USMLE Not passing on nbmes? Here's my guide to score 220 - 230 on step 1

mrknowitall

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UPDATE 6/28/2017: Hey guys so I don't think this guide would be very helpful. I don't know why it worked for me, it may have been a number of factors such as last minute desperation, just getting too frustrated with failing and tried to do something ridiculous, somehow found the strength to go through it. I tried my own guide for STEP 2 Ck, and while there is no book for step 2 ck as there is for step 1 (FA), I could not find the energy or motivation or whatever it was to follow this guide.

The reason I may have been able to go through FA this well for step 1 may have been because I had good understanding of concepts, and the memorization just made it easier. I don't know. I am leaving the guide up just in case it helps anyone.


I might be writing a step 2 ck guide later on how I studied and the mistakes I made so others don't do the same.

I Just wrote what I did for step 2 cs in case it helps anyone.

USMLE - Step 2 cs, I just passed, here's what I used

This guide is ONLY for those who are not scoring even passing on the NBMEs. This is not for people who already have scores higher than 220 and you should go look else where as I cannot help you. My guide is limited because I scored in the 220/230 range and for me to say you can score higher with this guide will be wrong. Although, I DID INCREASE MY SCORE BY 70 – 90 POINTS, and below is how I did it.

Post 1: My study plan and scores
Post 2: How to score 220s – 230s
Post 3: SCHEDULE (NEW)

Post 1
Started studying last November, my basics were horrible. I understood a lot of concepts but I couldn’t commit anything to memory until I figured out the right plan in April.

Material used:
Kaplan videos 3x
Kaplan live lecture
Pathoma 5x
Uworld 3x
DIT 1x
First Aid 2014
I watched pathoma 3 times over, while taking notes, during the time I was taking pathology in school. It was much better than what my school was teaching me but I realized that after I went over a chapter, it didn't take long for me to forget the material or confuse the details.
Uworld average scores around this time 38 – 40% - 1st pass
Watched Kaplan videos once during MD 5 and twice after that during my dedicated study period. By the time I was done watching the pharm videos at the end, I had forgotten all about biochemistry.
Uworld average scores still 38 – 40% - still 1st pass
NBME 7: 147 horrible score, was extremely disappointed and did not know what to do.
At this point thought taking a live lecture course would help me. Amazing lectures and teachers, I recommend to anyone who has time to take this course.
Uworld average scores 65% - 2nd pass. I know second pass doesn't count for much but I had forgotten almost every single question and for me personally it was as if I was doing uworld for the first time.
Anyways, after completing kaplan I thought I would take another NBME.
NBME 11: 160. No improvement, not even close to passing, not sure what to do at this point, I was extremely depressed.
Started going over DIT videos and finished them within 2 weeks. Did not take an NBME after so not sure how helpful they were.
Good friend of mine, who was also preparing for step told me to try and commit the topics and details to memory. This is when I started memorizing the FIRST AID. Took me about a month and there were days that I was memorizing 70 pages in a day because I knew most of the stuff already. The way I memorized and recommend memorizing is in post 2.
Result of memorizing FA:
June 16: 360/198 – NBME 11 – passing!

June 17: 400/207 – NBME 12 - was extremely happy about this score (considering where I started)

After this I started going over uworld for the 3rd time. My average was around 72% this time but that doesn't mean anything. I was doing it just to cover the topics that were not in FA.
I went through FA about 50 times, maybe more, from the time I was done memorizing to the day I took my exam. My scores platued around 211:

June 27: 390/205 – NBME 13 (this was HARD)

Jul 07: 420/211 – NBME 16

Jul 13: 420/211 – NBME 17

I was sad that the score didn't change at all through nbme 16 and 17 but I didn't give up.
This is where I changed my studying a little and started going over my wrong answers from NBMEs and focusing on my weak areas. For example reproductive system pharm (was getting every single question wrong). I focused hard on areas like that and my last NBME:
Aug 12: 520/232 – NBME 15 - fell off the chair due to happiness on this score…
I would've done more tests to see if my score stayed or increased from this point on but I was out of NBMES to do therefore took my step within a week of NBME 15.
I'm not going to post my score but it was around what NBME 15 predicted +/- 10.
All in all I improved my score by 70 – 90 points (starting with a 147 ending around 232) by mostly focusing on the First Aid. I feel like that book is a cheat sheet and almost all the questions in the exam come from it.
What would I do differently If I could do it all over again?
I would start with memorizing FA in MD 5, that way when I took the Kaplan course and went over pathoma, it would help me increase my score by going over the minute details not covered by first aid.
 
