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).
- -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 ).
- 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
- 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