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USMLE Step 1 Overview

Step 1 assesses whether you understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine, with special emphasis on principles and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and modes of therapy. Step 1 ensures m

astery of not only the sciences that provide a foundation for the safe and competent practice of medicine in the present, but also the scie

ntific principles required for maintenance of competence through lifelong learning. Step 1 is constructed according to an integrated content outline that organizes basic science material along two dimensions: system and process.


Content Description


Step 1 consists of multiple-choice questions prepared by examination committees composed of faculty members, teachers, investigators, and clinicians with recognized prominence in their respective fields. Committee members are selected to provide broad representation from the academic, practice, and licensing communities across the United States and Canada. The test is designed to measure basic science knowledge. Some questions test the examinee’s fund of information per se, but the majority of questions require the examinee to interpret graphic and tabular material, to identify gross and microscopic pathologic and no

rmal specimens, and to solve problems through application of basic science principles.

Step 1 is constructed from an integrated content outline that organizes basic science content according to general principles and individual organ systems. Test questions are classified in one of these major areas depending on whether they focus on concepts and principles that are important across organ systems or within individual organ systems.


Sections focusing on individual organ systems are subdivided according to normal and abnormal processes, principles of therapy, and psychosocial, cultural, and environmental considerations. Each examination covers content related to the traditionally defined disciplines of anatomy, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiol

ogy, as well as to interdisciplinary areas including genetics, aging, immunology, nutrition, and molecular and cell biology. While n

ot all topics listed in the content outline are included in every examination, overall content coverage is comparable in the various examination forms that will be taken by different examinees.

The Step 1 content outline describes the scope of the examination in detail but is not intended as a curriculum development or study guide. It provides a flexible structure for test construction that can readily accommodate new topics, emerging content domains, and shifts in emphasis. The categorizations and content coverage are subject to change. Broadly based learning that establishes a strong general understanding of concepts and principles in the basic sciences is the best preparation for the examination.


Test Question Formats

The questions are prepared by examination committees composed of faculty members, teachers, investigators, and clinicians with recognized prominence in their respective fields. Committee members are selected to provide broad representation from the academic, practice, and licensing communities across the United States and Canada.Step 1 consists of multiple choice questions with only one best answer. Each question

will be structured with a statement or question followed by three to eleven response options, each labeled with a letter (e.g: A, B, C, D, E) and arranged logically or alphabetically. Some response options will be partially correct, but only one option will be the best and correct answer. A portion of these questions will also involve the interpretaion of graphs and images.

Strategies for Answering the Test Questions

    • Read each question carefully. It is important to understand what is being asked.
  • Try to generate an answer and then look for it in the option list.
  • Alternatively, read each option carefully, eliminating those that are clearly incorrect.
  • Of the remaining options, select the one that is most correct.
  • If unsure about an answer, it is better to guess since unanswered questions are automatically counted as wrong answers.


Example Question

A 32-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus has had progressive renal failure over the past 2 years. She has not yet started dialysis. Examination shows no abnormalities. Her hemoglobin concentration is 9 g/dL, hematocrit is 28%, and mea

n corpuscular volume is 94 m3. A blood smear shows normochromic, normocytic cells. Which of the following is the most likely cause?

  • Acute blood loss
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Erythrocyte enzyme deficiency
  • Erythropoietin deficiency
  • Immunohemolysis
  • Microangiopathic hemolysis
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Sideroblastic anemia
  • b-Thalassemia trait

(Answer: D)


Sequential Item Sets

A single patient-centered vignette may be associated with two or three consecutive questions about the information presented. Each question is linked to the initial patient vignette but is testing a different point. Questions are designed to be answered in sequential order. You are required to select the one best answer to each question. Other options may be partially correct, but there is only ONE BEST answer. You must click “Proceed to Next Item” to view the next item in the set; once you click on this button, you will not be able to add or change an answer to the displayed (previous) item.

