USMLE Step 1 Experience (January 2017)

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Step 1 score -271
Prep time:5.5 months
Resources:FA,UW, pathoma(videos only), goljan(text only) kaplan videos here and there
My experience :

Hey all,
So let’s get right down to it.
Before my dedicated prep phase I had already skimmed through most of fa once over a span of 2-3months.. Maybe an hr a day.. Or once in 3-4days.Just get a feel of the book.
Dedicated prep time:
Started with fa chapter wise.i would do a chapter of fa in 1 day, corresponding offline uworld over the next 2 days or sometimes even 1 day.Very rapid skim again to get a hang of what’s going on. And during these 2-3days I would watch kaplan videos intermittently when bored in 2x speed. This entire process took about 2 months. I also would do corresponding segments from goljan.

After 2 months I did a complete cover to cover read of fa in a week and took my first offline nbme.(nbme 1) scored 241. Identified weak areas and re read fa,pathoma videos and did more qsns over the next 2 weeks.

I did a nbme once every two weeks..And went through doubtful questions before the next nbme

Then did kaplan qbank over 2 weeks..Pretty low yield but just did it for completion sakes. U can skip it.




Over the next 2 months did another read of uw and fa this time annotating from uw. Had a couple weeks in between where I almost gave up.i was burning out. Just look at the big picture.. Give urself a treat. Meet a friend. Binge watch ur favourite series for a couple days,waste some time.The guilt of having not studied well for a couple weeks will kick u into studying again.but always make sure u atleast read 4-6 hrs in this crazy burnout phase.
Last 2 months I did combined study with a friend.THIS IS THE BEST THING I did .we went through the whole of fa over Skype and discussed nbmes. U notice points uve never noticed before and stay motivated.( with the added benefit of a few giggles and the comfort of not being alone in this)

My advice:
Do ALL NBMEs. They really help u develop the knack of focussing for hours on end. FA,UW and pathoma videos are sufficient…Goljan is a beautiful book if u have time and helped cement a lot of concepts
Also, you are never gonna feel fully prepared no matter how long uve studied. Come to terms with the fact that one cannot remember everything.give the exam as soon as u feel like you’re scoring well and before u burnout. Else, ull be stuck in a loop of forgetting old info as u process the new.

My schedule:
6am -8am: study
8-10:30:workout,breakfast, chill
10:30-2pm:study
2-3:lunch break
3-5:30-watch videos /read
5:30-7:personal time,indulge in ur hobby,call a friend 🙂
7-8:30 :study
8:30-9:dinner
9-10: videos, relaxed reading
10-11:family time and always asleep by 11



And a big thank u to all members of this group for sharing ur experiences. And for replying to my doubts 🙂 All the best u guys. U can ace this.

P.s: I have posted this only with the hope that it will help others with their prep. I’m sorry if it seems discouraging to some.But the bottomline is nothing is impossible if u work hard.

By Shweta Paulraj



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