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


[What ever stage you hope it helps]

Hello everyone!

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.

1st year:

Collected resources and watched a few Najeeb physiology videos.

2nd year:

Watched pathoma allonged with robbins

3rd year:

Didn’t do much

4th year:

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.

study material

  1. Pathoma
  2. Dr. white Neuroanatomy 2014
  3. Dr. Sam Turco Biochemistry 2014
  4. Dr. Raymon 2010
  5. Dr. Moscatello Immunology
  6. Sketchy for Microbiology
  7. FA 2018
  8. 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 researched about the decks and found the best for me at the moment was Pepper sketchy micro, UW and pharma.

  1. 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.
  2. I did 100 cases of ethics,
  3. Randy Neil biostats,
  4. Anatomy deck of shelf notes + shelf notes
  5. UW 2nd round: 92%[All thanks to anki] Random timed mode, Took me 45 days to finish 2800+ questions + Daily 6hr Anki review
  6. 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.


  1. Should have done anki long back or even from start could have easily made it to 260+
  2. Overuse of materials [FA+ bnb + anki is more than enough]
  3. Should have given exam in my 4th year