Megs 257/99

Kris2c

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    From prep4usmle.com

    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
     

    Kris2c

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      Guys!!!

      this experience is not mine, I wish but not yet ;) I found this experience from Meg at www.prep4usmle.com
      It's an interesting website by the way,
      So if you want to ask something to meg just go to that website at the "support forum" you can get her.

      My intention posting this on this forum was just to share Meg's experience, because it is very motivated don't you think that?

      Keep studying,

      Kris.
       
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      yaah

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      1. Attending Physician
        For a difference of opinion: I got the exact same score, my study habits were completely different. I couldn't pass up commenting on this because of the same score.

        I did not use Kaplan, QBank, or any other test-preparation service. I didn't buy ANY review books. I did, actually, buy a couple of review books during 2nd year when the lecture notes weren't that helpful (a pharm book, a microbiology book, and an immunology book).

        I bought the Appleton and Lange practice questions book, and the NMS practice questions CD (same ?'s as their book). I also bought First Aid. I also went to the webpath website and went through all of their practice questions (put "webpath" in google). That was it. So I guess I spent maybe $100 on step I preparation.

        I started going over these questions around beginning of May. During my second year, I went to almost every class and went through every lecture the day I attended it to make sure I understood everything. Before the tests for each topic I reread (or at least reviewed) most of the lecture notes pertaining to that topic. I also read in some textbooks relevant to what we were studying, but a lot of the time the class lecture notes were sufficient. (I went through some of Robbins and Cecil's medicine textbook). In truth, this prepared me quite well for 2nd year tests and I probably spent much less time studying than many others in my class.

        Once classes ended, I had about a month before I took step one. I studied a few hours each day, mostly going through the above question books that I mentioned. I carefully read the responses to the questions to find out why each answer was incorrect or correct (lots of information in these answers). When I didn't understand something or realized I wasn't sure what was going on, I went back to my lecture notes or to first aid. I went through the blue boxes in the Moore textbook and first aid but other than this I reviewed nothing of first year lecture handouts or texts. In truth, many of the important things you hear about first year that are relevant for step one you will hear again 2nd year.

        That's it. No 8 hour study days, no other review materials other than what I listed above. I didn't make myself a specific study schedule, didn't set my alarm every morning or anything like that.

        This formula also worked for step II. I got a similar score, slightly higher. I didn't even use first aid for this one. Just used question books.

        Not trying to brag (anonymous forum, nobody cares anyway). Just trying to point out that you can do well on step I and II by being a good student, paying attention in class, and studying your own way. Some people need the extra motivation or ways of studying that come from things like Qbank, dense review books, etc. Some don't. You don't have to use them, is my point. The information you need is there.

        I do suggest doing lots of practice questions, in whatever form, be it Kaplan (i can't evaluate kaplan because I didn't use it), books, webpath, whatever. I fear that when many people study, they get bogged down in what is basically an endless supply of review materials and information. You can get lost quite easily, and spend far too much time "reviewing" things you probably already know or gaining knowledge that might not translate to a multiple choice test. It may have worked for Meg though, so I don't discount it. Remember though that you are preparing for a test, it doesn't matter how much knowledge you have reviewed if you can't put it in the right context.

        Good luck to everyone!
         

        Goofyone

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          Yay for Yaah.

          Appreciate your sharing.

          That's kinda my theory too. A lot of people I know are already skipping all their classes to study for boards. Seems better to me to learn it the first time than to try and "review" new stuff later on!

          Seems like everyone pretty much agrees that (as long as you have a decent foundation to build on), questions are about the most valuable tool there is for board prep.

          I'm starting to get stoked.

          :horns:
           
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