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sreec
03-18-2007, 04:11 PM
Before I forget everything I did while studying for the exam, I figured I'd dump it all into this thread - and maybe encourage others to contribute as well.

Planning your study period is probably the first thing you need to do. On average, my classmates took their exam four months after completing their fifth semester. Depending on what your goals are, four months may be too long or too short. When you register for the exam, you register for a period of three months rather than for a specific day. You should register to give yourself the maximum leverage to reschedule your exam. For example, if you intend to take the exam in December, register for Dec-Jan-Feb. You can pay the ECFMG 50 bucks to extend your 3-month eligibility period by another 3 months.

Scheduling your time during that period is also very important. Grab a calendar and plan at least a week in advance. Here is an example (http://www.sree.us/calexample.pdf). You should be as flexible as possible and allow for plenty of breaks. Otherwise you'll get overwhelmed. You'll find that the things that you crammed at AUA in order to pass a test will be a lot harder to re-learn than the material that you understood the first time around.

Accountability is important too - you need some objective way of making sure that you actually know the material that you read. Kaplan's Qbank/Qbook comes in handy for that. Doing questions as you study will better inform you as to what material is testable and how it can be tested. Example: You can spend an hour learning everything there is to know about Parkinson's Disease, but if the answer choices on your test are labels on a CT scan and you can't find the substantia nigra, then your knowledge is worthless.

You're absolutely going to need a quiet study space - be it your home or a library. Public universities and community colleges tend to allow the general public to study. They will have internet access so you can use your online resources and they'll probably be open till midnight. Barnes and Noble is a nice study spot too because they have medical books that you can use for free. You should also try your best to eliminate as many distractions as possible from your life - or at least from the time that you plan to study. Turn off your phone, your instant messaging program etc. while studying. (In retrospect, I probably should have banned myself from ValueMD during the study period.;))

Review courses are a popular option among AUA students. The top three are Kaplan, Falcon and Pass. Kaplan and Falcon have retreat options, which include a hotel stay at the same location or very close to the lecture hall. That may be convenient for you if you need the isolation or there is no center close to home. Kaplan also has a live lecture option, where you attend their lectures and a center prep option, where you get to watch their videos. There are also web prep and home study courses. Most of my classmates who took Kaplan took either the live lecture course or the retreat. Both of these courses follow the same format – the material is divided by subject and there is a distinguished professor (like Goljan, Fadem, etc.) who lectures on their subject of expertise. You get lecture notes, but in most cases they are incomplete and you have to supplement them with what is discussed in class. I don’t know much about the Falcon Review program but there is an excellent review of it by a Saba student here (http://www.valuemd.com/saba-university-school-medicine/129141-falcon-review-brief-overview-those-considering.html). Having viewed the Pass program videos and read the lecture notes, I don’t recommend the course. The guy who teaches the course simply doesn’t cover all the material that is tested. Maybe he covers just enough to “pass” – I have no idea. But, don’t waste your money. There’s a comparison thread of Kaplan vs. Falcon vs. Pass vs. Princeton here (http://www.valuemd.com/usmle-step-1-forum/113276-falcon-vs-kaplan-vs-pass-vs-princeton.html), if you’re interested.

Choosing the right books and study resources can be difficult because there are so many out there. Here are my picks. Maybe they’ll be of use to you. Note that

Anatomy – High Yield is really good. Kaplan is reasonably good but it’s missing a lot of stuff.

Histology – If you bother to review Histo at all, use your notes or Kaplan’s anatomy text.

Biochemistry/Genetics – Kaplan is really good, Lippincott is ok but is missing a lot of stuff and contains way too much extraneous information like enzymes in purine/pyramidine synthesis. I liked the AUA Genetics powerpoints because I got used to them but they’re unnecessarily detailed for the exam.

Neurology – High Yield covers pretty much everything. Kaplan is missing stuff – like CT scans which are very frequent on Step I now. Kaplan explains stuff better though.

Physiology – The newly revised blue Kaplan book is good. It has lots of graphs and charts to make you understand everything. A lot of people like BRS Physio but it doesn’t explain the concepts as well as Kaplan does, in my opinion. Rapid Review Physio was good too for Endocrine and Renal Physio. AUA Cardio Physio notes are very good as well for that subtopic.

Microbiology/Immunology – Lange Microbiology and Immunology covered absolutely everything in detail. The Kaplan book is in outline format which some people might like, but I prefer prose. Some people use just first aid for Microbiology. I think that’s crazy – I would not have been able to answer 30% of the Micro questions on my exam if I had done that.

Behavioral Science – BRS is good. The Kaplan book is just as good but easier to read. I’ve been told that High Yield is ok too. The three above mentioned books are by the same author – Fadem.

