Exam date 4th sept 2018 .I got my score a few weeks ago
Step 1 score:245
NBME 18:244(10 days before exam)
NBME 13 To 19:245-255(over the last 45 days)
UWSA 1:258 (1 month before exam) 2:261(2 weeks before exam)
Please forgive my typos:)
MAIN SOURCES USED
FA(6 times.I had made extensive notes from uworld and it took these many reads to put it in my brain)
Download >>First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2019, (29th Edition) Plus New Updates
Uworld (2 times)
Download >>UWorld For USMLE Step 1 2018 (System wise
SKETCHY for micro and pharm(2 to 3 times). This is your Netflix for step 1.It is fun to watch and absolutely high yield.I did not use sketchy path and cannot comment on it.
Download >> Sketchy Medical Study materials
Things i would not recommend:
1)Do not start too early.8 to 10 months should be enough to get a good score.But you can always start early and have more time if you want to.
2)Do not make extensive notes from UWOLRD.Keep it short and high yield
3)Don’t go too deep into topics in first aid Basic pathophysiology and understanding is enough.I went too deep in most of the topics and it was useless during my exam
4)Not to use too many sources
Things I would recommend:
1)Do uworld 2 times at least.I did my second round as 8 to 10 blocks a day for building up endurance.1 st round took 3.5 months.
2)Know facts in first aid inside out.Even though this exam is all about understanding,you need to know your theory by heart to develop the understanding.
3)If you want to do an extra qbank, do kaplan qbank or rx any one of the 2. Do it before your dedicated period just to develop a habit to solve questions.Totally optional
4)take breaks time to time to rejuvenate your mind
5)Stay healthy.Have a schedule with at least one hour for exercise
6}.Develop a sufficient endurance before the exam .You should be fresh for the last block as you were for your first block.
7) condition your body for washroom and food breaks as you would do during your actual exam.
8 } Search images for every pathology you can.If you are familiar with images, you can get the question right just with the image and few parts of question stem.It saves a lot of time.I used to google images for everything in pathology section of fa and uworld
READ the rest only if you have the time and want to know that you are not the only one who is struggling:).
Journey and sources used:
I decided to go through the process of usmle when i was in my 4th sem of MBBS.I attended seminars for step 1 and took help from my college seniors to get basic information.I never studied seriously in my 1st year of mbbs and I did not even know basics like what a median/radial nerve injury would do,etc.Soon I realised that I have to do something about it and I started my preparation by mid of 2017.I used to read robbins and goljan for patho and basic 2nd year text books of 2nd year till 9 pm after my college ended at 4pm and then go home and watch kaplan for anatomy, physiology, biochemistry at night till 3-4 am.90% of the things from kaplan were new to me even though I had passed my 1st year.Combination of robbins and goljan for patho is the best if you start it in your 2nd year.It helped me a lot during my usmle dedicated period.But i would not suggest you robbins if you are already through your 2nd year of mbbs.I also read snell’s for anatomy.It is a good book and added a lot to my knowledge since my anatomy was the weakest of all subjects and there was so much chaos about actual exam asking things out of fa and uworld. but it is not ideal for step 1 as there is no single book that can help you for that.My advice just do anatomy from first aid, uworld and kaplan and the rest of it ride your luck. By doing this i was done with my 1st year subjects from kaplan and 2nd year textbooks for University.I started my dedicated study(Only for step 1)from Jan 2018.I did the leftovers from kaplan system wise and solved both rx and Kaplan qbank after completing one system.I would not recommend you qbank and rx because uworld covers all the important stuff from these qbanks is what I felt.Any one of the two qbanks is sufficient to do if you are doing it before your dedicated period.I left these qbanks halfway by mid june and started uworld and sketchy by end of May.I was already burned out by this time.I just prayed to god to give me the strength to keep going.I asked my colleagues about their nbme scores and preparation and those who were kind enough, shared it with me.I needed this sense of competition very badly to keep going.I also listened to speeches from Ray lewis and they were amazing.He said ‘ You don’t put a cost on success.You just do what you have to do.If you think you have to do a lot for what you want,you may quit.You look for the chaos and glory you have left behind only after you have achieved everything you want.'(Not the exact words but something similar)And these words just kept me going everyday.I studied 8 to 14 hrs a day and I finished half of uworld by june end and took nbme 13 offline and got 30 questions wrong.I was devastated by this score.I spoke to a few of my seniors who had given step 1 and they said it was okay for now since i had not done fa and uworld completely.I believed in God and in myself and kept going.After finishing uworld by end of of july i took nbme 19 and i got 248.I was excited since 19 was known to under-predict real scores and i still had one month to improve.I had decided my step 1 date as 4th sept.But unfortunately,even after revising first aid and uworld in the last month i stayed on the same score.I cannot comment on it if it was worth it because i know a few people who really improved their score by just reading fa and uworld again.So you can do it if you have the strength left and still below your target. Your call!
Exam day: In my first block i was completely blank and marked 25-30 questions.I took a short break after this block and composed myself.But still i wasn’t sure about 10-15 questions in the next 2 blocks.So i took a little long break after the 3rd block.The next 4 blocks were considerably easy and i was marking 3 to 5 questions per block and was confident about the other questions.I was not tired at the end of the exam because i had practiced 10 blocks a day of uworld .
Hard work does pay and all your efforts will be worth it.Goodluck:)