Skip to main content

USMLE Step 1 Experience (262) by Rizwan Zafar

Step 1 (262) by Rizwan Zafar


I am writing this experience because I think it might help others avoid the mistakes I made during my preparation. I started preparing for step 1 after my final year result was declared, and I took a long time preparing for it. I did all  subjects from kaplan except pathology, for which i did goljan and it was a big mistake as it took me more than 3 months to complete it along with my medicine rotation and in the end I almost retained none of it. I hadn't completed my first read until the end of my 3rd rotation of house job i.e 9 months for the first read with house job.  I read every subject from kaplan(except patho) along with video lectures for most subjects followed by relevant First aid portion after each subject. For patho I did goljan along with its lectures followed by first aid of patho.

           Then I  left my last rotation of house job in view of speeding up the things a bit (no use at all) only to resume it 4 months later. I did the 2nd read slowly (yeah, even slower than the first one). I used to do every subject from kaplan then First aid, then offline Uworld. After Uworld of each subject, I used to do kaplan and First aid again very quickly, knowing that I would not turn to kaplan again. For patho I did pathoma with lectures, then first aid then Uworld, then pathoma and F.A again. I used to note the questions from uworld which i did wrong, or found difficult.I also noted important points on F.A. 2nd read took a long time but i was confident that this time was not wasted(unlike first read and that goljan thing).
         After 2nd read I did  First aid comprehensively, trying to memorize all the notes I took from uworld, Took me about 20 days. Then i did uworld offline again. I tried to do all the questions and read explanations of the ones noted in 2nd read but really for most of the subjects I had to do the selected questions only. After this, I got the most awesome and fastest study partner one could have. Although we only did one read of F.A and a few NBMEs together, it was very important for me to summarize all I had read. He also made up for what i lacked from not doing online uworld, and he also told me clinically relevant important points. I cant thank him enough.
                   After this read I had the exam coming up about 10 days later, I tried to study F.A quickly again with mixed success. I stopped studying one day prior to the exam.

EXAM DAY:
             
 On the exam day I was fairly relaxed and confident even though I had managed only a four hour sleep in the night. I had my expectations, yes, but I also knew I would see many questions beyond my scope. The first block was a bit difficult but I thought I should at least get the easier ones right and move on. I did that block, like most others, 10 mins before time and concentrated on the marked ones. Most of them ultimately made sense and I was satisfied after this block. I found most of the other blocks easier than the first block, and most of the NBMEs. I took break after every block, tried not to lose concentration, had a red bull drink midway through the exam, and told myself this will be over soon. and before long I was walking out of the prometric with a sense of satisfaction in my heart and chocolate of a random person in my hand which i mistakenly took for mine and I confess this online and I apologize for my mistake Mr/Ms Choclate's owner. if you know that person please let him know so I have satisfaction in my heart.
                This is only my experience and I would not expect anyone to follow the way i studied, but rather to take what suits him/her out of this experience, and of course I cant guide anyone but I can only try to help.

       To summarize all

Resources used
  • Kaplan with video lectures except pathology (i read them twice, and I think microbiology should be done from kaplan in all of the reads one gives to kaplan, and lectures were v. helpful)
  • Pathoma with lectures (did it only once)
  • Uworld (did offline only, twice)
  • 100 cases of ethics by Conrad
  • First aid (most heavily used book, and i found it extremely helpful, it covered most of the topics i saw on the exam)
  • High yield biostats(not helpful, kaplan plus uworld is enough for biostats)
  • Goljan(very lengthy and hard to retain, pathoma is more than cool for step 1, but goljan's lectures are good and helpful, i didn't do the slides)

Assessment exams

I didn't take any online NBME, i did NBME 3 after my 3rd first aid read, during our combined study  , we did NBME 5, 13 and 15 together by discussing the MCQs. I took NBME 7 offline for assessment, got my estimated score to be 260+ although there was no reliable key, i also solved NBME 11, and i think all forms from 7 to 16 should be attempted, I also did FRED to familiarize myself with the interface used in computer based test as i had taken none of the online exams.

Things I did right
  • A slow and comprehensive 2nd read
  • used First aid as the primary source
  • got myself a cool study partner, for the terminal revision, discussed first aid with him
  • listened to the lectures videos by kaplan( especially by Dr. Lionel Raymon, Dr.Steven Daugherty and, of course, Dr. Conrad)
Things I did wrong
  • A slow first read (i think 3 months are the maximum time that should be given to it)
  • tried goljan for patho (i have got nothing against the book, its an excellent review but time taking)
  • took many breaks, which decreased my momentum
  • took a break in my house job

      It isn't easy especially when you take a break and then get anxious over all the time wasted. But i had the best group of friends one can have. My family supported me, esp my Dad, no matter how long i took for preparation. Yes, i got a bit lucky, and got more than what I deserved. I couldnt have done this without the support i got from my family and friends, I cant thank them enough.

            Again, it's only my experience and I can't guide anyone but try to help, for I am myself a student. I hope this helps anyone. Stay cool.

RIZWAN ZAFAR

Comments

Here's more you should read...

