This post is intended to help those who are preparing for Step 1. I would like to share some information on my USMLE Step 1 preparation process which resulted in a score of 259. If you would like to see my overall profile you can visit My Residency Stats
Preparation Time: 4 months
Study Material Used:
- Kaplan Step 1 Lecture Notes (7 books): I started with Kaplan Step 1 Lecture Notes to brush up my concepts because it had been a while since I had studied the basic sciences. These books were great for this purpose. You should spend no more than 3 months on this.
- BRS Physiology: Explains the concepts in a simple manner and it is a must read book
- Goljan Audio Lectures (Pathology): I used to listen to these lectures when I did not feel like “studying”. It was a great way to refresh my mind and helped me grasp the concepts which are otherwise hard. Goljan’s method of teaching is amazing and it made the concepts easy to understand. Around 40% of the questions on Step 1 (in my case) were based on pathophysiology of disease process – so if you are good in pathology it may help you in the real exam.
- First Aid for Step 1: This book is written in a really clear and concise manner, I read it word by word and line by line three times.
- UWorld: UWorld or other question banks will strengthen your understanding of the fundamentals in the context of the real-world. After 1 month of preparation I began doing UWorld’s random timed questions and I made notes from the UWorld with the purpose of last minute revision.UWorld is a good indicator of where you stand, however in the beginning I did not give the scores much weight and rather used it as a tool to strengthen my knowledge. I tried to go through the explanations carefully which helps to answer other related questions. I took me 2 months to get through the first time. I did 2 blocks (40 questions per block) on average per day. It took me 4-5 hours per block
- Conrad Fischers 100 ethical cases: I noticed I was not strong in Behavioral Sciences based on my NBME results therefore I read this book. Its an easy read (took me 3 days) and it helps you in choosing the correct answers for tricky questions.
- NBME 13 (Offline): 244
- NBME 15 (Offline): 248, I did this test whilst I was halfway going through UWorld for the second time
- UWorld Self-Assessment: After going through UWorld a second time I did UWSA1 and UWSA2 with a 5 day gap and score 262 both times
Some of my notes
Real Deal: 259
This post is intended to help those who are preparing for Step 2 CK. I would like to share some information on my USMLE Step 2 CK preparation process which resulted in a score of 263. If you would like to see my overall profile you can visit My Residency Stats
I had only 3.5 months to study as I want to apply for the match within the same year. So I didn’t go through Kaplan notes or videos. First of all, I gave a thorough reading to MTB2 and 3. Then I made notes from UWorld when I did it for the first time. I never cared about the percentage in UWorld as I used it as a study tool not assessment tool. At the end I revised those notes 2 times in the last week of my preparation. In my experience MTB and UWorld were more than sufficient to get a good score. At no point in the exam I felt that I should have referred to some other source.
Preparation Time: 3.5 months
Study Material Used:
- Master the Boards 2nd Edition (Complete)
- Master the Boards 3rd Edition (All except Internal Medicine)
- UWorld twice (First time average 78%)
- Conrad Fischer comprehensive cases: I listened to them only passively when I was bored reading text and while working in the kitchen. So its not a must if you have mastered the MTBs
- NBME clinical mastery series assessment exams (These are really helpful and one should try to do at least 15 days before exam so that you can get time to go through these questions once again as they closely resemble the questions on real exam)
- NBME 4 (offline) – 246 (15 days before exam)
- NBME 7 (online) – 260 ( 5 days before exam)
- UWSA – 259 (3 days before exam)
- FRED 150 – around 93% (1 day before exam)
Real deal : Lows 260s
This is our first blog post and we would like to thank you for visiting. I contribute to this blog to help fellow applicants in the residency match process having gone through it myself. It is a long and difficult journey and having gone through this process I know how important it is to get all the help you can get.
My profile at the time of my residency application
- A non-Caribbean IMG (International Medical Graduate)
- My years since graduation were 5+
- Scored 259 on my Step 1
- Scored 263 on my Step 2CK
- Passed Step 2CS on first attempt
- Score 229 on my Step 3
- 1 month of US Clinical Experience
- Received 20+ interviews
- Matched at my dream program, a university-based program
As you can see aside from my scores I had several red flags such as too many years since graduation, minimal US clinical experience, and the biggest curse of all being a non-Caribbean IMG yet I still matched at my dream program. This blog will share my personal experiences, tips and tricks which will help you match at your dream program just like I did. This was merely just a brief introduction of myself so stay tuned for more blog posts…