the_equalizer

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How about a little context here? 4 months X 10 hours/day for a random person off the street seems a bit tough, for an actual med student it seems like a disgustingly long time. Very very unlikely to keep motivated/focused for that long.
 

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Hercules said:
I assume that's a joke?

I'd sure hope so considering most people study for step 1 about 4 weeks.
 

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peach4me said:
Well? Is that enough time (4 months and 10 hours/day)
its enough time to take a 3 month vacation and then study for step 1 for 10 hrs a day
 

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GiJoe said:
its enough time to take a 3 month vacation and then study for step 1 for 10 hrs a day
I agree. I mean you'd probably start forgetting what you learned in the first two months if you waited this long to take the test. But hey everybody (almost) seems to be getting >250 in the SDN forums anyways so maybe peach4me is aiming for the same. Nothing wrong with that! :cool: Good luck to you.
 
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peach4me

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notatriagenurse said:
I agree. I mean you'd probably start forgetting what you learned in the first two months if you waited this long to take the test. But hey everybody (almost) seems to be getting >250 in the SDN forums anyways so maybe peach4me is aiming for the same. Nothing wrong with that! :cool: Good luck to you.
Thanks! That's what I"m aiming for. :)
 

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Even if you want 250+, 4 months is too long in my opinion. Study hard for 4-6 weeks and you will probably do as well as you're gonna do.
 

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Harrie said:
Even if you want 250+, 4 months is too long in my opinion. Study hard for 4-6 weeks and you will probably do as well as you're gonna do.
Harrie makes an excellent point. In a way, the steepest part of acquiring "knowledge" that you don't know/forgot from your basic science years will most likely occur in the first 4 weeks of studying. And then, you'll probably hit a plateau or have minimal breakthroughs after that. Personally I studied 5 weeks and felt I didn't learn much, if any, during the last week and got more anxious about the test. I did not score >250 but highly doubt I would have done so with another month or more of studying. In the end, you know what you know and must tell yourself to just go for it.

What are you thinking of specializing in anyways??
 

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HI, I'm reading thru the posts and I'm trying to understand this...

How can more time for learning not help you on the boards? Isn't your score based on how many practice questions you do and how well you know FA and other board books? So the more the better right....I'm sorry it just seems uncommonsensical (a word, who knows? :laugh: ) to me. I'm just an MS 2 anyways so what do I know.... someone set me straight.
 

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Sheral said:
HI, I'm reading thru the posts and I'm trying to understand this...

How can more time for learning not help you on the boards? Isn't your score based on how many practice questions you do and how well you know FA and other board books? So the more the better right....I'm sorry it just seems uncommonsensical (a word, who knows? :laugh: ) to me. I'm just an MS 2 anyways so what do I know.... someone set me straight.

At a certain point, you will start to get burned out. Your brain will shut down and you will stop retaining new material. At this point you have done all you can do, and you just need to take the [email protected] thing. Our school has always given about 6 wks off to take step 1, but most people take it after 4 wks of studying then go on a trip. For me, Step 1 April 14, Costa Rica April 17.
 

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kappasigMD41 said:
At a certain point, you will start to get burned out. Your brain will shut down and you will stop retaining new material. At this point you have done all you can do, and you just need to take the [email protected] thing. Our school has always given about 6 wks off to take step 1, but most people take it after 4 wks of studying then go on a trip. For me, Step 1 April 14, Costa Rica April 17.
I disagree. By your theory, you should be burnt out of all your classes by the second exam of each semester course. Doing questions and changing the way you study could transcend into months (or even years) of study that could prepare you better.
 

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Pox in a box said:
I disagree. By your theory, you should be burnt out of all your classes by the second exam of each semester course. Doing questions and changing the way you study could transcend into months (or even years) of study that could prepare you better.

wrong. studying for your classes is 10X less intense than studying for step I. Burnout is real...its kinda like the law of diminishing returns... as you hit the end, the return you get for the time invested decreases as you psychologically get worn out. Don't take more than 1.5 months to study for this test...u'll be going nuts near the end
 