How to pass Step 1 in 54 days

[twitter_follow username=”medicalce” language=”en”] Hello everyone,

I’d like to share my experience of passing Step 1 in September 2011 at my first attempt, after 54 days of revision. This may not be useful for many of you, as my sole aim was to pass the exam as I have already secured a subspecialty clinical fellowship in ophthalmology in the USA. I did not need a high score.



You may have already read my thread in this forum about passing Step 2 CS after 17 days of revision ( For those who haven’t, I am a board certified ophthalmologist in the U.K. I went to medical school in the UK, and graduated 11 years ago. I am of Asian origin and grew up in Asia. I have not done any general medicine or surgery for 10 years – only ophthalmology. I am taking the USMLEs for the reason I have highlighted in the first paragraph.



I took Step 2 CS in June 2011 and passed. I am due to take Step 2 CK shortly.



I was originally scheduled to take Step 1 just under six weeks following Step 2 CS. This was a very short period of time for the number of subjects that needed to be covered. I used the following RESOURCES:

  1. First Aid for Step 1 (2011 edition)
  2. USMLE World Qbank (2 months subscription)
  3. NBME self-assessment number 5

As I was short for time, I was forced to limit the number of books I used to just 1. I needed to be extremely focused and targeted with my revision. I agree with other forum posts about using more books for a higher score and if you have more time.




1. Days 1-37

As it’s been so many years since I did any general basic science work, I decided to revise by organ systems as this generally makes more sense to me as a practising clinician (even though I’m an ophthalmologist and not an internist or general surgeon).


Starting with the cardiovascular system in First Aid, I’d read through a chapter once (1/2 to 1 day), and then did the USMLE World Qbank questions on that system only. It was difficult trying to understand a lot of the First Aid information, as it is heavily summarised and assumes you already have an understanding of the topic from reading of other/larger texts. I took in as much as I could, and the Qbank is extremely helpful in filling in the missing links and with providing detailed explanation (e.g. of biochem pathways, etc etc). I then moved on to the next system. I would spend 3 to 5 days on each system in total. For each system, if there was a Qbank question relating to a basic science topic not covered within the …High Yield Organ Systems” topic, I’d take that opportunity to assimilate the relevant pages within the basic science …High Yield General Principles” in First Aid (e.g. embryology, microbiology, etc).


With regards to the Qbank, I used …tutor” mode only. In total, I did 1750 out of the available 2080-2100 USMLE World Qbank questions. I had the intention to go through all the questions twice, but I didn’t manage to even finish it once.


On average, I spent about 9 hours studying per day (more or less on some days as I was also doing some unrelated lab research at the time)


2. Day 38:

This was 2 days before I was originally scheduled to take Step 1. I did not feel ready, particularly as I still hadn’t revised and done the Qbanks for neurology, reproductive medicine, haematology, psychiatry and dermatology. To be certain, I took the NBME Comprehensive Basic Science Self-Assessment Form number 5. I got a score of 270, which is equivalent to a USMLE Step 1 score of 168, i.e. a fail! I decided to postpone Step 1 by 2 weeks.


3. Days 39-47:

I revised the rest of the topics I hadn’t covered as listed above.


4. Days 48-53:

I read through most of First Aid for the second time – most the Organ Systems chapters, and some of the High Yield General Principles (basic science) chapters.

I would recommend giving yourself at least 2 days more than I had done (I ran out of time) to read through First Aid again – I had to skim through some sections quicker and less thorough than I would’ve liked (e.g microbiology), and did not read some chapters again at all (e.g. embryology, psychiatry)


5. Day 54:

I read through Rapid Review and High Yield Images (in First Aid). This was very useful. This was my first time reading the Rapid Review section, and I wish I had done it once previously.


6. Breaks:

I took 3 full days off completely in those 54 days – days 6, 12 and 32.




I took Step 1 in August 2011.

This was undoubtedly the most unprepared I had ever been for an exam. I thought the questions were as tough as, if not tougher than the USMLE World Qbank. I managed to just about finish answering all questions in each of the 7 one hour blocks. However, for 2 or 3 of the blocks, I did not have time to go over any of the questions I had ‘marked’ for my own review. Time was extremely tight, and I wish I had practised a few timed blocks in USMLE World – the only one I had done was the NBME self assessment (which I failed 2 weeks prior).

