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Official 2021 Step 1 Experiences and Scores Thread

slowthai

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Goal weight: 250+ lbs
I've been eating a lot everyday so I think I have a chance

On a serious note, we just might be the last ones to take it pre-P/F. Let's rock.

Edit: As of today, we ARE the last ones to take it pre-P/F.
 
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slowthai

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For those that have done/are doing multiple qbanks, how are you guys planning to do them? Currently, I'm doing everything on random tutor mode. I won't be doing anything timed until I start doing NBMEs to simulate and get my timing straight.

Why random?
My rationale is kind of practice how you play. Each block on step will be from a random selection of subjects. Plus, there'll be built in spaced repetition this way.

Why tutor?
I really like the instant feedback of seeing where you went wrong so you can correct/note whatever mistake you made on that q, instead of having to struggle to remember why you made a mistake after an entire block of 40.

Why not timed?
I really want to focus on getting good at answering questions using what I know and test taking skills first. I figure that if I do lack some speed now, it'll come after doing a ton of qs.
 
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slowthai

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Here's a 90 day plan I'm going to use. I have an extremely long dedicated and this is plan a little unconventional in some parts of it, so probably won't be helpful for most people. But who knows maybe it will give someone some ideas if you're stuck or something


Just curious, how does 5 blocks a day feel? Feel like you get enough time to review and everything?
 
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Medical_studies

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Hi slowthai, thanks for your posts! no it is not the best strategy in the world. From the 2020 thread, it looks like 2 blocks a day is really working the best for people, fldoctorgirl just got a 247 on an nbme. I have a 186 you can do the math. I am pretty much study every waking hour now, there is definitely diminishing returns. The pace I go at, you sometimes don't fully understand everything (I use tutor mode), but i'm more interested in finishing zanki + 7 qbanks than the score because of ocd tendancies. I just want to be able to say I completed it. And I just like the number 7.

Our school was put in an odd situation because covid cancelled our (carib) school's cbse and we are not 100% sure when we will take it but the best educated guess is mid August. And then we take step 1 after the school fills some paperwork, which takes some time. So that led to having all this time and a chance to do all these qbanks. I wanted to take advantage of that and I enjoy it doing questions alot, so it's more like having fun and competition with yourself than studying.
 
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slowthai

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So I did a random timed block for the first time today. Got my second highest score since I started running this qbank. Decided to give it a try since I've read several times that people saw their percentages increase significantly once they switched from untimed tutor to timed. I can see why; you're probably sharper and more focused because you know you don't have any time to screw around. Gonna keep doing this a few more times and see how it goes.

I know we shouldn't be paying attention to our % correct, but maybe there's something to this. And practice how you play, right? Lol. Hoping this review process doesn't take forever though...
 
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Peaches44

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For those that have done/are doing multiple qbanks, how are you guys planning to do them? Currently, I'm doing everything on random tutor mode. I won't be doing anything timed until I start doing NBMEs to simulate and get my timing straight.

Why random?
My rationale is kind of practice how you play. Each block on step will be from a random selection of subjects. Plus, there'll be built in spaced repetition this way.

Why tutor?
I really like the instant feedback of seeing where you went wrong so you can correct/note whatever mistake you made on that q, instead of having to struggle to remember why you made a mistake after an entire block of 40.

Why not timed?
I really want to focus on getting good at answering questions using what I know and test taking skills first. I figure that if I do lack some speed now, it'll come after doing a ton of qs.
I'm currently working through Rx and Combank on random/untimed/tutor. My plan as of right now is to get through as much of Rx and Combank as I can before starting AMBOSS in November. I'm pretty much caught up to my next block on Rx so I'm going to have to start doing those questions before exams. Ideally, I will finish AMBOSS right before dedicated and just focus on Uworld at that point. Keeping up with Anki reviews as well. We got this!
 
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slowthai

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Here we go! Aiming 250+. 20,000 cards mature in AnKing. Trying to do BnB, Pathoma, Kaplan qbank, and AMBOSS throughout the year. Thoughts on the utility of class lecture in addition to these resources? Currently watching when I can, but there's not much time left over for them.

Skipping them entirely as much as possible. Our curriculum is low effing yield. What I would give to be tested with NBMEs instead of crappy in-houses. From the little I've glossed over, it looks like it's not as divergent from step stuff as M1 stuff was, so it should be easier to ignore hopefully.
 
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Peaches44

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Here we go! Aiming 250+. 20,000 cards mature in AnKing. Trying to do BnB, Pathoma, Kaplan qbank, and AMBOSS throughout the year. Thoughts on the utility of class lecture in addition to these resources? Currently watching when I can, but there's not much time left over for them.
Also aiming for 250+ and just hit 20k matured last week. Looks like were setting ourselves up to kill this exam!

