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USMLE Official 2018 Step 1 Experiences and Scores Thread

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Foot Fetish, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Yellow_Elephant

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    Yeah for sure

    NBME 16: 240 (5 weeks out)
    NBME 17: 248 (4 weeks out)
    NBME 18: 250 (2 weeks out)
    NBME 19: 242 (3 weeks out)
    UWSA 1: 264 (6 weeks out)
    UWSA 2: 256 (1 week out)

    UW first pass random timed: 82%
     
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  3. mgzavri

    mgzavri Non-trad

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    Got my score today: 241

    Very happy with it considering my NBMEs!

    NBME 18: 207 (5 weeks out)
    NBME 16: 215 (3 weeks out)
    NBME 17: 230 (1.5 weeks out)

    UWorld average 70%

    I relied heavily on Sketchy (Micro, Pharm, and Path <- was surprised by how helpful SketchyPath turned out to be) and FA during dedicated. I didn't use Pathoma at all during dedicated, but knew it well as I had used it to prepare for my school's 2nd year courses.
     
  4. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Congrats! Did you feel that kaplan was helpful?
     
  5. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Congrats on the score! That's still a great score! Thanks for sharing
     
  6. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Congrats on the score! How helpful did you find Sketchy Micro and Pharm to be on your exam?
     
  7. Gurby

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    Teach us your ways sensei! What was your MCAT score, how hard were you gunning during M1 and M2? Baseline score of 255 and a 90% 1st pass at UWorld is unreal - what do you feel contributed to your ability to do this?
     
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  8. mgzavri

    mgzavri Non-trad

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    Thank you! I found the entire SketchyMedical suite to be helpful in preparing me for the exam. I barely even looked at the micro and pharm sections in FirstAid. SketchyMicro and Pharm worked wonders for me during my school's courses on the respective topics, and I found that I still remembered most of the videos and only needed to do a quick review during dedicated.
     
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  9. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Thanks! I'm actually just really starting Sketchy again, I did it during my school courses but only watched the videos and now as I started dedicated last week I felt like I was forgetting them so I started the Pepper anki deck for them and I'm loving it.

    I assume you think it's worth it to add in Path as well? I honestly feel like it might be too much on me, I usually have trouble remembering the pictures and all the little details that's why with anki though I've been amazing at every micro or pharm question I've crossed that's been in sketchy.
     
  10. mgzavri

    mgzavri Non-trad

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    I was really skeptical about SketchyPath at first, but it was perfect for me. Watching the videos provided me a good review of what I had learned in class/from Pathoma (the teaching is quite good actually), and of course the memory hooks just work so well. They really helped me remember the random "buzz words" that I needed to know for the exam, as well as more complicated systems like congenital adrenal hyperplasia and the enzyme deficiencies involved, to give an example.

    I ended up watching all of SketchyPath twice during dedicated, and my last week of dedicated was spent watching all of SketchyPath at 3x and doing UWorld questions I had gotten wrong.
     
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  11. Mdpharmd123

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    School CBSE: 220 (7 weeks out)

    NBME 16 (5 weeks out) 238 (87%)
    UWSA 1 (4 weeks out) 251 (78%)
    NBME 18 (3 weeks out) 234 (84%)
    NBME 17(1.5 Weeks out) 240 (90%)
    UWSA 2 (4 days out) 251 (83%)

    Actual: 233.

    Super bummed considering actual was lower than any practice test I took. Been a long time lurker and figured some people would want to see this.
    If anyone has advice, comments, similar experience, or any uplifting words feel free to say something lol.
     
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  12. Lannister

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    A 233 is still a pretty good score IMO! Congrats on being done with step 1 forever.

    Any thoughts on what happened on test day?
     