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GiJoe said:
wrong. studying for your classes is 10X less intense than studying for step I. Burnout is real...its kinda like the law of diminishing returns... as you hit the end, the return you get for the time invested decreases as you psychologically get worn out. Don't take more than 1.5 months to study for this test...u'll be going nuts near the end
How can you say it's less intense? If anything, it could be MORE INTENSE because for class exams, you are forced to learn the most obscure minutia at times and be able to regurgitate it onto an exam. Sure, Step 1, you can argue, has much more material. However, it's suppose to be material you've already learned once. Step 1 isn't suppose to be a "learn for the first time exam." It's about review. Some people take longer than others to review. Some burn out and some don't. Yes, some people burn out. But, wouldn't you rather burn out 2 months before your exam, take a week or two to relax a bit, and then regrip and continue for the exam? It all depends on the person and how he/she studies. I've seen people who are "burntout" for weeks at a time and I've seen people who are "burntout" for only a day or even a couple of hours. It depends on your psyche. If you take 1.5 months and you are burntout for the last 2 or 3 weeks, that's what I call diminishing returns. I'm sure you might disagree but to say that taking a couple of months to study is stupid is pushing it if you do not know the person, the knowledge background, and study habits.
 

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Sheral said:
HI, I'm reading thru the posts and I'm trying to understand this...

How can more time for learning not help you on the boards? Isn't your score based on how many practice questions you do and how well you know FA and other board books? So the more the better right....I'm sorry it just seems uncommonsensical (a word, who knows? :laugh: ) to me. I'm just an MS 2 anyways so what do I know.... someone set me straight.
Sheral, it's not necessarily the quantity of practice questions that you do (ie. the more the better is not really true) that will help your score. It's more how well you understand the "core content" of the basic science years and a little bit of test-taking ability. Personally, I have classmates who score >250 who only studied 4 weeks and some classmates who score in the 220s who studied for 6 weeks and did much more questions that the ones that got >250. You really can "burn out" studying for Step I and not learn anymore material after a certain amount of time and risk forgetting material you learned in Week 1 if you prolong the agony of taking more time to study. This comes from personal experience and from feedback from the classmates I'm close to. Ask around from people ahead of you.
 
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peach4me

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notatriagenurse said:
Sheral, it's not necessarily the quantity of practice questions that you do (ie. the more the better is not really true) that will help your score. It's more how well you understand the "core content" of the basic science years and a little bit of test-taking ability. Personally, I have classmates who score >250 who only studied 4 weeks and some classmates who score in the 220s who studied for 6 weeks and did much more questions that the ones that got >250. You really can "burn out" studying for Step I and not learn anymore material after a certain amount of time and risk forgetting material you learned in Week 1 if you prolong the agony of taking more time to study. This comes from personal experience and from feedback from the classmates I'm close to. Ask around from people ahead of you.
I thought the longer you study something, the more likely you retain it by reviewing it over and over. . . Isn't that right?? You can't help but to get a better score . . . If you're burnt out, take a break, visit some friends, go see a movie, etc. then get back to studying:( :oops:
 

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Peach,
the above people have given excellent perspectives. I studied about 42 whole days prior to the end of school then planned about 3 weeks to study during the summer break. The last week or more was a total waste of time. It is difficult to explain what studying for boards is like. Suffice it to say I felt I was very motivated and disciplined- you can only carry on like that so long. Also, at a certain point, your subconscious realizes you have reached the greatest knowledge level you will achieve and shuts down. I swear that is what happens with me. I got a good score but i probably would have gotten it a week after school was out.




You could schedule 3-4 months for it and just reschedule the test when you burn out and take a longer vacation.
 

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Pox in a box said:
How can you say it's less intense? If anything, it could be MORE INTENSE because for class exams, you are forced to learn the most obscure minutia at times and be able to regurgitate it onto an exam. Sure, Step 1, you can argue, has much more material. However, it's suppose to be material you've already learned once. Step 1 isn't suppose to be a "learn for the first time exam." It's about review. Some people take longer than others to review. Some burn out and some don't. Yes, some people burn out. But, wouldn't you rather burn out 2 months before your exam, take a week or two to relax a bit, and then regrip and continue for the exam? It all depends on the person and how he/she studies. I've seen people who are "burntout" for weeks at a time and I've seen people who are "burntout" for only a day or even a couple of hours. It depends on your psyche. If you take 1.5 months and you are burntout for the last 2 or 3 weeks, that's what I call diminishing returns. I'm sure you might disagree but to say that taking a couple of months to study is stupid is pushing it if you do not know the person, the knowledge background, and study habits.
Man, are you way off track in this matter????

All the posts in this thread are correct, except yours. Go on, take 4 months to study and then write back the score you got.
 

