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  1. #1
    Anonymous is offline Unregistered Guest
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    Expert opinions of Meg on reaching Step 1 257/99 !

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    Expert opinions of Meg on reaching Step 1 257/99 !


    Phew!!! finally it is over!!!
    I gave step 1 today, finished just an hour back. It was not bad. Not too terrific, but not terrible either.
    Basically, I found my exam very similar to Kaplan online qbank and NMS qbank.

    I studied for about 5 and half months. The materials I used:-
    Kaplan notes
    First aid 2004 (the recent one is really good- I had used 2000 and 2003 but I found 2004 really stand out esp with HLA information, some additional concepts in physio, biochem(genetics), behavioral. If you already have an older FA, try getting the new one at some bookstore and add the new concepts into the book you already have )
    Step Up (by ***** Mehta)- real good system based approach. Great for neuro.
    BRS Patho, Physio, Behavioral, Cell bio
    NMS Genetics
    HY Anat, but Kaplan anat and FA anat are more than enough
    Online Kaplan qbank (I had few questions so much directly from it! I must say, take the current online version, it will help)
    NMS qbank (though the questions are tough, they help you understand key concepts)
    Goljan 100 pages (I got from a friend, real good)
    Goljan audio lectures (terrific one, he is a great teacher)

    I also did Blackwell online (blackwellmedstudent.com) score:81%, Kaplan simulated CD was 79%. Kaplan qbank I was getting about 75-78% initially. I will know how reflective they are of USMLE scores only after 4 weeks

    Though there are so many materials /books, finally, I had to use First Aid as the main book and added all extra concepts into it and used it and Step up finally for the last month.

    I want to thank alll the contributors of this forum (asmi, mjl1717, maty, yulia, mahendra, kalibonite, alice8 and so many others ) because I found a lot of questions similar to what we had discussed. One major recommendation I would give is to be active in the subjects-questions forums( I mean like anatomy, patho, behavioral etc..). It really helps in knowing what to focus on. And best of all, you will remember what you discuss.

    Thanks to all and wish you all the very best. Take lots of eats (esp bananas I took breaks after every block). Now I am mentally exhausted and am going to chill out and keep praying for the scores
    Take care all,

    meg





    I studied from Sept '03 to mid Feb'04(5 and half months). I felt the last 3 weeks was just a time pass, I mean I think probably 5 months is more than enough. You have adequate time, but it really depends on each person's way of studying. Some people can get 99 percentile with a few weeks , while some study for a year and get lesser. So just select a plan that suits your way of studying and STICK TO IT!
    I was all the time behind step 1 preparation, world revolved around it almost all the time. If I had the motivation to study, I would sit with a study book, else would come to the forum and try fishing answers for the so many questions that would be posted. BAsically , stay in the boat. Also I used to take sundays off. But the rest of the week was devoted to step 1.

    I have tried putting my best for step 1, so from my part, I am not feeling disappointed with the test, but you never know how the test will be graded but whatever score I get, I will take it and move on in life.

    all the best,
    meg



    Praise God!
    I got my score today. It was quite a joy to get it. It was 257/99
    I cannot tell you how much I have to thank all in this forum, esp the folks with whom I used to regularly study/share/discuss. Honestly guys, I got a lot of questions just similar to the ones we had discussed.

    Also I want to thank the authors and contributors to FA, Kaplan(notes and qbank), NMS, and last but never the least Dr. Goljan! And above all, God Almighty for His abundant love and Grace and guidance.

    Some advice to share set your mind and keep it set. Be disciplined. study as much as you can. If you have a choice between studying and playing, STUDY. Many like to know how to organise time. It totally depends on your schedule of things. But just to sketch a bit of how my days were during those preparation.... My day began at about 5:30 AM and ended 11PM. I made it a point to get at least 6 hours sleep as it helps us register in our memory the facts we learnt that day (Kaplan advice). Initially I started studying by sitting at my school library( I am doing masters). Then I studied more at home. I kept adjusting schedule according to whether I had classes that day or work, but basically my number 1 priority was to study. I was also determined and enjoyed being active on several usmle forums. If I was walking on the road(on the way to school or morning walk sometimes), then I would be listening to goljan audio( I bought an MP3 player just for this). If I were at home, I would be reading. If I am cooking, then I am listening to goljan audio or webprep audio. And also I had taken print outs of the exam experiences and advice mentioned by those who had scored in high 90s and would read them whenever I needed some encouragement or motivation. Basically, I think it helps to remain focussed and set the distractions behind your mind.
    all the best to all the others. Step 1 is not difficult as long as we remain on track.
    God bless you all,
    Meg



