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USMLE Step 1 During Final Year - Experience by Sibgha Gull

Material used: Annotated FA, Online Uworld for 2Mo
Step1 score: 233 (Exam on June 4 2015)

By the blessings of Almighty Allah I am here to share my Step1 experience. I started first read after my 3rd year professional exam in January 2014. I directly read an annotated FA without ever reading the Kaplan. Starting with microbiology I completed it in almost one month duration, then another month for neurology. After that I started system wise, as I have to do pathology for the first time so I used to read a unit (say CVS) from Goljan and then doing complete FA (anatomy,physio,pharma,patho) for that unit. I did all units like this and completed my first read in end May. This first read did not include biochemistry and Behavioural science/Psychiatry. During this time I was skipping my wards giving ward tests only and attending only those lectures where proxy was not an option. This was not a continuous read, being interrupted by many small breaks for university and home events.

After this I put all my step stuff back in cupboard until December ’14.I got back to my routine of wards and started studying for prof. Started it once again in end December after written exams as there was an appreciable gap between vivas, this second read got completed by Feb 10, still I was unable to do biochemistry which I planned to cover by UW. I took 2 months subscription for online UW starting from 14 February and ending on 13 April. I had decided not to attend final year classes until I’m done with exam. I used to solve 3 blocks in two days along with their explanations; during this I marked wrong questions and those that I got right by chance. After completing it once, I gave another round to all my marked questions. Now it was time for me to give an NBME, took NBME 17 on 14 April; scored 230, this was followed by a break of 22 days during which I got Nikahified :P

Time has come to give this step1 journey an ending, confirmed exam date for June 11. Started my full and final last revision on May 8; I revised FA along with the UW notes by May 29, during this revision I preponed exam date to June 4 as I wanted this torture to end ASAP. During last 5 days my plan was to give 2 UW self-assessment forms (1&2), read the explanations of wrong answers and practice the Fred software; scored 230 and 240 in forms 1&2 respectively.

Last day before exam I did not read at all, prayed and got my stuff ready for exam day. Food I was taking for exam day included  chocolates, dates, redbull, kababs, juices, bananas and medicines (synflex, motillium). Took half zolpidem at 6:30pm and by 7 I was asleep, it was a peaceful sleep till 5am.

Exam day: Woke up at 5am, got fresh and prayed, did breakfast, took one synflex tab and left for prometric centre.
They let me inside the centre at 8:15,my exam started on 8:45.I skipped tutorial after mic testing, took a 3min break after 1st block but did not leave exam room and 5 min after 2nd.I took another synflex after 4th block and took 10 -12 min breaks in last 4 blocks. I was eating some chocolate, dates and red bull in every break and had proper meal (kababs n bananas) after 4th block. And Alhamdulillah it ended smoothly, starting as Sibgha Gull, I ended all this as being Sibgha Umair  ☺

This is a journey of continuous determination and struggle. But if you are determined you will achieve it. And once you get the results you will forget all the struggle and hardships.
" Determination is simply NOT GIVING UP. No matter how hard things get or how badly you just want to give up ! You should keep on going ! "
Best of luck!


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