RaraBovis

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I'm confused and not even sure where to start asking...
I am an IMG from India (graduated 3 years ago). -----. But back to the Step 1 point- I urgently need to take it (before Aug 15- effectively 3 to 3.5 months left). I am totally out of touch with these subjects. I don't even know which books to use. I only have the ancient Kaplan 2004 notes and DVDs. I would specifically like to know:

-Is it possible to for me (being as out-of-touch as I am) to score well (over 95 or 250) in this span of time?
-ALL books that I MUST have (including Q books and DVDs)
-Where to get these books from at a low cost (will be grateful if someone from India can point out the places in Delhi- my hunt so far has been futile for the latest editions)
-I came across the Taus guide on this website. It seems to be working for a lot of people but I guess most people are fresh out of school. Will this work for me? What scared me about this was the number of books recommended- availability and cost issues (finances not great; loan repayment later). My earlier impressions were that Kaplan is a complete package (except for Path for which Goljan is no.1) and all I had to do was get hold of Kaplan 2010 somehow, but now there's a whole bunch.
Please guide me. This is a "pressure-cooker" situation. The days are running out and I'm getting more and more panicky.

Sorry about making this so long.
 
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mrmandrake

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If you feel like you don't remember anything, I would suggest taking several days and going over some high yield books mentioned here on the forums. I can get through HY Neuro in a day and CMMRS in 3 days or so if I do a quick read. Spend a couple of days forming a schedule and spend the next 3 months sticking to it. A lot of people have posted here with good advice but it seems that FA + RR Path + UWorld are the backbone to success. Buckle down and start studying and some of that anxiety should go away. Good luck!
 

vicinihil

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Though expensive, I feel like a lot of IMG decide to do a Kaplan course which will effectively take you through EVERYTHING and then do a little learning and reading on the side (Goljan and First Aid). If you're worried that you've forgotten most things, the easiest and most structured way would be a prep course. That being said, it's not going to be cheap.

I agree with mrmandrake if you want to do it on your own with Goljan, FA, and Uworld as the backbone to your review. Goljan also has audio files floating around but for obvious copyright reasons we can't share them on this forum but a simple google search will take you a long way.
 

IMGUSMLEStep1

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Welll, I can see that you're in a tough situation. First of all, if you are motivated enough and put in the effort required, you can definitely score above 95. I would recommoend taking as much time as possible; however, if you don't have this luxury, use the time you have wisely. Since you've been out of school for so long it would be best to take a review course like Kaplan...it will refresh the concepts and facts in your brain.

As for resources, if you take the Kaplan course, use their books. If you want to know about the resources I used go to my blog (the link is in my signiature) and search amazon.com for any books you would like to learn more about.

Taus will definitely work for you, however you will need to adjust it to your schedule. The first reading takes the longest, but don't let it take longer than it should.

I hope this helps.
 

NRAI2001

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I'm confused and not even sure where to start asking...
I am an IMG from India (graduated 3 years ago). I registered for Step 1 way back; I never prepared and never took the exam and only ended up spending big bucks. I've been working at different hospitals, with some breaks, since then. I will be joining an MPH course this fall (fortunately at a top US uni). I know people have opinions on doing this when it is residency that you want, but I have genuine research interests along with clinical interest. But back to the Step 1 point- I urgently need to take it (before Aug 15- effectively 3 to 3.5 months left). I am totally out of touch with these subjects. I don't even know which books to use. I only have the ancient Kaplan 2004 notes and DVDs. I would specifically like to know:

-Is it possible to for me (being as out-of-touch as I am) to score well (over 95 or 250) in this span of time?
-ALL books that I MUST have (including Q books and DVDs)
-Where to get these books from at a low cost (will be grateful if someone from India can point out the places in Delhi- my hunt so far has been futile for the latest editions)
-I came across the Taus guide on this website. It seems to be working for a lot of people but I guess most people are fresh out of school. Will this work for me? What scared me about this was the number of books recommended- availability and cost issues (finances not great; loan repayment later). My earlier impressions were that Kaplan is a complete package (except for Path for which Goljan is no.1) and all I had to do was get hold of Kaplan 2010 somehow, but now there's a whole bunch.
Please guide me. This is a "pressure-cooker" situation. The days are running out and I'm getting more and more panicky.

Sorry about making this so long.
You sound overdramatic right now... 3.5 month is more than double what most students have; granted you ve been out of school for 3 years.. but that doesnt mean you were asleep. Every true IMG ive met talks about 250s like they re just handing them out..

I think reading goljan cover to cover 2 or 3 times would set you up with a good core you could work with; he intergrates many aspects of all the topics (outside of path) at relevant points. FA is more of a refresher type of a read.
 

RaraBovis

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Though expensive, I feel like a lot of IMG decide to do a Kaplan course which will effectively take you through EVERYTHING and then do a little learning and reading on the side (Goljan and First Aid). If you're worried that you've forgotten most things, the easiest and most structured way would be a prep course. That being said, it's not going to be cheap.

I agree with mrmandrake if you want to do it on your own with Goljan, FA, and Uworld as the backbone to your review. Goljan also has audio files floating around but for obvious copyright reasons we can't share them on this forum but a simple google search will take you a long way.
Thanks to all.
All they do at Kaplan is run the DVDs.
I'd like to rephrase what I understood and request you to, well, fill in the blanks/correct me:
-FA 2010
-Goljan audio for Path (2010?)
-Goljan review notes for Path- called Rapid Review (2010?)
-Usmle world : for what? Everything else? Is this one big review book/Q book or one book for each subject?
-What about Kaplan DVDs and notes?
-To take care of all qs I need to be doing- Kaplan Q book and _____ .
-NBMEs are necessarily paid, right?
-Anything vital that I'm missing?