    ? Beh.Sc. & Cell Biology

    I did BRS, Kaplan and FA. That is one subject that really gets you how much ever you study! The best thing is to do is to do 3-4 times and just try your best.
    Some useful sites are:-
    http://eduserv.hscer.washington.edu/bioethics/
    http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/aap/aap-car/v...rm%20Disorders

    Q:

    Hi Meg
    you mentioned that you did kaplan, BRS books for phsyiology
    do you mean that whenever you read a chapter from kaplan you go to brs and read only the information that kaplan mentioned and which existed in BRS or you read all the BRS book ?
    i know that you added info from brs to kaplan ...but is it related to kaplan info only ?
    because i noticed that there are too many extra info in BRS which kaplan did not mention.
    regards

    ANS:

    hi UMASS,
    good question. I did Kaplan physio first. Then after a few weeks I got BRS physio from a library, and I read through it for important things and yes, you are right about some topics/facts that are in BRS and not in Kaplan.. for eg. the receptors there is a good list in BRS (but FA also has it), then the Cardiac output- Venous Return and Right Atrial Pressure curve, then the intercalated cells in renal, so what I did was add these to my little book that I carried. But I had found these topics being covered in online qbank, so kaplan is sort of upto date esp in qbank. A couple of days before exam, I went to Barnes and nobles and rushed through the concepts that I new were new in BRS.
    Basically keep your mind open and alert and realise if a concept is not there in a book you follow and be sure to add it to some book and refer it later. The more you sit with books, the better.

    ? Kaplan & other review books

    good question nadeshda, there are so many books and materials, it can be quite a challenge to merge all of them. I had kaplan notes and I had borrowed some books like BRS Patho. After reading kaplan notes patho, as I read BRS patho, when I found something new in brs, I added it to kaplan. I carried with me another small notebook into which I added any new concept I learnt, maybe through this forum or elsewhere. Then when I bought FA 2004, I read through it and then added to it whatever I knew kaplan had extra. But finally it is adding on to your brain. Concepts should start seeming familiar and known. Because on the day of exam we cannot take in any of the books!
    all the best.

    ?patho

    I had read all three but added brs to kaplan and then kaplan to FA and goljan separately towards the end I read a couple of times. Finally add everything to your memory. only that you can take into the exam center!
    All the best UMASS,
    Meg




    WEBFORUMS : for 100 pgs,36 pgs, CLASSIFIEDS
    usmle.net, usmleforum.com are some I know. You could try subscribing to some usmle yahoo groups as well.
    all the best,
    Meg

    IV vignettes are not mandatory or that important for step 1. Focussing on qbank is better.
    Dont forget FA 2004!!

    ? Genetics

    Hi ELM,
    for Genetics, Kaplan notes are the best. To help you understand some concepts and get more confidence in the subject, you could try any book from the libraries and do only the topics that Kaplan already has. For example the Hardy Weinberg, or the tranlocation , alternate and adjacent segregations etc. I used NMS genetics from the Inter library loan feature in my Masters school. I dont recommend buying a book, maybe you can use from some library or at some book store. Or best look up the topics on several websites. but Kaplan is the best.

    I know it is so difficult to trust people over classifieds. So I suggest that you take their phone number and address as you interact and call them and once you have peace about them, go ahead and buy, done hesitate to trust. Goljan has several books for step 1, or you might want to attend his live teaching sessions(I am not sure how to register.. look it up online).
    All the best,
    Meg

    Q :

    hi meg,
    really nice of u to keep answering everybodys doubts even now.
    am giving my exam on the 30 this month
    just doing up with my last part of q bank
    will then later review the topics for 15 days then exam
    i am confused u know
    if u cld just encourage me
    am doing q bank subjectwise,that way i think ill review better
    is it ok?
    am scoring around 88-68 with average of 72-73%
    is it usually ok enough for that score i want to get above 90 atleast
    i tried my best&trying too,but some tests just too tough dont score well
    was planing on doing my simulated&balckwell some 5 days before exam is it ok?any other tips,about dealing with the exam day
    &how to go through the blocks
    i just need lil motivation
    know u have been helping alot
    pls help me too,besides i need serious prayers
    i tried my best had lil 3 mths only to give for this exam now just going to give it,pls pray

