How I scored 262
USMLE Step 1 Experience
My school does 1.5 years of basic sciences and then 6 months of clinics in the first two years. I took Step 1 at the end of my second year before starting graduate school. I only had 5 weeks of dedicated study time but I came off three months of internal medicine and no doubt, the time I put into studying for my medicine shelf provided a really solid base for starting my Step 1 studying. As far as Basic Sciences is concerned, I was a slightly better than average student with an overall average approximately in the low 90s.
2-3 blocks of 44 a day – Random, Timed mode. I don’t recommend tutor mode because it doesn’t simulate testing conditions well at all.
Read about 50-100 pages a day. Took outlines of the sections I was least familiar with (biochem, pharmacology, biostats, etc.). Re-read my weaker sections 2-3x. Gauged which sections to focus on based on UWorld question analysis.
Took detailed outlines of the videos. Highlighted all the facts he emphasized as “high-yield”. Generally tried to line up the sections with the pages of First Aid I was reading on a given day.
Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple
I used only a few sections in this book where I thought First Aid was lacking a bit — Mainly viruses, parasites, bacterial toxin table, and pharmacology. I felt that the First Aid bacteria section is pretty complete as far as Step 1 material is concerned.
I don’t recommend this Qbank, but I had a subscription that I had bought last year to study for a school administered CBSE. I used it for about a week before I purchased my 30 day UWorld subscription.
UWorld Self Assessments 1 & 2; NBME 17 (Technically 16 as well, but I took it before my CBSE in Dec. 2014), and the Free 130-ish questions put out by USMLE.
USMLE Step 1 Study Schedule
Monday – Friday: 50ish pages of First Aid / day with associated Pathoma sections in the morning to early afternoon. Late afternoon into evening I would do blocks of UWorld questions (2-3 blocks a day).
Saturday: UWorld Self-assessment (+ a few extra blocks) to simulate test conditions (and length). On the days I didn’t take a self-assessment I would do 7 blocks of UWorld questions.
Sunday: Relax day – would go through the questions missed from Saturday. Early on I outlined explanations to questions I got wrong, but stopped doing this about halfway through because I was not very efficient at it.
This schedule was for the first 4 weeks. The last week I re-read my problem sections and did extra blocks of UWorld questions to ensure that I got through the full set. I also took the NBME 17 the day before my test to gauge my performance on the test.
NBME 16: 209 (Nov. 2014)
School administered CBSE: 217 (Dec. 2014)
UWorld Self-Assessment 1: 247 (4 weeks out)
UWorld Self-Assessment 2: 255 (2 weeks out).
NBME 17: 262 (1 day prior)
UWorld (First and Only Pass): Random, Timed – 81% (Started off ranging between 50-70%, but ended with 85-90%).
Step 1: 262
I think the most important thing is to find a study strategy that works well for you. For me I used First Aid and Pathoma to review the majority of the information, and used UWorld to solidify that information and learn those useless little facts they love to test on.
*This post has been used with permission.