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peach4me said:
I thought the longer you study something, the more likely you retain it by reviewing it over and over. . . Isn't that right?? You can't help but to get a better score . . . If you're burnt out, take a break, visit some friends, go see a movie, etc. then get back to studying:( :oops:
The point is that after a certain point you know what you know. If you truly know something you don't have to keep reviewing it over and over. No need of beating a dead horse. You know it no matter how NBME decides to twist the question for the same concept. You said you want to score >250 and I'm saying that you can attain that without having to spend 4 months. Most medstudents have a certain threshold before "burning out." Ask around in your medschool and I doubt a few, if any, of those that took Step 1 went over 1.5-2 months for intense preparation. I bet you some of those people did score >250 without having to go an extra 2-3 mos.
The person who studies the most intense and longest doesn't necessarily score >250. That is just a fact of taking a standardized test like USMLE. :oops:
 

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vanelo said:
Man, are you way off track in this matter????

All the posts in this thread are correct, except yours. Go on, take 4 months to study and then write back the score you got.
Vanelo great idea!! Let's see if Pox in a box can score >250 after studying intensely for 4 months. The drawback is we can't know for sure because this forum only allows for self-report of scores... that probably explain partly why the average STEP 1 score in this forum is a 241.. :D
 

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vanelo said:
Man, are you way off track in this matter????

All the posts in this thread are correct, except yours. Go on, take 4 months to study and then write back the score you got.
How did you do on the MCAT Verbal section? You completely misread what I posted. I never said I was going to study like this. I do, however, see nothing wrong with someone wanting to do it. So what if you are tired and need a break. I definitely see nothing wrong with the approach. Who said the OP was not going to do exactly what you do in 1 or 2 months the last 1 or 2 months of his/her studying? To say that someone definitely will burn out spending more time studying than you would or do is stupid. You don't know that. Alright, take my opinion and read it, regurgitate it, and vomit it out if you don't agree. :thumbup:
 

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This is supposed to be a support forum. The posts here just want to shed some light for the MS2 out there about their own experience on length of study for Step 1, "burn out", etc.. In the end it is up to you how you want to study. Take a week to study or take 6 months... it is you who is going to have to live with the score you get so do what you got to do. peach4me is gonna do whatever he/she wants to get that 250+.. Good luck! :thumbup:
 

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Maybe study groups might cut down on some studying time and test anxiety? Anyone tried it?
 

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Pox in a box said:
How did you do on the MCAT Verbal section? You completely misread what I posted. I never said I was going to study like this. I do, however, see nothing wrong with someone wanting to do it. So what if you are tired and need a break. I definitely see nothing wrong with the approach. Who said the OP was not going to do exactly what you do in 1 or 2 months the last 1 or 2 months of his/her studying? To say that someone definitely will burn out spending more time studying than you would or do is stupid. You don't know that. Alright, take my opinion and read it, regurgitate it, and vomit it out if you don't agree. :thumbup:
plese dont tell me you just used the "mcat verbal section" to gauge someone's reading ability on a public message board
 

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GiJoe said:
plese dont tell me you just used the "mcat verbal section" to gauge someone's reading ability on a public message board
Your have just been introduced to sarcasm. :laugh:
 

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listen fools, there's no reason to study for more than 5 weeks if you're a US-MD student. Many of my classmates (myself included) scored over 250 with about 4 weeks study time. Burnout is real, and study is MUCH more intense.
 

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Dont study more than a month. During my month I only had 1-2 weeks of good studying. The rest of the time was studying with the cat on the futon. (Mmmmmm Nap Time)
 

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You will drive yourself freekin' nuts! I studied 6 days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day for three and a half weeks. By the time I finished I was done, could not take it any more. It's more important to be thorough and cover everything for STEP 1 then to spend a lot of unfocused time. I also strongly recommend Kaplan QBank, but just get it for one month. :luck:
 
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doc05 said:
listen fools, there's no reason to study for more than 5 weeks if you're a US-MD student. Many of my classmates (myself included) scored over 250 with about 4 weeks study time. Burnout is real, and study is MUCH more intense.
no need to be hostile :D
 

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notatriagenurse said:
The drawback is we can't know for sure because this forum only allows for self-report of scores... that probably explain partly why the average STEP 1 score in this forum is a 241.. :D
Thats right, I use the following formula:

Score Reported - 50 = Actual Score

Try it, it works every time. :D
 

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vanelo said:
Thats right, I use the following formula:

Score Reported - 50 = Actual Score

Try it, it works every time. :D
:laugh: Good one.
 