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  13. y123

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    Got my score back.
    Did not do as many assessments as most people here LOL
    Form 18: 173, baseline, 9 weeks out
    Form 19: 205, 3.5 weeks out
    UWSA1: 247, 11 days out
    UWSA2: 237, 4 days out
    Free 120: 75% correct, 2 days out
    Real deal: 238
     
  14. Mdpharmd123

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    Really I have no idea. Exam didn't feel unreasonably difficult and felt like last three blocks were like uworld. I want to consider getting a re-score but most likely nothing will change. Guess I just had a bad day :(. Thanks for the kind words though!
     
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  15. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    I'll give it a shot then! I'm really enjoying Sketchy Pharm and Micro, they're really working for me with the anki but if I do SketchyPath I might just have to watch it only and not do Anki for it.

    Congrats!! Still a great score!! Don't compare yourself to everyone here, that score is still great and will get you a good residency and remember the number isn't everything. Students make it a bigger thing than it is. We just chatted about this above a little earlier, maybe a few days ago, but don't stress it you're done with the test! congrats!
     
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  17. preMMM

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    Congrats on the awesome score. Exactly as UWAS2. How was the real test experience compared to the practices ones?
     
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  18. AmilorideORdie

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    Using a throw away bc my classmates know my identity on SDN

    For what it's worth, I'm going to throw everything upside down:
    NBME given by school prior to dedicated (not sure which) - 185
    NBME 16 two weeks into dedicated- 217
    NBME 17 about two weeks before test - 213

    UWorld Overall Performance after 1 pass - 58%

    Real Deal - 230

    Not sure how but hey, I won't argue. I'm satisfied as I'm not gunning for anything super competitive.

    And there are questions that I'm playing back in my mind that I should've gotten right - Had I completely been on my A-game, could got a few points higher but w/e.
     
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  19. teeayejay

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    Grats on being done though! That's still a very respectable score.
     
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  20. Yellow_Elephant

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    I was surprised at the amount of “gimme” questions that were very straightforward (e.g. drug mechanisms or adv effects). I’d say I marked 10 per block that were more difficult anatomy or experiment based questions. But overall seemed more similar to me to NBMEs than to the UWSAs based on difficulty. I’ve heard very different things from friends of mine who even took it the same day so take what I say with a grain of salt.
     
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  21. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    What is everyone supplementing for Physio if anything? I know someone earlier mentioned Physeo, I've used it before and love it for class (I only watched a handful of videos) but I was wondering if the masses are doing something during dedicated beyond routine UFAP
     
  22. asw98

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    Thanks! It feels so good to have Step 1 behind me. I think the biggest thing is just working hard the first two years. I got a 38 on the old MCAT (14 in both of the sciences and 10 on verbal). I wouldn't say I gunned in the preclinicals. I'm pretty chill of a person and don't really get stressed out. I work out and cook everyday and get about 9 hours of sleep.

    My strategy during M2 (we have a traditional curriculum, where we don't take pharm and pathophysiology until M2), was to go to class, but pre-learn everything before class. Before class, I would read/listen to pathoma, watch the relevant sketchy micro/pharm/path, and then do all of the Zanki pathophysiology cards (I did not do the reviews. Basically, I would go through all of the cards in 1-2 days and then never use it again). After class, I would do the relevant questions in the Kaplan QBank. I think it was useful while learning the material, but I didn't really use it in dedicated study period.

    After finishing Kaplan, I would read through First Aid and annotate from Pathoma and Sketchy Path. For Pharm, sketchy is amazing. Teaches you both the pharm and so much physiology. I also used pharm cards and would take them with me on the bus/train. Thus, before study block had started, I had already gone through all of first aid in 1 pass (except for biostats/ethics and biochem). Study block was mostly spent learning biochemistry, stats, and reinforcing material.

    I think sketchy is by far the best study tool for Step 1. The questions I had on the exam were mostly buzzwords. There was very little thinking that I had to do to answer the questions.
     
  23. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Wow, great work. You don't generally hear that the exam was very buzzword oriented but that calms some nerves lol

    Did you do SketchyPath during Dedicated? and overall how helpful did you think it was relative to micro and pharm?
     
