Usmle ste1 experience 237 dr shiva charan ganji


Step 1 experience: (long post ahead).

Real Deal: 237.
Target score: 250+.
Exam date: 23/12/2019.

Duration: 22 months(with on&off, total 3-4 months gap in between).

UW – 2x (did some offline tho).
FA – 7x( I guess, forgot the #).
Pathoma – must.
Kaplan(videos 2010, lecture notes – 2016, almost same) – 1.5x( 1 time is enough, didn’t used for
Pathology) recommended if poor basics.
Ethics – Conrad’s 100 cases, Khans ethics.
Biostats – Randy neil videos on YouTube(made Biostats whole sense to me), UW Biostats review, BnB.
Micro – sketchy micro(if u aren’t comfortable with that, don’t do it).
Anatomy – shelf notes.
Pharma – sketchy pharma only for Antimicrobial drugs.
Pathology – pathoma and some Goljan audio lectures.
BnB for some topics.
UW notes and UW tables(found somewhere online) – 1x, 2x for selected topics.
Step 1 medbullets for understanding some concepts – good website.

UW – 2x.
FA Q&A – 650Qs.
Rx – 160Qs.
Amboss – 600Qs.

Assessments: Frustated almost with every exam as I made a lot of silly mistakes(almost 1/3rd mistakes).
Form - mistakes/3-digit score – date.
SA1 - 239 - 17/6.
11 – 37 – 18/8.
12 – 33 – 26/8.
13 – 24/236 – 2/9.
15 - 28/232 - 9/9.
16 - 24/240 - 4/10.
21 - 37/240 -18/10(online).
22 - 46/232 - 1/11(online).
17 - 19/242 - 9/11.
23 - 51/225 - 17/11(online).
19 - 18/244 - 29/11.
18 - 31/236 - 7/12(online).
SA2 -254 - 15/12.
Free 120 – did only 2 blocks – 89% - 20/12.

Introduction(u can skip this paragraph):
Im an Indian IMG, avg student, never listened to classes, studied only during exam so that I can pass in exams, my basics are very weak. Back in 2017 during my final yr when my brother got 240+ in step 1, I was shocked how a person can compete an international exam(as I was avg student, and I heard that exam was very tough), I thought no matter what I can’t do this. But after few days, it started to haunted me literally(Cant I do it? Why was I like this? Why was I so afraid of this exam? I felt like a failure) for a few days and nights, then eventually I decided to take this exam, so studied Pathoma during the end of my final yr then studied for final exams. Took a week break after my final exams, then started studying in march 2018.

Phase I: (kaplan phase) 7 months.
As my basics are very weak, and along with that my internship duties, barely studied for 4-5 hrs a day, it took a lot of time(one can complete this phase in 3-4 months).

Phase II: 10 months(wasted a lot of time).
Started FA(1st pass: oct -dec , wasted a lot of time), then took UW subscription(1st pass(70%) Jan -midmay, took 5 1/2 months🤦🏻‍♂‍) did non-timed mode, system wise.

Studied FA 3 weeks, then given UWSA 1 (17Jun- 239).
Then started UW 2nd pass(89% - 45days), subscription expired in middle, then made offline UW and did it.

Phase III: 2 months.
Then started doing nbmes from August and studied extra resources like Pathoma(for the 2nd time), Shelf anatomy, Conrad’s 100 ethics cases, Khans ethics cases, Sketchy micro and pharma(for antimicro drugs), UW biostats review, Randy Neil videos in YouTube for Biostats, and did FA in between.

Phase IV: 3 months.
Did BnB for some topics, then did FA Q&A for 2 weeks, then given nbme 21(online -240), mixed feelings as I made more than 15 silly mistakes, then studied FA, giving some nbmes in between.

Last month: As I did UW 2nd pass long back, did Rx for few days(didn’t liked it), did Amboss for a week, and started FA final revision, my Maternal Grandfather died, took a day off, emotionally broken down for some days, completed FA 4 days before exam, did free 120 1 day, nbme wrongs – 1 day, extra resources – 1day, did Psychiatry, Antimicro drugs, parasitology, systems drugs, pharma formulas, Biostats study charts, some UW tables, some high yield topics, volatile topics, Usmle high yield images videos(1-8 parts) in YouTube(by Medschool moose).

Day before exam: Did(mentioned above), stopped studying at 9pm and slept at 10:00pm.

Exam day: Woke up at 3:30am(same time from last 3-4 days, maybe due to anxiety overflow) tried to sleep but couldn’t get, so stayed on the bed upto 5am, I was pretty sure that Ill mess up the exam, reached prometric centre at 7am, exam started at 8:50am, done with exam at 4:20pm.

For every 2 blocks, took 10mins gap, used only 30 mins.

Post-exam days: I was pretty confident that I would get 245+, I have to study for home country’s residency exam(in case step1 goes wrong) in 12 days, so used kaplan videos and notes(only OBS), FA(ck) and did some UW Qs, then did another FA(step 1)revision. Got results on 5th wed, as I saw the step 1 score, my mind was blocked for hrs, I tried so hard to control the tears (u can laugh at that, I don’t care😏), I felt disappointed, felt like a failure, worthless human as I worked hard for this big moment of life. I never imagined this score even when I felt low, it took me a couple of days finally to accept the score.

Mistakes I made:

  • Wasted a lot of time on Kaplan(7 months), one can do it in 3-4 months.
  • Started FA after 7 months of Kaplan, could have started along with Kaplan. - Wasted a lot of time during FA 1st read(3months), UW 1st pass(5 ½ months).
  • Didn’t have a proper plan as when I should take the exam.
  • Regarding the application, I wasted 6 weeks just for changing the surname order, and I booked the exam date on Dec 7th(don’t do that, book the date that ur confident with as soon as possible). - Took a lot of gaps in between, maintain consistency, even if its 2-3hrs.

Things worth mentioning:

  • It is recommended to do UW atleast 2 times. Dont rush during 2nd pass, try to understand as much as u can.
  • Booking the triad and exam day: some ppl booked the triad so soon that they aren’t ready yet even during the extrended triad and given exam without proper prep, and ended up messing Step 1. Same goes with exam day, booking too soon and not postponing the date.
  • As ppl are different don’t try to use every resource, use only few that u r comfortable with.
  • Don’t mug up everything in FA, try to understand the concepts behind.
  • I wish I could have a SP, so that I can learn/discuss/clarify/ the concepts with them and it could helped a lot.
  • Most ppl believe a Myth that USMLE is a very tough exam, and only a few can do it. But its entirely wrong, it depends on how dedicated you are, how much hardwork u can put for this, how much willpower u have, how bad u want it.

Advice to Indian aspirants:

  • I knw how hard it can be during internship, but don’t ever think abt “Ill study from next month, Its hard to manage study and work”, even its 2hrs, just study and maintain consistency.
  • Even if u want to pursue NEET(but unable to go to the coaching centre)/ unable to decide pursue USMLE or NEET, just read sub like Biochem, physio, patho, as its getting more competitive world don’t waste time during internship.