New NBMEs- Our Professional Opinion
Initially, I was a little hesitant about posting them because I know how hard one can be judged on an exam score! We can not let them define us. It was also important for me to share these for those who are going through the process now.
I started off with an almost failing score but ending up with a score a few points from my goal score of So, I wanted to offer some inspiration to those starting off in a similar place. Throughout my time studying for Step 1, I was repeatedly discouraged from reading about how people would have these incredible practice exams scores. I had to remind myself that this was just the beginning.
Up to this point, all I had done was review Boards and Beyond and some Uworld questions. I felt that I had decent background knowledge, but had no practice applying my knowledge. From this week on, I started going through more Uworld questions while continuing to review content.
I continued to complete Uworld questions, review Sketchy and listen to Pathoma. So, I tried not to get too excited. This was week 4 out of 7 of my dedicated period. I knew I had a lot of work to do and time was slowing running out. I continued chugging through Uworld blocks and listening to random Pathoma videos at night. Still, I was a little disappointed with this score.
I had 2 weeks left and anxiety really started to kick in. I was feeling fatigued but knew I had a lot of work to do. At this point, I started to re-listen to Pathoma because I felt like I was missing questions due to knowledge gaps in some areas. I also continued doing Uworld blocks re-doing my incorrects.
Anyway, a … Given that the average Step 1 score for U. I knew I had put in a lot of work and tried my best. At this point, I had one week left until my exam. I was wrapping my studying. I was doing less Uworld and more reviewing of First Aid. I also continued listening to Pathoma. So I was pretty happy. Of course, I still had doubts that I would totally bomb this exam. I had a few more days of studying and reviewing to do then I took the day before my exam off.
I tried to get my headspace in the right place. That was the best thing I could for myself at this point. There was no turning back! Actual Step 1 exam: I was very pleased my score!
Practice Tests: Pre-dedicated baseline ; during dedicated: ; ; Dedicated Time: 3. I made both of those into a single anki deck highlighting important concepts and concepts that i was weak on. I reviewed those maybe once a week. When dedicated started i did UWorld questions a day. I made a tentative subject schedule eg biochem, cardio, pathology and would watch videos from Doctors in Training only if i was weak, did about 40 percent of the videos skipping microbiology and pathology.
During the day i made anki cards sporadically on topics i was weak on. I used Microsoft word to take screenshots of important photos and used image occlusion for those. Sketchy for microbiology while adding notes to FA from it. I did not do a premade anki deck as i found them to be very bloated. Check out his Instagram page inu. Najeeb — When I really was coming from nothing. This is not a challenge that anyone gets through without some sort of difficulty, so remember that things will get better for you too.
That would have made things easier for me in my future. I should have believed in myself more. All 6 NBME comprehensive basic science self-assessments under standard pacing took screenshots so I would have access to the ones I got correct as well. I read all UWorld explanations for correct and incorrect, and the entire explanation for every question.
I reviewed the cards every day made around 1, cards and was reviewing around a day by the end. I skimmed First Aid in the 3 days before my exam I basically never opened the physical book before then. I also re-reviewed all my screenshots from the NBME practice tests in the last few days before my exam. I never used any premade Anki decks, or any other resources than those mentioned above. I do online tutoring for Step 1 and Step 2 CK see www.
I would have spent even more time on the NBMEs and potentially made Anki cards for all the questions. I would have started skimming First Aid a couple of days earlier say 5 days before my test rather than 3 because it was stressful to have to read it all in 3 days.
Cram Fighter- Literally saved my ass by making my entire schedule for me so I stayed on topic and focused. Obviously, all of the CBSE practice tests. I took all of those. I ended up doing about 7 from then on. I think I also would have done some more review during my blocks. About: Qcount, non-traditional US MD who has a grad degree and worked as a research scientist before medicine. Dedicated Time: 6. All blocks were timed random. I Took handwritten notes this was key for my success! Re-watched some of the cardiology videos.
Read the text 1x during weeks I took notes while I watched the videos. Sketchy Pharm 0. Goljan Audio 1x : Listened on my walks to and from campus during the fall of M2. Somewhat dated, but great for integrating concepts. General Advice: Develop a plan to build confidence leading up to your exam day.
I specifically saved UWorld self assessment 2 as my last practice test since it is relatively accurate but also is slightly generous with the score as opposed to NBMEs which tend to under-predict. I also graphed the average of the past 10 days of UWorld blocks to help remind myself that I was trending the right way even if I happened to score poorly on one block.