This was an absolutely brutal exam, largely because I should’ve been better prepared. There were many questions with which I had absolutely no idea, and just had to guess. After the exam, I was certain I had failed and thus began planning towards to a re-sit.

To my delight and surprise, I passed Step 1 last week!



Step 1 is an extremely tough exam for those of us who’ve been out of medical school for a few years. However, it’s not rocket science. It simply requires a dedicated amount of time to acquire and retain the knowledge. The syllabus for Step 1 is clear, and there are ample resources. You need to streamline your resources based upon the score you’re aiming for. If your aim is simply to pass, then I am certain the limited resources and plan I used described above will suffice. If however, your plan is to get a high score (as would be the case for most of you), then you need to read around the subject more, add notes to First Aid and revise through that, and do more questions.

I hope everyone who’s about to embark upon Step 1 can glean something useful from my experience. Specifically, regardless of what score you are aiming towards, you can at least be confident of pass with less than 2 months of solid and very focused studying. You can then extrapolate how much extra time you’d need to get a high score.

Good luck![related_posts]

USMLE Step 1 Complete Guide


USMLE Step 1 Complete Guideusmle step 1


Step 1 – Studying:


I often get asked about how I prepared myself for Step1 of the USMLE test. What I usually say in response is that it is crucial that you have a particular score in mind before you begin studying. Personally, I was aiming for a score at least above the national mean. Even if I’m not American, I was educated in an American medical school and I’m well aware of how competitive things tend to get when it comes to the USMLE score.


I have to warn you right here and now that I’m not a professional advisor who will lay before you all the tips and tricks required to ace the USMLE Step 1 test. I’m merely here to relay my personal experience, which may hopefully be of some benefit to future candidates.


For all medical students out there, if you’re planning on taking Step 1 at any time in the future, my advice to you would be to work as hard as you can while you’re still a student. Step 1 is not the sort of test that assesses your ability to memorize vast amounts of information but it simply aims at assessing how well you understand what you’ve learnt.

There’s a lot of information to digest but with adequate preparation, you’ll find yourself sailing smoothly through the test questions. Information you need to know includes disease mechanisms and pathophysiologies as well as different clinical and laboratory findings that sometimes may be the only key to solving some of the trickier test questions.


However, you must always keep in mind that not all medial students are created equal. Meaning that what works for one USMLE candidate may not work for another. I personally started to study about four weeks before the exam at an average rate of about eight hours a day. I had my ups and downs, of course and some days were better than others. This worked out nicely for me and I’m just your run-of-the-mill medical student and not some braniac at work. Overall, I found that the following resources worked the best for me:


  1. First Aid for Step 1: A great book full of high-yield goodies to help you get through the test. However, take care because it’s rather abbreviated and while it can help you, it can’t carry you through the test all on its own. I made up for its shortcomings by adding my own notes while studying for some of the core-subjects in Step 1 during medical school (pharmacology, pathology, immunology, etc). So when the time came to actually prepare for Step 1, most of the deficiencies of First Aid were made up for by my own notes. I only revisited the book when needed and spent the precious last few days before the exam burning as many bits of information as possible into my mind.


  1. Robbins Review of Pathology Question Book: To make a long story short, this is not an easy question book. The questions are actually harder than the ones you’re faced with during the test. However, the question structure and the approach required for correct problem solving are similar to of the actual test. A high-yield book that focuses on the heavily tested subjects of Pathology and Pathophysiology.



  1. BRS Pathology: One of my favorite books. It’s suitable for use along with your pathology course in medical school. It covers everything but questions are a bit on the easy side.


  1. BRS Physiology: A great book to sum up all you should know about disease mechanisms and pathophysiologies, which you should have a thorough understanding of before sitting for the Step 1 test. I personally remember being caught up between quite a few ‘up/down’ arrow questions in everything ranging from basic endocrinology to aspects of acid-base balance.

You must also realize that Step 1 will throw at you a variety of CVS and pulmonary graph representation which you need to have an excellent understanding of as well as all the basic physiological formulae and calculations of the body, in addition to pharmacokinetic formulae.


