Home » Step 1 » 266/99 USMLE Step 1
allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 4:46:41 PM
 
Exam date: Dec 30, 2010
USMLE Step 1
Result: 266/99

preparing materials:
FA 2010 (cover to cover 3 times + lots of notes from additional reading)
Kaplan home study (read it through once, not enough time for 2nd round, good reference, but not recommended for people with <6 month of prep time)
High yield neuroanatomy (very nice illustrations and text to help understand disease relevant structures and their functions,good study material to amend the weakness of FA in neuroanatomy)
High yield anatomy (too much detail for step 1 test, only used as a quick reference for anatomy)
Kaplan Q book 2008 (used after 1st round of FA study + Kaplan home study)
just an OK Q book, definitely not enough
USMLE World: subscription 1 month, 98% completed
very very good Q bank, very challenging, 60% harder than real test
comprehensive review for each question
highly recommended

Pre-exam scores correlation:
Kaplan Q book: overall 73% correct
UW Q bank: overall 76% correct (after studying everything)
UW SA test 1: 650, estimated score 244 (before UW Q bank)
UW SA test 2: 800, estimated score 265 (after UW Q bank, 2 days before
real exam)
NBME exam: none
free exams from NBME website: 93% correct (1 day before real exam)

Overall, FA + UW Q bank is the way to go. And the correlation of UW SA test with the final score is indeed high.

Hope these information helps!!
edited by allenmy on 1/19/2011

drdr86661198 (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 5:05:13 PM
 
Fantastic score! congratulations!
You must have a pretty solid background in the basics.
Are you a fresh grad?
I would be writing step one in feb but i am yet to cover neuro anatomy,biochemistry for the first time. pls what is your advice.
as it is now, i cant postponed my test any further. thanks.

i.m.possible (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 5:47:34 PM
 
amazing score! congratulations! wish you the best for the future step exams!!

allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 6:09:57 PM
 
Hey drdr
I'm an IMG and currently doing my 4th year PhD in the US.
So it's been a while since my graduation from medical school.
Neuro anatomy and biochemistry is very high yield and definitely worth spending significant amount of time studying them.
For biochemistry, FA is broad enough to cover almost every important subjects that may appear in the real exam. However, it's so condensed and sometimes you might not appreciate the key points when you first read it. In the first round, I tried to memorize the big picture (eg. key enzymes in important metabolic pathways) then catch up the details while using the Q book/Q bank. I google/Wiki lots of biochemistry knowledge when I need to understand better, which is definitely more efficient than studying a biochem text book. For molecular biology part, I didn't study to much because as a graduate student in biomedical science, Mol bio is embedded in my daily life :P

For neuroanatomy: FA is weak in this aspect. High yield NA is very good.
It helps me to clarify and understand the function and diseases related to
important neuro structures (esp brainstem, spinal cord and cranial nerves,
super high yield!!) Although sometimes there are too many details that may
not necessarily be tested in real exam. The figures and legends are
very clear and easy to understand. I have at least 10-15 neuroanatomy
questions showing up in my real exam, and 80% of them are either brainstem
or cranial nerve-related (comparing to 1 question in parasitology...)

I always take notes from UW Q bank on my FA. It takes time but very useful when you have to come back to review. I recommend start UW earlier in your study. Don't wait until the very end.
edited by allenmy on 1/19/2011

i.m.possible (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 6:37:49 PM
 
wonderful advice! quick question..did you think FA (besides neuro and biochem like you mentioned) played a big role in your score? I've read on some forums students say FA is a waste of time, while others swear by it. Whats your opinion? Thanks in advance!

allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 6:53:19 PM
 
Hey I.m.possible:

For those who don't like FA and prefer hard core textbook studying, I don't have any opinion. You don't like it then don't use it.
I personally believe that FA is a wonderful guide and studying material to begin with. Additional studying is required to "truely understand" everything that appears on FA, and only after truely understand the material will you appreciate how wonderful FA is for the exam. One thing I have to mention is that FA has many mistakes in it, so be sure to check out their website to download the erratum (important!!)
Again, FA + UW is my core strategy for step 1. I bet everyone can get 99% score if you complete FA 3+ times (with real understanding) and UW Q bank(with real understand, of course)
Good luck!!

