I took the exam yesterday and wanted to share my experience with everyone. I'm not a regular on this site or active within the site but have appreciated exam experiences in the past so thought I'd share some of mine.
The exam was definitely doable. Not very easy but not impossible. I'll breakdown the major topics touched upon as I can recall it:PHARM: alot of questions on signaling mechanisms. It wasn't enough just to know what the drug did but you have to know how. Also drug interactions as well as side effects were stressed....Got a few questions on drugs affecting the arachadonic acid pathway as well as questions on NO. Also drugs affecting the cell cycle.
PATHO: definitely the bulk of the exam. Alot of pathophysiology. Wasn't enough just to know the disease but make sure to understand the disease process. Types of cell injury, wound healing as well as alot of renal diseases were a few topics I can recall encountering.
MICRO: Again it was integrated with either patho or pharm. Alot of it was connected to patient history and then you figure out the bug and then gotta integrate it with either pharm or path. Had quite a few questions on Staph and Strep as well vaccination and sterilization.
BIOCHEM: mostly the clinical aspects of this subject. Stressed alot about how different pathways integrate and work together. Had to know how a deficiency of an enzyme would affect not just that particular pathway but how it might affect another pathway and changes expected in various organs, etc... Topics I remember include G6PD deficiency, Tay Sachs, and vitamins. Also stress your molecular biology. Alot of integrations with DNA synthesis, regulation, mutations. Genetics was also touched upon like inheritance patterns and genetic counseling.
PHYSIO: mostly graphs that tested concepts dealing with factors affecting CO and SV as well as GFR, FEV1/FVC. Know concepts solid in cardio and renal especially. Also know your endocrine!!! It was heavily stressed upon and integrated with the other subjects.
ANAT: mostly neuro. Alot of head injury questions and visual pathway lesions. Had MRIs, CT scans and gross specimens of the brain. Mostly dealt with tracks and cranial nerves.
BEHAV: Mostly about substance abuse, i.e. withdrawal symptoms and intoxication symptoms. A few ethics questions about what to do in the given situation as well as questions about what the best statement to say next to the patient was. Some of these were definitely tricky. As well as preventive health questions dealing with what to advise the patient to do to improve his/her health. Also questions on Type 1 and 2 errors as well as calculations for sensitivity and specificity. Nothing too complicated.
I wanted to add that my exam was did not use the FRED software. I had heard that the new software was to start for Step 1 and 2 by the 15th of April but my exam used the older software.
Well, this about all I can remember. I know its not as much as some people detail in their experiences but I hope this proves to be helpful to some. I feel the major thing with this exam is to keep your faith and never give up!!! Will be waiting now for the results....
BEST OF LUCK TO ALL...