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Junito
02-10-2006, 07:40 AM
Some people have asked how I managed to study for the boards while taking ICM in Maine, and here is what I did.

1- Mental prep: I saw the board exam as any other obstacle I have encountered before and dealt with. I viewed the exam as something that could be done, in other words I prepared myself mentally and did not panick. I found that when I worried it distracted me from concentrating.

2- I then developed a routine and stuck to it. The routine took me about a month to develop. Trial and error. I tried all the books. In the end I stuck to reading all the HY first. Once I reviewed all the subjects via HY, I then switched to another review mode.

3- I used the Pass videos, along with the book from pass that has the funny pictures, and their ppt presentation. The Pass videos were awesome because the guy integrates everything, and while I was studying all the subjects separately, my thinking was still fragmented. The videos help me integrate all that I learned. So everyday I would watch 2 1/2 hours (150 minutes) of the videos.

After a while I knew Jesus and Tina (actual students in the video). I was like "come on Jesus, you have to know that one". My wife caught me one time talking to the video, thought I was losing it (maybe I was). I was able to beat Tina at times for the answer and really got into it.

4- I then incorporated Goljan. I would first read a chapter and then listen to the corresponding lecture. At most I would listen to 2 hours of goljan lectures. I broke up the longer sections and coordinated their readings to follow those sections that did not have any audio corresponding with them.

5- Planning: I would make sure if I was going to cover the kidney, that both my goljan review and Pass review were on the kidney.

6- Questions: During Icm I did the IV qbank that covered the system of the week along with the Pretest book called "Integrated basic sciences". It follow the systems based approach, and made easier to incorporate it into my study for ICM & the boards.

7- After ICM was over I was able to begin hard core studying for the boards, since I already had my routine started. I finished ICM on Dec 9th. I took a week off to spend time with friends and family then got back to studying. No time was wasted. I was actually ready by the beginning of Jan, but there were blackout dates for when I could take the step. The earliest was Jan 16th, but that meant I would have to fly out to Indiana. I opted to wait till Jan 18 and take it in NYC instead. The rumor by the way that taking the exam at a remote location (some small town) proved to be false. I know two people who tried it...It didn't work.

8- Qbank: During ICM I managed to do 25 questions a day. After ICM I jumped to 50. A week before the exam I would do 100 a day. I did the regular qbank, not the IV. At first I did the IV qbank, but after taking the NBME self assessment, I saw that it was junk, and abandoned it completely in mid October.

9- Once I had my routine established, and relocated to NYC I encountered a problem...Noise! My neighbors & the city are very noisy. I didn't want to waste time commuting back and forth between my apartment and a college, so I studied later in the day...I would begin my studies after 6pm (would listen to all the audio first) and would study as much as I could to 5am. I must admit it took a while before I was able to fly through it all. I kid you not there was an intensive two week period that I did not even see the sun (I never went outside during that time).

10- Assessment: THIS IS KEY!!!! I started to assess my performance during ICM. I took the first NBME self assessment in October. November we had the Comp shelf, and December we had the Kaplan Mock Step 1. Info from all these were used to gauge my performance. I then took two more NBME self assessments before the test (in January). Passing these exams gave me a boost of confidence.

11- I got my eyes used to looking at a computer screen for hours. After getting used to sitting down and answering 50 questions back to back, watching videos, reviewing ppts, etc...When I took the exam it was a piece of cake. I was not phased at all sitting down for 7 hours infront of a computer.

12- I made sure not to drink red bulls while I prepared for the step. That way on the day of the exam, I would definitely feel their effects. I don't know about others, after a while they don't work anymore on me. I took a bag of skittles and three red bulls to the test center with me. During the break I took some skittles and drank some red bull. I was alert. My problem during the exam was that the temperature in the room I was taking the test was unbearable. If it weren't for the red bull I would have been out (sleeping). I complained and it took three hours for the place to finally be comfortable. I was nearly done already.

So this is the bulk of what I did. Hope this helps. Take care and crush the step.

Banker794
02-10-2006, 08:21 AM
Juni you are the man!!

Thank you for sharing all that info.

JTP73
02-11-2006, 09:37 AM
Again, congrats on passing step 1 1st try! Regardless of your score, that is an accomplishment in and of itself. :D

mcune11
02-11-2006, 07:00 PM
JUni-

You didnt use kaplan at all (books or videos) ?