Pathology – Rapid Review or Goljan’s Lecture Notes are the best. I would not recommend using any other source. For images, I used Dr. K's lab powerpoints

Pharmacology – I used Lippincott which covers absolutely everything you need to know but later found out that it was too much information. The Kaplan book is a lighter read and much higher yield. A lot of people are recommending just First Aid these days, but it sounds dangerous to me since there is so much Pharm on the exam.

Questions – Kaplan ‘s Qbank and Qbook are excellent for assessing your understanding of material that you’ve just studied, but many people who have recently taken the test say that USMLE World is a far better simulator of the real exam. I agree fully. The questions I saw on the real thing were very much like the ones on UW. Both question banks have pretty good predictive value. You should probably be answering over 55% of the questions correctly in order to have a good chance of passing your exam. You can estimate your Step I score using your Kaplan Qbank score here (http://www.valuemd.com/usmleestimator.php).

The NBME has practice exams available at their website (http://examinee.nbme.org/NSAS/home) which allows you to purchase practice exams that will predict your score very, very accurately. It is absolutely essential that you take one of these 6 weeks to 1 month before your test date. After you take the exam, you will get a breakdown of your relative strengths in the various topics tested. You can significantly improve your score by focusing on these weaknesses. Also, the scaled score that you get after taking the exam is astonishingly predictive of your Step 1 score.

NWS
03-18-2007, 08:18 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to write in detail your experiences and advice on how to best prepare for the USMLE. This is the kind of thing that I'd been hoping someone would eventually get to and it's a page that's going in my favorites for future reference.

Would you say that BRS anatomy, baby moore and FA are good enough to prepare for anatomy and eventually step I or should I get high yield as well?

DOC.p
03-18-2007, 08:47 PM
this is some great advice, thank you for posting your experience...i will deff use this as a guide when the time comes for me

Dr.DinaRus
03-19-2007, 09:27 AM
:p THank u from all of us who will use ur advice :)

sreec
03-20-2007, 04:38 PM
Would you say that BRS anatomy, baby moore and FA are good enough to prepare for anatomy and eventually step I or should I get high yield as well?

brs, moore, etc are good for the anatomy course
fa and hy are useful for step 1

the anatomy course at aua requires you to know 10000 times more than what step 1 does

HeroLike
03-24-2007, 09:49 AM
excellent review sree,

how many months did you spend after 5th semester reviewing?
how many hours/day?

sreec
03-25-2007, 02:26 PM
how many months did you spend after 5th semester reviewing?
how many hours/day?

around 2-3 hours a day during fifth sem, 9-10 hours a day for the four months after that after that

drhardy
05-24-2007, 06:46 PM
can anyone take their USMLE directly after 5th semester? Is 5th semester considered rigorous?

sreec
05-27-2007, 06:14 AM
Sure if you study lots during fifth semester. No, I don't think it's rigorous academically, but there's lot of clinical experience involved.

Borat Sagdiyev
05-31-2007, 12:28 PM
sank u mr. cherkus...ur advice is much appreciateds.

Bodivine
07-03-2007, 08:25 PM
Sree,

What a splendid evaluation of the prep for USMLE Step 1!!

I am in my 5th Semester, a transfer student and have had very little guidance as to what to study and what not to. The transfer University was for indigenous graduates and did not train us to pass USMLE, nor practice in the US. With that said, I am printing your suggestion out and using them as I study and plan to take the exam end of October or early November, 2007.

Much Appreciation,

Jacob

gawtti
07-09-2007, 10:07 PM
hello,

just curious from which uni did you transfer from? also, contemplating trasnferring to AUA after my basic sciences this upcoming academic year. thanks. good luck!

UCHE-BA
07-11-2007, 11:39 AM
hey, sree

thanks for the great advice. I just got admitted to AUA, and i will starting in sept 07 for basic science. Any way how was your first year as basic science student like?. how was the lecture like? or the exams/. I am excited and nervous at the same time, b/c don't really know what to expect.

asm64x
05-02-2008, 12:17 PM
What is Kaplan doing here? Isn't AUA/KMCIC suppose to prepare besides you having to apply for Kaplan courses? I would like to know. Thanks.

aechev
05-07-2008, 04:03 PM
AUA does prepare you. Kaplan is a good review and a different approach to learning in the case you did not learn it the first time around. About 25% of my class did a Kaplan class. Hope this helps.

Eg9009
04-03-2009, 06:43 AM
thank you very much

DOC.p
04-13-2009, 12:07 AM
In case my thread gets lost in the depths of VMD and i really don't want to even type that up again, here's a link to my step 1 advice: http://www.valuemd.com/american-university-antigua-aua/175038-how-i-studied.html

IluvMD
06-17-2009, 10:04 PM
Hi Sree and Doc,

Thank you so much for taking the time to compile such detail notes of your studying habits. You guys don't know how valuable these information will be for me. Just a quick question for Doc, do you mind passing along the checklist of paperwork that we need to turn in to prepare for clinicals? Also, where do you buy the First Aid or high yield books (physio, embryo, etc...) that you guys keep mentioning in your prep for Step 1. Thanks a whole bunch. My email address is [email protected] You guys are the best.

