usmle pass in first attempt and the score is 250/99,follow this to pass the steps of usmle a real story of THE DOCTOR against the medical entrance exam barrier

By Live Dr - Thu Dec 18, 12:09 pm

usmle pass in first attempt ,follow this to pass the steps of usmle a real story of THE DOCTOR against the medical entrance exam barrier

$ the story to 250/99 $

Hey everybody, i got my score 7 days back, came out to be 250/99. Wanted to post this earlier but became GROSSLY lazy (went into the REST mode). But as they say, ITS NEVER TOO LATE.

First of all, I would like to THANK god, my family, friends, the forum & everyone (there r so many people whose contribution was involved) in my victory on the beast. I couldn’t have done this w/o ur support. I wish to repay this to an extent thru this post.

I’m here posting some excerpts of my way preparing for the test & hope it would be helpful to all. I’m writing in a long description but for more specifics, u can ask the relevant queries. I apologize in advance for my boring style & descriptive nature.

I’m giving here my prep strategy & experience. Pls handle the info with care. Everyone has own style, speed, strengths & weaknesses and should formulate own plans to succeed. (This should guide those needing help though.)

Passed my final MBBS in apr2008, results dec 4-5 days later only so decided to have some rest before I start things (now u can feel how much rest I need….). Started from may, kept 1 mon for electives prep i.e the application & all things AND the strategy making for the step (from FA, Kap Q book, guidance from seniors & online support forums & links).
CURRENT STATUS: step 1 cleared, got Electives at tufts & visa. Will leave in ~1 month for the electives.

Starting 1st june, I started the execution of my approach. I tried to keep it simple-
DURATION- 5.5 mo inc the breaks & holidays (wanted 6 but my bro’s wedding didn’t allow)
THE APPROACH- divided my way into 3 phases:
1.Knowledge & comprehension (basic study material & Q book)-2.5 mo; av study: ~6 hrs
2.Expertise (revision, other resources)-1.5 mo: ~8-10 hrs**
3.Review & exam simulation (UW, NBME, FA)-1 mo; ~ 10 hrs.**
keeping 15 days in kitty.
**= revised later.

RESOURCES-The material (in order of my study); the main book is written first, I used the rest to supplement & add imp points.
Physio- brs+kln (the kln ques r esp imp)
Biochem/gen- kln (some HY too for gen.; not required)
Path – goljan RR+brs+kln (though this is tooo much but it suited my learning, goljan is a great book & more than sufficient. Kln cns is good)
Micro/imm- levinson+kln (kln tables & review chapters r great)
Pharm- katzung review+kln
Ana- kln+hy (hy series is not time efficient but the pics r very productive), ct & mri.
Behav- kln with VIDEOS (the only videos I saw though biochem & imm r also highly reccom by people), tried to do brs too but couldn’t.

All in all, KLN r enough for all the sub except path. The others have additional things but either not that hy or too low in time efficiency, though levinson & katzung r great books (as r all the authentic books). Did qbook after each sub (av score abt 72-75%), it’s a bit tough but found it good & useful(not that much in pharm).
Initially, thought it to be a foolproof plan but as all plans, it was not perfect. Started to feel the heat right from the 1st sub as was not able to finish in time but tried to maintain the momentum. Finally finished in 3.5 mo. By this time, it was very clear that my 2nd phase would have to be rev + UW of ~1.5 mo.

This is the time to do the max hard work, study & know things.
Compile things in 1 main book if using >1 resource.
Doing ques right from the first phase gives u an idea of imp & weak topics.
Monitor ur progress & have some flexibility in case u need modifications in the plan.

DURATION- planned to be around 45 d, did in ~55
RESOURCES-revision + UW + FA (subject wise), added Kaplan med ethics by Conrad fischer (ques only) to strengthen ethics (very good, not very hy but makes many things clear).

Took UW subject wise (did FA in the beginning & then rev along with uw), timed test mode, keeping some ques from each sub to make a sort of mock test of 6 blocks in the end. I feel it is better to do in mixed sub but I couldn’t do it as it was my 1st rev & also I wanted to note down the imp points from UW which is simpler & faster sub wise. Thought to do the sub in the same order but was scared of physio & pathophysio(rightly so), so started with biochem/gen. Got a serious jolt from 1st test but came back well after that. This was the start of a brand new experience but REALLY knowledgeable. Cumulative score-78%; 86th percentile (all tests done once with notes added in the main book, baring only 6-7 tests).
ABOUT UW: I strongly feel that the ques r way diff than the step most of the times but it is a wonderful LEARNING tool, as it is said, which opens the doors of ur mind & makes it more receptive for the diff ques along with a strong concept forming, which is the soul of the exam. It really is worth the money we pay to subscribe.

