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 USMLE Step 1 exam - My Experience

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Posts : 140
Points : 402
Join date : 2009-06-09
Age : 35
Location : Jalandhar

PostSubject: USMLE Step 1 exam - My Experience   Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:42 pm

of all, it wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be. It was not very
different from the mcq's we have. There was not any special stress of
any discipline or system. All the questions were in equal proportions
and more of interdisciplinary ones.

First of all I found a
friend who stays just 1 km away from the center. It helped me save
morning travel time and get one hour more of sleep. I slept at 11 pm
and got up at 7. Reviewd first aid in one hour and reached the center
ten minutes before the time given. I familiarised myself with the
surroundings till i was called which was the exact time given to me in
my appointment. After doing the necessary identification process i was
seated in the exam chamber and asked to start.

I never had any problem of time at home when I used to do
questions from cd's, but I had problem there. So even if you are
perfect at home doing timed tests you still may have problems so be on
your toes as soon as the first block begins. In my first block I had
problem of time. I wanted to be so sure of the choices I clicked even
in the easy questions that I won't move on to the next question till I
know yes I have clicked the right answer only.

This is something that we should be careful of because in the last ten
minutes there were 15 questions left and I had to go fast then. First I
searched for the workable questions with short stems and answered them
and then came to longer ones. In the end i finished all questions in
first block but I was not satisfied with my performance.

I took a deep breath and went to open the next block,
repeatedly telling myself not to spend extra time on any question.MARK
AND GO...MARK AND GO.......No turning back.If I found myself stuck on
any question I left it there and started from reverse. from 5oth
questions backwards. Surprisingly you will find easy questions there.
but still i wasn't perfect in 2nd block. Last two minutes I had 5
questions left.

THen I took a break for 15minutes. I skipped the tutorial and
had 55 minutes before I took my first break. I had chocolate and cold
drink, washed my face, did deep breathing, took a walk in lounge and
came in.

Block three onwards I found myself composed and not getting panicky even if I found difficulty in answering the questions.

Thereafter I took a break after every block.Had a long break of
25minutes after fourth block for lunch and also because i had lot of
time left and only 3 blocks to go.I would suggest even if you take a
break to just walk around till the loo and come back that refreshes you
so take a break after every block after doing first two in a go.

I got pictures, images, mri, ctscans around 30 in whole test. They were pretty workable, didn't find any serious problem there.

There were questions making you imagine things e.g. Suppose if
this happens......then what will be the changes, like that. Those were
the questions for which I wrote in my first message that THEY DON'T
parameters on x and y axis, never found in any review books. testing
the same concept but in a different way.

The difficulty level was slightly say 10% more than what we
have in cd's. And I attribute this to their presentation of questions
in a way that they are not testing what we have studied but what we
know. there won't be any usual key words. Everything was "camouflaged".
This doesn't mean that there were not easy questions. Some around 25%
were damn easy requiring only reading of the question and you are with
the answer even without reading the choices.

Time factor is important because I found myself stuck on some questions
for more than two minutes because of really long clinical history.
Actually, there were quite a few taking 30 seconds just to read the

Break time was surplus. I had seven minutes break left even after i finished my last block.
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