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  1. #1
    Stand-Offish is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    STEP 1 and 6th Semester

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    What's the maximum number of time one can take off after 5th semester to study for STEP 1 without having to wait around for 6th semester?

    I plan on finishing 5th at the end of December of this year, and I think I'm going to take off 6 months to study. Will I be able to start 6th in July, or do I have to wait for September?

    If this rotation schedule is similar to the basic sciences (starts every 4 months) then I would like to start 6th in May '10. If this is the case, how soon before the start of the semester should I schedule my STEP 1 exam date?

    I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before. I used the search feature rigorously, and didn't find anything.

  2. #2
    Fornis J. Plebney is offline Senior Member 525 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stand-Offish View Post
    What's the maximum number of time one can take off after 5th semester to study for STEP 1 without having to wait around for 6th semester?

    I plan on finishing 5th at the end of December of this year, and I think I'm going to take off 6 months to study. Will I be able to start 6th in July, or do I have to wait for September?

    If this rotation schedule is similar to the basic sciences (starts every 4 months) then I would like to start 6th in May '10. If this is the case, how soon before the start of the semester should I schedule my STEP 1 exam date?

    I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before. I used the search feature rigorously, and didn't find anything.
    This is from page 11 of the Jan 09 handbook (but take it with a grain of salt since the Admin has already deviated from handbook regarding the required Comp score...but I digress):

    "A student normally takes Step 1 after completing and passing the fifth semester and receiving a score of 60 (January, 2009 policy) on the NBME Comprehensive Shelf examination; thus, the scheduled test must normally be after completion of fifth semester. In order to accomodate that policy, a student must submit the USMLE application with a window of eligibility to start as soon as possible after successful completion of fifth semester. The window of eligibility is a three (3) month period. For example, if the fifth semester ends in August, the three month window of eligibility is August through October."

    (When looking at that 3 month window, don't forget that it takes around 5 weeks from start to finish to apply for and get approval to take the USMLE from ECFMG....and that is if everything flows smoothly. I submitted my initial application online on 20 Jan and got my testing authorization on 19 Feb. Allow time for AUA to receive / process / mail your paperwork to ECFMG and allow time to get any previous med school transcripts sent to AUA if you transferred in. ECFMG won't complete the processing of your application without all the documents in hand. If you passed the Comp on Antigua, you can do all of this during fifth semester. If you didn't pass the Comp, you have to wait until you get a passing score before AUA will certify you and forward your paperwork to ECFMG).

    Again, according to page 11 of the Jan 09 handbook, you can be scheduled for clinical rotation while waiting for your USLME score provided there are restrictions in a given state/hospital/etc:

    "While waiting for Step 1 results, a student is permitted to perform up to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks of clinical rotation(s) unless a restriction exist."

    I think you're pretty much done with the traditional semester system after fifth semester ends. You just do your clinicals when and where you can get them and you'll likely have some down time btw clinicals (due to travel time, scheduling, etc). Not sure how loans work, but I'm guessing you get a new semester of loans after completing 16 weeks or so worth of clinicals (the equivalent of a semester worth of work). Upperclassmen already in clinicals can shed more light on this.
    Last edited by Fornis J. Plebney; 03-03-2009 at 07:37 PM.

  3. #3
    dnth8mecuzuaintme is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    from my experience 6 months is a longggg time to study for step1.. make sure you dont overdue it.. i think after 6 months you forget how to be a student and everything u mightve learned on the island has leaked out and now you only know kaplan/goljan/pass stuff you just went over.. but either way.. like everyone else says.. first aid and usmle world will get u where u need to be..

    from my understanding of how the system works.. rotations can start anytime.. since we have a variety of sites and each site has a variety of rotations available.. the start dates are per hospital availability and not necessary divided by semesters.. 6th 7th 8th semester etc etc is just for tuition purposes so the school knows to charge you for 12-14ish weeks of rotations..