ThFo13733905 (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 7:58:50 PM
 
allenmy wrote:
Hey I.m.possible:

For those who don't like FA and prefer hard core textbook studying, I don't have any opinion. You don't like it then don't use it.
I personally believe that FA is a wonderful guide and studying material to begin with. Additional studying is required to "truely understand" everything that appears on FA, and only after truely understand the material will you appreciate how wonderful FA is for the exam. One thing I have to mention is that FA has many mistakes in it, so be sure to check out their website to download the erratum (important!!)
Again, FA + UW is my core strategy for step 1. I bet everyone can get 99% score if you complete FA 3+ times (with real understanding) and UW Q bank(with real understand, of course)
Good luck!!

ThFo13733905 (Posts 1) - 1/19/2011 8:01:01 PM
 
ThFo13733905 wrote:
allenmy wrote:
Hey I.m.possible:

For those who don't like FA and prefer hard core textbook studying, I don't have any opinion. You don't like it then don't use it.
I personally believe that FA is a wonderful guide and studying material to begin with. Additional studying is required to "truely understand" everything that appears on FA, and only after truely understand the material will you appreciate how wonderful FA is for the exam. One thing I have to mention is that FA has many mistakes in it, so be sure to check out their website to download the erratum (important!!)
Again, FA + UW is my core strategy for step 1. I bet everyone can get 99% score if you complete FA 3+ times (with real understanding) and UW Q bank(with real understand, of course)
Good luck!!


I keep heard that and your words are like gold to me. That the recipe for success is UW and First aid but most medical students are anal and want to read many books and do many qbanks to cover there a__ __. I want to do the pass program any suggestions or feeback on that?

NiJo43720754 (Posts 1) - 1/21/2011 4:20:04 PM
 
hey i took my exam on dec 30th and i didnt receive my score yet. where did u take the exam?

allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/22/2011 1:46:12 AM
 
My test center is in St Louis. They're supposed to send you an email to notify the availability of the electric score report on their OASIS system.

OmSh79608801 (Posts 1) - 1/22/2011 4:57:21 AM
 
hi aalenmy. congrats 4 a gr8 score. i only dream of such a score.
u thnk uw and fa are ok 4 neuro anatomy?

what do u think is high yield in xam? wen u had ur xam? of step1?

Dr_awh (Posts 1) - 1/22/2011 7:58:38 AM
 
Thanks a lot allenmy for your advices, now I'm doing FA with UW together (I study a section tightly then solve its question and add notes and read the explanation) I'm intending to read the FA 2 more times and solve the Kaplan Q bank, So what is your opinion about my plan ?! and do U have any advices !?

Another question I find that Pharmacology is a bit hard, so do U think that FA with UW is enough ?!

And Thanks a lot

MaNu16333030 (Posts 1) - 1/22/2011 1:35:32 PM
 
congrats!

what do you suggest for anatomy? will FA, UW and KLM blue boxes do?
thanks
edited by MaNu16333030 on 1/22/2011

allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/22/2011 6:59:26 PM
 
Hey guys,

I think it's well-known that FA does not provide enough coverage on anatomy and neuroanatomy. As I said previously, I use high-yield series as my supplemental resource for these subjects. But DO NOT study anatomy & NA from cover to cover. Pick important and high yield topics and study it thoroughly, Important topics are often repeatedly tested in all kinds of q banks. Consolidate your knowledge on these high yield topics will pay back on your scores. And I think this applies to all other subjects as well. Finally, I use FA as a guide to study, not the only source. It doesn't really matter which brand name studying material you're using, as long as they provide clear and correct explanation on important concepts, study it, understand it, and always keep your notes for review (I did it on my FA). So when I said study FA for 3+ times, I also mean reviewing your studying notes on FA for 3+ times. Also, use all kinds of tiny little break time to memorize some hard-to-memorize facts. Actively recalling all the things your've memorized repeatedly also helps to consolidate the knowledge you've learned. Hope these info helps!!

AfHa45389342 (Posts 1) - 1/24/2011 12:17:30 PM
 
Hello allenmy,

Congrats on your score!

My step 1 exam is on March. I am doing the same thing that you did, taking notes from UWORLD on my FA! Will start to read from the 1st page when my subscription ends. It's been almost 3 months that I'm doing UWORLD but still my scores are very frustrating. I never get more that 50%. Can you suggest what I can do in addition? My big fear is with PHARMACOLOGY! I can never remember drugs' names, their mechanism of action or side effects! Can you tell me what type of questions are there from Pharma in the real exam?

noor (Posts 1) - 1/24/2011 12:20:59 PM
 
do u have nbmeofffline form 7 questions and answers i neeed it can u plz email me beenishimad1214@hotmail.com thanks

allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/24/2011 6:54:36 PM
 
AfHa45389342 wrote:
Hello allenmy,

Congrats on your score!