  1. Medical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple: Knowledge of basic lab tests for common microorganisms in addition to viral characteristics is expected of you when entering the Step 1 test. This is a high-yield book particularly for viruses which are popular subjects for test questions. Fungi and parasites while slightly less popular, can still pop up in the test every now and then.

You have to know the pharmacological aspects as well because the question stem maybe talking about a microorganism and the symptoms it causes, only to ask you about the suitable antibiotic used for treatment.


  1. Kaplan Pharmacology Lecture Notes: All I can do is sing his book’s praises. A high-yield book that covers all the pharmacology information you need for the test.


  1. Kaplan Biochemistry and Genetics Lecture Notes: You must know the following in Biochemistry if you expect to get the score you want:

–          Main enzymes and rate-limiting steps of the different inborn errors of metabolism.

–          All the major metabolic cycles and processes such as the TCA cycle, the Urea Cycle, Glycolysis, the electron transport system and its shuttles, fatty acid synthesis etc.

–          Vitamins; the enzymes that use them, the symptoms of their deficiencies.

–          Basic molecular biology questions which are manageable for any average medical student.

–          Diagnostic tests such as PCR, Southern and Western Blot techniques in addition to a basic knowledge of immunoassays, Fluorescence-activated cell sorting and Fluorescent immuostains.

–          Hardy-Weinberg problems have been known to pop up. Major hereditary diseases and their modes of inheritance (autosomal, sex-linked, dominant, recessive, etc.) are required knowledge.


  1. Kaplan Anatomy and Embryology Lecture Notes:  Anatomy here is intermingled with Physiology. The book may describe the clinical presentation of a patient in the ER and based on the information provided, you’ll have to determine which organ of the body has been injured or at which anatomical level. This is in addition to radiological presentations in the form of MRIs or CTs (particularly head CTs). The neurology section of this book is nothing short of amazing and provides you with crucial knowledge needed for the test including, but not limited to the following:


–          Nuclei levels in the spinal cord and brain stem as well as the different nuclei lesions and symptoms, even those that are not common such as Multiple Sclerosis, Syringomyelia, etc.

–          Spinal cord nerve tracts and cranial nerve signs.

–          The Brachial Plexus, which is extremely high-yield and its Anatomy, should be known by heart in addition to all its lesions and their symptoms.


In Embryology, focus on pharyngeal pouches and the related developmental malformations. If you were never a fan of Embryology and all the memorization that comes with it like me, simply solving its questions is sufficient to get you through.


  1. Kaplan Q Bank: Is not suitably reflective and may be a little behind the times. However, it gives you a good idea about the structure and length of the questions in the Step 1 test. Question modes may range from A-D to A-K and not just the common A-E form. Emphasis when solving these questions should always be placed on proper understanding rather than the score. Try to solve them using all three modes; timed, unused and mixed.
  2. USMLEWORLD: Second and third-order questions here are pretty representative of what goes on during the Step 1 test with regards to the though process involved. Many tricks are usually planted here and there in the question stem that you need to learn how to spot and use to your advantage. Explanations here are more up-to-date compared to Kaplan. Question stems are however a bit short and not like those in the actual test at all. This may cause you a bit of an unpleasant surprise when sitting for the test.

Something that may be a bit of a nuisance is the frequency of spelling mistakes and typos on here.

The USMLEWORLD computer interface is nearly identical to that of Step1 but that’s really not much of an advantage.

It’s an overall good question bank and as always, you must focus on learning rather than scoring. Add your own notes when the occasion calls for it (i.e. something new surprises you) and solve as many questions in different modes as often as you can and you’ll be well-prepared come test time.


In the end, I wish everyone reading this the very best of luck!


USMLE Step 2 cs Exam Guide


USMLE Step 2 cs Exam Guide


Unfortunately, a few years ago the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) had this not-so-bright idea to examine candidates’ English proficiency within a clinical setting. This is not only an expensive exam, but it’s also one that’s certainly not popular among medical students. I will only share my personal experience in this article but I won’t attempt to reconstruct my exam because this is both unfair and legally forbidden.


