Step 1 Preparation and Experience

Step 1 248 Prep and Exam Experience – Dr. Ayman Khaled

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. الحمد لله رب العالمين. والصلاة والسلام على إمام المجاهدين ورحمة الله للعالمين وعلى آله وصحبه. والسلام علينا وعلى عباد الله الصالحين.

And heeeeeeeere we go 😄

  • It’s Ayman Khaled, a 5th-year med. student at Alazhar university, faculty of medicine in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Started studying for Step 1 USMLE in August 2018 and took the exam on October 9th, 2019 (studied during my 4th year of med school).

Sources used

  • -Boards and Beyond videos (MAJOR) ❤️❤️❤️
  • -First aid ❤️❤️❤️
  • -UW qbank
  • -Amboss qbank
  • -Rx qbank
  • -Kaplan qbank (most of it)
  • -First aid qbook (sucks)
  • -Lightyear Anki deck for selected subjects (magic)
  • -Anatomy shelf notes (THE anatomy book to study for step 1)
  • -Goljan audios ❤️
  • -Pathoma videos ❤️
  • -Doctors in training videos


My major sources for my 1st (most important) phase of studying were BnB, FA, and UW.

System X BnB vids –> FA –> pathoma vids & Goljan audios –>UW Qs.

This took me about 6 months to get thro the whole thing.

Around the middle of this stage I started doing 20 random Qs daily of Kaplan qbank.

•••••Then I took 1 month to get thro FA with DIT vids and one week to do the Rx qbank (7 blocks a day) = 84% and gave my first self-assessment on April 1st. UWSA1 = 264 BOOM 🤯, refresh!! still 264. Although they said UWSA1 overpredicts this was one of the happiest moments of my life, I booked the exam at this time.

•••••Then I had to, almost completely, pause studying for about 3 months to study for my faculty exams which went well الحمد لله. During this period I managed to do hematology, immunology, pathology, behavioral sciences and psychiatry sections of the Lightyear Anki deck which I didn’t like at first but man! it works, although the exam is not “that much” memory-testing, memorization, definitely, helps a lot and adds confidence.

•••••Now, I’m three months ahead from the day, I started by revising FA one good time in a month and had to pause studying for about 20 days.About 1.5 months away from the exam day, I took nbme23 = 234 OUCH!! refresh! doesn’t work. I wasn’t that sad coz I KNEW I am better than that but the problem was time management.Did Amboss qbank in 15 days = 82% with some FA then took nbme 21=259.Subscribed for one month (the month before the exam) of UW = 92%.nbme18 = 259 (3 week away)nbme20 = 257 (2 weeks away)UWSA2 = 262 (1 week away)Free120 = 92% (3 days away)Exam day: wasn’t my best day or week neither mentally nor physically الحمد لله, the exam was DOABLE just like doing any new nbme or UW block. I didn’t manage time very well (didn’t learn from my biggest mistake 😃).

Step 1 Performance Report of Dr. Khaled

Random thoughts

  • Routine is the key to achieving progress in such a long journey, it’s a marathon not a sprint. أحب الأعمال إلى الله أدومها وإن قلّ
  • Make your own mind, most people follow the trend, don’t do that. I tried almost everything and choose what fit me best.
  • My favorite way of studying was solving and reading through Qbanks. Somedays, I would study for 12 hours a day without getting bored. Did over 10k Qs.
  • Most note-taking is a waste of time.
  • I had no single equation on the exam but I was asked what equations (eg; sensitivity or odds ratio) mean, this tells you what this exam is really testing.
  • Doing any new qbank is better than repeating any.
  • IQ matters But hard work matters much more.
  • Strong base from medical school helps.
  • Only those who seek shall find.
  • a وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Special thanks

  • To Allah الحمد لله الذي هدانا لهذا وما كنا لنهتدي لولا أن هدانا الله .
  • To my parents all day long.
  • To Dr. Jason Ryan to whom I owe most of this.
  • To first aid team, I can’t even imagine preparation without FA.
  • To the people who always said nice words that did matter a lot, namely, Kadera, Shtya, Esraa, Gehad, and more.
  • To Moneeb who told me what USMLE is and more.
  • To Mostafa Alaa who made long distances short during applying to the exam and more.
  • To every friend and family for being supportive and believing, I am so so lucky and grateful to have you all.
  • To everyone who have shared their experience.


  • To My grandfather الحاج عاطف who is very happy for me right now.
  • To the free heroes of this time and every time everywhere in the world.

I hope someone finds this helpful.I wrote this in like half an hour so I expect to add moreand I would be glad to answer any questions.


Dr. Ayman Khaled

Other Article from this Author

One reply on “Step 1 248 Prep and Exam Experience – Dr. Ayman Khaled”

Leave a Reply