This post is being written for a lot of you out there who are struggling and thinking wether to continue your journey.
I started my prep in 4th year with Kaplans and it’s videos( waste of time) and then went on to start first aid with my study partner in final year. We read FA to familiarise ourselves with it and would google whatever concepts weren’t clear. Then we bought uworld 3 months and did that. Along FA. Then the School exams came up and I had to suspend prep. Some of uworld wasn’t annotated for which I took screenshots.
Mistake : I should have taken an nbme at this point to gauge my prep.
After Graduating I annotated the rest of UW. And then made another wrong decision of doing clinical job. I thought I could manage studying with it and it would add to my ckincial experience but I was wrong. The work hours didn’t let me study much. It was a waste of 9 months with a little bit of FA READ here and there. Took nbme 11 . Result: failed. 178.
I left the job and tried to study from home. Due to personal issues I could not begin reading seriously until April 2019. Did a little of sketchy micro and it’s anki in that period. Then I started reading my annotated FA. Tried to complete it in a month. Took nbme 13 offline: 230. Was used to studying with a partner but now I had to do it alone and that was bit hard to adjust with.
That was a bit of motivation. Because I was almost on the verge of giving up by now. My friends had given steps and I had FA 2016 in my hand and family thought I’ll never be able to give this exam because I had wasted so much time on it already. My academics had always been above average but I somehow couldn’t do well in this beast.
I wanted to improve my score to atleast 250. I didn’t know any other way so I bought uworld again and did a block or two daily with annotated FA in evening for 3 months. In the end I took my first online nbme 21: 230.
Okay so 3 months had not improved anything.
Then came Another break of 3 weeks due to personal reasons.
Took UWSA1: 260 it gave me a boost of confidence but I know it overpredicts so Then I started revising annotated FA again. Did it in a month , took nbme 15: 230 then in a month again and then in 20 days. Meanwhile I found a new study partner with whom I used to discuss micro and biochem on the phone daily. That really helped me Memorise those two,we would also do hard pages. My FA memory was improving.
I took nbme 17 offline : 230.
I was sick of being stuck. My score didn’t budge even after doing so much. My family was sick of me and honestly I was sick of myself too.
I took a month break during which I got married and moved countries. Resumed studying after a month and felt like I was starting from scratch as the break had made me forgotten many parts of FA. I took uworld again would do a block daily at night.
Finished my FA read in 20 days with a lot of interruptions. Took nbme 19: 244.
YAY finally a sliver of hope!!!
I did nothing diff I think the long break somehow broke the cycle .
I revised FA again in 20 days , now started doing offline nbmes a block here and there whenever I got a chance. I did them nbme 13-23. Made an nbme diary with my mistakes in it and would revise it before every nbme that helped me . Then I did uworld 7 blocks a day for 7 days and finished it off.
Took nbme 18 after this and scored 244. Booked my exam date because I was sick of it by now and just wanted to get it over with, was having personal issues in marriage and something told me I couldn’t do better at this than this. I took free 120 date at prometric. It helped me to go there because it reduced exam da anxiety of how things would be.scored 89 on free 120.
A week before the exam I planned to revise my nbme mistakes, UW flashcards, ethics Conrad , biostat videos , and then do FA in three days before the exam.
I took UWSA2 4 days before the exam and got 249.
I couldn’t revise the FA in last 3 days. Husband was busy fighting.
Calmed him off and took the exam. Real deal : 240.
This journey is like any other. Full of uncertainties, struggles and wether or not I can do it. Met amazing people on the way who were my study partners. You all know who you are , im extremely grateful to all of you. My only message is; if I can do it with a million breaks and a million people telling me I won’t be able to do it now , and with moving countries and adjustment problems and marriage issues on the brink of divorce , then anybody can do it. So don’t give up. It’s just a matter of time. I could have gotten a 250 had I given it more time and focus. But under my cicrcumstances this is the best I could manage.
Hopefully can do better in step 2.
All the best to all of you. Don’t ever give up. You’ll thank yourself one day that you didn’t.
It’s a long journey , but when someone is there to support you ,even if it’s one friend , one friend one positive voice telling you you can do it, then you actually believe in yourself and do it! So be that voice to everyone you meet. You never know who needs it. In the end, We all do need it actually.