The Step 2 CS exam’s difficulty lays not only in its content but it’s actually difficult to make your way to the exam itself. Its fees are considerable and it can only be taken in five U.S. cities, which are: Atlanta in Georgia, Chicago in Illinois, Houston in Texas, Los Angles in California and lastly, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. This makes it a rather inconvenient exam, even for U.S. medical students.


The past rate for both first-timers and repeat takers of American medical students taking the USMLE Step 2 CS exam is at 95%. This indicates the likely presence of arbitrariness, so the exam should by no means be taken lightly. The pass rate for international medical graduates taking the exam for the first time is – not surprisingly – considerably lower at about 70-79%. U.S. medical students still have to be careful because although it’s much less common for them to fail this exam, it’s not impossible. It can also cause them to lose their positions in residency programs because a temporary medical license in the U.S. requires success in the Step 2 CS exam. This can be a considerable threat to their careers, if they take the exam very late in the year because the score takes up to 3 months to appear; right in time for the beginning of residency programs.


Now, for a brief description of the big day:


–          The exam takes all day, so be well-rested.

–          You’ll encounter 12 standardized patients, who are actually trained actors.

–          Your evaluation is in 3 main areas: ICE or Integrated Clinical Encounter, CIS or Communication and Interpersonal Skills and finally, SEP or Spoken English Proficiency.

–          This exam is not about scores; it’s a pass or fail exam.

–          Your areas of strength and weakness will only be reported to you in case of failure.

–          Unfortunately, IMGs (International Medical Graduates) are known to commonly fail this exam because it isn’t about their lack of medical experience, but rather about the fact that English isn’t their first language.


How to prepare for the exam:


Preparation will obviously differ from U.S. medical students to IMGs. For U.S. students, all they have to do is read the first 60 pages in the First Aid for Step 2 CS. This is of course based on the assumption that you weren’t a complete lost cause as a medical student. These pages are basically a guide to understanding the exam’s structure. As for IMGs for whom English is a second language, I think this would be sufficient reading material, as well provided that they are well prepared in other areas.



You have to understand that passing this exam does not solely depend on your knowledge as a medical student or graduate, but rather on a combination of that together with your skills handling the patient himself/herself. Things you need to work on involve:


–          The right order of points during a physical examination.

–          The manner of speaking and dealing with the patients.

–          Explaining the condition and course of management to the patient.


For IMG’s, this may be tricky because things in their countries are usually done in a slightly different manner than in the U.S. It doesn’t mean that the way they were taught is necessarily wrong; just different. As for U.S. medical students, there’s no reason to mess things up, since they’ve probably been practicing by dealing with countless patients for at least four years.


Managing the Exam Questions:


As I’ve mentioned before, you will be faced with 12 patients. On each patient’s door, a piece of paper will be hanging containing the miniscule amount of information (vital signs, symptoms, etc.) regarding this patient which you will be given and expected to base your answer on. In no more than 15 minutes, you should provide a full history of the patient and cover all major points in your physical examination. An additional 5-10 minutes will be provided for you to put this information down in writing. This writing may be down manually or by computer. Trust me and use the computer. It saves you time and is much less of a hassle, but make sure you’ve already decided on your method of writing before walking into the exam.


In your history and physical examination (H and P) section, you should write the five diagnoses you view as most likely in addition to the five best diagnostic tests you should order. Don’t be afraid to write something expensive like a CT scan or an MRI, because these tests are commonly used in the U.S. and great value is placed on the outcome of these tests because of higher specificity and sensitivity compared to the outcome of physical examinations.


Out of these 12 patients, 2 may or may not be experimental and if they are so, they do not affect your score.

The patients are usually really impressive actors and you’ll be faced with quite the variety: the angry patient, the anxious patient, the patient with a devil-may-care attitude who may even be smoking during the exam. Needless to say, you’ll have to politely ask him to quit smoking because all your actions are graded, especially when it comes to preventive medicine because of how health care is such a hotly-debated topic in the U.S. There may also be a few phone interviews where you’ll be graded on your ability to counsel the patient in absence of a physical examination.