    6 months from the end of december is june.. 3-6 weeks for scores to come back.. puts u well into july possibly just waiting for scores.. make sure you have the req health/bloodwork and certifications out of the way while u wait for ur scores.. that way u fax everything in once the scores finally arrive..

    if ur talking about december 2009.. meaning u plan on taking step1 june 2010 then you have a relatively decent amount of time between rotations and for step 2 to make 2012 match.. clinical coordinators usually will give you what you need to match ontime.. most of these people complaining on wait times just missed match by waiting too long to sit for step1.. thats why they get leftover rotations from people on track..


    hollah

  4. #4
    continental05 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    6th semester starts when you get your paperwork in (passing step 1 score report + physical, background check, etc.). After 5th, "semesters" arent really structured. You may do a 4 week elective, and if spots are full, you wont continue your "semester" until a spot opens. Completion of a semester is 15 weeks. When you do your 15 weeks, AUA sends your next semester's bill, and that's how you know you are in a new semester.

    In terms of taking 6 months for your step, thats not too long. I took around 4 months after my step, and I thought it was adequate time. I didn't think it was too short or too long. If I had to guess what percentage of students from my class finished the step in less than 5 months after 5th semester (with a passing score), I'd guess about 25%.

  5. #5
    aechev is offline Member 510 points
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    You have 6mths to pass step 1 after you complete 5th semester with a passing comp. shelf score. This is in the student handbook and also on the LOA form you filled out in 5th semester.
    Graduated 2010
    Matched Surgery Categorical- University of Arizona

  6. #6
    brep786 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    You have one year!

    OK everyone, this is the TRUE deal. You have ONE YEAR to hand in a passing score once you are eligible to take Step 1.

    That means that if you passed comp shelf before you finished 5th - then one year from the month you end 5th.

    If you have to take comp again after 5th, then once you pass comp - ONE year from that.

    HOWEVER...the first attempt MUST be made within 6 months from the time you eligible. This way, you have atleast 2 chances just in case.

    Here's the proof: (from AUA)

    A student must sit for Step 1 for the first time within six (6) months of eligibility. Furthermore, a student must pass the USMLE Step 1 in no more than three (3) attempts within one (1) calendar year of becoming eligible to do so.

  7. #7
    brep786 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    dont rush

    ALSO...

    Dont sit there and ESTIMATE how long you need to prepare for step. It is only once you begin the grueling regiment of preparing for step you see how much you know and how much there is to learn.

    We dont know truly how much info we missed in Antigua until we start doing practice questions and get familiar with the range of material required to excel on the boards.

    So my advice... start studying ASAP (5th semester) and once you start running through subject...you'll have an idea of how much time you need.

  8. #8
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    zkhan is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    i took 7 months to prep, but i was hitting mid to high 90s a month before my exam on my assessments and i didn't feel comfortable of taking the step until i was hitting this mark. To make a long story short it paid out in the long run...took me some time but the result is what mattered in the end.

    I know a bunch of people who felt pressured to take the exam in 4 months and got lower scores then they wanted or failed because they felt they had to take it within in 6 months or even 4 months. Learn the material and be prepared correctly. The competition is so high in our proffession, that to have a good chance of getting matched or pre matched you got to pass on first attempt and should be looking at 85 or higher. Rushing gets you know where...take the time to get your stuff down right

    to restate what has been said on this thread... You have 6 months of academic leave, if you have not taken the exam or god forbid failed the exam within this time frame, you have within a year from passing comp or completing fifth semester to take step, pass and turn in your score. If you take step 1 in the 11th month and get your results after the 12th month even if a day late you will be removed as a student and must reapply..so remphasis on that you must take, pass and turn in your score within a year of passing comp or completing 5th semester depending on your situation. hope that clarifies the time frame and what is required of you all looking to take step soon.

    - Z
    "Opportunity Never Ends"

  9. #9
    Agraphia is offline Permanently Banned 512 points
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    So if I passed the comp on the island in august of 2008, before 5th semester, then I have to take the exam by august 2008? thanks

  10. #10
    brep786 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agraphia View Post
    So if I passed the comp on the island in august of 2008, before 5th semester, then I have to take the exam by august 2008? thanks

    No. If you passed in Aug 08 (Med 4), then you Med 5 ends in December. So you have until Dec 09 to hand in a passing score. And you have until June 09 to take it your first time.

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