  24. Dermpire

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    This is very interesting and I was wondering about this after taking the NBMEs. I would agonize on U-world even for the easier ones as I was always expecting a trick. I was shocked on the NBMEs that I've done to see that the vast majority are simple straightforward answers. I felt like there was an almost complete lack of critical thought necessary on the vast majority of questions. Felt very "do you know the buzzword/line in FA". Not saying that every question was like that, but I'm amazed that so many on the NBME would be so straightforward. Hence why a 90% on NBMEs doesn't even break a 250.

    Did you feel like Step 1 was similar to the NBMEs and if so which ones?
     
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  25. Krabbeman

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    Had a dream that I got my score back and I failed lolol
     
  26. yyll

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    Thank you and it turns out you're absolutely right as I just got my score back today - 253! I guess it was in line with my NBME/UWSAs. The last three weeks have got to be the worst ever in my entire life, the suspense and starting clerkships right after Step were not fun. I was beating myself up for the 10+ questions that I changed from correct to incorrect at the last minute and it was hard to take my mind off of it. I tend to power through questions at a fast pace on exams and I was probably also making many careless mistakes during practice tests but I just didn't care as much. Anyway, now I'm just grateful for the score that probably won't open doors but at least won't be the limiting factor for most specialties. Good luck everyone!
     
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  27. coldcase331

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    Hey guys! Quick question. I have time to do 4 exams (1/week), what order should I take these? (uw1, uw2, 18, 19) I’ve heard people say different things about when to take them. My school’s academic advisor said to do the UW forms early because they have explanations, but I’ve heard that UW2 is the most accurate score predictor and should be done near the end. What do you guys think?


    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
     
  28. Lannister

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    I ultimately decided to take the UWSAs first and NBMEs later, for two reasons. One, like you said, you get explanations for UWSAs, and they're more useful as a learning tool than NBMEs. Two, I want to take the NBMEs closer to the real thing because I'm planning on using them as a way to get comfortable with NBME-style questions.

    It does seem like UWSA2 is the best predictor, but I decided that really doesn't matter all that much unless you're in danger of failing the exam and want to know if you should push your exam date back, or something like that.
     
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  29. Goose313

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    CBSE school: 215
    UWSA1: 273 4 weeks out
    NMBE15: 248 3 weeks out
    NBME 16: 255 2 weeks out
    UWSA 2: 258 (took it same day as nbme 16 for endurance)
    NBME 18: 257 1.5 weeks out
    NBME 17: 257 1 week out
    Free 120: 92%
    UW 1st pass: 83%

    Step 1: 260

    Synopsis: I thought the exam was much harder than any practice test. Many upper classmen at my school say that 1/3rd of the questions were out of no where and nothing could prepare you for it. I agree. I marked 8-15 questions per section. I did not feel great walking out of it, but it’s important to focus on all the questions you know you figured out and got right. I spent the last couple weeks beating myself up on questions I got wrong. Otherwise, the exam questions were much longer than nbme’s. I don’t think the exam felt like UWSA 2, but the question lengths are most similar. Obviously UWSA2 was closest to my score, but I also took that exam back to back with an nbme.

    UFAP exclusively. Sometimes school's curriculum helped me answer ridiculous questions. Other than that, can't prepare for those wild ones.
     
    #1977 Goose313, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  30. DLS16

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    NBME 13: 250
    NBME 15: 252
    NBME 16: 263
    NBME 17: 257
    NBME 18: 260
    NBME 19: 255
    UW1: 273
    UW2: 264
    UW: 81%
    Step: 257
    The real thing felt impossible, literally the hardest test I have ever taken in my life. I made a good amount of dumb mistakes that left some points on the table, but that's the way it goes. Most things really are in UFAPS. The key to scoring high is getting all the easy ones right, not getting all the impossible ones.
     
  31. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Congrats on the scores!! Mind sharing a little bit about how you went about dedicated?
     
