Image - Harsh PatelHARSH




Brace yourselves. It’s going to be a long lecture ๐Ÿ˜….



Well, I am an Indian IMG, In the final year of MBBS. Started preparing out of bloom in the prefinal year when one of my friends asked me to think about it and yes, I went online to search about it and boom! next day I started reading it.



263 Wrote it on the first page on my FA. But I was okay with anything above 250.


Kaplan (KLN)

Started in June end, of 2016. Started with KLN lecture notes with videos. Did all the subjects except pathology of course, for which I did Pathoma and Goljan! I finished KLN lecture notes in 2.5 months. Used to read 50 pages a day for about 4-5 days a week. Remaining 2-3 days I was busy attending lectures and wards in college. I could bunk wards the rest of the days which was awesome ๐Ÿ˜›.



After finishing KLN I started reading pathology from Goljan and Pathoma book (Fundamentals of Pathology) as well asย Pathoma videos. Took me over a month to finish both of these resources and along with it, I was reading First Aid. So by the end of September, I was done with all KLN, Goljan, and Pathoma and almost half of first aid.! Also, i tried to listen to golden audio but not my cup of tea and also Rapid review was a waste of time too coz I was not able to revise it later and so all got vaporized by the time I sat for my exam.



Then had to read for my college exams for 25 days and then after reading FA for 15 days and me finished first aid for the first time by mid-November after which I started reading for my university exams which took about 1.5 months.



Image - Quote by Harsh Patel



After reading in pieces and after getting done with my university exam I started reading First aid again along with Usmle-RX qbank in early January. Skipped wards fully. USMLE-Rx helped a lot to consolidate first aid. I was done with the qbank and so-called second read of first which felt like the first read because of gaps I had in my preparation. So done with it at around 15th Feb. During this reading, I used to google anything from FA that I did not understand, literally anything including meanings of the word that was not in my vocabulary. LOL. I would read a topic from FA around 15-20 pages in the morning and then do questions from that topic or system in noon and evening. I used to do around 80-100 questions that way. Also, i did High yield Neuroanatomy and BRS physio and 100 cases ethics by Dr. Conrad Fischer in this period too. Found them useful and they took no longer than 2-3 days each.



I bought 2 months subscription for UW on 17th Feb and started doing it in random timed mode. But time was never an issue for me. So no biggie there but doing questions randomly I felt as if I was wasting questions of topics that I was weak in. So contrary to the popular belief I did what I did with Rx. Read from FA and then do questions of that topic. It worked for me and I used to make notes from UWorld since I was pretty sure that I was not going to get time to do it again! I used to do 60-120 questions each day. 60 when I would read first aid in the morning and 120 when I wonโ€™t.

Also did Pathoma daily every night for 1-2 hours and finished it in 10-15 days. I finished third reading of first aid and UWorld Bank way behind the schedule on around 5th of April. 15 days prior to my step 1 exam. Also, I did Uworld Biostatistics subject review in this period and that helped me improve my grip on Biostat.



Then after I started reading from first aid and my notes of UWorld. It was going way slower than I expected and that bugged me a lot. Hardly 35 pages of FA every day. Was left with entire micro the day before my exam but well I went through few pages of micro and that’s it.


Image- House and sky



Went through the tutorial on Planned to sleep for around 8 hours but slept for only 6. Was groggy in the morning when I got up but 6 hours too was fantastic for me since I sleep far less in my university exams. I was much relaxed when I went to sleep and I thought that I had played my role. I have done enough. I hoped for the best.




On the day of the exam, I got up at 6 to reach Prometric center at around 7. Exam time was 8 AM but they started it early.


Had 272 questions in total. The first block was terrible. I freaked out and thought that it was a very bad day for me and I was screwed. Finished it with around 3 seconds left. Took break after that to compose myself and had some protein bar and juice that I brought with me. The second was relatively easy but still was tough. Next four were easy ones. Was getting them done with around 15 minutes left in every block. Took 2-10 minutes break after every block and last block had only 32 questions. Way weird. Mostly one-liners which werenโ€™t direct and neither they involved reasoning.

But still did it. When I was checking out the staff at Prometric center was shocked. Lol. They said that you did way earlier than rest of the guys. Had more than 1 hr 15 mins of break time left. That obviously freaked me out. Checked 4-5 question just after coming out of the exam and all came out to be wrong so I just stopped doing that. And hoped that all will be good!



UFAP is UW + First Aid + Pathoma

All in all, UFAP is more than enough. Goljan was way too much. It’s an excellent resource but way too long and use it only if you were to revise it again. And revise the limited resources that you use. Focus on 90% that will be there from UFAP instead of trying to get 10% correct that’s going to be out of UFAP. There will be such questions and well let’s face it no matter what you do you might get them wrong.


Image - quote
Quote by Harsh Patel



KLN with videos1 time
Goljan1 time
Pathoma2 times (videos once)
First Aid4 times
BRS physio1 time
High Yield neuroanatomy1 time
USMLERx qbank1 time
UWorld qbank1 time
UWorld biostat subject review1 time



Struggled some days for it and some days I was all good. Q Banks were tiring and reading explanations were boring on some days. But thanks to friends and family who constantly stood by me and had faith in me more than I had in myself and kept me motivated.




Anxiously waited for my results. They were delayed because of pending verification of my student status from my med school (link for more info on student status verification) But finally the results are out.

And viola it’s 262.




Scores in practice tests I gave –

6/02USMLE-Rx half sim 1248 (76% correct)
26/02USMLE-Rx half sim 2263 (82% correct)
6/03UWSA-1256 (79% correct)
31/03UWSA-2262 (88% correct)
2/04NBME-18255 (183/200)
12/04NBME-19253 (187/200)
NBME-13, 14, 15, 16, & 17ย >180/200 in all of them
USMLE-Rx qbank79% correct
USMLE World qbank83% correct
20/04Real deal262

I am more than happy with my score and thanks everyone for standing by me and helping me succeed..!




KLN = Kaplan

qbank = question bank

UFAP = USMLE World, First Aid, and Pathoma

USMLE-Rx half sim = USMLE-Rx half simulation




Harsh Patel




This article was first posted on Facebook. It was later edited and republished on this website with permission from the author. Image designing of “Quote by Harsh Patel” by Arnab Mukherjee.




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  • Anonymous Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Anonymous Reply

    And of course congrats, and best wishes for Step 2

  • anu Reply

    what edition were KLN videos, and how did you get hold of them, please share :)

  • Anushka Reply

    congratulations and this post was really helpful ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

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