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mrknowitall

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Post 2: how to study to get to 220 – 230
Please note that this guide is for people scoring less than passing and it is NOT the only way to score good. It helped me increase my score by 70 – 90 points but it might not do that for others who weren't scoring as low as I did in the beginning.
First:
Memorize first aid. Start with that book as your basic because it contains the most high yield information but doesn't cover every single thing that you CAN be tested on. If you memorize it, you'll have a solid background to build on.
Just a thought: when people write online “I went through first aid once then referenced it” they mean to be saying that they MEMORIZED it once, not just a read through. Reading through casually from FA is useless as no information is retained unless you've an eidetic memory (this guide is not for you go away).
How to memorize the FA:
This is not as bad as one might think. Anyone who says they can't memorize are just holding themselves back. You memorized your name didn't you? You can memorize anything with repitition, so follow my advice and you'll be a walking first aid within a month.
1. Pick your most favorite chapter, preferably around 20 – 30 pages (mine was endocrine – 28 pages).
2. Read the first page 30 times within 15 minutes. Even the slowest of us can do this, this is not a hard thing to do, don't let it overwhelm you before you try it.
3. Congrats you've just memorized a page.
4. Repeat point 2 for the next 3 pages.
5. Congrats you've just memorized 4 pages in 1 hour!
6. Repeat this process for 5 hours.
7. CONGRATS! You've just memorized 20 pages! Do not be scared of forgetting some of the info as we will tackle that problem soon!
8. The first 5 hours you memorized in 1 day. The next 5 hours you are supposed to review what you memorized and strengthen it. This is part of the solution to forgetting what you memorized.
9. Repeat process for 30 days. That's 600 pages in 1 month that you've memorized. You're done with the hardest part imo, go take an NBME and score over 200, maybe even 210 so you know that the process worked and give yourself a boost.
Now for the part where you forget stuff that you memorized:
The only way to not forget is to review what you memorized within a certain amount of time. For me I found that if I didn't review a page with in 7 days of memorizing it, I would forget a lot of it.
The solution I came up with was:
Memorize 30 pages a day, given the previous process, from Monday through Friday. Then review in whole everything I have memorized during the weekend. This way you memorize the book in 20 days + review during the weekends and don't forget!
The goal of this process is for you to know that book so well that you can go through it with in 2 days without looking. I could do that towards the end because I went through it sooooooo many times. If you can do that, you'll easily score in the 220/230 because a lot of the questions are straight recall. Anything above that, you'll need to look at other guides because I can't help you there as I didn't score higher. Please know the limitations of this guide.

Second:
After memorizing FA, do the Kaplan videos, do pathoma videos and go through uworld (mixed, tutor at first then mixed, timed when you're becoming good at it).
While going over these sources, use first aid and take notes of ONLY those things that aren't already in it. This is where memorizing FA helps a lot because almost all the information in those resources is covered by FIRST AID somewhere, and now that you know exactly where all the information is, you don't write down something that is already there. Trust me I have seen people make notes of something from uworld that’s already in first aid but they didn't know.

Third:
By this time you must have taken around 2 NBMEs and be scoring over 200, if not 210+. At this point all you want to do is go over FA, UWORLD and your WEAK AREAS as the NBMEs suggest. You must go over the NBMEs.
Note on NBMEs: this is crucial!!!!!!!!!!
PAY ATTENTION TO THE TOPICS COVERED IN NBMEs. The step is on the exact same topics as covered by NBMEs. The questions might be different but THE TOPICS ARE THE SAME. This point is not stressed enough by others as I have never read about it but found out through experience. If the NBMEs are testing you on rheumatoid arthritis then expect questions on that topic in the step! This is the reason I jumped from 211 to 232 at the end!
 
