First of All thanks to Allah the most merciful most gracious who has Always Blessed me

I have received my USMLE(the United States Medical Licensing Examination) Step 1 Score Report ,yesterday.
it is: 258
(Alhamdulillah ,To Allah be the glory!)

-I am Mostafa Ahmed Shehata a 5th year medical student, Alexandria faculty of medicine, Egypt.
Exam : April 2019
Results : May 2019

-I’m writing this experience because I learned a lot from the step 1 experiences I read, and I wanted to give back and help my colleagues in this journey.
so medical students and doctors will understand what I am writing next

-1.5 years starting from October 2017 (including a complete interruption for 2 months for my final 4th year exam a lot of few days interruptions before each end round exam and research work ).
-The idea here is how to study smart (I will correlate how to do so in another post if you want ) for your medical school and getting highest grades possible in the least time available(I got the excellent grade in the 4th year ).
Yes ,it is hard but not impossible …if I managed to do it , of course you can :smiley: .

-It was a very long marathon of 19 months studying for both USMLE exam and for my medical school exams .
and after a lot of ups and downs and days of depression you cannot imagine (Be ready for such days and try quickly to pass these days). Alhamdulillah I am still alive XD.


  • UW (the most important source I can’t stress enough for that I did it 1.5 times offline 2016 and once online in 45 days so in total 2.5 times)
    -FA.2017 (read it 6 times) and18,19 (the new concepts only )
  • Pathoma videos and text a year before my exam. no need to do it many times
    -Boards and beyond (the brilliant dr.Ryan I found them late in my prep if I did found these videos earlier I would say that my prep will take much less time)
    -NBMEs offline
    -Rx qbank really helpful I believe the more you solve the higher is your score
    -UW biostatistics review
    -100 cases of ethics
    -cases of khan ethics
    -Doctors in training videos in some topics when I get bored from reading
    -anatomy shelf notes
    -Kaplan Q bank for behavioral and social medicine(waste of time)
    -Wikipedia , UpToDate and Google .

as you see I didn’t touch any kaplen Book or Videos …so it is very possible to stick to Uworld and FA and to get a decent score .

Study plan and Self assessments:
after 1st pass of offline u World question bank and annotation in the first aid and 2 complete read of FA 2017 and pathoma… I decided to start doing self-assessments (a very good idea to know how exam is and to know how to deal with WTF questions)this was 1 year before real exam in April 2018
NBME 1 :36 mistakes---- NBME 2 : 39 mistakes
NBME 7 :53 mistakes----NBME 6 :43 mistakes
I was happy with these scores as my target was 240+

then I had to take a gap for 2 months for 4th year final exam

I took a week break to refresh my mind then continued my USMLE journey .
I did the 3rd complete read of FA and did the second pass of the UWorld offline but I didn’t complete it
NBME 12 :25 mistakes (august 2018)

NBME 5 : 16 mistakes (September 2018)
NBME 16 :25 mistakes (September 2018)
UWSA 1 :262 (October2018)I was very happy but I know it overpredict by 20 points at least.
then I discovered the gold explanation videos which were Boards and Beyond they are “gold” it took me 2 months to finish them

I took a 20 days gap for pediatric college exam .
then did my 4th read of FA
NBME 11 25 mistakes (December)
my score dropped much after this gap so try to minimize your gaps if it is possible

I decided to do RX question bank which was a great idea
it took me 45 days I was slow but I did it thoroughly
then I took(in late January ) UWSA 2 Online and got 254 (so I decided to book the exam)
I raised my target to be 260+
and then started the online random UWorld it took me 45 days to finish it
then did my fifth read of FA and continued doing NBMEs
NBME 4 :14 mistakes
NBME 19 :14 mistakes
NBME 17:11 mistakes
NBME 18 :15 mistakes
-then I took my only Online” NBME 22 “I got 255 that was before my exam by 2 weeks (so I think it was predictive for me )
NBME 15 :13 mistakes
NBME 13 :10 mistakes
in the last 6 days I did a quick read of my FA , annotations and the rapid review section.

Exam day performance matters a lot. Sleeping well is a must because it is responsible for 10 points at least of you score.
I didn’t open any book on the day of exam and the night before. just relax.
try not to panic during exam. You will see few questions of nowhere they are made to delay you only not to stop you.
I Took a break after each block going to Washroom, eat something, drink something. (except the first 2 blocks I took 3 minutes in the chair without getting out of exam room).
Just stay confident and don’t stress out on the exam day.
I marked 7 question for each block .
this gonna be the best day of your life when you are done with the exam , feeling relieved from such huge stress and returning back to your normal life.

then I want to stress on three things
-Get a study partner either online or offline that will help you focus for a longer time .thanks to Mostafa Mahmoud he was the best to study with .
-Hard work always pays off after Allah willing.
-Always try to help people with your knowledge and encourage them. don’t be the one who spreads the negative energy everywhere and also be realistic .
I remember every single person who tried to frustrate me …I always recover but for sure it affect your confidence for a while.

Everybody has a different way of dealing with things so that every experience is not a gold standard. Do whatever suits you after reading too many experiences …. I kept changing my schedule and plan it is not organized as it looks.

-to my parents who helped me in these hard days without them I am literally nothing.
I am lucky to know such ambitious friends.
thanks to Mohammad Alaa (the PUBG guy) from the beginning to the end we were together in this road…you are the most supportive guy ever also the best senior .
Omar M. Abdelsalam I can’t say how you helped me in the last days of my preparation answering my questions… and all my friends who supported me and always was encouraging.

-I will be happy to answer any of your questions guys