaid once and I will begin dedicated studying tomorrow (I have been using firecracker since day 1 of med school though). Do you guys suggest I start Uworld on random timed or should I learn a section in firstaid and then do questions pertaining to that section?
Clearly I haven't taken the exam yet, but I was told by M3s at my school to only do random questions during dedicated because doing it section by section will inflate your % and give you hints to the right answer (e.g. it's a lung thing not a heart thing because I'm only doing pulm Qs today).
I'm interested to hear more feedback.
 
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A little off topic, I haven't opened firstaid once and I will begin dedicated studying tomorrow (I have been using firecracker since day 1 of med school though). Do you guys suggest I start Uworld on random timed or should I learn a section in firstaid and then do questions pertaining to that section?

I'm doing it by organ system on my first run through. I agree with orthogenes that random is likely more predictive, but I'm not using UWorld to predict my step score, that is what I'm using NBMEs for. I am using it to learn the material and I know I learn best if I have some order to things. For me anyway, it makes more sense to spend some time working on reproductive for example, going back and forth between world and first aid, and then move on to a different topic.
 
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