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mrknowitall

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POST 3:

SCHEDULE:
• Memorization = ~ 4 to 5 pages an hour
• Review = ~ 10 pages every 30 minutes
o Review time is decided by how fast you want to go.
o I recommend going through it fast instead of making sure you know everything. Going through it fast again and again will make you retain A LOT more information than going through it slow


FOR Memorizing 20 PAGES A DAY:

Monday
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize 20 pages (4 pages an hour)
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the 20 pages once (put a paper over what you memorized and try to recall whatever you can)
4 pm to 5 pm - Review the 20 pages 1 more time if you want (solidify the memorization at this point)

Tuesday
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize NEW 20 pages
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the MONDAYS 20 PAGES
4 pm to 5 pm - Review TUESDAYS 20 PAGES
5 pm to 6 pm - Review TUESDAYS 20 PAGES

Wednesday
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize NEW 20 PAGES
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the TUESDAY 20 PAGES
4 pm to 5 pm - Review the MONDAY 20 PAGES
5 pm to 6 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 20 PAGES
6 pm to 7 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 20 PAGES

Thursday
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize NEW 20 PAGES
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 20 PAGES
4 pm to 5 pm - Review the TUESDAY 20 PAGES
5 pm to 6 pm - Review the MONDAY 20 PAGES
6 pm to 7 pm - Review the THURSDAY 20 PAGES
7 pm to 8 pm - Review the THURSDAY 20 PAGES

Friday
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize NEW 20 PAGES
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the THURSDAY 20 PAGES
4 pm to 5 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 20 PAGES
5 pm to 6 pm - Review the TUESDAY 20 PAGES
6 pm to 7 pm - Review the MONDAY 20 PAGES
7 pm to 8 pm - Review the FRIDAY 20 PAGES
8 pm to 9 pm - Review the FRIDAY 20 PAGES

SATURDAY
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize NEW 20 PAGES
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the FRIDAY 20 PAGES
4 pm to 5 pm - Review the THURSDAY 20 PAGES
5 pm to 6 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 20 PAGES
6 pm to 7 pm - Review the TUESDAY 20 PAGES
7 pm to 8 pm - Review the MONDAY 20 PAGES
8 pm to 9 pm - Review the SATURDAY 20 PAGES
9 pm to 10 pm - Review the SATURDAY 20 PAGES

Sunday
9 am to 2 pm - Memorize NEW 20 PAGES
2 pm to 3 pm - chill out
3 pm to 4 pm - Review the SATURDAY 20 PAGES
4 pm to 5 pm - Review the FRIDAY 20 PAGES
5 pm to 6 pm - Review the THURSDAY 20 PAGES
6 pm to 7 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 20 PAGES
7 pm to 8 pm - Review the TUESDAY 20 PAGES
8 pm to 9 pm - Review the MONDAY 20 PAGES
9 pm to 10 pm - Review the SUNDAY 20 PAGES

TOTAL PAGES IN 7 DAYS = 140
TOTAL PAGES IN 30 DAYS = ~ 600 (FA 2014 had ~550 pages, and a lot of them were just pictures on a whole page, or half pages).







FOR Memorizing 30 PAGES A DAY:

Monday
9 am to 3 pm - Memorize 30 pages (4 pages an hour)
3 pm to 3:30 pm - chill out
3:30 pm to 5 pm - Review the 30 pages once (put a paper over what you memorized and try to recall whatever you can)

Tuesday
9 am to 3 pm - Memorize NEW 30 pages
3 pm to 3:30 pm - chill out
3:30 pm to 5 pm - Review the MONDAYS 30 PAGES
5 pm to 6:30 pm - Review TUESDAYS 30 PAGES


Wednesday
9 am to 3 pm - Memorize NEW 30 PAGES
3 pm to 3:30 pm - chill out
3:30 pm to 5 pm - Review the TUESDAY 30 PAGES
5 pm to 6:30 pm - Review the MONDAY 30 PAGES
6:30 pm to 8 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 30 PAGES


