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USMLE Step 1 Experience by Dr. Arsalan Baig (240)

USMLE Step 1 Experience by Dr. Arsalan Baig (240)



In the name of Allah The most Beneficent and Merciful. Just received my score of USMLE step one which came out to be 240.
The main objective of writing this review wouldnot be to tell what I did correct but to pinpoint my mistakes for that might be helpful for some.
I graduated from King Edward Medical Univeristy Lahore, Pakistan in march 2012 and then did one year of housejob. During my medical school I did pharmacology, pathology and specially final year clinical subjects from kaplan books and they helped me get an idea of what USMLE exam prep is about. After my housejob I started prep properly from 1st May 2013. My prep plan was very simple. I went through all kaplan books (excluding pathology) along with video lectures and did goljan along with lectures for patho. It took around 3 months. Followed the sequence of phyio, biochem, pharma, micro, anatomy, behavioural and patho finally. Did the same in same sequence in second read which again took around 2.5 mnths but this time didn’t use lectures rather read the notes I had made during first read. Then I gave a read to first aid to get an idea of what this book is all about. It took around 15 days. So I had taken around 6 mnths till then. Gave nbme 12 offline (though suggest only online forms as they are very predictive) and scored 177 (243) in that. Then I took Uworld online and did it random timed and scored 78% cumulative in first pass which gave boost to my confidence. Meanwhile I read first aid with it and made notes on first aid of important points from uworld. It took around 35 days. Tried doing 2 blocks every day but failed sometimes to do so. Then due to some personal reasons took date after 15 days of completing uworld. Went through first aid once and gave nbmes online
NBME 13…242
NBME 15…247
After nbmes worked on some weak areas from kaplan. Gave a read to kaplan physio, behavioural sciences, 100 cases of ethics, genetics…then again gave a read to first aid. But luck wasn’t by myside much and a day before exam they called me and told that they are rescheduling me 1.5 mnth ahead due to some technical issues. It totally devastated me as my brothers wedding was in a week and I knew my prep wud get screwd. Kept on calls with malaysia head office for 2 days and ultimately they allowed me to give exam out of station a week ahead and finally gave exam on 11th dec.
Things I did right… 
gave good amount of time to video lectures and kaplans as it gave me good amount of knowledge and confidence. After reading explanation of every question of uworld I used to read same topic from first aid which surely was hectic but helpd me retain first aid real well. And I didn’t get distracted much during prep and remained consistent with grace of Almighty
EXAM DAY… had to travel out of station. But studied lil bit on last day. Went through some micro and neuro which were least tested on my exam so nw I regret doing that. Should have rested more. With all my nbmes and assessments and specially uworld performance I eneterd exam with confidence that I ll fall above 245 and maybe 250+. But exam wasn’t tht friendly with me. A lot of low yield stuff was there and sometimes felt tht they don’t wanna test me on all the first aid and uworld knowledge I have skimmed. Overall I felt my exam difficulty to be more than uworld and anxiety added to it. Stems were long but time flew by and ultimately completed it and had a feeling tht I cud fall anywhere between 220 and 250. Glad to have my scores which arent considerably low.
THINGS I DID WRONG.. well I felt there was no issue to my prep. I must have masterd exam taking skills a lil bit more. I made  following mistakes on exam day which atleast made me lose 10 points
  1. I used to skip wth questions after reading em to be done in end. And questions were so lenghty that didn’t find enough time in end. Ended up picking my favourite digit for em in end. Such were atleast 15 questions in exam. I shud have marked the best possible in first go as I wud have been in a better position to judge then. Atleast made me lose 5 points.
  2. I should have given more nbmes and uwsa exams. They help u test ur exam taking skills and make em perfect before u sit in final exam.
  3. I shud have enjoyed taking exam a lil bit more. Its ur day and its ur show. Probably it wasn’t my day
  4. I didn’t watch the video type of kaplan medical by bhevioural science teacher on EXAM TAKING SKILLS. Watched It couple of days ago and he totally nailed it. That video can make u score atleast 10 points more.

Feel free to ask anythng at pak_asfa@hotmail.com and remember me in prayers….

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