Background: 260+ on Step1

My goal was 270+ and all of my assessments were 270+ too. I’m absolutely grateful for my score not only because it wouldn’t make a true difference, but I realized that scores neither define you as a person nor determine how qualified you are to become a great physician. It’s just a classification tool that statistically performs well and makes the life of residency programs easier. This has been a stressful journey for sure. One thing that has carried me along and given me patience is that I needed to improve the life of my family. Having a purpose behind all of this just makes this path a little more tolerable. If anyone is feeling worthless and is thinking of giving up, you are not alone. Stick around and be proud of yourself regardless of the end result.

My tips:

  • Use UW not just as a content resource, but also as a way to explore weaknesses in your thinking process and develop strategies you’d use on the actual test.
  • There’s no need for having many resources besides UW, the more content you read the bigger the pile of facts that your brain has to look through to answer a question.
  • Understand and memorize what you need to on the spot. Do not procrastinate as there’s no time for prolonged review.
  • Take it if you’re ready. Long preparation will consume you.
  • The exam looks like UW but thinks like NBME. Learn how they think if you want to beat this game.
  • Don’t freak out if you bomb a block. Chances are everyone will bomb one block at least so do not let it carry over to the rest of the test (domino effect).
  • Be as simple as you can when picking your answers. If it looks too easy, then it is. No one is trying to trick you, they are just bad at writing clear questions.
  • Relax one week before the test, especially if you need to travel. One week of extra studying will do more harm than good.
  • Avoid jamming all of your prep into a short period of time. Slow and steady works much better and preserves your sanity.
  • NBMEs are higher yield than UW in some sense as they teach you the dumb mentality that you’ll see on the test and allow you to polish your approach accordingly.
  • CMS forms are a great supplement towards the end of your prep for the same reasons above
  • Older NBMEs 6-8 and older CMS forms are worth it if you have time as they’ll give you a boost before starting the newer ones.
  • It is not worth it to freak out, just relax.

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