Thursday
9 am to 3 pm - Memorize NEW 30 PAGES
3 pm to 3:30 pm - chill out
3:30 pm to 5 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 30 PAGES
5 pm to 6:30 pm - Review the TUESDAY 30 PAGES
6:30 pm to 8 pm - Review the MONDAY 30 PAGES
8 pm to 9:30 pm - Review the THURSDAY 30 PAGES


Friday
9 am to 3 pm - Memorize NEW 30 PAGES
3 pm to 3:30 pm - chill out
3:30 pm to 5 pm - Review the THURSDAY 30 PAGES
5 pm to 6:30 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 30 PAGES
6:30 pm to 8 pm - Review the TUESDAY 30 PAGES
8 pm to 9:30 pm - Review the WEDNESDAY 30 PAGES
9:30 pm to 10 pm - Review the FRIDAY 30 PAGES (do this really quick or skip if you want as it'll be covered again)

Saturday (WEEK 1)
9 am to 11 am - Monday Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday Pages Review
1 pm to 3 pm - Wednesday Pages Review
3 pm to 4 pm - Chillax
4 pm to 6 pm - Thursday Pages Review
6 pm to 8 pm - Friday Pages Review

Sunday (WEEK 1)
9 am to 11 am - Monday Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday Pages Review
1 pm to 3 pm - Wednesday Pages Review
3 pm to 4 pm - Chillax
4 pm to 6 pm - Thursday Pages Review
6 pm to 8 pm - Friday Pages Review

TOTAL PAGES MEMORIZED IN 5 DAYS = 150 (+ HIGHLY EFFICIENT REVIEW ON WEEKENDS)
TOTAL PAGES IN 20 DAYS (+HIGHLY EFFICIENT REVIEW ON WEEKENDS) = ~ 600 (FA 2014 had ~550 pages, and a lot of them were just pictures on a whole page, or half pages).


Saturday (WEEK 2)
9 am to 11 am - Monday (week 2) Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday (week 2) Pages Review
1 pm to 3 pm - Wednesday (week 2) Pages Review
3 pm to 4 pm - Chillax
4 pm to 6 pm - Thursday (week 2) Pages Review
6 pm to 8 pm - Friday (week 2) Pages Review

Sunday (WEEK 2)
9 am to 11 am - Monday (week 1) Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday (week 1) Pages Review
1 pm to 3 pm - Wednesday (week 1) Pages Review
3 pm to 4 pm - Chillax
4 pm to 6 pm - Thursday (week 1) Pages Review
6 pm to 8 pm - Friday (week 1) Pages Review

Saturday (WEEK 3)
9 am to 11 am - Monday (week 3) Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday (week 3) Pages Review
1 pm to 3 pm - Wednesday (week 3) Pages Review
3 pm to 4 pm - Chillax
4 pm to 6 pm - Thursday (week 3) Pages Review
6 pm to 8 pm - Friday (week 3) Pages Review

Sunday (WEEK 3)
By this time - You should be going through WEEK 1 material extremely fast and should know it all very WELL
9 am to 11 am - Monday and Tuesday (week 1) Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (week 1) Pages Review
1 pm to 2 pm - Chillax
2 pm to 3:30 pm - Monday (week 2) Pages Review
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm - Tuesday (week 2) Pages Review
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm - Wednesday (week 2) Pages Review
6:30 pm to 8 pm - Thursday (week 2) Pages Review
8 pm to 9:30 pm - Friday (week 2) Pages Review

Saturday (WEEK 4)
9 am to 11 am - Monday (week 4) Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday (week 4) Pages Review
1 pm to 3 pm - Wednesday (week 4) Pages Review
3 pm to 4 pm - Chillax
4 pm to 6 pm - Thursday (week 4) Pages Review
6 pm to 8 pm - Friday (week 4) Pages Review