I think I am going to watch on 2x as much as I can but depending on workload will definitely be skipping if the titles of our lectures correlate with BnB/Pathoma. Our lectures up to this point have been hit or miss in terms of high/low yield but I've heard our next systems (heme/cardio) are pretty high yield and our profs give us page numbers to review in first aid. Although I'm worried for the spring. We do respiratory right before dedicated and we've been warned that its our most low yield class. Ha.
 
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mm5869

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Here's a 90 day plan I'm going to use. I have an extremely long dedicated and this is plan a little unconventional in some parts of it, so probably won't be helpful for most people. But who knows maybe it will give someone some ideas if you're stuck or something



...how did this plan end up working out? seems like...a lot.
 

Medical_studies

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...how did this plan end up working out? seems like...a lot.
i was to lazy to do it. i ended up with a 210 on school cbse. we will be getting clearance to register for step soon. i might still do something similar, your post inspired me to try it again. i will be starting rotations in january i think. will report back with step score, i think i will take the test mid november
 
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ExplodingUlcers

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For those that have done/are doing multiple qbanks, how are you guys planning to do them? Currently, I'm doing everything on random tutor mode. I won't be doing anything timed until I start doing NBMEs to simulate and get my timing straight.

Why random?
My rationale is kind of practice how you play. Each block on step will be from a random selection of subjects. Plus, there'll be built in spaced repetition this way.

Why tutor?
I really like the instant feedback of seeing where you went wrong so you can correct/note whatever mistake you made on that q, instead of having to struggle to remember why you made a mistake after an entire block of 40.

Why not timed?
I really want to focus on getting good at answering questions using what I know and test taking skills first. I figure that if I do lack some speed now, it'll come after doing a ton of qs.
In house finals are NBME this year so I will be strictly doing bnb, pathoma and reinforcing with anking. My strategy is to front load the material then test myself on random timed with UWORLD/Amboss blocks. I heard from a ton of upperclassmen who scored 250 + that I shouldn't wait till dedicated to start uworld because their explanations are on point and you learn a lot from them.
 
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slowthai

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In house finals are NBME this year so I will be strictly doing bnb, pathoma and reinforcing with anking. My strategy is to front load the material then test myself on random timed with UWORLD/Amboss blocks. I heard from a ton of upperclassmen who scored 250 + that I shouldn't wait till dedicated to start uworld because their explanations are on point and you learn a lot from them.

That's awesome. Yeah, I'll be starting UW in January, leaving just enough to do a full simulation if I want to towards the end of dedicated. I firmly believe in starting it before dedicated, especially as it's gotten so massive (3200+ qs), but I have heard from too many people that it keeps you the sharpest from a test taking perspective. Doing it this way will allow me to benefit from both approaches.
 
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ExplodingUlcers

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That's awesome. Yeah, I'll be starting UW in January, leaving just enough to do a full simulation if I want to towards the end of dedicated. I firmly believe in starting it before dedicated, especially as it's gotten so massive (3200+ qs), but I have heard from too many people that it keeps you the sharpest from a test taking perspective. Doing it this way will allow me to benefit from both approaches.
Yeah agreed, there are advantages for both approaches.
 
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fldoctorgirl

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I heard from a ton of upperclassmen who scored 250 + that I shouldn't wait till dedicated to start uworld because their explanations are on point and you learn a lot from them.
255, firm believer in saving UWorld for dedicated. If I could do it all again, I would still save UWorld entirely for dedicated. You're right that it's vast and there's so much to learn from it, but I think-- particularly if you Zanki-- that it's best saved for the final stretch, since flashcards will take care of a lot of your learning beforehand. Point being, there are a million different approaches and just go with what feels best for you and how you learn! Lots of high scorers do it early, lots of high scorers save it.

Good luck guys!! If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me. I'm far from an expert but I do think I handled Step 1 studying relatively well and managed to stay somewhat sane throughout the process. If you focus on it being a marathon rather than a sprint, you won't get overwhelmed.
 
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fldoctorgirl

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For those that have done/are doing multiple qbanks, how are you guys planning to do them? Currently, I'm doing everything on random tutor mode. I won't be doing anything timed until I start doing NBMEs to simulate and get my timing straight.

Why random?
My rationale is kind of practice how you play. Each block on step will be from a random selection of subjects. Plus, there'll be built in spaced repetition this way.