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I think it suffice to say many people on this thread think one month of studying is enough.

whether that's enough, i have no clue, but if you are planning to study 4 mos, then all the best to you! the earlier you start, the better you can pace yourself, methinks.
 

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Do what you think is best for you...1 month...3 month...everybody is different.....good luck!!!
 

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Every one of you missed the boat. You should have started day one of first year.
 

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delicatefade said:
Every one of you missed the boat. You should have started day one of first year.
Obviously, you should be studying in medschool since day one BUT the whole issue in this thread is EXCLUSIVE studying for Step 1 only without doing anything else (aside from taking your occasional breaks)...delicatefade YOU missed the boat on that one. :laugh:
 

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Wasn't sure if Fade was trying to be faketious or sophomoric....

It doesn't help much to proclaim things such as that if you haven't taken it. You can make hypotheses and conjecture but otherwise is unfair to others who may take your words at face value.


Sorry to be so serious...
 
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peach4me

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Harrie said:
Even if you want 250+, 4 months is too long in my opinion. Study hard for 4-6 weeks and you will probably do as well as you're gonna do.

For those who made 250 and above, how long did you study?
 

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peach4me said:
For those who made 250 and above, how long did you study?

Here is a post from a different thread where the girl spent 5 and half months studying for the exam.

Jalby said:
from a different thread:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=108319

Meg... Phew!!! finally it is over!!!

I gave step 1 today (Febr 12 '04) , finished just an hour back. It was not bad. Not too terrific, but not terrible either.
Basically, I found my exam very similar to Kaplan online qbank and NMS qbank.

I studied for about 5 and half months. The materials I used:-
Kaplan notes
First aid 2004 (the recent one is really good- I had used 2000 and 2003 but I found 2004 really stand out esp with HLA information, some additional concepts in physio, biochem(genetics), behavioral. If you already have an older FA, try getting the new one at some bookstore and add the new concepts into the book you already have )
Step Up (by Samir Mehta)- real good system based approach. Great for neuro.
BRS Patho, Physio, Behavioral, Cell bio
NMS Genetics
HY Anat, but Kaplan anat and FA anat are more than enough
Online Kaplan qbank (I had few questions so much directly from it! I must say, take the current online version, it will help)
NMS qbank (though the questions are tough, they help you understand key concepts)
Goljan 100 pages (I got from a friend, real good)
Goljan audio lectures (terrific one, he is a great teacher)

I also did Blackwell online (blackwellmedstudent.com) score:81%, Kaplan simulated CD was 79%. Kaplan qbank I was getting about 75-78% initially. I will know how reflective they are of USMLE scores only after 4 weeks

Though there are so many materials /books, finally, I had to use First Aid as the main book and added all extra concepts into it and used it and Step up finally for the last month.

I want to thank alll the contributors of this forum (asmi, mjl1717, maty, yulia, mahendra, kalibonite, alice8 and so many others ) because I found a lot of questions similar to what we had discussed. One major recommendation I would give is to be active in the subjects-questions forums( I mean like anatomy, patho, behavioral etc..). It really helps in knowing what to focus on. And best of all, you will remember what you discuss.

Thanks to all and wish you all the very best. Take lots of eats (esp bananas I took breaks after every block). Now I am mentally exhausted and am going to chill out and keep praying for the scores

Take care all,

meg

Now Results....
March 6 '04

Post subject: 257/99!!
Praise God!

I got my score today. It was quite a joy to get it. It was 257/99
I cannot tell you how much I have to thank all in this forum, esp the folks with whom I used to regularly study/share/discuss. Honestly guys, I got a lot of questions just similar to the ones we had discussed.

Also I want to thank the authors and contributors to FA, Kaplan(notes and qbank), NMS, and last but never the least Dr. Goljan! And above all, God Almighty for His abundant love and Grace and guidance.