Sunday (WEEK 4)
By this time - You should be going through WEEK 2 material extremely fast and should know it all very WELL
9 am to 11 am - Monday and Tuesday (week 2) Pages Review
11 am to 1 pm - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (week 2) Pages Review
1 pm to 2 pm - Chillax
2 pm to 3:30 pm - Monday (week 3) Pages Review
3:30 pm to 5:00 pm - Tuesday (week 3) Pages Review
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm - Wednesday (week 3) Pages Review
6:30 pm to 8 pm - Thursday (week 3) Pages Review
8 pm to 9:30 pm - Friday (week 3) Pages Review

NO REVIEW FOR WEEK 1 THIS SUNDAY, YOU MUST START REVIEWING THE WHOLE BOOK AFTER THIS SUNDAY WITH THE SCHEDULE TO REVIEW THE BOOK IN 3 DAYS (below)



Schedule to Review FA 2014 (600 PAGES) in 3 days:

*PICK YOUR OWN PAGES

Day 1:
9 am to 10 am - 20 pages
10 am to 11 am - 20 pages
11 am to 12 pm - 20 pages
12 pm to 1 pm - 20 pages
1 pm to 2 pm - 20 pages
2 pm to 3 pm - 20 pages
3 pm to 4 pm - 20 pages
4 pm to 5 pm - 20 pages
5 pm to 6 pm - 20 pages
6 pm to 7 pm - 20 pages
DONE BY 7 PM IF NO BREAKS - TOTAL 200 PAGES reviewed in 10 HOURS!

Day 2:
9 am to 10 am - 20 pages
10 am to 11 am - 20 pages
11 am to 12 pm - 20 pages
12 pm to 1 pm - 20 pages
1 pm to 2 pm - 20 pages
2 pm to 3 pm - 20 pages
3 pm to 4 pm - 20 pages
4 pm to 5 pm - 20 pages
5 pm to 6 pm - 20 pages
6 pm to 7 pm - 20 pages
DONE BY 7 PM IF NO BREAKS - TOTAL 400 PAGES reviewed in 10 HOURS!

Day 3:
9 am to 10 am - 20 pages
10 am to 11 am - 20 pages
11 am to 12 pm - 20 pages
12 pm to 1 pm - 20 pages
1 pm to 2 pm - 20 pages
2 pm to 3 pm - 20 pages
3 pm to 4 pm - 20 pages
4 pm to 5 pm - 20 pages
5 pm to 6 pm - 20 pages
6 pm to 7 pm - 20 pages
DONE BY 7 PM IF NO BREAKS - TOTAL 600 PAGES reviewed in 10 HOURS!


I RECOMMEND DOING THIS EVERY WEEK AT LEAST ONCE

For example:
Review 1: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Break: Thursday Do your FIRST NBME AT THIS TIME THIS TIME THIS [email protected]#[email protected]#[email protected]#$
Review 2: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Next Monday: DO YOUR SECOND NBME AT THIS TIME THIS TIME THIS [email protected]#[email protected]#$

After this you only have to review once a week.

Schedule SHOULD go something like this:

Monday
9 am to 3 pm - 2 blocks of UWORLD MIXED QUESTIONS (3 hours each so LOADS of time to review/write notes in FA if you want)
3 pm to 4 pm - chillax please
4 pm to whenever you want to give up - Review FA of the topics you did bad in in UWORLD

Tuesday
9 am to 3 pm - 2 blocks of UWORLD MIXED QUESTIONS (3 hours each so LOADS of time to review/write notes in FA if you want)
3 pm to 4 pm - chillax please
4 pm to whenever you want to give up - Review FA of the topics you did bad in in UWORLD

Wednesday
9 am to 3 pm - 2 blocks of UWORLD MIXED QUESTIONS (3 hours each so LOADS of time to review/write notes in FA if you want)
3 pm to 4 pm - chillax please
4 pm to whenever you want to give up - Review FA of the topics you did bad in in UWORLD

Thursday
9 am to 3 pm - 2 blocks of UWORLD MIXED QUESTIONS (3 hours each so LOADS of time to review/write notes in FA if you want)
3 pm to 4 pm - chillax please
4 pm to whenever you want to give up - Review FA of the topics you did bad in in UWORLD

(2 blocks of UWORLD a day = ~24 days to finish (48 blocks total). If you are doing 4 days a week, should take you about 6 weeks to finish UWORLD)

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: REVIEW FA USING 3 DAY REVIEW METHOD ABOVE!