Why tutor?
I really like the instant feedback of seeing where you went wrong so you can correct/note whatever mistake you made on that q, instead of having to struggle to remember why you made a mistake after an entire block of 40.

Why not timed?
I really want to focus on getting good at answering questions using what I know and test taking skills first. I figure that if I do lack some speed now, it'll come after doing a ton of qs.
I followed a similar approach. My first qbank was Rx and I did that untimed/tutor. I really wanted to use it as a learning qbank and just get exposure to some boards-style questions. Rx was basically like a trial run for me so I could see how my thought process worked and refine my approach to questions. Once you hit UWorld, it is my opinion that you 100% need to be doing it 40q blocks timed/random/non-tutor, as this will most simulate the real deal. Tutor mode takes you out of test taking mode because you're reading an explanation after each question and it's just not worth doing it with UWorld.
 
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iforget2

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255, firm believer in saving UWorld for dedicated. If I could do it all again, I would still save UWorld entirely for dedicated. You're right that it's vast and there's so much to learn from it, but I think-- particularly if you Zanki-- that it's best saved for the final stretch, since flashcards will take care of a lot of your learning beforehand. Point being, there are a million different approaches and just go with what feels best for you and how you learn! Lots of high scorers do it early, lots of high scorers save it.

Good luck guys!! If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me. I'm far from an expert but I do think I handled Step 1 studying relatively well and managed to stay somewhat sane throughout the process. If you focus on it being a marathon rather than a sprint, you won't get overwhelmed.

Definitely agree with saving UW until dedicated. However, something worth noting for those taking Step this upcoming summer is UW is constantly adding more questions and it's important to anticipate this when you're calculating how far out from your test date you want to start UW. I remember there were maybe ~2600 questions when I looked at the number of questions back in January, but right now there's 3200 questions and possibly a lot more on the horizon. It may be that you'll have to start doing UW questions a few weeks before dedicated so that you can finish the entire qbank. Just something to keep in mind when figuring out your timing for UW.
 
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cptsam

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I followed a similar approach. My first qbank was Rx and I did that untimed/tutor. I really wanted to use it as a learning qbank and just get exposure to some boards-style questions. Rx was basically like a trial run for me so I could see how my thought process worked and refine my approach to questions. Once you hit UWorld, it is my opinion that you 100% need to be doing it 40q blocks timed/random/non-tutor, as this will most simulate the real deal. Tutor mode takes you out of test taking mode because you're reading an explanation after each question and it's just not worth doing it with UWorld.

how well were you initially doing on Rx if you don't mind me asking, and did you improve a ton by the end of it?
 
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fldoctorgirl

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how well were you initially doing on Rx if you don't mind me asking, and did you improve a ton by the end of it?
My performance on Rx fluctuated a lot. I definitely improved towards the end-- it was the first qbank I had ever done, so there was a sharp learning curve for me. I finished Rx with 74% correct. I really liked Rx because of how it breaks things down by discipline, so I was really able to see which areas were my weaker ones. I wouldn't stress too much about Rx % correct...if you want to focus on a number, look at how much better you're doing than the average on that block. For example, there were some blocks where my % may have been really low, but I was still 5+% higher than the average, which I took as a win (same principle is true for UWorld). I probably started out averaging in the low 60s. Rx is really best used as a learning tool imo, so try not to worry too much about your scores.
 

Peaches44

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255, firm believer in saving UWorld for dedicated. If I could do it all again, I would still save UWorld entirely for dedicated. You're right that it's vast and there's so much to learn from it, but I think-- particularly if you Zanki-- that it's best saved for the final stretch, since flashcards will take care of a lot of your learning beforehand. Point being, there are a million different approaches and just go with what feels best for you and how you learn! Lots of high scorers do it early, lots of high scorers save it.

Good luck guys!! If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask me. I'm far from an expert but I do think I handled Step 1 studying relatively well and managed to stay somewhat sane throughout the process. If you focus on it being a marathon rather than a sprint, you won't get overwhelmed.
Thanks for the advice, I started to follow last years thread toward the end and saw how you all scored! I hopped on the anki train in the beginning of M1 so its good to see that you didn't waste your time doing it. Did you do any amboss or other qbanks aside from Rx and Uworld? Also curious if you were happy with your initial NBME scores because of the anki/qbanks you had been doing before dedicated? I'm having trouble balancing everything right now and still trying to get into a good daily schedule since our summer break.
 
