My name is Ahmed AbdElAziz Eisa. I’m an intern at Alexandria main university hospital. I’m writing this experience because I benefited a lot from the USMLE Step 1 experiences I read in this group, and I hope this post helps anyone starting their prep.
My USMLE Assessments Scores:
-NBME 20: 246 (5 months out)
-NBME 27: 249 (3.5 months out)
-UWSA 1: 249 (55 days out )
-NBME 18: 251 (50 days out)
-NBME 25: 250 (40 days out)
-NBME 30: 256 (25 days out)
-NBME 28: 260 (20 days out)
-UWSA 2: 256 (15 days out)
-NBME 29: 254 (10 days out)
-NBME 26: 251 (2 days out ) The only online NBME I did.
-Free 120: 92% (1 day out)
-Real deal: 254
Main USMLE Study Resources Used:
Other Study Resources:
(I used these only during the last two months of my prep. They are optional, and you don’t have to do them.)
1- Anki Decks:
I only used them late because I was sick of passive reading of First aid and UWorld notes which is not an effective way of learning. Unfortunately, I discovered that only late in my prep. If I go back in time, I won’t waste much time on FA.
a) Janki -Someone did this deck based on UWorld notes, BNB and Pathoma. It has a decent number of cards, around 6000 compared to an enormous number in other decks (more than 20k), and It contains only high yield stuff.
b) First Aid rapid review deck-490 cards
Deck based on the rapid review section of FA, I felt this deck is a blessing to review FA in the last few days of my prep.
2- Youtube Channels:
a) Dirty Medicine
I watched most of its videos. They have fantastic mnemonics, which makes your life easier.
I would recommend doing his concise biochem playlist.
b) Randy Neil
I did biostatistics from his channel, and also I recommend his videos on genetics pedigree and Kaplan Meier curve. And do check his strategies to answer a question.
c) The Noted Anatomist
My fav to learn and relearn anatomy. I watched most of his videos, but the ones that helped me the most were his UL & LL playlist, which was a weak area.
d) HY Guru- Rahul Damania
His content on Youtube is astounding. Videos are based on concepts you are more likely to see in an NBME form, and they are not too long. I did all of his videos on the NBME playlist in 2x speed. I also did his physiology playlist because I had a problem with physiology, and they helped me a lot.
The Overview of My USMLE Exam
1) Definitely doable; just stay calm on the test day, and you’ll be fine. Get some good sleep the day before your exam.
2) Question style: The exam interface and the question stem were similar to free 120 and UWorld, but the way they asked the question and the way they gave the answer choices were similar to the NBMEs.
The exam is much easier than UW, and It felt like doing NBME 31.
I always felt like the NBME questions were easier and more straightforward than UW.
3) Obviously, they were some out-of-the-blue questions that I had no clue about. I made educated guesses and moved on!
4) Communication questions were a lot, 3 or 4 Qs in each block, but I didn’t feel that they were that hard as many people said.
I highly recommend watching the dirty medicine video on communication. It’s amazing, and it helped me a lot.
I think it’s enough, along with UW.
Didn’t have any questions about ethics.
5) Pathoma 1-3: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of these three chapters. Straight forward questions from these.
6) My form had an equal amount of questions from every system.
7) NBME images pdf
Go through both the new and old images file. I got like five repeat images.
8) Anatomy-100 concepts of anatomy
Plus, FA and UW are what you need to answer them.
Try to get enough sleep the night before; this is very crucial.
Although I slept like 7-8 hours the night before the test, I felt very sleepy in the last block and also felt like I was being mentally tortured 😂
Also, try to take a break after each block.
I took a break after each block. I would go out to use the bathroom, drink some water and eat a bite of a protein bar then go back in again.