Keep doing this every week over and over, you're good to go.
 
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super_mom

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this is very nice of you to try to help others struggling because not everyone come across a 210 easily on NBMEs let alone a 230s. i am going to use some of your pointers to for my difficult subjects in FA.
 
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mrknowitall

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Hi thanks for ur thorough post what was it FAQ approach I didn't see it...

Also did u use DIT Or Usmlerx to get thru the first read? Or did u just memorize the 30 pages in 1 hr until the end of reading the book??
Hi, I didn't get many questions on the thread to make that FAQ (frequently asked questions) post.

I only memorized, no videos, no questions, no other resources. I never even used usmlerx. I did DIT once long before I started my FA memorization, and DIT did not help at all imo.
 

worldbeater

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Apr 28, 2013
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Nice post. Just curious, do you know what was the breakdown of how many correct questions you for each NBME and your correspond NBME score? I am trying to figure out the grading rubric for that.

If anybody knows of an older source that has the "correct questions" scale for each individual NBME (or any of them for that matter), I'd appreciate if you could link me.
 
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mrknowitall

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I will try to look into it for you, it's been a while since I took them. I do remember that some questions have higher score than others, because in the 2 NBMEs that I got 211 in, one I had gotten 4 extra questions right and still the same score.

I'll try to update later on how many questions I got right if I can find them.
 

mymembernames

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For someone with a weak background, how much time is enough to prepare for step 1? TIA!
 
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mrknowitall

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1 month for FA, 2 months for first uworld pass, next 3 months to review/videos/2nd uworld and should be good to go. Must start getting the facts down from FA, using it for your basics, then fill in the gaps with uworld, vids. MUST start with memorizing FA (cannot stress this enough)
 
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worldbeater

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Yeah, whenever you get a chance to look it up, it would be appreciated.

One thing I noticed about your trajectory is when you went from your NBME 11 at 160 to your NBME 11 again at 198 in June, you said it went up because of memorization:

This is when I started memorizing the FIRST AID. Took me about a month and there were days that I was memorizing 70 pages in a day because I knew most of the stuff already. The way I memorized and recommend memorizing is in post 2.
Result of memorizing FA:
I think it went up because your were in striking distance of 75% on UWorld (you said you were at 65% at this point), and you had finally achieved the ability to retain and understand what you were reading in FA. I don't think it is because you had perfected your memorization technique of FA. Once you got over the hump of passing, your scores went up nicely. The reason I point this out is not to put you down, but I don't want others who are early in their prep or aren't close to a passing score to think blindly memorizing FA will finally get them to a passing score, you have to have some ability to understand the clues and concepts of what they are asking.

Anyways, congrats on your score, that's a nice achievement to start from a humble score initially and finish up with a score that you are happy about.
 
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UFAP

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Jun 4, 2015
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Hi mrknowitall. I can't thank you enough how much this post means to me. I am exactly the person who needed this post. I have a very good understanding of almost every concept in FA. Like i can explain with very clear detail the concepts related to Physiology, Neurology, yet i have failed all the 3 NBME exams and UWSA. Almost all of the questions that i got wrong were because i was not able to recall key info while answering the questions. Pharm and micro are the subjects that i always have difficulty with. I am going to put your method into practice from now. I will see how it goes. Also i would really appreciate if you could let me know any tips or strategies that might have helped you while answering NBME and UWorld Q's.

Seriously thanks again man. I have been very low all these days and you have given me hope. Always seen and read posts on how people get 240's and 250's and even >260 but this post of yours is invaluable for me.
 
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mrknowitall

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I have updated post 3 to include the SCHEDULE that many people have been asking me about! Hope it helps.

