Exam Preparation and Experience Step 1 Preparation and Experience USMLE Preparation and Experience

Advice for USMLE Step 1 – Dr. Masum Rahman

I am a graduate from Bangladesh.

Target : 240 plus Actual score: 242Preparation time: a dedicated study from November 2016 to July 2017.

But had pre-exposure with Goljan, Kaplan, and medical textbooks like Guyton, Robbins pathology, Davidson, etc from 3rd yr of medical school. Reading textbooks helped me a lot I think, but it is not mandatory – KAPLAN is more than enough for basic conception.


Materials used
Kaplan video plus texts for all subjects except patho (for patho, I used Pathoma videos plus text),
100 cases of ethics,
BRS Physiology,
UWORLD offline once, UWORLD online once,

USMLE Step 1 advice - repetition is the key

NBME & UW scores

Did 5 NBMEs

NBME 16: 228
NBME 17: 225
NBME 15: 232
NBME 18: 242
NBME 19: 234
UWSA 1: 247
UWSA 2: 245

Exam day
I didn’t feel any anxiety, it helped me a lot
Questions pattern were more like UW
Some questions were very confusing
I ANSWERED most of the questions by the exclusion method
there were CT scans, ECGs, heart sounds and lots of pictures and up crease down crease questions
I think the questions were very straightforward and doable in Anatomy, Micro, and Pharma.
I felt some difficulties due to the memorization problem, especially in pharma and micro.
Understanding the question SCENARIO is very much important, UW can help you in this, all questions had clues, but you have to identify them wisely I think.
I skipped some tough questions very quickly that’s why I could invest those extra time on other questions.
Breaks: first 3 blocks in a row > break > 2 blocks > break >1 block > break > last block


Mistakes I should have avoided

Advice for USMLE Step 1

  • I did not complete UW online, around 200 questions were left before I appeared for the exam
  • I did not review all wrong UW online questions
  • I did not read or search the explanations of NBME questions even NBME 18 or 19
  • I did not read UWSA questions with explanations
  • I did not review Pathoma prior to the exam
Cover image for USMLE Step 1 advice

My recommendations for future test takers

  • Do Kaplan videos and text if you think you have basic concept deficiency
  • Must do Pathoma videos plus text again and again
  • Emphasize enough on UW, invest at least 70% time of your preparation on reading the explanations
  • Don’t be panic with FA, you’ll always feel like your preparation is not complete, you are forgetting all the stuffs
  • Don’t read the FA alone, do it with UW.
  • don’t overthink anything, UW concepts are more than enough, so many questions can be made from the explanations, but you don’t have to learn more than what is described in UW
  • limit your resources so that you can invest more time on UW which is required.
  • We have to understand and also review it again and again, in a word repetition is the key.

In Sha Allah, everyone will do good.


Dr. Masum Rahman

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