Don’t let the patients’ questions intimidate you even if they may seem rude because they were most likely instructed to act that way. Be calm and collected and most of all, you must be humble! Nobody likes an arrogant medical trainee, especially in the U.S. where the hierarchy is almost sacred.


You won’t need to bring much with you on exam day. This is because you’ll find all the tools needed for examination beside each patient and because you won’t be allowed to take anything in there with you expect for your white coat and your stethoscope. You see, the word ‘strict’ does not do the exam proctors justice. You’re not even allowed to take tissues in there with you even if you’re suffering from a bad flu and are likely to sneeze over everything. Instead, you’re expected to use the tissues at each exam station and then dispose of them immediately. Lingering at patients’ bedsides after you’re instructed to leave can get you a warning or even cause you to be reported to the NBME. Exam day isn’t truly complete without a few warnings being handed out here and there.


You walk out of this exam feeling the same way you do walking out of every other exam making up the USMLE; feeling like you don’t know whether you’ve passed or not. The test is not impossible to pass but you walk out wondering if you’ve behaved the right way and if your handwriting was legible enough.


I don’t think that commercial courses marketed as being the key to help you pass this exam such as Kaplan, are all that helpful. It’s mostly a combination of being a well-studied medical student, who is fluent in English and knows the way patients are managed in the U.S. It’s undoubtedly a little easier for North American and British medical students, but that still doesn’t mean it’s impossible for other medical students around the world to pass it with flying colors.

MRCP PACES Exam experience

Experiencing MRCP PACES Exam


I’m going to share my PACES experience with all prospective candidates in this article because hopefully some of the information here will make the exam a little less intimidating for them.


First of all, there are three main things you should focus on before PACES. These are history taking, examination and communication. You should practice these areas and strengthen them up until exam night. Spend your evenings reading up on the causes of different landmark symptoms such as: cyanosis, dyspnea, dysphagia, joint swelling, etc Soon enough history taking will be a piece of cake. Also try to continually revise the causes of various important signs like erythema, clubbing, jaundice, murmurs, etc. in order to make your examination as smooth and possible. Analyzing these signs and symptoms to reach a provisional diagnosis will then be as simple as putting two and two together.


Personally, I didn’t find the exam cases difficult. My only problem was that the time designated for each station was too short, particularly when it came to my cardiology case. It took me most of the time to determine the lesion and I gave a muddled presentation worlds away from the one I would have liked to give, so beware of the time creeping up on you. Other cases were all the usual suspects:


–          A neurology case with motor nerve injuries where I did a full neurological examination and discussed diagnosis and treatment

–          A skin condition in the form of neurofibromatosis.

–          Endocrinal condition in the form of a thyroid disease accompanied by ophthalmological affection.

–          Respiratory system affection such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Bronchiectasis and Tuberculosis.

–          Musculoskeletal condition in the form of osteoarthiritis of the hands.

–          An abdominal condition in the form of chronic liver disease accompanied by ascites.


Last but not least was a ‘communications’ station, which aims at examining your skills at communication not only with the patient but with the patient’s relatives. You may be met with an actress playing a grieving wife or daughter and you’ll be faced with the challenge of how to calm her down and explain the patient’s condition to her clearly and gently. In cases like these, I have two words for you: psychological support. You must also be careful not to insult previous doctors the patient is said to have seen, especially if they have misdiagnosed him. It is very important not to appear arrogant!


Be prepared with a problems list for discussion with the examiner after each history taking and examination. An important point to remember when examining these patients is that they are all actors and they’ve come to perform, so let them give you all that they’ve got!


Unfortunately, many overseas candidates have complained that one of the causes of the lower pass rates overseas are the examiners themselves. They are described as being rude and interruptive, so if you are financially capable, you might want to take the exam in the UK, itself.

Finally, I wish all prospective candidates great luck with their studying and their PACES exam.