Hi mrknowitall. I can't thank you enough how much this post means to me. I am exactly the person who needed this post. I have a very good understanding of almost every concept in FA. Like i can explain with very clear detail the concepts related to Physiology, Neurology, yet i have failed all the 3 NBME exams and UWSA. Almost all of the questions that i got wrong were because i was not able to recall key info while answering the questions. Pharm and micro are the subjects that i always have difficulty with. I am going to put your method into practice from now. I will see how it goes. Also i would really appreciate if you could let me know any tips or strategies that might have helped you while answering NBME and UWorld Q's.

Seriously thanks again man. I have been very low all these days and you have given me hope. Always seen and read posts on how people get 240's and 250's and even >260 but this post of yours is invaluable for me.
I understand man, I have a lot of friends in similar situations, hope it helps!
 

mymembernames

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I have updated post 3 to include the SCHEDULE that many people have been asking me about! Hope it helps.



I understand man, I have a lot of friends in similar situations, hope it helps!
If it's taking much longer than an hour to get through/memorize a couple pages should I just move on and rely on the reviews to get the information down?
 

BellaPinhaMD

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Jul 19, 2015
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A big THANK YOU! I was prepping for step 1 not a long time ago and I barely passed the NBMES like 205, 210, but took me years and I didnt even memorize all the stuff on first aid. so might be fair guessing I'll pass with no issues if I do. I'm an IMG and I decided to take step 2 CS first by the first week of february but when I start prepping for my step 1 again (next month after taking CS) I'm going to definitely follow this guide and see how it goes. :)
 
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The author of this thread did this to pass Step 1 with about a 230. He is a student at my medical school that I know personally.

Now it won't work for everyone, but it worked for him, so it's just another idea.
 

psychMDhopefully

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1 month for FA, 2 months for first uworld pass, next 3 months to review/videos/2nd uworld and should be good to go. Must start getting the facts down from FA, using it for your basics, then fill in the gaps with uworld, vids. MUST start with memorizing FA (cannot stress this enough)

lol 6 months? Who the hell has that much time?
 
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blueforest

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Any updates from people using the above study methods? Please post your experiences if your scores increased from barely passing to 220-230. :)
 
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parachutes

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Jun 18, 2009
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Hey mrknowitall-- I'm trying to work through this plan and I was wondering if when it comes time to do UWorld questions if I could cut down the amount of days of reviewing FA from 3 to 2 or just finish all of UWorld first if I'm short on time and try to review the FA sections as I review those UWorld answers. What do you think?
 

deleted

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Medical Student
How to memorize the FA:
This is not as bad as one might think. Anyone who says they can't memorize are just holding themselves back. You memorized your name didn't you?
It is hard to tell whether this is a case of OD on Adderall or Crystal Meth. Since OP is a medical student (?) I will go with the former.
 

QMD

May 3, 2017
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I've been using this schedule for a month already and took an NBME a few days ago. I can say my recall ability improved a lot because of this and I feel a lot more motivated to study now that I found something that works for me. I'll continue to follow this guide until I take my STEP 1. I introduced a friend of mine to this routine as well and she feels the same about her recall ability. Thank you for sharing your experience! I'll make sure to credit you and show them this link every time someone asks me for study advice.
 
May 13, 2016
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1 month for FA, 2 months for first uworld pass, next 3 months to review/videos/2nd uworld and should be good to go. Must start getting the facts down from FA, using it for your basics, then fill in the gaps with uworld, vids. MUST start with memorizing FA (cannot stress this enough)
How did you retain memorized FA over the course of 6 months?

Did you take a LoA to study?
 
Sep 30, 2014
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How did you retain memorized FA over the course of 6 months?

Did you take a LoA to study?
Have no idea what LoA means, but what I can say is that reading First Aid once a month helped me retain it.

Studied for 7 months, read it once a month while doing questions, repetition was key in my opinion.
 
May 13, 2016
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Have no idea what LoA means, but what I can say is that reading First Aid once a month helped me retain it.

Studied for 7 months, read it once a month while doing questions, repetition was key in my opinion.
LOA = leave of absence.

Nobody can have more than 2 months to study, unless they take a LOA, is what I Think.