    Ans :

    Hi liby,
    I think you are doing very fine at qbank. You have potential to get in 90s for sure. Just keep doing the qbank and review the answers(explanations real well). The simulated and blackwell are good ideas and do them. The last few days(maybe 4-5 days) before exam, I suggest you slow down. I remember I was aversive to questions. I was really saying 'NO' to any more MCQs, all I wanted was just get over with the exam, infact I was half the mind to advance the date, but resisted finally. My original plan was to stop doing anything on the day before exam, but even like 4 days before exam, I started slowing down and just looked up some topics here and there in FA. Also make a list of 'have to see the night before exam' topics, like the viruses( postive, negative , enveloped etc), oncogenes list from Kaplan notes, any others you get easily confused. I looked them up the night before exam. Dont forget to get goodies to eat on that day, take a lunch that you enjoy. I found bananas easy to eat and quick to give energy after every block, take restroom breaks after every block (some say do two blocks and then take break), but I feel taking a break after every block is the best. When you do the simulated exams, you will be able to discern which is better for you. Dont forget to pack your orange permit and valid ID. And start cheering up more often during the last week, keep your spirit light hearted. Avoid quarrels and physical exertion. Get a good sleep. I took 7 hours of sleep the night before exam. That was a regular habit since I started step 1 preparation.
    All the best liby,
    let us know how your exam went,
    Meg

    ? Neuro Anat , Embryo

    Rida,
    from my experience, whatever is in FA is the most important ones for Neuro and Embryo, but if you want you can give a reading of the Neuro and embryo in Kaplan notes. But knowing FA is the safest ground.
    all the best,
    Meg

    ? No Kaplan

    Hi ELM,
    all the Kaplan books are important and useful to do. You can do without them too if you are doing some other books, whatever material you have do it well and cover all subjects whether you do Kaplan or not.
    all the best,
    Meg

    ? Goljan Audio

    Hi salehhero,
    the Goljan audio is not available on Amazon or other booksellers, one of my friends had got it from some classifieds (usmle.net, usmleforum.com,others). It is apparently recorded from his live teaching sessions. He is a terrific teacher and I think about 40 hours teaching I had. It is excellent for preparation. I advice you to go for it.
    All the best,
    Meg





    Q:

    Hello meg ,
    What do you think about these resources ?

    FA
    Kaplan Lecture Notes
    BRS Path
    Lipincott Pharm
    BSS Beh Sciences
    HY Neuroanatomy
    Kaplan Q-Bank
    Kaplan Audio Cd

    ARE THESE SOURCES ENOUGH ? IS IT NECSSARY TO USE GOLJAN AUDIO?

    ANS:

    Hi salehhero,
    I think your resources are excellent and adequate. I would advise Goljan audio, he gives a great approach and will help you integrate all these books.
    All the best,
    Meg

    Q:

    hi meg,
    congratulations for ur great score.i would want to know whether it is really worth hearing goljan audio because i did patho from kaplan and brs.is general pathology really high yield which is better for that kaplan or brs .i personally think kaplan is better.i have only one month left .
    could u please guide regarding pathology .i aim in 90s
    thankyou

    ANS:

    Since you are aiming for 90s, I think you should listen to Goljan. I think it was about 40 hours of teaching and very interesting, he will put all that you learnt from Kaplan together and will simplify everything. I think it is worth it.
    all the best,
    Meg

  2. #2
    elcubano is offline Junior Member
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    hi

    how straightforward were your questions?
    thanks!

  3. #3
    p_a_c_e_a_g_e is offline Newbie 510 points
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    hello
    how did yu manage masters n residency both u find adequate time to prepare for the exams pz tell what must be the target in online kaplan q bank ini i had4 weeks left

  4. #4
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    IMG SURVIVOR is offline Moderator 536 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by p_a_c_e_a_g_e View Post
    hello
    how did yu manage masters n residency both u find adequate time to prepare for the exams pz tell what must be the target in online kaplan q bank ini i had4 weeks left
    I do not think she will reply, because it is a post from 2004 and the member have not been log in for a wile.
    But if you have some specific questions shoot, I will try to help you
    Moderator: USMLE AND Residency Forums.

    Hidden Content
    why even bother with the obvious. Just know where you are need it and where you can help the most.

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