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* my honest detailed exam experience
  usmleexam88 - 12/06/17 19:27
  I'll go straight into it..I kept delaying this exam for whatever dumb reason (including trying to find a date). Those guys who find dates and sell them for high prices..well I don't know whether to love them or hate them. Anyways, I got my date and had only TWO weeks to prepare.

Before exam:
-I skim through all the differentials and labs (First Aid)
-I did as many cases in the back of First Aid (didn't do all)
-Used mnemonics for some cases online that I felt were important
-Went to Kaplan to find partners...again it was a good and bad experience. It's super awkward to go around pleading with ppl to be your partner. I wasted a lot of time on the train going to and from Kaplan. Time looking for a partner. etc. There were times when I went the long journey to Kaplan and no one was there. However, I did have some good days and picked up on a few tips. I advise in the beginning to sit and watch some people do cases so that you could have a general feel of what is expected. You will notice a lot of them had thick accents and were kind of going "overkill" with this exam (in my humble opinion) Perhaps because they have to make up for their thick accents? IDK. (still have a lot of respect for them because it's obvious they're working really hard and are super smart).
-I advise to always time yourself. I used the nyc cs timer app. I set my timer to 13 mins.
-It's so important to go over musclekeletal examination as much as you can. On the real exam you want to go thru PE as quickly as possible.

FEW Days before the exam:
-went over cases that were very difficult for me. (psych/neuro cases)
Two days before the exam:
-kept reviewing cardio and respiratory cases (sooooooo important)
One day before the exam (AM):
-went through atleast 1-2 hard cases per organ system (if that makes sense)
One day before the exam (PM):
-first time going over pediatric cases (only used the mnemonic)
-going over the adult cases really helped with the pediatric cases (well for me it did that's why I didn't need as much time)
-took a nap and really early in the morning..yes you heard that right I was studying hours before the exam..I went over all possible PE examination on myself.
-dont care if people agree or disagree.. i passed anyways.

On exam day:
I haven't slept, took a shower, ate at dunkin donuts, bought orange juice and chocolate at 7 eleven, did not drink coffee ( with anxiety and all I didn't want to feel anymore anxious or jittery.
I arrived early there were 3 other AMG students. We all chatted and they were talking about residency and all. I opened up and next thing you know everyone was asking 21 questions about life as a med student in the caribbean. Finally we were allowed in. Showed ID's and all. We were given tape to cover our credentials and school logos. The staff is forever calling you "DR" (kinda felt weird). We watched a orientation video that I already watched online. We were allowed to test out equipment. Please do...especially the patient chair. It will help calm your nerves. We were separated into two groups.

EXAM BEGAN....I remember standing in front of the door feeling like its twilight. My heart was beating so fast. And i remember telling myself "girl you better pass this exam bc you're not going thru this exam again" I don't know about other people, but everytime I was standing in front of that door my heart was beating soon fast. Anyways I finished all my encounters on time and early.

I was suppppppeerrrr niceeeee. I practiced what to say, how to say it, and what not to say. I knew that I will get a star on CIS and SEP. When it comes to patient encounter I felt like I typed my notes well, but typing the PE portion was difficult considering that sometimes the SP PE was poor. I wasn't sure if they were wheezing or just heavily breathing etc. I kept second guessing myself on certain things (please don't do that) and needed to spend more time memorizing WU. I only scored high on ICE with no star.

-Exam was simple and straightforward. It requires technique, strategy, and practice. Don't spend too much time. It isn't step 1. (again everyone is different) I wanted to change my exam date two days before the exam, but thank god my husband persuaded me otherwise.

-Listening to other people who gave me the impression that the exam was difficult
-Spending so much time looking for partners (practicing on other partners is very important don't get me wrong, but i spent too much time looking for partners almost every day)
-Spending time traveling to the kaplan center
-Underestimating my self. The exam is just like any other exam room (currently a rotation student)
-I don't regret studying few hours before the exam. If you know it doesn't work for you then don't do it.

Note: I went over some of my arab friends patient notes ( they were struggling with spelling and grammatical errors) exchange for practice. Sharing is caring so I thought to share my experience.

Hope that helps?
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* Re:my honest detailed exam experience
  usmleexam88 - 12/06/17 19:54
  I also forgot to add I practiced typing patient notes around three days before the exam. I wish I started it from day one. Don't wait to the last minute, but then again I was doing this in my IM rotation.  
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