USMLE Step 1 Experience by Ayaz Mehmood (Score : 99/266)

USMLE Step 1 Experience by Ayaz Mehmood (Score : 99/266)
Salam everyone, let me start in the name of Allah who’s the greatest benefactor of all mankind. I am going to write a detailed composition regarding preparation for USMLE Step 1. I am a final year student at King Edward Medical University and I took my exam on June 10th. Final year is the year before internship/ house job in Pakistan. I just got my scores: 99/266



Let me introduce some myths surrounding USMLE Step 1 which are especially prevalent within Pakistan; I am not too sure about India because I heard their students typically appear in their final years.


 Myth number 1:Do not appear for USMLE Step 1 within your graduation

 Verdict: Baseless, illogical reasoning

Explanation: This is so prevalent in Pakistan it’s almost pathetic. One of the biggest concerns surrounding our students is that Step 1 is a huge risk to be taken before graduation. Let me put it in another way: Step1 would always remain a risk whenever it is taken, …

Australian Medical Council AMC Part 1 Guide - Experience and Tips

AMC Part 1 by Dr. Asad Khizar Malik (Rank : 77/620) Australian Medical Council  Guide - Experience and Tips
Salam people, let me start in the name of Allah who’s the greatest benefactor of all mankind. Hope everyone is doing great. I'll try to write as much as I can for the people who are due to various reasons more interested in joining Australian Hospitals for post-grad training as compared to the USMLE pathway.

I am a graduate of King Edward Medical University, class of 2004-2010. I did my 6 months house job after graduation in Mayo Hospital, and after that, i gave my AMC Part 1 in November, 2010 from Brisbane. With the grace of Allah, I passed that in first attempt.

So lets start with the discussion here, but PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS ENTIRELY MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND REASONING WHY I PREFERRED AUSTRALIA OVER USA FOR RESIDENCY.

First thing in mind that comes with post grad training in Pakistani doctors minds is: Which way to go after graduation? That is a very tough decision that is …

FSc Premedical Guide - How to fly high..

FSc Premedical Guide - How to fly high.. Unsa Athar Your 40% needs to be excellent to get into KEMU or  some other good place.
(Dedicated to my teachers who not only taught me the fsc books but also many priceless lessons of life)
(Unsa Athar)
The tree that never had to fight For sun and sky and air and light, But stood out in the open rain And always got its share and rain, Never became a forest king, But lived and died a scrubby thing… Good timber does not grow with ease, The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
Getting yourself educated in the desi manner i.e. through the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education is one of the top most challenges of today’s society. Matriculation seems difficult at that time, but when you enter FSc, you realize that matric was the easiest job in the world.  Those obese books of intermediate part I and part II are the worst enemies one can ever have.  People say Medical is tougher, but I find one basic difference in both. When you enter a medical college, y…

HISTOLOGY SLIDES AND HANDMADE DIAGRAMS

Anatomy/Histology Gallery
Read the instructions here 1st Year

Histology Slides for Professional Exams
Folder 1- Labelled Folder 2 - Labelled Folder 3 - Labelled
Histology Revision Slides Updated (2011)
by Laiba Khalid
Lower Limb Anatomy Spotting Labelled
http://kemunited.blogspot.com/2013/05/lower-limb-spotting-labelled.html

Embryology Models Some models are labelled and others mentioned in comments

Anatomy Museum Models (unlabelled) This album covers Upper limb, Lower limb and Thorax regions of anatomy

2nd Year
HISTOLOGY Diagrams Hand-drawn CARDS 2ND YEAR MBBSThese are hand-drawn histology diagrams by Demonstrator Dr. Shaista (Dept of Anatomy, KEMU) and submitted by Anosha.NEUROLOGY/ Neuroantomy SPOTTING  (LABELLED SPECIMEN) 2ND YEAR  Each structure is labelled and a great job done by Anosha. Neuroanatomy / Brain 2nd Year Important topics by LaibaNeuroanatomy Models Labelled  Gross models labelled by Maryam Shahid Abdomen & Pelvis Anatomy Spots Labelled Excellent job by Maryam Shahid
Anatomy Learni…

USMLE Step 2 CK experience by Rizwan Khan (254)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MOST BENEFICENT AND MERCIFUL

     I recently got done with Step 2 CK exam & I want to elaborate my experience and the mistakes that I made during my prep so that any of my colleagues who are preparing for this exam might benefit from them. I wont go much in detail about how to prepare and where to prepare from since it is already highly debated on the forum and in the previous posts but would focus more on my personal experience and the bad choices which I made during the preparation phase.
SELF-ASSESSMENTS AND QBANKS Uworld 74% Kaplan Qbank 69%
Kaplan diagnostics  = 80% (70 days before exam) Kaplan Simulation Exam 1 = 71% (50 days before exam) Kaplan Simulation Exam 2 = 76%  (40 days before exam) Fred simulation for CK = 84% (39 days before exam) NBME 2 (offline) 21 mistakes (30 days before exam)
NBME 4  =    263 (13 days before exam) UWSA =  259 (2 days before exam)
Real exam = 254