Table of Contents
How to improve step 1 score in 2 weeks? The biggest hurdle to pass while in med school is the usmle exam. It is a permanent score that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s hard and brutal. It is one of those nightmares that every med student faces. You study for it for months, and your fate is decided in one day. Which speciality you will end up in for the rest of your life.
Most students prep for the exam studiously and are able to achieve a high enough score to pass. But sometimes while you are going through the NBMEs and are hard at work studying for the exam, you feel that your score is starting to skip downward rather than upward. For. e.g. if you took the NBME 20 and then 2 weeks later you took the NBME 22, but your score came out lower than that on the NBME 20. Most students should not worry as different NBMEs score differently and your actual test score can be better than them. But if you then took two further NBMEs and your score constantly kept on falling then it is something you should investigate upon.
Why is your score falling? In my experience, the score starts falling as you start to forget the minor details in material that you had memorized a while back. This usually happens in subjects such as dermatology and nephrology. The minute details about the various nephritis and nephrotic syndromes are very easy to forget. This also occurs n the subject of pharmacology and microbiology. Subjects that are heavy on the facts without any clinical association tend to be the ones students mix and forget quite often.
If you feel your score is skipping and your exam is as near as 2 weeks away, you will surely benefit from these simple tips.
Uworld flashcards go through
If you made Uworld flashcards during your study it is a very wise decision to go through the material on your flashcards once more. You may need to revise the tables that you marked on the cards. Also, it is quite often that people forget lengthy names of diseases and drugs that are usually labelled by acronyms in routine clinical settings. These diseases tend to show up with their long and lengthy names on the step 1 exam so you need to know the actual disease name instead of the acronym.
Redo your wrong answers on Uworld
If you used Uworld as your question bank while studying for step 1. It will have questions that you had marked wrong. You need to go through the questions you marked wrong once more. It may seem that you don’t need to read through all the lengthy descriptions but I would definitely suggest that you do so. You may miss some important detail that you forgot about the question, The step 1 questions are notorious for asking these small minutia details on the harder questions to filter out the applicants.
If you have a question bank other than Uworld then I am pretty sure they will have an option to filter out the questions you marked wrong and go through them once again.
Redo your marked questions on Uworld
If you marked important questions that you had guessed on the question bank that turned out to be correct or if you considered a question difficult and marked it, you need to go through it again. Rinse and repeat is the name of the game for step 1. You need to hammer in the details of these marked questions as well. Trust me, it is one small detail that I kept in mind and it helped me tremendously.
Anki deck for the subjects you feel you are not confident in
If you feel you are not performing well in some subjects. Grab an Anki deck of important points on the subject and keep revising them again and again till the last day before your exam. This will help you nail the important points so even if you forget a lot of details about the subject, you still remember the bullet points. This can come in handy during the exam.
Lastly, do not worry too much about it. NBMEs are not entirely reflective of the exam. They are just example questions. Just go through the rest that you had planned to take, to stimulate the exam routine. In fact, it’s the exam routine that most students don’t practice that costs them more than the actual knowledge. Most people are not prepared to take on seven blocks of questions one after the other, with limited breaks. During the first three to four blocks everyone is fresh and can power through. But in the last block, it is our perseverance that helps us complete the exam. So go on and ace the exam champ!