The questions on the real exam were most similar to UWorld questions, with long stems and multiple steps required to get to the answer, they were not similar at all to NBME questions. I felt terrible after I finished the test, and pretty flat for the next few days. I knew I passed, but beyond that I had no idea what my score would be. I would also make a pass through First Aid following along with class material during M1 and M2.
Pre-dedicated during classes: All of bros anki, sketchy videos, boards and beyond prn, and about questions between Kaplan and Rx I did about 70 questions a week for a year. General Advice: Study longitudinally and put in a few hours a week during the school year to give yourself a foundation for dedicated.
Also do as many different questions as you can, it can be expensive but you only get one shot at this. Its worth seeing as many of those as possible cause it can get you free points. I read first aid once before dedicated. During dedicated I did uworld once, then did the marked questions when I ran out of new questions.
I read first aid twice while sometimes following along with DIT videos. I also used sketchy micro for bugs I had a hard time remembering. I read pathoma 3 times during dedicated.
Then every day I did 40 Uworld questions, mixed-untimed-tutor mode. Somethings I would try to memorize but others I would try to understand very well. At the end of the day I would do another 40 uworld questions.
You will finish going through first aid in about 4 weeks this way. Next I did the same thing over again but in a more concentrated fashion whole first aid chapter in one day, along with 1 pathoma unit and 80 uworld questions. I felt sick because I ate too much junk food.
Took notes on incorrect questions and tried to review these when I had time. In retrospect, I found Pathoma to be much more useful during dedicated than any other time. Relatively concise and really nails down the high-yield points of pathology.
I felt pretty confident with most micro questions because I had hammered Sketchy into my head. I also did not neglect the Microbiology chapter of FA and did image searches of esoteric parasites and protozoa, which turned out to be helpful. Ryan explains things in a way that makes it easy to draw connections across disciplines, which is obviously super helpful for building a strong foundation for Step 1. As others have said, the Biochemistry videos are really great.
You will thank yourself when dedicated rolls around and you are essentially reviewing topics that you have already mastered. What I would do differently: Start Boards and Beyond from day 1. I would like to thank each and every person who contributed to this post. I will be posting a Part 2 in the near future, so check back periodically. If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more stories, musings and advice on medical school, click here.
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I had 2 weeks left and anxiety really started to kick in. I was feeling fatigued but knew I had a lot of work to do.
At this point, I started to re-listen to Pathoma because I felt like I was missing questions due to knowledge gaps in some areas. I also continued doing Uworld blocks re-doing my incorrects.
Anyway, a … Given that the average Step 1 score for U. I knew I had put in a lot of work and tried my best. At this point, I had one week left until my exam. I was wrapping my studying. I was doing less Uworld and more reviewing of First Aid. I also continued listening to Pathoma. So I was pretty happy.
Of course, I still had doubts that I would totally bomb this exam. I had a few more days of studying and reviewing to do then I took the day before my exam off. I tried to get my headspace in the right place. That was the best thing I could for myself at this point. There was no turning back!
Want to Add 20-60+ Points to Step 1? Here’s How Long It Takes (16 Experiences)
Another example includes testing differences between acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis sequela. Although pancreatitis is being tested, the underlying cause is not one of the two most common causes gallstones or alcoholso students will need to expand their differential diagnoses for the underlying causes of common disorders.
Pancreatitis and its various causes should not be a huge surprise for those actively preparing for Step 1, this disease is commonly tested on the USMLE and, as many of our MD tutors can tell you, this is very important in the real world of clinical practice. Yes have analyzed ever NBME ever released! Our Final Initial Thoughts and Advice The new questions on forms 20, 21, and 22 are overall not highlighting new diseases or concepts than on past forms.
Rather, we believe the NBME is using the new clinical contexts for the tried and true concepts and using this to expand their pool of questions on the new forms.
My USMLE Step 1 Practice Exam Scores: Increasing 40+ Points in 6 weeks 2021
We can safely say after looking over these 3 newly released NBMEs that UWorld remains an excellent resource for practice questions, and that UWorld explanations remain a strong learning resource. Therefore reserve that test for your last or second to last practice test. All students should take multiple practice tests during their dedicated study period. For the time being, we strongly recommend taking one of the older NBMEs such as 13, 15, or 16 if you have them available.