Try your best and leave rest of it on The Creator who creates you such a perfect complex body.
All thanks belong to The Almighty and The Merciful God.
There are many things I couldn’t write here to avoid letting you bored. If you have any question, pleasure to help.

SCORE: 244

TARGET: 250+

TIME: Roughly 7 months

EXAM DATE:24 Jan 2017

RESULT RELEASE: 20 April 2017, it was delayed because of some document issue.

MY BACKGROUND: Dr. Najeeb videos in the 2nd – 8th semester of MBBS and Goljian pathology 6-9th semester in MBBS. These were the two meaningful things for my preparation. I don’t want you to waste your time with Dr. Najeeb’s video and Goljian; I did these two materials when I had no idea about Usmle.

MATERIALS: FA, Uworld, Kaplan Qbank, RX Qbank, Other supportive materials (Kaplan, BRS, Netter, Goljian).

Mustafa Ridvan Donmez
Mustafa Ridvan Donmez

METHODS AND TIPS :

1. Put FA at the center of your preparation

My journey started with FA end ended with FA. I also put FA in the center of my preparation. I advise you to the same. I don’t want you waste your times with Kaplan, Brs. I know that my brain is so leaky, I didn’t read those books. Rather than reading a bulky book without memorization, I only focus on FA understanding and memorizing without losing any single facts in it by spaced repetition method.

2. Use other books just to support your understanding of FA

FA is 70-80 percent of all exam content. Most of the medical student find FA tough to understand at the beginning of preparation as I do so. When I was facing with a new term in FA where there are no good explanations on it, I was always checking from Wikipedia, google, Kaplan, so on. You will definitely need those supportive materials to boost your knowledge and to feel more confident when walking into the exam.

3. Select your own way to study

I have two options to offer you if you are the beginner of your prep or mid-time of your prep with bored methods. First one is my one described below with detailed explanation. My study was only on the computer for convenient propose. You can easily search things on the computer and take notes very fast by copy face and revise wisely via Anki by the space repetition method. The second option is that you will anode everything on FA, study again and again. I don’t like the second option since hate taking notes by hand because of a sweating problem.

4. Use ANKI

Use ANKI for your short-term memorization
Anki is an application designed to memorize things by the easiest way. I was using this app from beginning to end of my preparation and am still using to revise step 1 materials for step2 prep. First aid RX flash cards in .apkg format (Anki only import flashcard with this format) This app let you memorize FA by its flash cards which include all content of FA. Even I didn’t open my FA book. I was always using apps to memorize and checking the things from other materials which I didn’t understand. I finished all Usmle RX flash cards which composed of around 10000 flash cards prepared from FA in about two months.

5. Use space repetition methods for your long-term memorization

This is the most important method that I can use it for my whole life when I want to memorize something. I may not say precisely but it is that when you learn some new fact or knowledge you should revise it at least 4 times to memorize it permanently. A revising in a week, a revising in three weeks, a revising in three months, a revising in a year. This may change according to your memorization skill. For me, I revised more often. may you think that is that time-consuming? No, it really worth it and your time needed for revision gradually decrease. At the beginning of preparation I was finishing 200-300 flash cards, at the end I was finishing 1500-2000 flash cards.

6. Plan your study and execute it on time.

 

experience
experience

 

Plan your study according to Space repetition for each week and execute your plan as this will give you so much confident and motivation as I did same. And I didn’t lose my motivation even a day.
Make a good plan and execute it. I was making a plan for each week, I feel confident when I finish my work. Your plan should be realistic and according to spaced repetition. We often see some people in the Usmle prep group are depressed because of forgetting things after starting other materials. What I did is that I restrict my materials with FA flashcards and my own flash cards from Uworld, Kaplan, etc, it was very easy to revise everything quickly and by the space repetition method. Especially when you start Uworld which takes a long time, you should revise your background often.

7. Make your own flash card in Anki

Taking notes from Qbank (Uworld and others) is important as FA is not enough for the exam. I was making my own flash cards when I was solving Qbanks. I have taken almost 10000 flash cards from my preparations aside from 10000 flash cards in First Aid Rx flash cards. I after I made my own flash cards I revised all the decks by space repetition methods. This link explains how I make own flashcards.

8. Do NBME

Do NBME for your assessment and studying tools. I did almost all NBMEs exams except 18, 19, 6 as far as I remember (my exam was three months ago, the result is delayed some document issue).

NBME-11 215(Three months before) others mostly btw 220-250
NBME-15 220(two and half month before)
NBME-17 234(three weeks before)
NBME-16 256(two weeks before)
NBME-18 it was tough, I did two blocks and gave up.
Free Usmle sample question 2015: 86 percent
Kaplan 7 Hour sample exam: 78 percent(most similar with my exam)
Kaplan 7 Hours sample exam: 72 percent

9. LAST MONTH

After consolidating your memorization of FA via flashcards by space repetition methods you should read FA in 2-3 days for 2-3 times in the last month of your preparation. You should also consolidate your own flashcards from Qbank before the exam and revise at least one time in the last month of your preparation.

10. THE EXAM

After accomplished your plans many times; you will be definitely relaxed when you are going into the exam. So just try your best in exam leave rest of it on The Creator.

 

MY MISTAKES

1-I did Uworld offline, you should do online.
2-I did some useless qbank, you shouldn’t

MY QBANK RANKING

Uworld (offline)
Kaplan q bank (paid online), It was most similar to my exam.
Pastest q bank (free online)
Rx q bank 2014(offline)

Alhamdullilah for everything

 

 

Acknowledgements

This article was first posted on Facebook. It was later published here with permission from the author.

 

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One Comment

  • Rupert Green Reply

    Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your experience… Very helpful 😃

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