How I Scored 260 On USMLE Step 1?
I get asked all the time about what I studied to score 266 on my Step 1. So I decided to write this blog post on my USMLE Step 1 preparation and experience. You can also score high on your exam if you follow these steps.
January Materials: First Aid, USMLE Rx, NBME 17
Hours per day: 10 hours
I wanted to master each section of my First Aid and test my knowledge with a question bank that is related to it. Here is how I did this.
The order I followed: Biochemistry followed by USMLE Rx Biochemistry Microbiology followed by USMLE Rx Microbiology Immunology followed by USMLE Rx Immunology General Pathology & Pharmacology - NO USMLE Rx. Cardiology followed by USMLE Rx Cardiology. Renal followed by USMLE Rx Renal. Respiratory followed by USMLE Rx Respiratory. Gastrointestinal followed by USMLE Rx Gastrointestinal. Hematology followed by USMLE Rx hematology Neurology followed by USMLE Rx Neurology MSK followed by USMLE Rx MSK Psychiatry followed by USMLE Rx Psychiatry Endocrine followed by USMLE Rx Endocrine Reproductive followed by USMLE Rx Reproductive Public Health followed by all others USMLE Rx.
Now, keep in mind that, I completed both First Aid and USMLE Rx in one month. I just wanted to get an overview of everything instead of trying to learn everything in detail. I didn't care about what I was scoring as I just wanted to get an overall idea of how things are asked.
USMLE Rx also helped me with memorizing Microbiology, Pharmacology, and MSK.
Many students when they start studying they focus too much on learning which wastes a lot of time and they forget everything afterward because they took too long.
All right, so after I completed USMLE Rx and FA, I took NBME 17 and I got 200 on it. I was pretty happy with it as it was my first NBME.
I was also nervous about NBME but after I took it, that fear went away.
After taking NBME, I went over every single NBME questions. Fortunately, NBME now shows the right answers for you.
So what I did was, I took my time and marked all the concepts that they tested on my First Aid. I had a feeling that these concepts will also be tested on the real exam.
February Materials: First Aid, AMBOSS, NBME 18
Hours per day: 10 hours
Many of you probably don't know about AMBOSS. AMBOSS is an amazing qbank, I think it is parallel to USMLE World and much easier to learn.
This month, I read First Aid in details and reinforced my knowledge with AMBOSS, which helped a lot. AMBOSS isn't like UW but much better. It explains every single concept with much better detail that is easier to understand. It also shows you what to look at in CT Scans, MRIs and Ultrasounds.
The order I followed: Biochemistry followed by AMBOSS Biochemistry Microbiology followed by AMBOSS Microbiology Immunology followed by AMBOSS Immunology General Pathology & Pharmacology - NO AMBOSS. Cardiology followed by AMBOSS Cardiology. Renal followed by AMBOSS Renal. Respiratory followed by AMBOSS Respiratory. Gastrointestinal followed by AMBOSS Gastrointestinal. Hematology followed by AMBOSS hematology Neurology followed by AMBOSS Neurology MSK followed by AMBOSS MSK Psychiatry followed by AMBOSS Psychiatry Endocrine followed by AMBOSS Endocrine Reproductive followed by AMBOSS Reproductive Public Health followed by all others AMBOSS.
After completing both First Aid and AMBOSS. I took NBME 18. It felt much easier. AMBOSS really helped me here.
The language of NBME was much similar to AMBOSS. I think that's why I felt much more comfortable. I scored 235 on NBME 18. That was a pretty good jump and gave me so much confidence.
March Materials: First Aid, USMLE World, NBME 18
Hours per day: 12 hours
I kept USMLE World for the last because I wanted to spend the most time on USMLE World. You cannot go to the exam without USMLE World. It is a must!
The order I followed: Biochemistry followed by UW Biochemistry. Microbiology followed by UW Microbiology. Immunology followed by UW Immunology. General Pathology & Pharmacology - NO UW. Cardiology followed by UW Cardiology. Renal followed by UW Renal. Respiratory followed by UW Respiratory. Gastrointestinal followed by UW Gastrointestinal. Hematology followed by UW hematology. Neurology followed by UW Neurology. MSK followed by UW MSK. Psychiatry followed by UW Psychiatry. Endocrine followed by UW Endocrine. Reproductive followed by UW Reproductive. Public Health followed by all others UW.
I was scoring around 75% to 80% on my first round of UW. Questions felt similar to AMBOSS.
I took NBME 19 and scored 254 on it. I was really happy but also felt burned out by this time. I didn't feel like doing any other question bank.
April Materials: First Aid, USMLE World wrong questions.
Hours per day: 12 hours.
I only had 2 weeks for my exam so I read first aid cover to cover with all of my notes from UW and did all the wrong questions. I wanted to make sure I remember all the wrong concepts.
My exam was on April 23rd and I stopped studying on April 20th. On April 21st, I just went over all the biostatistics formula and concepts. On April 22nd, I just relaxed, prayed and made my meal for the exam day.
I took my exam on April 23rd and got my score 3 weeks later. It was 266. I will share my exam experience and score on the next post!
If you have any questions feel free to ask.