My step 1 exam is on March. I am doing the same thing that you did, taking notes from UWORLD on my FA! Will start to read from the 1st page when my subscription ends. It's been almost 3 months that I'm doing UWORLD but still my scores are very frustrating. I never get more that 50%. Can you suggest what I can do in addition? My big fear is with PHARMACOLOGY! I can never remember drugs' names, their mechanism of action or side effects! Can you tell me what type of questions are there from Pharma in the real exam?

Hey,
It's also a big task for me to memorize the drugs' names. Some of the drugs are really difficult to memorize and really confusing (esp psychiatric and neurologic medications). I have a little summary note for all major classes of pharmacologic agents, with frequently tested indications, side effects and drug-drug interactions noted aside. I reviewed and memorize this note repeatedly to a point that it's like a reflex to answer relevant facts. All I can say about the real test on pharmacology is much easier than what you saw in UW qbank. So don't be too frustrated about the UW percentage. After all, it's all about knowing your weakness and amend it as much as possible.

joal97488218 (Posts 1) - 1/24/2011 9:35:55 PM
 
allenmy wrote:
Exam date: Dec 30, 2010
USMLE Step 1
Result: 266/99

preparing materials:
FA 2010 (cover to cover 3 times + lots of notes from additional reading)
Kaplan home study (read it through once, not enough time for 2nd round, good reference, but not recommended for people with <6 month of prep time)
High yield neuroanatomy (very nice illustrations and text to help understand disease relevant structures and their functions,good study material to amend the weakness of FA in neuroanatomy)
High yield anatomy (too much detail for step 1 test, only used as a quick reference for anatomy)
Kaplan Q book 2008 (used after 1st round of FA study + Kaplan home study)
just an OK Q book, definitely not enough
USMLE World: subscription 1 month, 98% completed
very very good Q bank, very challenging, 60% harder than real test
comprehensive review for each question
highly recommended

Pre-exam scores correlation:
Kaplan Q book: overall 73% correct
UW Q bank: overall 76% correct (after studying everything)
UW SA test 1: 650, estimated score 244 (before UW Q bank)
UW SA test 2: 800, estimated score 265 (after UW Q bank, 2 days before
real exam)
NBME exam: none
free exams from NBME website: 93% correct (1 day before real exam)

Overall, FA + UW Q bank is the way to go. And the correlation of UW SA test with the final score is indeed high.

Hope these information helps!!
edited by allenmy on 1/19/2011

joal97488218 (Posts 1) - 1/24/2011 9:36:34 PM
 
allenmy wrote:
Exam date: Dec 30, 2010
USMLE Step 1
Result: 266/99

preparing materials:
FA 2010 (cover to cover 3 times + lots of notes from additional reading)
Kaplan home study (read it through once, not enough time for 2nd round, good reference, but not recommended for people with <6 month of prep time)
High yield neuroanatomy (very nice illustrations and text to help understand disease relevant structures and their functions,good study material to amend the weakness of FA in neuroanatomy)
High yield anatomy (too much detail for step 1 test, only used as a quick reference for anatomy)
Kaplan Q book 2008 (used after 1st round of FA study + Kaplan home study)
just an OK Q book, definitely not enough
USMLE World: subscription 1 month, 98% completed
very very good Q bank, very challenging, 60% harder than real test
comprehensive review for each question
highly recommended

Pre-exam scores correlation:
Kaplan Q book: overall 73% correct
UW Q bank: overall 76% correct (after studying everything)
UW SA test 1: 650, estimated score 244 (before UW Q bank)
UW SA test 2: 800, estimated score 265 (after UW Q bank, 2 days before
real exam)
NBME exam: none
free exams from NBME website: 93% correct (1 day before real exam)

Overall, FA + UW Q bank is the way to go. And the correlation of UW SA test with the final score is indeed high.

