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

IMG Step 1 Experience by Dr. Sai Vikram

Hey guys, got my score 2 days back. So I thought I would post my experience.

Exam date: November 22, 2017

Result date December 13, 2017

Score: 262


Study materials
lecture notes 2017 edition,
videos 2015 for pathology, micro and immunology, biostatistics and behavioral sciences, anatomy 2010 for Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Physiology, and pathology.
First aid 2017 edition

Study duration
Total 7 months Study time 8 – 10 hrs per day

Study pattern
📙 I started with Kaplan lectures and videos. I took me 3 months to finish them. I spent a lot of time trying to memorize them. Looking back I think I should have spent less time on Kaplan and started Uworld and Fa. Kaplan is very low yield. But for those who have forgotten their basic sciences like me, it is a good source to refresh your memory.

📙 I began my first read of First Aid. It was very slow. I was only doing 20 pages per day. I annotated it with information from kaplan during this time. I also Googled some things which were not in kaplan.

📙 I made sure i was thorough in my read.

📙 Then I subscribed to Uworld for 2 months and started doing it in timed random mode. I started annotating new information from Uworld onto first aid. I also used to study the corresponding topic in FA for each question. I also made notes of never heard before information separately in a notebook. It was pretty slow to begin with. I could do only one block per day. Later as materials started to get repeated i picked up speed and did 2 blocks per day. Completed Uworld in 40 days. Had 85% in Uworld after first pass.

📙 Took nbme 15 online-255(one month before exam).

📙 Since I didn’t have much time left for the exam, I did the marked and wrong questions alone. Then I did a second revision of fa. This took me 20days.

📙 Then i took both uwsa back to back to stimulate the exam conditions.

📙 Uwsa 1 & 2 (10 days before exam) – 273 & 271. I was aiming for 260+, so was satisfied with the scores.

📙 Then i took other nbmes on alternate days before the exam and also did my third revision of fa along with Uworld notes and tables.

Nbme-12 offline 16 mistakes(8 days before)
Nbme-13 offline 12 mistakes(6 days before)
Nbme-17 offline 6 mistakes (4 days before)
Nbme-18 online 2 days before exam – 267

Day before the exam

I didn’t read much. I was very nervous. Roamed around the house to make me tired. Slept at 10 and woke up 5.30 AM (I had been sleeping at 10 PM for the past one week to help me get acclimatized to the early sleeping time)

On the day of exam

I made sure i had all the necessary documents and went to prometric center. Everything that happened there was like blur to me. Checked my ear phones and skipped the tutorial. Many questions were similar to the ones from NBMES. I took 10mins break after the first two blocks and 30 minute break after the next 2 blocks and another 10 minutes after next 2 blocks. I had 10 minutes at the end of each block which I used to review the marked questions (there were 7 to 8 per block)

Looking back i think i should done

The other NBMEs too and used them as a learning tool.


Start your UWorld after you are done once with the FA. This will help you utilize UWorld much better. And never do offline UWorld.
I was initially afraid as i dint do Pathoma or Gojlan for pathology. But the newer Kaplan pathology is very much updated and Baroune with his quirky mnemonics helped me grasp the concepts.
Revise fa as much as possible. >80 % of the material on the exam is from FA.
Hope that this post will be helpful to others in this group.


Dr. Sai Vikram

🌿 Acknowledgement

Article published with permission from the author.

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