Some advice to share set your mind and keep it set. Be disciplined. study as much as you can. If you have a choice between studying and playing, STUDY. Many like to know how to organise time. It totally depends on your schedule of things. But just to sketch a bit of how my days were during those preparation.... My day began at about 5:30 AM and ended 11PM. I made it a point to get at least 6 hours sleep as it helps us register in our memory the facts we learnt that day (Kaplan advice). Initially I started studying by sitting at my school library( I am doing masters). Then I studied more at home. I kept adjusting schedule according to whether I had classes that day or work, but basically my number 1 priority was to study. I was also determined and enjoyed being active on several usmle forums. If I was walking on the road(on the way to school or morning walk sometimes), then I would be listening to goljan audio( I bought an MP3 player just for this). If I were at home, I would be reading. If I am cooking, then I am listening to goljan audio or webprep audio. And also I had taken print outs of the exam experiences and advice mentioned by those who had scored in high 90s and would read them whenever I needed some encouragement or motivation. Basically, I think it helps to remain focussed and set the distractions behind your mind.

all the best to all the others. Step 1 is not difficult as long as we remain on track.
God bless you all,
Meg
 

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If 4 months enough studying? Is this a joke or are you truly seeking attention? Do u think people will pat you on the back because you are such a dedicated student?

I think this thread was worthless and I'm ready to poke out my eyeballs
 

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peach4me said:
For those who made 250 and above, how long did you study?
peach4me i've come up with the conclusion that you are truly seeking attention as Informer mentioned. People have already posted saying that you can take Step 2 or Step 1 in 4 weeks up to 5 1/2 months and get >250. No need to keep asking the same thing over and over as a two year old would. :thumbdown: :thumbdown:

Bottomline: There is no fast rules about how long to study in order to obtain your "dream score".

This thread is going nowhere and needs to stop... :smuggrin:
 

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digging up an old thread here, but its curious to see the difference between views a few years back. seems like everyone now is on the 5-6 month study plan.
 

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listen fools, there's no reason to study for more than 5 weeks if you're a US-MD student. Many of my classmates (myself included) scored over 250 with about 4 weeks study time. Burnout is real, and study is MUCH more intense.
And what if you're a US-citizen in an off-shore school where the standard of teaching may be a little low? (underlined "may be" so that people don't catch feelings and think I'm insulting off-shore schools :rolleyes: , [they know who they are]).

Then maybe 4 months may actually be needed to perhaps "teach" yourself the material your school never taught.
 

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For what its worth I studied hardcore for 8 weeks. During my basic science curriculum I had a grand total of 1 heme, 1 mol. bio, 1 immuno lectures (this is not a joke), anatomy was the big emphasis at my school which is a surgery mecca in the UK.

The only things I used outside of my hardcore study time was the goljan audio and rapid review. 4 months is a long long time think of all the things you can do: vacation, volunteering, chilling out, living life, sooo much can be done in 4 months!

ps. Knicks when are you taking your exam?
 

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digging up an old thread here, but its curious to see the difference between views a few years back. seems like everyone now is on the 5-6 month study plan.
I'm not sure that's accurate. People still seem to be in the 4-8 week range.

I think 6 weeks is perfect. 4 weeks to ramp up (biggest jump in score) and 2 weeks to fine tune.

Longer durations may be appropriate depending on the quality of the teaching at your institution. I would take 4 months if my school had a poor curriculum and a poor track record for step1 performance.

There is some burnout which causes a big decrease in efficiency, but it doesn't really hurt you. The problem is diminishing returns. For 8-10 hours per day you will see little improvement in your score. You might wish you spent those hours doing something other than torturing yourself.

Unlike 1st/2nd year classes where you're responsible for 4-6 weeks of material at a time, this test covers 2 years. You will continue to forget stuff you learned before. The key to a great step1 score is a solid knowledge base foundation and common sense/smarts. Adding more and more minutiae becomes very low yield after you've got the core down.
 

Knicks

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For what its worth I studied hardcore for 8 weeks. During my basic science curriculum I had a grand total of 1 heme, 1 mol. bio, 1 immuno lectures (this is not a joke), anatomy was the big emphasis at my school which is a surgery mecca in the UK.

The only things I used outside of my hardcore study time was the goljan audio and rapid review. 4 months is a long long time think of all the things you can do: vacation, volunteering, chilling out, living life, sooo much can be done in 4 months!

ps. Knicks when are you taking your exam?
I dunno, May or June?

I could've taken it a while ago, just never registered for it.
 

hj0517

10+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2007
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Medical Student
I dunno, May or June?

I could've taken it a while ago, just never registered for it.
I expect a perfect score dude, You seem to be studying for this for a long time!
 

Lamborghini1315

Sleep deprived
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
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MD/PhD Student
I dunno, May or June?

I could've taken it a while ago, just never registered for it.
You might wanna get on that coz i had a hard time getting the date i wanted and esp acknowledging that most american grads take it during mid jun-mid july. Anyways i am registered and now its all about figuring it if i am waiting too long for it or taking it too early..good luck!
 
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