  32. Mikeyyd34

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    Took step today. Took all NBMES and both U worlds. Lowest score was a 252 and completed Uworld at 84%. Id like to echo someone that posted a while back that had really high assessments going into step about the content of the exam. My exam also had an insane amount of unconventional biostats and insanely non straightforward ethics questions. I guess outside of some dumb/silly mistakes, I don't think my prep would have changed at all. All I would say is don't get complacent thinking you're solid because of assessment scores. Anything is fair game on test day and its a complete crap shoot of what you're going to get. Hoping for the best, but won't be surprised with a not so great score
     
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  33. casper010496

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    Hi everyone, long-time lurker here. I took the beast today and feel like absolute crap. I know I should trust my nbme scores (mid 240s) but I feel like I'm going to be an outlier and end up getting a terrible score :( I found myself straight up guessing on half of the questions. I read about people thinking they missed 20-30 questions and feeling terrible but I'm pretty sure I missed way way more! When I took the NBMEs and UWSAs I generally felt like I was doing well and my scores reflected my feeling. On the real thing I felt like I was taking it without lube. It felt like every weak area I had just kept showing up and I was hardly tested on the stuff that I actually knew :,( Are there a lot of stories out there of people performing far worse than their practice tests? I feel miserable and I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself for this failure. Oh and if it couldn't get any worse, I keep reading that my my score won't be released until July 11! Wtf is wrong with the usmle are they purposely trying to torture us?!
     
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  34. casper010496

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    omg I had hella biostats as well!!! Mine was all interpretation type of stuff. I didn't have to calculate for a single question! And I feel the same way about ethics being super non-straightforward.
     
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  35. Foot Fetish

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    It's interesting that some people say it was straightforward and buzzword heavy while others swear it was filled with questions that you can't prepare for. I wonder if the difficulty between tests is actually different or if people just have wildly different interpretations based on their level of preparedness.
     
    #1983 Foot Fetish, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  36. bananafish94

    bananafish94 SDN Gold Donor
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    Judgment day is upon us.

    Final score: Mid 230s! (Trying to keep it a little vague for ERAS anonymity).
    Obviously, this isn't the classic SDN success story in a thread where people are pulling 250s pre-dedicated, but I'm happy considering my goals: keeping my options open for everything but the extremely competitive specialties, especially given that I will with 90% certainty be choosing between IM, EM, and pediatrics. I also have to keep in mind that I did so badly on the NBME our school had us take in January that I was legitimately afraid I would be contacted to discuss repeating a year or decelerating. (Thankfully that didn't happen).

    Going into the test, I honestly had no clue what I would get. My NBMEs and UWSAs ranged from the 210s to 240s. There was an upward trend for sure, but it wasn't that linear. The test itself I felt ranged from sections that felt legitimately impossible to sections that were not so bad at all. There were definitely questions that were so easy you're really just working on the brain stem/reflex level and not using any executive function. And of course there were a healthy amount where you really put a lot of work into getting the best answer. My prevailing three strategies were:

    1. Don't do anything stupid. I got through most of the sections pretty fast and I would usually be able to go back to each one and ask. "Am I doing something stupid?" (E.g., missing an obvious presentation for a disease, clicking the wrong answer by accident, etc.)
    2. Don't pick the wrong answer. I felt like there were questions where they are really jonesing for you to pick one particular answer on reflex when there's one little thing that's easy to miss that conclusively rules it out.
    3. Don't change the answer unless you can 100% justify changing it. I got a lot of gut guesses on stuff not in FA correct after looking up answers after the test, and only changed if I realized I read it wrong or had the wrong line of thinking.

    In terms of resources I used, in descending order of helpfulness:
    UWorld 2x. Absolutely necessary. Definitely the highest yield thing I did.
    NBMEs. Sort of useful for gauging where I was and for the style of questions that they write, but not having explanations was a buzzkill. Obviously you have to do the NBMEs so I rank it pretty high.
    Anki. Specifically, the Zanki deck that I did throughout M2. Super helpful for remembering minutiae.
    Pathoma. Not just the content, but the way of thinking about pathology really helped frame my reasoning when I approached the questions.
    Reading FA: You have to do it, but it's also all in UWorld. I read through it twice but didn't get a whole lot out of it. I highly recommend Anki-ing this information.
    Sketchy: Did not help me whatsoever.

