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

IMG USMLE Step 1 Experience

Step 1 score – 247 🙂


Hey guys…
I have learned a LOT from this group and so I’d love to be of any help to anyone in this journey.


The total duration of preparation was around 7 months (which includes many, many days where you just don’t feel like studying and end up taking unexpected long breaks, but we must remember that that’s ok, and our health and happiness should always be given prime importance)


Boards and beyond (BnB), First Aid, UWorld – These were my main resources…

At first, I watched all the videos of Boards and Beyond and simultaneously marked important points on its PDF version. It was absolutely amazing and it totally helped me understand most of the concepts needed for this exam.

After this, I started reading First Aid and would refer BnB pdf whenever I had any doubt. Then I started revising each system in FA followed by completing that particular system in UWorld.

After all this, the main thing is to REVISE, REVISE, and REVISE. Try to revise FA as much as possible (considering that you have already understood all the concepts in the book). There is no better way to increase your NBME scores.


I don’t remember the exact number/date, but this is how I went about it.

I did an old nbme early in my prep, while I had hardly finished anything, and I got around 200.

Then I did another one after my first complete read of FA… it was around 220s.

Then did another one after finishing most of UWorld and got around 230s.
After this, I would just sit and revise FA and my UWorld notes in FA… over and over again… and my score increased to 240s.

I gave NBME 19, 20, 21, 22… all were in the early 240s range. (All these were in the last month)

A few days before the exam I did the first 3 chapters of Pathoma, and Anatomy Shelf Notes.

UWSA1 – 256

Amboss free self-assessment – 248

Free 120 – 80%

USMLE sample test – 90% (I don’t know why this isn’t popular but its a free pdf with 3 blocks of sample questions available on the usmle website; ps – I did it 2 days before my exam and felt that it had a lot of questions from many of the NBMEs, so I’d suggest that you do it in the end)

UWorld first round – 78% (did only one round, and later did my wrong answers again)

I did not give the so-called ‘predictive’ NBME-18 or UWSA-2, for 2 reasons:

  1. I had decided to give my exam on a particular date no matter what so the scores on these wouldn’t have mattered,
  2. I did not want to make a ‘prediction’ which is not 100% true, rely on it, and later be upset if it doesn’t reach that particular score.

I think the best way to see if you’re prepared is to consistently get a score in the range you desire in a couple of NBMEs, and go for the exam.

cover image for aim_usmle Step 1 review

Personal Experiences

If I have bored you enough, you can stop reading here, but there are some things I’ve always wanted to share in this group and I’m going to do that now 😛

Firstly, I had awesome study partners! And each of them holds a very crucial part in my prep and I’m very grateful to each and every one of you ❤. You guys are The Best!

Secondly, I wanted to talk about how it really hurts to see the way various people interact. I feel like there are a lot of people who are really selfish when it comes to their preparation. Well it’s a competitive exam and you need to get ahead, that’s ok, but I personally believe that helping someone climb up along with you is much better than pushing them down while you go further.

There are a lot of people here, who are genuinely so selfless, and humble, and I really hope that at least a majority of the future doctors have this quality in them.

Thirdly, preparing for this exam can be emotionally very exhausting, the intensity of which will vary from person to person depending on their own personal scenarios. What we need to understand is that we should not let it take a toll on our mental or physical health. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all deserve to be happy, so don’t feel guilty when you don’t finish what you wanted to by the end of the day or by the end of the month, and instead watched a movie or spent time with friends or family. It’s OK! Try to keep yourself as happy as possible, and the exam becomes much lesser a burden.

Fourthly, Always surround yourself with positive people! There are many people out there waiting to tell you that this is a long and terrible journey, or that you are too late to begin your prep, or demotivate you in any way possible. Do Not listen to them. Nothing is impossible and we need to decide what thoughts we feed into our minds and what we don’t. This exam is all about being able to consistently keep yourself motivated to study, and that is difficult without a healthy mind, so be kind to yourself.

I also wanted to say that, the experiences shared in this group tend to give a false idea that high scores are the only ones worth sharing. I wish that was not the case. I feel that even passing the exam is a great achievement in itself and sharing your stories would motivate someone who has been finding it difficult to get a 200. So please do share more experiences. Because the majority of the people do not score a 250+.

Take-Home Message

Study thoroughly from limited resources rather than vaguely from multiple resources,

Be Kind to everyone around you and offer to help whenever you can in this journey,

Stay safe and stay home 😀

Sorry for ranting for so long but if it helps even one person that’s good enough for me 🙂

Wishing all of you all the best…



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