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TOPIC: Best way to use First Aid for step 1 and BSS?

13 years 3 weeks ago #27694

  • jark10
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I'm an M2 right now starting to get ready for the step 1, and was wondering what sorts of things worked for people who had taken step 1 in past years. My plan was to learn my school material really well, but was unsure about how to use step 1 at this point. I've been reading it as we go along, but would it be best to annotate it with notes right now, or do that later on when we are doing more boards based studying? And for anyone who used BSS, is it best to do those questions later on or do them along with what we are learning in school? Thanks.
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one word: qbank, do it 13 years 3 weeks ago #10554

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one word: qbank, do it all over, and over again. I could swear that 30% of my test was straight from qbank, re-reading is a total waste of time (especially class notes), figure out where your weak points are from doing questions, the do more questions.
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Step 1 13 years 3 weeks ago #10555

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I agree with Ron Burgandy on this and would like to add a little. Identify your weaknesses before you start studying & allocate more time for them. Don't spend the same amount of time on all subjects if you're stronger in some than others-that just doesn't make sense.

I felt that I needed a good foundation to start doing questions, but everyone varies here. I don't like getting 50%'s on sections before I was ready, b/c it's just a blow to the confidence. Put a little time in, start phasing in questions, then convert to mostly questions with a little review. I can vouch that First Aid for Step 1 was very good, but everyone has their faves. Ones I'd recommend-BRS for Path, Kaplan for Biochem. The rest you will get from QBank. Also, I reviewed Micro & Pharm with a study partner a little each evening, b/c studying 50+ drugs or 50+ organisms/day just won't stick.

In the end, everyone has different techniques that work for them. I'm a poor crammer, so I went with the methodical approach.

Good luck.

One of the myths that has seemed to perpetuate along the trail is that with so many applicants, if you're not from a top 10 school, your Step 1 scores are what separates you from the pack. Also, regionalism is alive and well. I thought it was all BS, but if you're really interested in going somewhere that you have no ties to on your CV, do yourself a favor & rotate there.

I don't envy you...I can still remember the day I took it & thought I went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
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Thanks for your advice everyone. 13 years 3 weeks ago #10558

  • jark10
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Thanks for your advice everyone. One more thing - while we're learning say CV or GI in class, would people recommend using our own time right now to review weak topics (like biochem), or wait until it gets closer to the test? I'm in the process of making a plan for myself now but am just trying to get a better feel for things that have worked for others in the past. Thanks.
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review 13 years 3 weeks ago #10562

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If you can review while still learning the material, then go ahead. But by no means review at the expense of not learning the current material really well.

Just to echo the above statements, do questions, questions, and then more questions. I think that's the key. And when you review questions, don't simply focus on the correct answer, but read through the entire explanation to understand what would've made the wrong answers correct. That's the only way that resources like Kaplan Q-bank are able to cover most of the important material, but too many people just read over the right answer and move on. Also, closer to test-taking time, do blocks of 50 and treat it like the real test. In the end, a big part of taking this test is developing a test taking strategy with the limited time you are given to answer questions. Learning that will help you with Step 2 as well.
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I used the Kaplan Q 13 years 3 weeks ago #10568

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I used the Kaplan Q Book & video lectures + Q bank for step 1, dedicated 6 weeks to it. Used Q Book, Q Bank, and Lecture Notes for Step 2, dedicated 3 weeks. Also found that the lecture books for Step 2 were very helpful in preparing for my clinical rotations (& exams) during 3rd and 4th year. Used Q Bank for Step 3 when I had time for 1 month. Scores: 243, 246, 239
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