Junito
02-11-2006, 09:55 PM
Not the videos, but audios...While driving to school and back home. I did not touch the books because honestly they were too much for me to read. I did the HY first then Goljan Star review along with the Pass stuff I mentioned.

Mehrdad1
02-12-2006, 03:49 PM
Hey Juni, this is great advice. Could we make this thread a "Stickie?"

Banker794
03-04-2006, 10:24 AM
Is it worth purchasing the Goljian series - "Rapid Review"?

Has anyone heard any reviews about the book? Apparently it comes with a CD with board relevant questions as well.

Banker794
03-30-2006, 06:17 PM
Can we create a sticky to help students preparing for boards with information? I.e what worked for some students who passed & general questions about the boards.

Banker794
03-30-2006, 06:21 PM
1st Q:

Does the real USMLE give you the same perks as Kaplan Q bank when taking the exam? (Can we highlight on the screen and can we eliminate choices with mark as we can do with Q bank)?

2cents
03-30-2006, 06:44 PM
1st Q:

Does the real USMLE give you the same perks as Kaplan Q bank when taking the exam? (Can we highlight on the screen and can we eliminate choices with mark as we can do with Q bank)?

Yes you can

Banker794
03-30-2006, 08:53 PM
Do you know how many NBME exams are there? And also when is the best time to take each one?

Thanks for your help

2cents
03-30-2006, 09:09 PM
Do you know how many NBME exams are there? And also when is the best time to take each one?

Thanks for your help

That question is a little too vague. NBME has subject exams, and cummulative exams for both step 1 and 2.

There are free sample downloads for both steps. I am not sure how many different versions there are if you purchase the sample tests.

Junito
03-30-2006, 09:23 PM
There are four NBME practice exams (the 200 question exam that best mimics the Step 1 exam). The first and second were easy. The third test was hard. Did not take the fourth (heard it was real hard).

Banker794
04-02-2006, 01:43 PM
Yes you can

A classmate of mine just did one NBME exam and said he could not highlight or cross out (like in Q bank). If the USMLE and NBME are similarly structured can you or can you not highlight and cross out on the actual USMLE?

It makes a huge difference...please be honest

Junito
04-02-2006, 01:55 PM
For the NBME self assessments click on the following link:

http://www.nbme.org/programs/sas/sas.asp

For those preparing for step 1, select the basic science component.

Banker794
04-16-2006, 10:57 AM
Have SMU students who have taken the USMLE found Goljian's audio to be helpful? Is it worth the time to listen to his audio, rd his path book and follow his HY notes?

Any feedback is appreciated....

Junito
04-16-2006, 01:06 PM
There is a thread that discusses this issue on the SMU study area subforum. Please post within that thread:

http://www.valuemd.com/st-matthews-study-area/96245-step-1-smu-related-questions.html

Banker794
06-21-2006, 03:34 PM
Just finished my exam...woooo

It was a tough exam. However, looking back I have no regrets about my studying habits and preperation so hopefully everything will work out. I simply put my best foot forward. Yet with that being said I still feel uneasy about the exam.

I attended the Maine campus so I was fortunate to learn a lot from my preceptor. In addition the physio reviews by the prof from UNE was certainly helpful. In addition ICM physical diagnosis definitely was worth some points on the exam.

- Q bank for 3 months
- First aid throughout the 5 semesters
- Study with classmates whenever possible
- Went to the pass program (Champagne)
- Listened to Goljian 1x

Guys, Ive said it many times before: study for knowledge not for exams b/c the test writer will always be able to change the questions on you. The concepts however can not be changed.

Well I hope my experience will in some way help another fellow student... best of luck to you all !

Now the agony of waiting 4-6 weeks for the results :cry:


PS juni can u make this a sticky

Banker794
07-02-2006, 06:51 AM
Anyone know how the oasis "trick" works?

spyyder
07-02-2006, 01:24 PM
Congrats on finishing. I hope you did well. :-)

manleyjb
07-02-2006, 02:09 PM
After your score has been reported (3rd Wednesday after exam) you can go to the ECFMG website and to Oasis and try to register for Step 1 again. If you are allowed to register apparently you failed, if you passed you will not be allowed to re-register (I believe a screen comes up that says "our records indicate you have already passed this exam"). This is just what I have heard in the past. I took my exam last Wednesday, so I believe that July 19th will be the day for me. Good Luck!!!

