Assalmu alikum my dear friends and collegues…am making this note for the people who may not have the big picture of how to prepare for the step 1 exam ,..am Allawy Ahmed Allawy ..am a final year medical student (6th year) at kasr alainy school of medicine …till now am done with USMLE step 1 and got 99/243…and also a, done with the USMLEexam yesterday dec 27 2011 and the score will be released om Jan 18 isA..wish that i do well isA.
will talk with you today about the study resources, techniques I recommed and also how to manage to get the best score ever isA .
i will give you a small notes about the resources and abbreviations am gonna use ..
KLN : kaplam lecture notes..which is a series of 7 books can be bought so easily from any book store from kasr alainy, it will cost u around 100 LE…
Kaplan Videos : these are videos done by the book authors for any subject ..and they are a great source to make ur study easier….I recommend to share them together on a hard disk and not buy them !!!
GOLJAN : agreat source for pathology and to integrate other materials with pathology.
MMRS: micro made rediculously simple ..a great source for microbiology.
FA : areview book which i consider it a merical for step 1 ..and it contain all the info u need but u need ti know how to use it !!
USMLERx :this is a q bank we buy it from online it will cost u around 89$ for a 1 month subscribtion …and i will tell .. u later why I recommened that …u can find it on www.usmlerx.com
UW : USMLE World ..this is an online Q bank ..it is an invention not a simple bank or source ..
UWSA : USMLE World self assessment ..this is an exam style 4 blocks of qs used to assess ur study after being done with ur study .
the UW and UWSA both of them will cost u 175 $ for 2 month UW and a 2 forms of UWSA…u can find both of them on www.usmleworld.com
NBME : these are self assessment forms that are made by the national board for medical examinee..and it is the most accurate to assess your accurate score isA.
I will focus on my friend from kasr alainy and those who are from other schools ….those who are still student ..u still have the time to ace this exam and this exam is all about discipline and hard work although I think this exam effortless because the study for usmle is fun but it need alot of time to be done with it …but it need hard work overall…take me an example just to calm u down …i stared after my fifth year and it was a weird thing but alhamdolellah it was a good decision and to tell u something ..i took the physiology 3 times for first year just to pass..and anatomy twice .. el trakomy till now is GOOD,.. so u have to look at it like if u have a good scores fl kolia keep it up ..and do the usmle side by side and the knowledge u have will help u but not that much as u think..but definitly will help u isA ..BUT if u were like me …u have the second chance to build ur carrier and change ur life and make up for what u have missed although in my opinion “mafataksh kteer” so all what u have to be is to be ur self again and do ur best to ace this exam.
the best way in my opinion to prepare for this exam is to have solid knowledg of the materials tested on the exam and know ur concepts cold ..dont tell me that u are the first of ur class and u dont need to do that …the answer is NO ..there is a huge difference between the materials and what u have done in ur school althoufgh as i said ..that will help u isA .
to make a long story short …here we go talk about how to prepare for step 1 …I will make it as a three stages prep all of them are too imprtand and if u wanna get a very competitive score u need to go through all of them .
Stage 1 : reading the materials
this should take no more than 3 months if u have a pure study time and have no commitments other than study ..ya3ny fady !! but it could take a longer time if u are a medical student like if u are a 4th or 5th year student ,,this stage could take the whole academic year …and you study the usmle side by side with ur school materials .
1st read with videos : u will be reading the followings..
all KLN ..except for pathology and micro not including the immunity (u will read it from KLN).
after u have read a specific chapter first like cardiovascular physiology ..u will go and watch the videos …yes i know u will read first them u will listen to the videos !! that will give an idea about where u are weak to focus on during the videos and take note in the kln …when am saying u need to read ..i mean it just a slow careful reading not the one we are using to do it'”7efz sam ” yes u need to read as much a su can …u need to understand it does not matter if u are memorizing or not, NO MEMORIZATION ..NO MEMORIZATION, i cant stress this poit out any more…so u keep do that untill u finish the materials.
for micro ..all what u need is just to read it from MMRS for one time …u dont need to watch micro videos …but u have to watch the immunity videos.
Pathology u will read it from goljan which I recommened it as the last book to be read in the first read as it need knowledge from the other materials …also u can use his audios ..u will need it a she is a great cocher for usmle ..but just when u are tired from the study ..u dont need to watch pathology videos .
and so on ..till we are done with the first read with the videos .
then after that we take the second round of the materials but we will not use the videos after each chapter ..this time u will use FA after each material like u are done with metabolism in bio ..from kaplan for the second time …u go read it directly after that from FA.
so thats it for the first stage ..u are done with 2 rounds of kaplan ..1 round of the videos and 1 round of FA.
Stage 2 : USMLERx and FA:.. 1 month
the rx q bank is made by the people who designed the FA..so it is used to master the FA and to track ur weaknesses in it …and to memorize FA the active way through doing theses qs ..u need to do atleat 3 blocks of qs at least every day to finish the bank in a month !!
this q bank is designed to give u the exact page form FA with each q explanation so u will know which page in FA this concept is present and then u dont read the explanation u go and read the fact from FA.
these qs may not be a good qs as uw and may not reflecting the exam level but we are doing them to master the FA ..which is the corner stone of this prep.
after that u may take online assessment either nbme or uwsa which oone u have to give u a feed back about where do u stand now.
Stage 3: UW and FA..2 months
u will start UW after that u will finish it in 1 month and read all the explanation after each qs ..which i think the best way to get the best out of this bank is to use ut as a learning tool not as an assessment .
u need to integrate UW in FA by taking notes from the wrong qs u did and the new info that is present in UW but not in FA.
UW level of qs is harder that the exam itself so u should be prepared if u done with it the right way ,,
any way this should take only one month ..after u are done with the UW ..u take an nbme to know where u are and revise the weak areas from kln in the last month ….plus u still need to read the whole explanations again from UW in the lasr month ..but if u have tajen enough notes u can do only the marked qs and the wrong ones again from UW…and then u take another final assessment to be calm and go for the exam with good nerves isA.
I RECOMMENED TO CRAM THE 2ND ANF 3RD STAGE TOGETHER ..THAT WOULD BE EBTTER to be prepare isA
ANOTHER THING ..THERE IS NO COURSE FOR THE USMLE NOW OUT THERE WHOEVER THE PERSON IN EGYPT IS QUALIFIED TO GET YOU THROUGH THIS ..U NEED TO DO IT ALONE ..AND DO NOT EVER GO FOR SOME ONE WHO TAKE UR MONEY AND MAKE U FAIL…u will need this money and u will need a high score .
finally am here to help u and wish u the best..if u have any qs ..just let me know !!