Good bye USMLE Prep Time – 5 months starting in April

Good bye USMLE
Prep Time – 5 months starting in April
April – OME videos + notes for CK refreshment
May – OME notes and few videos revision casually + AMBOSS step 3 - 900 odd questions for practice to get into study mood
June and July – Uworld dedicated x 1 time while making personal notes – avg around 65%
August – dedicated Revision of all combined notes of Uworld, Amboss, OME, few CK charts and tables
Step 1 prep – last 2 weeks - First aid step 1 dedicated read on important topics (posted below), also practiced step 1 questions on Amboss - really helpful – made notes and revised
Conrad 100 cases of Ethics – quick read of just the questions and explanations – Helpful
Biostatistics – did Uworld, Uworld statistics review of 25$ (helps a lot for basics revision), Amboss statistics questions (120 odd questions that are really good), Randy Neil YouTube videos (really helpful) and Step 1 FA revision – made personalized notes for statistics throughout the study period and kept revising
CCS preparation –
Started in August during my MCQs revision
Completed Uworld interactive cases x 2 times – Once before day 1 and once between day 1 and 2, read practice cases once
Fred Free cases – GOLD – 2 times – once before day 1 and once between day 1 and 2
Crush CCS – Really good and helpful – quick read of only diagnosis and sequencing – can be finished easily in 2 days – 2 times, only between day 1 and 2
Archer CCS cases – bought the Rapid review for 88$ - did the main videos and the important PowerPoint notes once between day 1 and 2 – helps for some extent but can be skipped
CCScases website – did around 60 odd cases between day 1 and 2 – useful for practice but not good for actual studying
UWSA 1 Step 2 CK – 236 - 1 month before – Yup, gave it just to see my level of CK knowledge since my CK was some time ago
UWSA 1 – 215 – 2 weeks before
NBME 5 – 400 – 10 days before – No 3-digit correlation – guessing it is something around 215
UWSA 2 – 215 – 1 week Before
NBME 4 – 460 - 5 days before - No 3-digit correlation – something around 220-225
Fred free sample questions – 75% - 2 days before
Exam date 26th August and 2nd September
Final Score – 221 – Same in everything except nervous system which was a low (kind of expected) – Not too great or not too low – average and around my practice test scores
Day 1 – Lots of stats as expected but most of them very straight forward, 1 drug ad or abstract per block which I left for the very end – Randy Neil’s advise of quickly glancing and doing the Math questions 1st helped in solving few Drug ads/abstract – on others just guess and move on
Other than stats, MCQs were a mix of Step 1 and CK, very little step 3, Good amount of Ethics and Psychiatry – overall was okay with some weird/vague questions which I guess is normal
Day 2 – Much better and easier than day 1 – no stats and ethics, shorter stems and mostly all covered in Uworld – few questions where you are stuck between 2 options but in whole, not so bad
CCS – Uworld, crush, CCScases website covers most of the cases
Straight forward in 10/13
1 case delayed treatment but got it eventually
1 case treated the major condition but I think it had another condition that needed attention
1 case started the opposite treatment but quickly realized my mistake and did the right thing- not sure if this case was pass or fail
Made few mistakes or forget some orders here and there but overall, decent and felt the diagnosis were clear in all the 13 cases, Lag was not too bad – 1-2 secs with each click
Will try to do a detail post about CCS – Rights and Wrongs
Personal Pointers
· Step 1 topics to read – Microbiology, Pharmacology - all drugs – MOA, Side effects, Immunology diseases, Biochemistry diseases, Neurology, Psychiatry
· Amboss Step 1 was a wild card for me – Practiced Microbiology, antibiotics and other drug questions, genetics, immunology – really helpful during last 2 weeks step 1 revision – can get multiple free trial for 5 days with different accounts
· If long time out from CK (>1 year) - definitely review with OME or Uworld CK to refresh your knowledge
· NBME – 4 and 5 – UNDERRATED – exam is much more like NBME than UWSA – I got few questions that were exact concepts from NBME – definitely recommended
· Fred free cases for CCS on usmle website is exactly like exam software – definitely do it twice atleast
· Crush CCS book is really helpful – recommend atleast 1 read – just the sequencing and diagnosis part- easy to read and can be finished in 2 days
· Biostats – Basics like bias, sensitivity, specificity, NPV, PPV, ARR/AR etc. - Practice the actual definitions - these are easy if you understand, few direct calculations in the real exam – overall not too hard – there will be few out of the world questions – make an educated guess and move on
· Drug Ads/Abstract – try to do the Math question 1st and move on with the other questions
· Real exam felt little bit easier than UWSA
· Doing it immediately after CK or in Residency would be ideal
Special Thanks to the wonderful Inka Sanner for all her help and advise. Replied and cleared all my doubts with some great points for the exam.
Please feel free to comment or message me, I will try to help out as much as I can.