    The best predictors for my real score were that UWorld percentage converter (within 3), the average of NBME 18 and UWSA 2 (I had seen that thrown around somewhere), and an internal prediction my school uses.

    Overall I'm very glad this is all behind me and that I was able to do above average when it counted. M3 year is considerably better than M2 year so far and I'm learning more than I thought possible! Good luck to everyone who still has to take it.
     
  37. Mikeyyd34

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    If it makes you feel any better, I feel like Im in the same boat and I can count a handful of silly/dumb mistakes I made on easy questions where I actually knew/should have known the answer.
     
  38. asw98

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    I did not revisit SketchyPath during dedicated, except for a couple of sketches. I thought it was helpful in learning the material originally, but path was one of my strongest areas at the beginning of studying so I decided to spend time doing other things. I spent my last week before Step rewatching all of micro, which I think was a great decision. I think all of sketchy is great, but pharm and micro are probably more high yield/succinct. It really depends on your what your weaknesses are though.

    Yeah, I felt that there were very few questions that were testing my ability to think through a question. It was either you knew it or not. In that way, it was more similar to the NBME's than UWorld. I only took 2 NBMEs and the free 120 (I got a 93%). I think the real thing is different from any practice exam. I finished the entire exam in under 5 hours (3 hours early), even with taking 5-10 minute breaks between each section.

    My strategy was to trudge through, not overthink questions, and have energy to finish strong. My initial thoughts leaving the exam were negative. There were plenty of questions that I had zero clue on, but I could study for months longer and never learn that stuff. I definitely kept thinking about the questions I knew I got wrong.
     
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  39. Mikeyyd34

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    There are many different forms. After taking it today, Id say 40 maybe 50% were instant BOOM know what you're talking about; I know the given association. The rest were either "not sure what you're talking about, it might be this," Or woah, I know what you're talking about, but I never learned it this way nor would have ever anticipated it being tested this way (and its not in any reference materials). So in terms of maybe people that get lighter/easier exams, because the curves are standardized, Form A a 85% could be a 245 and form B a 80% could be a 245.
     
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  40. orangetea

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    What do you think would have been a better way other than UFAP to prepare for ethics/biostatistics?
     
  41. Goose313

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    I started studying during winter break before my exam in April. I had completed a detailed 70% pass of FA and had 1200 q's complete. I spent the first 3 weeks doing 60-80 UWorld question and reviewed what I had left in FA. After 3 weeks, I began a second pass of first aid and did 80 questions/day and started a second pass of UWorld. NBME's once a week. In the last 2 weeks, I started making anki cards of every question I got wrong or I felt shaky about and hammered those in. I wish I started anki cards sooner.
     
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  42. Mikeyyd34

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    Idk if your school does biostats/public health or not but reviewing that course work would have been helpful for me. The questions weren’t terrible, there were just way more than I would have ever anticipated. A few were definitely outside of the scope of first aid/boards and beyond and I can only hope I remembered correctly from the course. Ethics dude idk what to tell you. There was someone in here that was saying step one is getting significantly More clinical and I definitely agree. Solid amount of management, what’s best to do next, weird ethics questions ect. I think like one of the posters said above, you can’t really prepare for that stuff. You just know ufap material to the best of your ability. It’s about Minimizing the ones you should know and hopefully getting as many stretch questions as possible. Biggest piece of advice I have is nothing is outside the scope of what they can ask. Just because every nbme and uworld either asks about the same concept from a given section doesn’t mean they can’t ask the other disease/presentation that’s considered “low yield” at the bottom of page whatever in first aid. Low yield isn’t no yield. example, I think I’ve seen maybe 2-3 derm questions tops per nbme/uworld. Think derm doesn’t matter? Naw I got hit with a considerable amount of questions and paid the price.
     
