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medstud87

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Will be starting dedicated Step 1 studying May 12th.

Quick info about me:

I have reviewed a few systems over the past 2 months. Have done 50% of UWorld questions (averaging about40- 50% on completely random questions and 70-80% on focused questions (questions I do after reviewing a certain subject). Am in the top 25-50% of my class. Aiming for the best I can do. Ideally 230+.

Have been using Pathoma, FA, UWorld, Pharm flashcards, Micro flashcards, BRS physio, Kaplan videos

weaknesses: biochem (really bad), micro, pharm (although getting better)

strengths: physio, systems path, behavioral science, ethics ;)

I initially planned for 5 and a half weeks of dedicated time.

Should I extend this to 6.5 weeks or is this overkill. I know that only I know best, but i wanted a few opinions. I thought the extra week might allow me to go over biochem and micro indepth as to get down the key concepts before my 2 week cram mode.

Any thoughts?
 

Phloston

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Many people will tell you that extra week doesn't matter. That's the worse advice you could ever hear. If you have the option of 6.5 vs 5.5wks of study, it's not even open for discussion: do the former. One week is not a lot, so I would spend it literally doing an entire QBank if possible. Perhaps 336 questions per day in USMLE Rx would be helpful = >2300 in one week. That will absolutely augment your score. Of course you won't be able to peruse every explanation at that pace, but you could definitely gain a last-minute idea of weak areas. I would select hard and medium questions. Bottom line: beast through that week with Rx, then of course ultimately end on UWorld.

Best of luck,
 

nybgrus

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I think this is a little more nuanced that Phloston does. Studies have shown that scores plateau after about 5-6 weeks and then actually drop after that. The reason being is those pedantic little biochem facts you memorized (or whatever other pedantic little facts) will slip your mind as you go further out in time.

It also depends on how you are making the extra time - if you are doing it during rotation, I would say no. If you really just have the time, then fine.

But if you feel like you are not really going to make use of the time then skip it as well. Don't use it as a way to procrastinate a little extra.

But, without any obvious contraindications, I'd generally agree that adding the extra time will probably be useful. Just watch out for burnout and realize that 6ish weeks is typically the end of the plateau.
 

Star Fox

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Studies have shown that scores plateau after about 5-6 weeks and then actually drop after that. The reason being is those pedantic little biochem facts you memorized (or whatever other pedantic little facts) will slip your mind as you go further out in time.
Pretty sure this is BS even though a lot of people subscribe to this myth.
 
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johndoe3344

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I have to agree with Star Fox. Those "pedantic little facts" don't stay in my brain any longer than a week at most (without re-reviewing) anyways. Can you seriously remember the thirteen and a half tables in the oncology chapter of FA after 6 weeks from just reading it once during the beginning of your studies? Didn't think so.

That's why you spend the last week or two weeks to actually cram all of that material in. During the earlier weeks or months (however long you have) you try and read to understand and know the concepts. That's what some study methods (like the Penn method) are all about.

To the OP: I would gladly take any extra time I could get my hands on.
 

shan564

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To the OP: I would gladly take any extra time I could get my hands on.

:thumbup:

I'm currently around my 7th or 8th week of full-time studying, and my Qbank scores are still improving every week.

Yes, I've forgotten a lot of the biochem and micro I learned in week 1, but I'll cram it again in the week before the test. Despite the bits of forgotten material, I feel like I'm better-prepared today than I was yesterday.
 

Phloston

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I think the greatest irony is that the most crammable facts actually need to be studied more than any other info. Many of the lower-yield "pedantic details" really don't surmount to that much when they've already been reviewed over and over again.

I also disagree with the plateau concept. I don't believe scores ebb unless the study plan merely just isn't prioritized well. Also, and more importantly, each person has a different threshold. Some people might burn out whereas others thrive off the extra time and momentum.

The final two weeks need to be the same for everyone: re-memorizing FA (w/ QBank annotations). For the weeks preceding, however, extra QBank investment is worth its weight in gold.
 
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