Exam on 17/9/2019
Results on 9/10/2019
Build your knowledge: yes; my total preparation period was more than 5 years, in which I was preparing for USMLE and doing my college curriculums in parallel.
I’m convinced that lasting knowledge is the result of clear concepts if you got solid basics then the hard part is already done and doing well in any type of exams will be a matter of mastering some technical points and developing your exam handling skills which are the natural part.
That’s why my 1st priority during this period was neither the USMLE exams nor my college exams. Building my medical knowledge was my concern. And eventually this paid off, I not
only graduated as the Valedictorian of my class, but also, I got my target score in step one exams, although totally different exam styles!.
Do it your own way: I believe my journey was a unique one, yours will be too. Cause we have different skills, abilities and powers, this experience and all the others are supposed to be dealt with just as a help and guidance, you should not copy everything I did, this will not guarantee the same results. I know I’ve written too many clichés in this point, but please respect your mind, don’t panic if I told you that I rarely used the first Aid, I actually used it as the last Aid one month before the exams!, I had no time for UWSAs, I never used Anki, never used dr. Turcot biochemistry videos and I found sketchy very lame and useless. I once told
my friend about those sources I never used, he said to me that I would definitely fail, and as you see, I didn’t!.
Study Phases, Periods and Materials
Phase one: my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years of the college
It was immature, I was just exploring the subjects, I studied subject wise during this phase
Materials: Kaplan videos 2010 for most of the disciplines except pathoma for pathology
Dr.najeebs videos for neuroanatomy, head and neck anatomy and various topics.
Qbanks: Kaplan q bank offline
I didn’t use any books in this phase, just did the videos and took notes in my college books
I didn’t do biochemistry during this phase.
I cannot emphasize enough how helpful dr. Raymon (Kaplan 2010) pharma videos were for me.
I tried half the DIT videos and didn’t like them.
Phase two: my 5th and 6th years
In this phase, I started the system-wide approach, and for me, it’s the best, its more integrated, the exam will contain many questions that depends on integration. On the other hand, I was doing my 5th and 6th-year curriculums which include: pediatric, gynaecology, IM, and surgery, the systematic approach enabled the pacing, and it made it much easier to master both pathways.
Materials: ELhussieny videos and books
Qbanks: uworld offline systems, timed (that was wrong, tutor mode would have been better during this phase)
Phase three: 4 months dedicated
The most critical period.
Materials: dr. Raymond (becker) videos for biochemistry
BNB: they are GOLD
Elhussieny USMLE books
Qbanks: uworld offline 2nd round, systems, tutor
I took my 1st NBME after this phase
Phase four: 1month and a half
This phase was dedicated for UW and FA
uworld: 1 month online, random, timed. This month totally enhanced all my preparation.
First Aid: last two weeks, after all my preparation the first Aid was a piece of cake, and I had already met the points between the lines during solving the UW, NBMEs so as I said, for me, it was the Last Aid.
During this phase, I took an NBME every Thursday.
I stopped all the study 1 day and a half before the exam, just relaxed and got some rest.
2 weeks before the exam, I got myself trained to go to bed and wake up at the same times of exam day, that helped a lot.
On the exam night I got nice 8 hours of sleep when I woke up I was fresh, and I felt like I am ready, I went to the Prometric center one hour earlier, and they let me in half an hour more prior
The exam room was beautiful, calm and well-conditioned, the questions were average, and they were more like UW question style.
I took the 1st block then 5 min in my place then 2nd block after that 15 min break then took 3rd block and again 5min in my place then 4th block and another 15 min break then 5th block and 10 min break then 6th block and the last 10 min before the last block.
Assessment and Scores:
as I was obsessed about correlations and assessment score here, I put mine for you
NBME 13 offline 8 weeks apart 15mistakes
NBME 16 offline 7 weeks apart 15 mistakes
NBME 18 offline 6 weeks apart 13 mistakes
NBME 17 offline 5 weeks apart 16 mistakes
NBME 19 offline 4 weeks apart 15 mistakes
NBME 15 offline 3 weeks apart 6 mistakes
NBME 21 offline 2 weeks apart 16 mistakes
NBME 23 online 1 week apart 260
Free 120 online 3 days apart 93%
Real deal 266