[What ever stage you hope it helps]
This is my USMLE STEP 1 experience. This group helped me a lot throughout my journey and I hope I can give a little bit back, I can.
I am from a very small tribal region in India and studying in one of the most periphery medical college. I was always a weak student and it took me twice as much hard work compared to my peers. with the number of resources I had and ups and downs throughout the journey. If I can do it you can too.
In my 1st year of I came to know about USMLE but I was not serious up until my final year.
Collected resources and watched a few Najeeb physiology videos.
Watched pathoma allonged with robbins
Didn’t do much
Made my mind that I will pursue USMLE. My partner was also planning to do his masters in the US and we both wanted to make our future together. I talked my parents into it. I wanted to write my exam before I graduate so that I can apply for electives. 4th year is one of the toughest year in med school I have to skip holidays, college fests, Sundays in order to manage both yet I couldn’t give the exam in my final year lots of short attendance and warning by my professors that they will fail me.
- Dr. white Neuroanatomy 2014
- Dr. Sam Turco Biochemistry 2014
- Dr. Raymon 2010
- Dr. Moscatello Immunology
- Sketchy for Microbiology
- FA 2018
- Did around 1000 questions of UW with an SP(He got an online UW) system wise + FA annotation a block every other day.
Final year exams were approaching and I would have failed if I didn’t start studying for It so I did MARROW videos for my final year subjects and kept USMLE to a halt.
Passed final prof and internship started one of the most gruesome year.
Internship:[Took exam in 7 months]
2 months went by couldn’t even open the book.
After that my minor posting started I reopened FA and I have literally forgotten everything that I studied last year.
I did BnB along with my FA
I bought UW and started doing my rest 1800 questions system-wise.[One of the biggest mistakes I did was I didn’t revise]. I got an average of 80% but didn’t have the confidence that I know stuff felt like forgot most of it.
I came to know about Anki. It was pretty late in my preparation so I could not do Zaki or any of huge decks.
I went to medschoolanki.com researched about the decks and found the best for me at the moment was Pepper sketchy micro, UW and pharma.
- I did 100 cards a day and started increasing new cards count daily and religiously reviewed my deck. I completed around 50% and reset my UW.
- I did 100 cases of ethics,
- Randy Neil biostats,
- Anatomy deck of shelf notes + shelf notes
- UW 2nd round: 92%[All thanks to anki] Random timed mode, Took me 45 days to finish 2800+ questions + Daily 6hr Anki review
- I made my own deck of 1000+ cards from my weak topics UW.
45 Days before the exam:
I started giving NBMEs and around 1000+reviews of Anki daily. Read FA superficially as Anki made everything solid.
Stimulated every single test as exam.
NBME 17: 21 mistakes 6 week
NBME 19: 26 mistakes 6 week
UWSA 1: 254 5 week
NBME 22: 250 4 week
NBME 24: 234 3 week
NBME 23: 236/238 offline 2 week
NBME 18: 240 1 week
UWSA 2: 264 1week
Free 120: At the Hyderabad center paid 190$, 10 days before- 89%
1 week before the exam:
I was constantly weak in behavioral and ethics so I did khan ethics and brs ethics[Not much of a help]
Reviewed biostats and did UW question again, skimmed over all the easily forgettable topics that I have bookmarked all over FA.
1 day before:
I was extremely chill, confidant, and no anxiety at all as I have given free 120 at the center and knew everything about it e.g. how much time does it take to check-in and out.
Reviewed FA till 5 pm had a light food the whole day, packed my lunch bag, checked the papers, kept my ear plugs[I knew those noise-canceling thing they provide doesn’t work] also kept glucose water.
Slept at 8 pm after a light dinner [Slept like a baby].
Exam day[D-day]: 23 December
Had a half a cup of tea and a light breakfast
Went to the center at 7 am reporting time was 7:30 [It was 5 min away from my hotel]
After putting things in my locker I immediately used the toilet to freshen up[I would suggest you do too it helps your mind to be focused]
The exam started exactly at 8 am
Skipped the tutorial as I have done it in free 120[Remeber to drag to cancel your options and use b/w option to reduce stress over eyes ]
After 1 block: 3 min break at the spot
2nd block: 7 min break[drank glucose water and ate a lil bit of protein bar]
3rd block: finished it 15 min early so took a long break of 15 min.
4th block: 10 min break[ had glucose water]
5th block: 15 min lunch break
6th block: 10 min break [I was getting bored during break time so went back early]
Finished exam early felt quite confident after the exam.
- Should have done anki long back or even from start could have easily made it to 260+
- Overuse of materials [FA+ bnb + anki is more than enough]
- Should have given exam in my 4th year