How to score 99 in USMLE Step 1
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.