Hope these information helps!!
edited by allenmy on 1/19/2011


hey

joal97488218 (Posts 1) - 1/24/2011 9:43:15 PM
 
allenmy wrote:
Exam date: Dec 30, 2010
USMLE Step 1
Result: 266/99

preparing materials:
FA 2010 (cover to cover 3 times + lots of notes from additional reading)
Kaplan home study (read it through once, not enough time for 2nd round, good reference, but not recommended for people with <6 month of prep time)
High yield neuroanatomy (very nice illustrations and text to help understand disease relevant structures and their functions,good study material to amend the weakness of FA in neuroanatomy)
High yield anatomy (too much detail for step 1 test, only used as a quick reference for anatomy)
Kaplan Q book 2008 (used after 1st round of FA study + Kaplan home study)
just an OK Q book, definitely not enough
USMLE World: subscription 1 month, 98% completed
very very good Q bank, very challenging, 60% harder than real test
comprehensive review for each question
highly recommended

Pre-exam scores correlation:
Kaplan Q book: overall 73% correct
UW Q bank: overall 76% correct (after studying everything)
UW SA test 1: 650, estimated score 244 (before UW Q bank)
UW SA test 2: 800, estimated score 265 (after UW Q bank, 2 days before
real exam)
NBME exam: none
free exams from NBME website: 93% correct (1 day before real exam)

Overall, FA + UW Q bank is the way to go. And the correlation of UW SA test with the final score is indeed high.

Hope these information helps!!
edited by allenmy on 1/19/2011


hey allenmy congrats on your accomplishments. You are an inspiration and its great to see people that are willing to still share the way to their success. I am also studying for my step 1 which i have in march. I took a course, have read several books have done UW ( doing for second time now( and have taken notes. I am actually reading first aid now and the notes I took. This is not my first time taken the exam and the other time I got a 180. I always get those general principals part very low, genetics, anatomy and embriology and boderline physio. Any suggestions?? I dont want to do this again and I have lost my confidence...although I do well on the questions. ( 60 % UW) first time . please help!!! is FA at this point enough for those subjects that seem to be my weak spot? ( genetics, embrio, inmmuno, general pricipals and most imporatantly biostats. really appreciate your help

joe

MaAh38670948 (Posts 1) - 1/26/2011 3:27:08 PM
 
Hi Allenmy...it's really heartening to know ur score, which is among the TOPS. Congratulations for that! ..and more inspiring is that u did it with FA-UW alone save HY Neuro. Well sir I'm a bit perplexed over biostatistics, it really sucks! It just doesn't get into head, everything is just to be imagined....tell me how to do it better. Moreover, I've been studying Kaplan books, and am thru the 2nd round of them, as I think I hv pretty much time for my exam as my triplet begins in October this yr. I carry it along with Kaplan Qbank after finishing each subject, choosing kaplan bcoz it consolidates and in other words helps u recall the Kaplan textbook points while doing Qs. After I do with 2nd round, I plan to get 1 month subscription of U-W....and annotate my KLNs with that! Will give grand 3rd round to it, and after that will take USMLE CD near exams to assess prep..... Is that strategy workable???

MaAh38670948 (Posts 1) - 1/26/2011 3:30:15 PM
 
...and Also can u tell us for how long u used to study per day??? and what time u took to prepare for the exam????

allenmy (Posts 1) - 1/27/2011 4:26:31 PM
 
Hey MaAh,

Your plan sounds very solid to me. Using Kaplan q bank along with Kaplan books seems a reasonable option. I don't have experience in Kaplan q bank (though i used their q book), but I heard they're pretty good, too. Plus you plan to have UW for 1 month and that's probably enough if you pace yourself finishing up this gigantic q bank in time. As for biostat, I took a intense course in graduate school a few semester ago and have a pretty solid background knowledge about this subject. I didn't really spend too much time on this other than reviewing this part in FA. However, the questions on biostatistics in Step 1 exam are pretty straightforward. As long as you understand the important concepts (eg. sensitivity/specificity/positive/negative predictive values/power/which statistical analysis do you use to compare means/ratios/groups of means...etc), you'll be fine. I think FA covers most of the important things in biostat for step 1. As for my own study schedule, I started around 8 months before the exam by studying Kaplan home study. I had to study part time because I'm still doing full time research in the lab. I spent 4-5 hours a day studying (after work)and 10-12 hours a day during the 2-3 weeks before exam (I took a few weeks off during the Christmas holidays).

prch21787376 (Posts 1) - 2/2/2011 8:52:40 PM
 
Thankyou so much for this thread, this is exactly what I needed

Congrats and EnJOY you absolutely deserve it!!!

Dr.Zaid (Posts 1) - 2/3/2011 2:48:42 AM
 
Fantastic Score, Congratulation !!

I have finished 50% of UW and reading now FA for the 2nd time.
my score reaches 65% till now.
Is there any hope to get 75 - 80 % by finishing the UW - If used as an indicator to get a high score in the real exam.

thx

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