Step 1 Study Tips

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Step 1 Study Tips

Post by Admin on Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:11 am

Please PM me for any specific questions. Also happy to SKYPE in the evenings as well

1. You’re at Brown and YOU’RE AWESOME!!!

2. You need to be disciplined, confident, and believe in yourself

3. You need to turn OFF your cellphone. But what about family emergencies? Well, just think of this, when you take the real exam, everything is locked away, and you can only access your phone in designated areas in between breaks. If you’re at a desk staring either at FIRST AID or UWORLD, your phone MUST BE OFF! Be disciplined.

4. Stick to First AID and UWORLD. Nothing else. But there’s Pathoma, Goljan, Firecracker, RX, Kaplan….and a million flash card decks out there. STICK TO FIRST AID and UWORLD. Enough said.

5. But I want my flashcards. STICK TO FIRST AID and UWORLD.

6. You need to go through First AID at least 3x.

7. You need to go through UWORLD at least 1x and your incorrect answers at least 1x

8. You need to take at least 3 NBME timed exams

9. But how do I read First AID?
A. THROW AWAY YOUR HIGHLIGHTERS, EVERY SINGLE ONE, ALL COLORS Use pen or pencil and annotate. How do I do that? What should I annotate?

B. During your first pass through, reading First AID is very, very, very dry process. But you have tomuster the discipline to sit down for the first 4 hours in the morning to read FIRST AID. Annotate ideas and draw connections to things you remember from class and UWorld. And draw connections across systems. Example: In GI block, hepatopulmonary syndrome pathogenesis is pulmonary vascular dilation. In my mind, I remember that idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis also involved pathology of the pulmonary vasculature. But instead of dilatation, it involves vasoconstriction, and the treatment was a vasoconstrictor, endothelin inhibitor. Another connection: Nitric Oxide is a potent vasodilator of vessels and is the main mechanism behind how nitrates promote VENO-dilation, thereby decreasing preload and stress on the heart muscle to treat angina.

C. Mnemonics: Take the time to come up with bizarre, crazy, insane, sexy, erotic, whatever stimulates your fancy mnemonic to help you remember minutiae. Example: I always can’t remember if parietal cells secrete HCl or Chief cells. But despite parents’ acidic personalities and their scathing remarks, they are still intrinsic and instrumental in your personal growth and academic success. Thus Parietal-Parental cells secrete HCl and Intrinsic Factor. Or you can just remember that give a can of Pepsi to the Chief.

D. But there’s so much stuff!?! Be patient and give yourself room to improve. I remember like 25% of First AID on 1 st pass. But then, I was excited to read First AID a 2nd time. Say what? Are you insane? Yes and No. It’s a weird feeling, almost a craving for FIRST AID,
because you’ve seen everything once, got your ass whooped by UWORLD, and now you’re ready to read it again so you can beef up your knowledge base to own UWORLD, only to get whooped again.

e. Pass 3: Now you are about to reap the rewards and start to own UWORLD.

10. UWORLD:
A. READ EVERY PUNCTUATION! Enough said. Open every link and meticulously peruse every diagram, chart, illustration. This should take between 3-4 hours per 40 question block.

b. UWORLD makes First AID come alive. Annotate UWORLD key summaries into their corresponding chapters in FIRST AID and make a UWorld Journal (i.e. word doc.) of all questions answered correctly & incorrectly and why.

c. Do NOT read and memorize biochem flowcharts. Instead get questions use UWorld Biochem questions to learn it.

How do take UWORLD Exams

Timed Mixed Mode
Pro: Simulate real testing conditions
Con: Must flip back and forth in FIRST AID

Untimed Tutor Mode

Pro: Morning read cardio, afternoon do 2 blocks of cardio. Makes learning each block more integrated. You also know which block gives you the most difficulty and where gaps are in your knowledge base.
Con: Not every block have the same questions. Does not simulate real testing environment

Bottom line: Try both ways and see which works best for you. Personally, I did UWORLD untimed, tutor mode. I approached UWORLD as a STUDY tool, NOT an assessment of my score. Instead, I saw UWORLD as another textbook to animate FIRST AID and really make dry concepts stick better. UWORLD really challenges you on the HOW and WHY questions. Let the NMBE exams assess your real score.

***Your UWORLD % will suck. Mine did, at first, but it will rise with: refer back to rule 2.

11. How to answer UWORLD Questions

A. ALWAYS READ THE QUESTION FIRST. Even if it’s an essay with a billion lab values.

B. ALWAYS COVER THE ANSWER CHOICES, initially and think 1) ok, what the F is going on? 2) What concept are they testing me? 3) Do I think I know, or am I really Bulls***ing? 4) ok, I definitely know this, so I’ll come up with my own answer before checking the choices

C. If the answer is what you thought initially, pick that, quickly double check the remaining choices to further prove you’re right. Then NEXT

D. If the answer is NOT what you were considering. Then pause and use the answer choices to help you eliminate. And be ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENT when eliminating answer choices. You have to be Confident. How? Rule no.2

E. With Each incorrect UWORLD question, you should ask did I get it wrong b/c
1) of eeny, meeny, miny, moe: this means you did a fantastic job of narrowing it down to 2 answers. But they are quite similar and there are corroborating details in the question stem that can potentially support both answers. So what key clue did you miss, or what concepts were they really testing?

2) I got it right the first time only to switch it to an incorrect answer choice. Been there, done that. Keep a tab of how many you switched from correct to incorrect and vice versa. And remember, there has to be a VERY CONVINCING reason for you to switch last minute. If it’s because of “oh wait there’s too many B’s in a row, if I pick B, this means that my last 5 answers are B. This can’t be
right, can it?” I once picked 7 C’s in a row and got them all correct. Go figure. But if you get all 40 C’s in a row, then yeah, maybe you should go back and double check. Take home message. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR FIRST CHOICE

3) I kinda know it, like the disease they’re talking about, but not the details. Oh, now that UWORLD explains it so eloquently, I get it.

4) I have absolutely no clue what is going on. This means? Go back and read FIRST AID

5) But what about the questions where I just got lucky and guessed correctly? You should in fact count those questions for learning purposes as incorrect.

6) For all UWORLD and STEP1 questions about ↑↓↓↑ always cover up the arrows and fill out the columns on your own. It’s either you know or you don’t. Process of elimination really won’t help you here.

12. Any other study materials? NO, stick to FIRST AID and UWORLD and know them stone cold. For any questions you repeatedly get wrong or any concepts warranting further clarification, you can look them up. I usually like “Medbullets” or online STEP1 forums. Example: I have a hard time learning the glycogen storage disease, so I Google “glycogen storage disease USMLE” and usually the first few links that pop up are Medbullets and online forums where previous test- takers debate passionately about Step 1 questions.

13. You’re at Brown and YOU’RE AWESOME!!!


Last edited by Admin on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:38 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Re: Step 1 Study Tips

Post by moonshine on Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:41 am

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