MedLover25

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Hey everyone,
I'm going to be starting Step 1 Prep pretty soon, but I'm a little down in the dumps. I took an NBME form to see where I'm at, and I scored a 172. Granted I haven't reviewed any material, but that's definitely not a good score.

I took the Path shelf, and after only reviewing 1/2 of Path, I scored what would equate to a 220 (500). So I feel confident that when I finish the second half of Path, and go over it another two times, I should be solid for Path.

My biggest area of weakness lies in Biochem, and somewhat in Physio (even though I scored ~500 on the Physio shelf) - not because I found the material difficult, but just in relation to events in my life I couldn't control.

So I've tried to be realistic in planning out a schedule - one that allows me to see everything at least 3 times - and it's going to take me about 2 1/2 to 3 months to complete (needing about 45 days to get through everything well the first time).

When I study something well - I do fine with questions. I just know I have to go much slower to build up a base.

I just see everyone around me studying, but they do it so poorly. If they don't "get" something, they just move on, claiming its "low yield" - well if you do that enough, that's a LOT of questions you're going to miss out on.

I know taking that long to study may seem extreme (or not?)....but I feel like I need to. I guess I'm just looking for a confidence boost. It's stressful when you see people just "memorizing First Aid" - when they don't even have a knowledge base to do that. Slow and steady wins the race right?

(fyi - I'm aiming for at least a 220. I really want a higher score than that, but I'll re-evaluate once I hit a 220 on a practice test.)

How would you guys plan to study? Would you do each subject once and keep cycling through...or would you stick on a subject until you felt comfortable with it (maybe that means doing it 2x), and then cycle through everything again?
 

Lamborghini1315

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I'm doing it according to body systems:

Read the books well first time around and consolidate important info into FA. Listen to Goljan for each system.

Do questions out of guyton and robbins review (or some other question source) after every system. This is important to understand it well the first time around or else it just doesn't stick.

After all the systems are done, just do FA and UW. No need to pick up a book again unless you really feel the need to.

Also, spending too much time to study will make you forget the stuff you did in the beginning unless you make a concious effort to skim over that material every now and then during your schedule. Goodluck.

I will tell you what really helps if you simply devote half of your board study time doing questions while the other half trying to engrave the same concepts you come across in the questions. It just becomes second nature when you read the stem of the question something will click and you see the answer choices, bam there it is.
 
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maybepsych

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Take my advice for what it is worth because I haven't taken the Step yet but I will tell you my plan.

So I plan to do one thorough review of everything using Kaplan. If I feel like I totally missed a chapter I will probably go back and redo it. While going through Kaplan I plan to do questions (not USMLEworld, I am saving that one) for whatever subject/system I am on.

After that if I still feel really weak in a subject I may go through those specific areas again. But I plan to change my focus to FA and USMLEworld (random timed questions). If I don't feel like I have a good understanding of the material in FA then I will go back and look that up. When I miss questions I will make sure I understand what I did wrong and if I feel like I don't know that material I will go back and review it again in Kaplan.

Total study time 6-8 weeks but we will see how it goes because I really like to take my time reviewing. I can not sit and study for 12 hours a day. I will be lucky to do a solid 8.

My goal is also 220's and I would be ecstatic with 230's.

About your method- Needless to say, you know how you learn best and what is best for you but in my opinion doing a thorough review of everything 3 times seems a bit much. (I think that is what you meant.)

I also think that rereviewing material you don't understand is a good idea. However, you have to be careful not to get bogged down. There will always be something you could know/understand better.

It seems your shelf scores are average. (I think 500 is the average.) And you said you took the NBME before reviewing anything. A 500 on the path shelf while only going through half the material isn't bad at all.

What I'm saying is you aren't in bad shape at this point. I bet most people start out where you are. Don't be jaded by all the SDN scores.

Just one question, where are you in comparision to the rest of your class?

Good Luck :xf:
 

gluon999

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I will tell you what really helps if you simply devote half of your board study time doing questions while the other half trying to engrave the same concepts you come across in the questions. It just becomes second nature when you read the stem of the question something will click and you see the answer choices, bam there it is.

I recommend doing 50-100 questions everyday the last 30 days of your studying. I had done thousands of questions by the time I took the test and on test day I was surprised by how many soft ball questions I encountered...may be it was because I was used to USMLE World and Kaplan Q-bank kicking my butt.

My specific advice to you is don't worry about your 172 now. Use it as a motivating factor to work hard. I scored a 163 on my first NBME that the school gave us. I worked my butt off after that and rocked the Step 1 to the tune of a cool 249. Spend time reviewing everything but don't be afraid to spend a little more time on your weak areas - it will pay off. When you get your score back from the NBME tests, focus on those weak areas and it will pay off. My score jumped over 15 points in the last week after I spent the last few days solely focusing on my weak spots.
 
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