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Medical_studies

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Using her reddit spreadsheet has really been one of my biggest aids in studying. Its lets you know exactly if you are in the same league as them. Thanks for that! If you can delay starting uworld until you get a 213 on an nbme (ideally), or dedicated starts, this whole thing may go very well! I have 12 days left to reach that 213. since i was lower % correct on rx, I have to use more question banks. More questions before dedicated will keep raising your score. Your 1st nbme isnt important, but the last nbme score before dedicated and uworld will tell you if you can match their scores from last year. just my guess.
 

fldoctorgirl

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Thanks for the advice, I started to follow last years thread toward the end and saw how you all scored! I hopped on the anki train in the beginning of M1 so its good to see that you didn't waste your time doing it. Did you do any amboss or other qbanks aside from Rx and Uworld? Also curious if you were happy with your initial NBME scores because of the anki/qbanks you had been doing before dedicated? I'm having trouble balancing everything right now and still trying to get into a good daily schedule since our summer break.
Nope, no other qbank! I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to do more, but I didn't want to rush through UWorld. I really think UWorld is the gold mine and as long as you go through it well, it's all you need.

I was not at all happy with my NBMEs in the beginning! The curve on them is insane, I believe I got like a 215 on my first one but when I calculated my % correct, I had gotten 80% correct. 80% correct on the real deal is absolutely no way a 215, so I felt better after that. I would say the ideal approach to NBMEs is to focus on your % correct rather than the 3-digit score and to see improvement throughout. My highest NBME was 18, I scored a 247-- still 8 points lower than the real deal.
 
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Peaches44

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Nope, no other qbank! I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to do more, but I didn't want to rush through UWorld. I really think UWorld is the gold mine and as long as you go through it well, it's all you need.

I was not at all happy with my NBMEs in the beginning! The curve on them is insane, I believe I got like a 215 on my first one but when I calculated my % correct, I had gotten 80% correct. 80% correct on the real deal is absolutely no way a 215, so I felt better after that. I would say the ideal approach to NBMEs is to focus on your % correct rather than the 3-digit score and to see improvement throughout. My highest NBME was 18, I scored a 247-- still 8 points lower than the real deal.
That makes sense I've read that the curves on some of those are insane. I'm just nervous of getting to my first NBME and not scoring in the range that I wanted. I'm hoping to get through most if not all of Amboss before my first NBME. When do most people generally take their first NBME? Our last block is respiratory which ends in March I think.
 

fldoctorgirl

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That makes sense I've read that the curves on some of those are insane. I'm just nervous of getting to my first NBME and not scoring in the range that I wanted. I'm hoping to get through most if not all of Amboss before my first NBME. When do most people generally take their first NBME? Our last block is respiratory which ends in March I think.
I took my first NBME the day after I finished Rx, before starting UWorld. I wanted a true baseline pre-dedicated. You can really do whatever you'd like as far as NBMEs go, and it'll also depend on how many of them you want to take.
 
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DocLevi

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anyone else keep getting wrecked on q banks lmao

I range anywhere from 45% to an occasional 80%+ on Rx at the moment
lmao no worries this is pretty accurate for students who haven't thoroughly covered all of FA yet (no offense to you personally!). Rx is essentially a Qbank to practice alllllll the random FA facts. the questions are not as introspective/critical thinking as Uworld as they will spin the vignette around as much as possible to make the FA trivia fit. Nonetheless still very good practice for a solid foundation and some integration! i firmly believe Rx has improved their qbank to be more integrative and similar to real board questions. i'm about 5 days away from step 1 and i'm averaging high 70s, low 80s on Rx. Finished uworld twice earlier this year with around 75% correct.
 

DocLevi

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Hello fellow medical students! i am very new on this forum but i am about 5 days away from exam time. I would love to hear some feedback on my progress, anything would help!

BASELINE NBME 21: 199 (took on aug 23)
UWSA2: 217 (took on sept 10)
NBME 18: 217 (took on sept 10)
UWSA1: 232 (took sept 14)
NBME 22: 205 (took sept 17, huge bummer but my mistakes were careless and trivial plus i heard the curve on this one was brutal so i wasn't completely discouraged so to speak)
USMLERx cumulative analysis: range of 220-260 with 240 predicted. 73% correct with some questions left but not a lot.

FREE 120 TODAY: 77% (92/120) correct

Even though my scores aren't crazy high i do not think i need to push if i just use this last few days to solidify some facts. if i am careful on test day to not make the dumb mistakes i feel like i can get that 230-240+ because i have a really good foundation.
 

slowthai

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So they recently announced that they'll be dropping 6 new NBMEs in accordance with the content changes. Apparently they'll be out by March of next year. Should be interesting, lol.

The current NBMEs are already very tough, so I'm kind of surprised that they're making a new batch just for the content changes. I originally was going to do most of the current ones during dedicated, but with 6 more available, I'm going to have to adjust my plan.
 
