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Canadian USMLE Step 1 writers from 3 Year schools (or 4 year schools): Tips!

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3 hours ago, DermJuly2018PGY1 said:

what you score?

Doesn't matter. This advice

4 hours ago, Edict said:

1. Use UWorld + First Aid. 

2. Use either Pathoma or Goljan's as well

3. In subject areas you are weak, buy a book that advertises itself as USMLE friendly

 

is solid. If you read any other forum it will essentially be the same. How well you score depends on how much you study. If you want to aim for 250+ you basically need to just know FA (with uworld annotations) cold. 

EDIT: Also, cannot stress how valuable pathoma is. If you had to choose between that and Goljan, absolutely do pathoma. 

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18 hours ago, skyuppercutt said:

Doesn't matter. This advice

is solid. If you read any other forum it will essentially be the same. How well you score depends on how much you study. If you want to aim for 250+ you basically need to just know FA (with uworld annotations) cold. 

EDIT: Also, cannot stress how valuable pathoma is. If you had to choose between that and Goljan, absolutely do pathoma. 

I would agree, Pathoma was a gold-mine. The book + videos side by side, covered everything far more succinctly and clearly than my preclin courses did. And to much broader breadth.

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I scored very highly. i took it after medical school so my vantage point was slightly different but i think were i to do it in medical school i would have followed the same plan.

1. get the most recent edition of first aid and go through each of the chapters, making your own notes as you go along using three ring binders and lined paper. paraphrasing things helps you remember them and understand them. if you dont understand something, find a source like goljan, costanzo, etc and clarify it. FA is an outline of what you should know. it does not have the detail you need.

2. get pathoma and annotate the appropriate FA chapters with pathoma lecture information. although it comes with a book i didnt use it, but as a student the pathology images contained in it may prove valuable. 

 

NOTE: pathoma is good enough to recommend to every medical student even if they dont plan on sitting for the usmles. it really is that good. Praise Sattar.

3. finally do uworld in timed random, NOT TUTOR and NOT UNTIMED, eight-to-ten blocks one day, with three days of annotation following. REMEMBER TO ANNOTATE! The explanations in uworld are the best you can find anywhere. with this pattern you can get through uworld in one month. i think its valuable to do uworld last, after FA and pathoma, because you can use it to test your knowledge and MCQ strategies as you will be simulating testing conditions. if you go into it at the start, it is useless for assessment purposes.

4. do the uwsas and the two most recent nbmes throughout your uworld studies, with the last ones at the end.

overall you can do it in four to six months. usmle is no joke and requires intense study and dedication, and the score is very important, doubly so as a canadian as trumps regime is cracking down heavily on h1b visas.

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2 hours ago, GrouchoMarx said:

I scored very highly. i took it after medical school so my vantage point was slightly different but i think were i to do it in medical school i would have followed the same plan.

1. get the most recent edition of first aid and go through each of the chapters, making your own notes as you go along using three ring binders and lined paper. paraphrasing things helps you remember them and understand them. if you dont understand something, find a source like goljan, costanzo, etc and clarify it.

2. get pathoma and annotate the appropriate FA chapters with pathoma lecture information. although it comes with a book i didnt use it, but as a student the pathology images contained in it may prove valuable. 

 

NOTE: pathoma is good enough to recommend to every medical student even if they dont plan on sitting for the usmles. it really is that good. Praise Sattar.

3. finally do uworld in timed random, eight-to-ten blocks one day, with three days of annotation following. with this pattern you can get through uworld in one month. i think its valuable to do uworld last, after FA and pathoma, because you can use it to test your knowledge and MCQ strategies. if you go into it at the start, it is useless for assessment purposes.

overall you can do it in four to six months. usmle is no joke and requires intense study and dedication, and the score is very important, doubly so as a canadian as trumps regime is cracking down heavily on h1b visas.

The best resources are definitely UWorld, First Aid, and Pathoma (it really is just as good as everyone says it is). Depending on your learning style, I would advise starting UWorld as early as possible. Yeah you will get a lot of questions wrong at first which will feel like shit, but it is a more practical way to learn the material. The only thing shown to correlate with a high score is the number of practice questions a person can cram into their head. It is in your best interest to do as many questions as humanly possible. UWorld is a learning tool, not an assessment tool. If you want a proper assessment, take one of the NBME self-assessment exams (which are actually fairly predictive). How you use UWorld (or other qbanks) is also really important. Make sure you take the time to go over each question thoroughly so you understand what the question is trying to ask and why the other options are incorrect. Also try to annotate FA while you go through UWorld as the explanations are better than what you'll find in most textbooks.

I never completed a full read-through of FA while studying for Step 1 but still managed to score very well. I did, however, complete an embarrassing number of practice questions. A lot of the exam is pattern recognition which just takes practice. If you can put yourself in the shoes of the question writers and understand why they are asking certain questions, or how they could change the wording slightly to get a different answer, you'll be in good shape. Also if FA puts you to sleep, DIT basically reads FA to you so that is another option for getting through the material.

At the end of the day, it's important to figure out which resources work best for you. Don't be afraid to switch things up if something isn't working just because someone read FA 10 times and got a 250. Another resource I found helpful was SketchyMicro, but I am more of a visual learner. Goljan is kind of like the precursor to Pathoma but is more of a slog to try and read through. There is an audio recording of Goljan's Step 1 lecture series online somewhere which can be good to listen to while on the go or working out.

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On 4/12/2018 at 8:04 PM, thatiswhat said:

The best resources are definitely UWorld, First Aid, and Pathoma (it really is just as good as everyone says it is). Depending on your learning style, I would advise starting UWorld as early as possible. Yeah you will get a lot of questions wrong at first which will feel like shit, but it is a more practical way to learn the material. The only thing shown to correlate with a high score is the number of practice questions a person can cram into their head. It is in your best interest to do as many questions as humanly possible. UWorld is a learning tool, not an assessment tool. If you want a proper assessment, take one of the NBME self-assessment exams (which are actually fairly predictive). How you use UWorld (or other qbanks) is also really important. Make sure you take the time to go over each question thoroughly so you understand what the question is trying to ask and why the other options are incorrect. Also try to annotate FA while you go through UWorld as the explanations are better than what you'll find in most textbooks.

I never completed a full read-through of FA while studying for Step 1 but still managed to score very well. I did, however, complete an embarrassing number of practice questions. A lot of the exam is pattern recognition which just takes practice. If you can put yourself in the shoes of the question writers and understand why they are asking certain questions, or how they could change the wording slightly to get a different answer, you'll be in good shape. Also if FA puts you to sleep, DIT basically reads FA to you so that is another option for getting through the material.

At the end of the day, it's important to figure out which resources work best for you. Don't be afraid to switch things up if something isn't working just because someone read FA 10 times and got a 250. Another resource I found helpful was SketchyMicro, but I am more of a visual learner. Goljan is kind of like the precursor to Pathoma but is more of a slog to try and read through. There is an audio recording of Goljan's Step 1 lecture series online somewhere which can be good to listen to while on the go or working out.

goljan is great for listening to during commutes but outside of that i wouldnt concentrate on it. i also wouldnt use his book as a primary source but as a reference to fill in gaps that are present in FA (which are a lot)

i dont know about sketchy but a lot of people like to use it.

DIT is a HUGE waste of money. DONT use it. considering that pathoma is a fraction of the price, and actually useful, i am not impressed with DITs price gouging of neurotic medical students and IMGs for what basically amounts to someone reading FA to you like a bedtime story.

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