I tried searching for the audio files but the links seemed to be unavailable/defunct. If anyone has the link, I'd be grateful to get a PM.
I'm trying to get done with one thing at a time. Knowing which books--getting them--I need to expedite this and I'll do so.

Can't thank you all enough.
 
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vicinihil

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Oh really? Kaplan just runs dvd's and charges you up the butt for that? I hate kaplan...Sorry I had no idea. I thought it was live courses with instructors.

Goljan audio is from 2001...it's a bootleg from an AWESOME person that decided to bring a tape recorder. Since then, I think Goljan has become the most popular man to medical students.

Goljan's book is Rapid Review Pathology 3rd ed. Make sure it's the 3rd ed, there are some important changes from the 2nd and more comprehensive with better images.

Usmle World is an online question bank that most closely mimics the style and difficulty of Step 1 questions on the real thing.

Kaplan Qbank is another alternative.

FA 2010 is absolutely essential. You should get a copy first and look in the back because they have a list of books they recommend for each subject, question banks, and other available resources.
 
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Oh really? Kaplan just runs dvd's and charges you up the butt for that? I hate kaplan...Sorry I had no idea. I thought it was live courses with instructors.

Goljan audio is from 2001...it's a bootleg from an AWESOME person that decided to bring a tape recorder. Since then, I think Goljan has become the most popular man to medical students.

Goljan's book is Rapid Review Pathology 3rd ed. Make sure it's the 3rd ed, there are some important changes from the 2nd and more comprehensive with better images.

Usmle World is an online question bank that most closely mimics the style and difficulty of Step 1 questions on the real thing.

Kaplan Qbank is another alternative.

FA 2010 is absolutely essential. You should get a copy first and look in the back because they have a list of books they recommend for each subject, question banks, and other available resources.
And keep in mind that the recommendations are actually made by students, not just by FA's authors. This is probably one of the more valuable parts of the book.

If you can find the PDF version (bootleg) of Kaplan's Qbook, that's a good option -- you can print it out, take the questions one by one in a laid-back fashion and write notes in the margins.

I agree from listening to those who have taken Step 1 at our school that RR, FA, and a Qbank of some sort are really all you need to meet or exceed your goal. Most of it is just sitting down and doing the work without overloading on resources. That is, unless you have 3+ months to prepare.

Even for a short schedule, FA and a qbank like UW seems to be the golden rule.
 

RaraBovis

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Goljan (audio and RR), FA and UWorld Q bank are the backbone- noted.

That covers only pathology review. Are you suggesting that review books for the other subjects can be forgone? Perhaps, I can't afford this because my concepts, particularly in Biochem, Genetics and even Physio are really weak. Will it be okay to keep Kaplan (latest) as the review book for all the other subjects (besides Path)?

Taus plan suggests other books, like HY, BRS--I'm not sure what'll be better for me- these or Kaplan.

DVDs help me. I have 2004 or 05 Kaplan pirated DVDs with only some bits missing. Will it be okay to use them? I have Goljan audio too. You said it's from 2001 which seems to suggest- no newer version. So what I have is what I use beacause it's the only one?

Thanks again to everyone!
 

illixir

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Use kaplan for all the subjects except path. For path spend most all of your time on goljan rapid review. UWorld and FA both cover every subject on the exam. Your 2004 dvds are probably fine. Stuff hasn't changed that much and most of what has you can be more mindful of in FA and UWorld. Do the kaplan videos first to re-establish a background. Then start going through UWorld while doing RR with goljan and FA. Make sure to do practice so you can figure out how ready you are and what you need to study.
 

RaraBovis

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Thanks a lot illixir. I will have more questions later. Helps to know this forum is there. I will surely offer my bit to the forum when I'm in a position to. Thumbs up to all you folks.:thumbup:
 

RaraBovis

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It's not working out well. I just realized by reading the forum a bit that most of those who take the exam in 2-3 months are pretty much in touch with academics...a lot ARE in med-school itself; some have been reading usmle relevant books for over a year. I did some usmle consult and a bit of kaplan q book. My scores are abysmal- they're not better than what I would get by choosing randomly. Given my state, have I falsely perceived from this forum that I can get a good score in just 3 months, starting pretty much from scratch? Being an IMG and an old pass-out at that, I don't want to totally extinguish my chances with an average/bad score. I see people studying for 10-12 hours...this too isn't my forte. My concentration isn't so strong. Do I need a reality check or is it still possible?
 

illixir

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It's not working out well. I just realized by reading the forum a bit that most of those who take the exam in 2-3 months are pretty much in touch with academics...a lot ARE in med-school itself; some have been reading usmle relevant books for over a year. I did some usmle consult and a bit of kaplan q book. My scores are abysmal- they're not better than what I would get by choosing randomly. Given my state, have I falsely perceived from this forum that I can get a good score in just 3 months, starting pretty much from scratch? Being an IMG and an old pass-out at that, I don't want to totally extinguish my chances with an average/bad score. I see people studying for 10-12 hours...this too isn't my forte. My concentration isn't so strong. Do I need a reality check or is it still possible?
Do all of kaplan videos first to give you a background, should take you about a month or so probably. If you want to take the test in 3 months relearning all of 2 years of medical school you'll have to study 10 hours a day. If you can only study 5 hours a day, then itd probably take 6 months. I wouldnt do any more questions until you watch all the kaplan videos. Questions are good after you've studied the material.