Banker794
07-19-2006, 04:34 PM
Been getting quite a few pm's asking how I studied at SMU for the boards.

Here is a copy of my reply

In terms of prep before the exam I tried to keep up with the work in every semester in school. I found most teachers to be very up to date as to what would be tested on the exam. If I didnt understand something I'd ask and made sure I learned it. Remember when you start reviewing for the USMLE it should be a review.

In terms of actual review I found Goljian Path to be very helpful. Kaplan Q bank is a must and so is First Aid. Also try to find a study partner to review the material and to fire questions back and forth. Don forget to do at least 25 questions a day starting from 4th semester and on to get a feel for how material is tested.

The exam is challanging but I guess thats the way its supposed to be. Walk in confident and believe in your preperation and of course yourself and hopefully you will be ok.

Good luck to you!

AmericanIMG
09-21-2006, 12:08 AM
Been getting quite a few pm's asking how I studied at SMU for the boards.

Here is a copy of my reply

In terms of prep before the exam I tried to keep up with the work in every semester in school. I found most teachers to be very up to date as to what would be tested on the exam. If I didnt understand something I'd ask and made sure I learned it. Remember when you start reviewing for the USMLE it should be a review.

In terms of actual review I found Goljian Path to be very helpful. Kaplan Q bank is a must and so is First Aid. Also try to find a study partner to review the material and to fire questions back and forth. Don forget to do at least 25 questions a day starting from 4th semester and on to get a feel for how material is tested.

The exam is challanging but I guess thats the way its supposed to be. Walk in confident and believe in your preperation and of course yourself and hopefully you will be ok.

Good luck to you!

excellent advice! i am sure that you passed if you did the things you have listed above, and possibly passed well.

my advice is geared more towards students who have hit sem5 and feel completely lost.
1) - BREATHE!!! you might feel overwhelmed and start to doubt yourself and your ability, but you made it to sem5 and that is an accomplishment.
2) - organize a schedule. map out every single day until your exam. write out what you want to go over every day. write out the hours you are going to spend doing what subject. write down what you are going to eat and when you are going to work out. write down when you are going to shower. i am serious. the more efficient, the better. its the down time, the time wasted watching grey's anatomy or chatting with your significant other that will cost you points.
3) - arrange time for each day to do 50 or so qbank questions. first just do them correlating to the subject that you are studying, then as you finish more subjects make them varied.
4) - that first aid is the KEY. your schedule should be devoted to FA about 80% of the time. if you are a student that is unfamiliar with first aid or isn't too good with the basics, thats ok. keep the internet close, and when you hit something you don't understand in FA just google.
5) - stay focused! give up your vices that you know will hurt you in your studying. remember every day adds more points to your step1 score. that night out drinking and the next day recovering? could be a 5-7 point drop.
6) - sacrifice sacrifice sacrifice!!! you really don't want to waste time and end up redoing all the studying. tell the GF she gets 30mins a day. don't answer other calls. pawn off ** time-wasting activities on other friends/families. tell your friends you have to focus, they will respect you for it in the end. shoot the dog. run over the cat. just kidding on those last two (even though i hate cats).
7) - plan to go over FA a few times IN DETAIL before the exam. the more you know the higher your score.
8) - with one month to go up your questions by 25 a week until you get to the exam. it will pay off big time to get used to sitting for so long and staring at a screen.
9) - get a hotel room for the night prior to the exam and shut off your phone and rest! i took my exam 3hrs from my house to get away from everyone and chill out.
10) - when you are done RELAX! its over man, you put in that work and you will reap what you sow!


my thoughts on a review course - they can be of great help if you don't have the fundamentals down well. sit with your First Aid. randomly flip open the book 3x and look on the pages. if what you are reading is gibberish then you should do a review course (PASS is great IMO). after the review course hit that first aid hard!

ok thats that, good luck all!

Knight007
07-27-2008, 01:43 PM
Hey Juni. ...

I was thinking...maybe the room temp was ok.... Red Bull made you feel hot?

lol..... just kidding...thanks for the great advice !







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