DOC.p
06-18-2009, 11:27 AM
Just a quick question for Doc, do you mind passing along the checklist of paperwork that we need to turn in to prepare for clinicals?
sent, but i really wouldn't worry about this right now since you're just starting. it'll give you an idea what may be required but it's all subject to change.


Also, where do you buy the First Aid or high yield books (physio, embryo, etc...) that you guys keep mentioning in your prep for Step 1.
amazon, half.com, school bookstore

IluvMD
06-18-2009, 12:36 PM
sent, but i really wouldn't worry about this right now since you're just starting. it'll give you an idea what may be required but it's all subject to change.


amazon, half.com, school bookstore

doc,
do you mind sending the list again? for some reason, i don't see it in my mailbox. Thanks

DOC.p
06-18-2009, 12:50 PM
yeah i think i figured out the problem i was having (i sent it out to a few other students and they also said they didn't get it). try now, you should have it

IluvMD
06-18-2009, 12:56 PM
i'm still not seeing it. Try this email: [email protected]

pshah
09-14-2009, 06:05 PM
hey Sree...I am thinking about transfering from st. matthews to AUA and you seem like a great person to get some advice and info on AUA. Is there a way I can ask you questions on some private email rather then value MD? Please respond when you get some time. Thank you and hope to hearing from you soon...cya

determinedtobedoc
12-02-2009, 08:12 PM
How do we register for the step. Can I just go to the website and register or do I have to have AUA register me.

Tipton
12-03-2009, 07:41 AM
You should contact Student Services here in the NY office: 212-661-8899.

rahulb
12-03-2009, 04:21 PM
In case my thread gets lost in the depths of VMD and i really don't want to even type that up again, here's a link to my step 1 advice: http://www.valuemd.com/american-university-antigua-aua/175038-how-i-studied.html

i made one of these too

http://www.valuemd.com/american-university-antigua-aua/180158-step1-how-do-well-most-important-exam-youll-ever-take.html

CARICOM-MED
12-31-2009, 01:48 PM
Basic Success formula for ANY USMLE Step:
FA + UW X 6-8hr/day for 6-8 wks
I spent about 6wks total and score well on both steps

*Only use FEW books, and practice Qs (Aprox 2000Qs per step)

** If much is new to you, read KAPLAN Home Study Notes first, Boards and Wards for both steps.

sandyjay
01-21-2010, 09:18 PM
[quote=rahulb;1188548]i made one of these too




Congratulations on a great score. Thank you for sharing your study effort. It is most comprehensive and truly helpful . Can you please tell me the date you sat the exam ? This is just to estimate the revision period.

CARICOM-MED
01-26-2010, 07:31 PM
Scored over 220 on each of the steps, I just focused of FEW books, and one Qbank online and tested with the NBME site twice.....

Found that most students WAY overstudy, and are burnt out before the exam....the trick is to Focus Focus Focus.....

Loved the FA book, added my own class notes and personal mnemonics tables & charts from the first 4 semesters in Antigua....I also used Boards and Wards for both steps.....then practice about 2000 Qs...UW and some of Exam Masters (free for UHSA students.)

My Success Formula: FA+UW 6hrs / day for 6 wks :)
Many US schools recommend it, and prooved to work !!

FA + UW about 6 hrs per day 5 days per week is 30 hrs per week for 6 wks that's 180 hrs of study time....should be plenty...

Cheers and good luck !!

rahulb
01-27-2010, 07:07 PM
[quote=rahulb;1188548]i made one of these too




Congratulations on a great score. Thank you for sharing your study effort. It is most comprehensive and truly helpful . Can you please tell me the date you sat the exam ? This is just to estimate the revision period.

06/23/09

any questions feel free to send me a message

bluevishnu2008
02-04-2010, 08:44 AM
step 1 was easy compared to finding rotations.

bluevishnu2008
02-04-2010, 08:45 AM
i scored 230 took kaplan for 8 weeks live course studied on my own for 3 months did qbank uworld all the kaplan books twice or three time goljan path first aid. also did medessentials really liked it. u'll be fine. just wait till u finish that's when the pain begins.

sbpeer
07-23-2010, 10:36 AM
step 1 was easy compared to finding rotations.

sooo true...

NelumG
01-11-2011, 07:25 AM
i made one of these too

http://www.valuemd.com/american-university-antigua-aua/180158-step1-how-do-well-most-important-exam-youll-ever-take.html

I read your post very carefully and have used many of the tips in my preparation for Step 1 . I plan to take the NMBE tests soon all 7 of them in fact. However reading the info on the website I notice that if I complete a test to evaluate my score I will not be able to come back to the questions I got wrong . I would be glad of advice on how to get through the test at least the 1st so that I may understand what i got wrong. Thank you.

futuremdiv24
12-08-2013, 03:28 PM
I Like the study period







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