Study well EACH & EVERY expln of uw (the worth of uw lies here).
If possible, add the imp points from uw or make a notebook for it.
Connect the various pieces of info here & there in ur brain & books.
Remember never to get disappointed by uw scores; just keep on the hard work

This is the time to consolidate & learn to apply the hard work of the 1st phase.
To reap the max benefit, continue the work.
Know abt what r really more imp topics (so called HY topics) & focus more.
Also know abt ur strength & weakness in this time & work accordingly.
If possible, make notes of the HY & ur WEAK topics to revise them over & over again.

DURATION- 10-12 days (the final countdown).
RESOURCES- FA rev + NBME forms + goljan slides (good pics & some imp facts r there too) + UW mock test (6 blocks of remaining ques) + USMLE cd ques (did on the last day at my place; simple- got high 90s but know abt tutorial from here to skip it in the exam w/o anxiety)

NBME: did the forms offline except 3rd (which I still regret), 1 per day trying to simulate exam conditions as far as possible, checked the ans & tried the wrong ones from books again. I had forms 1-4 in a dvd we had got, it had negligible mistakes in the ans (thanks to the person who posted their ans). Scored 170, 175, 179, 176 respectively. Was in a big trouble doing forms 5 & 6 when got to know that I didn’t have the right ans for them; searched a lot for some better ans but ended up doing it by myself mostly. I believe the scores would have been ~160-170.
The forms r a good assessment tools for the end & also have quite the same pattern, diff level etc. I even got 1 pic similar from a form in the exam (though the ques was different) but it is definitely good to do them before the D day. Be cautious abt the emotions associated with nbme scores.
Now, my most imp view for nbme: the trend has been to do 1 or 2 forms online & the rest offline BUT for me, the online form was RUBBISH for 45$. Except for providing a performance profile for the test (as we get for the real exam), they don’t have any adv over offline.. u would do the ques once & then u never get to know the ques or even ur wrong ques, leave aside ans or expln. After doing form 3 online, I felt no ABSOLUTE necessity of the same. I certainly believe it is NOT worth the money, I apologize if I’ve hurt someone here.

This is the time for a final review to gain the ultimate CONFIDENCE.
U’ve gotta be very clear in the notion that nobody is perfect & can never be; & believe that u’ve done the req amt of efforts to get 99. As it is said, it is doable but I want to add, ONLY IF U THINK IT IS.
Keep urself cool, calm & relaxed. This time tests the mental strength the most.
Prepare for the exam day, physically & psychologically.

I had kept these for relaxation & doing the small things lying here & there. Some work was left but kept it low for these days. My exam was on 19th nov, I left in 17th night for ahm (my center). On 18th, relaxed again (very obvious now that I’m quite good at that……..), checked my center, actually had some stuff to do (goljan slides, FA review-good punch liners, some nbme leftovers). Slept ~11.30 pm to wake up & face the day brave enough to get a good score..

How can I leave these?? These r some of the very basic principles for anything in life, u all must have known them in some way or the other but for the sake of completion, here r some of the golden RULES. (These r in addition to the basic principles of study, which all know..)


•Start with a clear MINDSET of what (the Aims, Goals & Objectives), when (the Timeline) & how (the Strategy) to achieve.
•Make a hardcore STRATEGY after a thorough search & then STICK to it. (& keep a daily schedule- time mgt is very imp.).
•Keep a plan B & C in mind in case u want them.
•Know the potential stumbles & the way out.
•Include breaks & holidays in ur timeline; u don’t want a burn out. Relaxation & support r essential.
•Stress mgt is imp to maintain sanity & keep anxiety in the wanted zone.
•Be sure to know the CONCEPTS.

•CONFIDENCE: Be confident of urself whatever comes ur way.
•DEVOTION & COMMITMENT: towards ur goals & aims for victory.
•CONSISTENCY: form & maintain the momentum; a must for results.
•PATIENCE & PERSEVERANCE: periods of ups & downs r absolutely physiological. Handle them with care. When low, tell urself its just a phase of time destined to pass off & don’t stray off the path.
•RESILIENCE & DETERMINATION: fight back to regain self pride. Strengthen ur psyche & prepare for the big day. This is what sets winners apart from others.
Phew…a lot of them….I used these to boost myself up in crises & otherwise too.

I’ll post the rest of the story from here to the exam exp a bit later. This sole blog of my life has taken a toll & I need some REST again….. Till then, I wish GL to all. Enjoy & make sure u crack each part of the exam
I wish it could be a bit smaller & not this painstaking to read but that’s it…. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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