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  43. econ1000

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    Will programs care about a score at high end of 250s compared to lower 260s?
     
  44. DNC127

    DNC127 Im just here so I don't get fined.

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    for those who just took Step 1, how would you rate the biochem difficulty as compared to Uworld? Was FA enough for the biochem or do you recommend diving into boards and beyond if necessary
     
  45. KH7780

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    Real Deal: 244

    UWA1:245
    UWA2: 243
    NBME13: 232
    NBME18: 246
    NBME16: 240
    NBME17: 252
    NBME19: 223
     
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  46. yyll

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    Difficulty wise I think the biochem questions are similar to uworld. FA is enough, just make sure you know every little detail in FA.
     
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  47. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    Do you wish you did the anki cards because the stuff in UWorld was high yield you mean?
     
  48. Goose313

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    I just wish I used that system earlier on since it forced me to review information multiple times, and it helped me memorize small details that I never focused on. I don't think all those random details helped necessarily, but it was a good system to personalize flash cards to things I got wrong or was weak on.
     
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  49. pbrocks15

    pbrocks15 Romans 8:28

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    That's understandable! You felt overall that UWorld was your highest yield resource? It seems like you just bounced between Uworld and FA which is reassuring since thats all I'm essentially doing.
     
  50. texastime

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    I've been looking at this thread here and there for the last couple months (really just freaking myself more by doing so), so I figured I should pay it forward by giving my take on this stressful Step 1 experience!

    I would see people posting ridiculously high scores on NBMEs and crazy high first pass UWorld percentages on here that really freaked me out since I was not getting anywhere near their scores. Not hating on them, cause that is awesome and more power to them, I was just hoping to see more people with scores around mine so I could see how they did. So for those in a similar position to me, hopefully this will give you a better feel for where you are at!

    "Dedicated" Study Time: 7-8 weeks; seriously studied about 7 hours a day. Studying for me was a 40 question block on UWorld and 6-10 DIT videos daily with Pathoma and Sketchy sprinkled throughout when I had time.
    Resources: Pathoma, Sketchy Micro + Pharm, UWorld, FA (mainly used it to write in extra explanations from UWorld and review), DIT
    I read through FA in the final days leading up to my test but that was more of just frantic cramming.

    - UWorld 1st (and only) Pass: 68%

    Practice Exams:
    03/18 - NBME 13 - 225
    03/27 - NBME 18 - 225
    04/04 - NBME 17 - 225 (cue freak out)
    04/12 - UWSA2 - 249
    04/15 - NBME 16 - 235 (about one week out)
    04/21 - UWSA1 - 264 (one last boost of confidence lol)

    Date of Exam: 4/23
    Actual Score: 255

    Not sure if I had any real strategy with the order of NBMEs and practice tests. I was stuck at 225 for NBMEs for a while and maxed out at 235 on NBMEs. I guess the closest practice exam to my actual score was my UWSA2.

    My best advice if you're not scoring where you want to, you probably know more than might be translating into your exam scores; don't let it get you down, just keep trucking. Also, don't compare others with yourself, everyone has a different style of studying and test taking, don't let it freak you out (easier said than done haha). Also I thought I bombed my actual test and felt awful about it, so I think that is a natural feeling. Good luck to everyone, this is a rough period, but it's almost over and best of luck!
     
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  51. The Knife & Gun Club

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    Most reassuring thing I’ve seen on here in a while - thank you for your contribution!

    Hoping I’m in the same boat. My UW percentage keeps increasing, but my NBME scores have stagnated in the 215-220 range. You give me hope!
     
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  52. Goose313

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    Definitely. As a lot of people said, FA, pathoma, and UW. I tried to learn all of the extra content in uworld that wasn’t in FA. UW was most helpful content wise. I received a couple questions that I was only prepared for because of UW.
     

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