How to score 99 in USMLE Step 1


How to score 99 in USMLE Step 1


Hello there,
I just couldn’t wait to tell you this. I just finished my USMLE Step I and finished with a score of 99! I just couldn’t believe it but I’d say the I was impressed and proud. I just patted myself on my back.
I saved up a little nest egg and then I quit my situation as a salesman and decided to study from home. Though I ensured that I had a lot of study material, I’d always place my bet on Kaplan; you just can’t get any better stuff.
I had intended to and set my goal for a modest 85%, but when I bagged 99% I couldn’t believe myself. When my pals from back home asked me how I managed to pull it off, I gave them the following tips which I’m also passing on to you.

The most important thing is to have good source material. Without it, there is no way you can learn anything that matters for the examination.
You also have to get focused on the subject of your study. Ensure that you are in the right studying conditions.
Define your goals. If you feel that you should really score and get around 90% pass marks then you can do it, the possibility is there. However, if you just want to get through, that possibility is also there. It’s your choice.
Determination is of prime importance. Every time you get down to study, you’ve to buck up and put in your best efforts so that you can get the best score that you could possibly get.
So here are the tips that I want to pass along. I want you to make sure that you have good study material. These are the things that made me get the score I got, the stuff that gave me success.

It is essential that you get your hand on all the video lecture material from the Kaplan preparation center. That’s about 194 hours of study material if you go by the May 2005 edition. This is the focus of my success.
What is most important are the 2002 unmarked edition of the Kaplan notes. Scan it into your hard disk. These will be the review material that you should go through just prior to the examination. It shouldn’t take you more than a day to review each subject.
A complete understanding of the clinical applications is necessary and for this you need the complete underground vignettes of the clinical applications. I discovered that when doing Step I of the exam that I was able to scan the questions at such a speed that even before I reached the end I knew what they were.

Knowing about Dr. Goljan, pathology’s father, while preparing for Step I is all that is necessary to get a high score. You will require the notes, the pathology slides and the high yield facts of Dr. Goljan. You can find them on the hard disc.
There was no shortage of pictures or slides for me to see when I took my test. Kaplan’s Pathology library where everything is organized according to the systems of the body is worth its weight in gold.
Kaplan’s Webpreparation is another valuable asset but it lacks anything in anatomy.
You should be aware of the fact that pharmacology along with genetics and pathology are essential. The live Kaplan lectures on these subjects are the best you can get. Not only did I score a 99 but a pal of mine scored a 94 using these material. I can safely say that the material has proved its worth.
There is a saying that you cannot get enough of a good thing and the CD with an excess of 3,500 questions on pathology alone is just that. Constant reviewing planted them firmly in my brain.
What I had learned about high yield topics and facts that I compiles included my own tips. This is the information that I had obtained from the test I underwent. I managed to write down some 2,500+ topics and tips within the first week of my taking the examination.
You’ll agree with me when you get the Kaplan Qbank that is easy to use and is available in the Microsoft Word format.

Next to the Kaplan is the 6th edition of the NMS software Step I.
A fast review is what that is necessary. You’d need a complete set of the CDs to do a complete review. The questions, 3,500 of them, have been arranged on the basis of topics.
Make sure you get the Kaplan IV bank also.
Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Pathology and undoubtedly Genetics are all necessary and you should get the pre-exam books on these topics.
Some 10,000 questions have been compiled by other students and they are what you should study if you are unsure of what to study.

Keep in mind the Step I Board Simulator software.
Some of the facts are really difficult to remember and the use of mnemonics should make the job of remembering such facts simple.
Similarly, visual aids are very important and during my 9 months of study, I managed to prepare different diagrams, flash cards and charts.
One of the problems of studying is that you reach a point where you feel that you just cannot absorb anymore knowledge. The 55 Gold Standard Audio Review CDs make their mark. You get a different mode of study and as they say “change is as good as a rest”.
I can definitely say that I added at least 5 marks to my score using the Pass Program notes. There are some 299 tips in these notes along with highlights and high yields. I completed them in just four day and it was definitely worth the while.

Additionally, there are some extra stuff that I prepared. Some even after I wrote my examination till the time I got my results
Anyway, I thought I’d pass all of this along to you.

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