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Peaches44

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So they recently announced that they'll be dropping 6 new NBMEs in accordance with the content changes. Apparently they'll be out by March of next year. Should be interesting, lol.

The current NBMEs are already very tough, so I'm kind of surprised that they're making a new batch just for the content changes. I originally was going to do most of the current ones during dedicated, but with 6 more available, I'm going to have to adjust my plan.
I guess thats helpful though. I wonder how much this changes things in terms of which NBMEs are historically most predictive. It kind of puts us in a tough situation in determining which ones are most important to do.
 

slowthai

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I guess thats helpful though. I wonder how much this changes things in terms of which NBMEs are historically most predictive. It kind of puts us in a tough situation in determining which ones are most important to do.

Exactly. As for me, I consider the current ones to be the most important because they have the most data compared to the new ones. But I also consider the new ones important because of potential repeats and they may more accurately reflect the exam. I plan to do as many of them as I can.
 

Peaches44

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Exactly. As for me, I consider the current ones to be the most important because they have the most data compared to the new ones. But I also consider the new ones important because of potential repeats and they may more accurately reflect the exam. I plan to do as many of them as I can.
When do you plan on doing your first? Or have you?
 

Deecee2DO

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For those that have done/are doing multiple qbanks, how are you guys planning to do them? Currently, I'm doing everything on random tutor mode. I won't be doing anything timed until I start doing NBMEs to simulate and get my timing straight.

Why random?
My rationale is kind of practice how you play. Each block on step will be from a random selection of subjects. Plus, there'll be built in spaced repetition this way.

Why tutor?
I really like the instant feedback of seeing where you went wrong so you can correct/note whatever mistake you made on that q, instead of having to struggle to remember why you made a mistake after an entire block of 40.

Why not timed?
I really want to focus on getting good at answering questions using what I know and test taking skills first. I figure that if I do lack some speed now, it'll come after doing a ton of qs.
Hell ya slowthai this is what i like to see. I got money on you hitting 260 bro!
 
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Deecee2DO

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Hello fellow medical students! i am very new on this forum but i am about 5 days away from exam time. I would love to hear some feedback on my progress, anything would help!

BASELINE NBME 21: 199 (took on aug 23)
UWSA2: 217 (took on sept 10)
NBME 18: 217 (took on sept 10)
UWSA1: 232 (took sept 14)
NBME 22: 205 (took sept 17, huge bummer but my mistakes were careless and trivial plus i heard the curve on this one was brutal so i wasn't completely discouraged so to speak)
USMLERx cumulative analysis: range of 220-260 with 240 predicted. 73% correct with some questions left but not a lot.

FREE 120 TODAY: 77% (92/120) correct

Even though my scores aren't crazy high i do not think i need to push if i just use this last few days to solidify some facts. if i am careful on test day to not make the dumb mistakes i feel like i can get that 230-240+ because i have a really good foundation.
I see you hitting 230s man! whats your goal
 

Deecee2DO

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My performance on Rx fluctuated a lot. I definitely improved towards the end-- it was the first qbank I had ever done, so there was a sharp learning curve for me. I finished Rx with 74% correct. I really liked Rx because of how it breaks things down by discipline, so I was really able to see which areas were my weaker ones. I wouldn't stress too much about Rx % correct...if you want to focus on a number, look at how much better you're doing than the average on that block. For example, there were some blocks where my % may have been really low, but I was still 5+% higher than the average, which I took as a win (same principle is true for UWorld). I probably started out averaging in the low 60s. Rx is really best used as a learning tool imo, so try not to worry too much about your scores.
lmao ok so i was bored reading through these posts and just wanted to point out how crazy it is that we actually had the same exact NBME baseline score, overall Rx percent, overall UWorld %, NBME 18 score and were 1 point from each other on the real deal. Lets do the same for Step 2 260+ baby lets get itt!!
 
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Deecee2DO

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In house finals are NBME this year so I will be strictly doing bnb, pathoma and reinforcing with anking. My strategy is to front load the material then test myself on random timed with UWORLD/Amboss blocks. I heard from a ton of upperclassmen who scored 250 + that I shouldn't wait till dedicated to start uworld because their explanations are on point and you learn a lot from them.
254 scorer here. Save it for dedicated. This is extemely important as it simulates the real deal the best. You want to be thinking the way UWorld makes you think leading right up to the exam. Best advice is to have done another qbank before Uworld. this way starting UW during dedicated is completely manageable. Doing UW 2x is less effective imo because youll remember questions. If you want to do UWorld again do your incorrects only
 
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