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* Passed 207 my 5th time
  vesodoc - 01/20/16 10:34

I can't say how happy I am !
I passed.
I'd share some advice later, now i'm too shaky to concentrate :)

My first 2 attempts - very unwisely before starting residency, way back in 2011.
I'm an IMG with extensive career in Psychiatry in Europe, with research here in US. I've done my residency in US now, graduated in 2015.

I failed another two times - in 2014 and in May 2015, with 182 and 189 respectively.

This time:
- I've covered MTB 3 times ( including word by word almost learning it by heart and doing one last thoroughful reading in the last 5 days before Day 1) ESSENTIALLY LEARN MTB BY HEART, if you can. This will give you the structure on which you'd build some more annoying, useless facts in your clinical practice, but totally important for this freaking exam...:)

- I tried to read deeply Kaplan Lectures 2016 ( the green edition), couldn't, didn't have time, but there are some gems there, which actually help a lot ! Don't dismiss these two books. You could also try some of the youtube leaked lectures covering these lectures.
- QW - initially 65 % - the second time 70 %
- Kaplan qBank 68 % the first time, didn't have time for second time.
- BioStatistics - High-Yield Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Public Health (High-Yield Series) Fourth Edition.

Take good care of this book !!! It has tests interactive, which you can access. I think it is the best there. Also, please, don't underestimate the content for Epidemiology and Biostats in Kaplan Lectures 2016. Also the social part of the exam, there's a lot in these books.

In my opinion the biostat questions this time ( Dec 28 - my Day 1) were less compared to previous time, and they were slightly weirder and actually easier.
When they hit you with these pharma adds, don't freak out. Sometimes the first question focuses on something really easy, matter of careful reading of the contraindications for xample.

Didn't do Self assessment of QW or NBME - was so sick of these questions. But it might help to go through them, if you have time, just like Archer qbank. Look, medicine is an ocean. The more you know, the better :)

One thing I understood: it's a matter of having a real idea how big the amount of data you need to ingest and understand. One reason for failing I think is failing to grasp different concepts ( like - "yeah, I know this", and then they ask you the same concept, but in a different verbiage or different angle and boom, you're done ). Another reason is mismatch between time you allocate for studying and the amount of gaps you'd have in your knowledge. The best tool for this is to read MTB like your Bible, whenever you don't understand something, just memorize it. AND do different qbanks, video lectures. The more different angles you have been exposed to, the better you'll learn the ideas there.

Learn the vaccinations BY HEART !!!!

Anyway, it's so very doable, just needs time. One important thing, if you 're still with me :)
Don't trust all these people, who try to look very smart and spare you the exact amount of time they've spend studying. It can give you unrealistic idea how much time YOU will need. Remember, everyone comes from different background for this exam, everyone has different life situation. Be calm and know that you can't cheat time. Don't be afraid of failure. F...k the feelings of humiliation, frustration and all other negative thoughts that you can be absorbed with...It might be just a sign you need rest...Take a breath and...plounge !

And then ...just keep swimming, just keep swimming...:)

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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  snaggletooth77 - 01/20/16 11:20
  Way to go vesodoc,

What did you use for ccs? 18 f'n point increase on exam from last attempt, how were you able to do it, was it ccs?
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  tireddoc04 - 01/20/16 11:23
  Congrats vesodoc! You are a true gem to this forum. Always supporting others and helping others.
I got my resutlts back last week and failed for the second time with 189, the first time it was 187.

Was going through some depression. Reading your message was very helpful. Not in residency yet so have to work harder. thanks againg and good luck in your future!!!!
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  snaggletooth77 - 01/20/16 11:32
  Also vesodoc, I think I recall this that you felt that the exam is "manipulated" in some form or fashion if I'm not mistaken from another post...I can't prove that it is or isn't, and some would think of it as an easy excuse for not being able to pass for whatever reason perhaps. However, contrary to what others have said, the reality is that hard work isn't always rewarded i.e.passing then it is important to find out what/where things went wrong...anyway, it's easy $$$ for usmle to make off of repeat examinees, so it being manipulated makes me wonder, just sayin'...  
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  freu - 01/20/16 11:48
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  tireddoc04 - 01/20/16 11:54
  snaggle. i agree. i think there is quite a bit of manipulation. for my second day 70 percent of q's were obgyn with the remaining majority being peds. the uworld qbank as the most stupid qs for obgynn which did not help with qs.
its true that if you take exam in a more busy center that your exam is harder vs a smaller remote center where you will be the only one taking step 3
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  snaggletooth77 - 01/20/16 12:04
  Wow tireddoc, 70 percent qs obgyn....i never thought of it that way..generally what stands out for me are some qs, whether short or long stem, are ones im like WTF r u asking about?..that's where test taking skill or ability can certainly help...anyway, it really f'n sucks now that passing is 196. No place to really go in just to pass, have to prepare with the intent to actually make a decent score now.  
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  tireddoc04 - 01/20/16 12:24
  snaggle. i dont know if you passed or not. But for all those who have to repeat. try this(which i will do) when you take your exam next time choose a smaller center. I live in new york. im going to go take exam in PA. My friend who is a caribbean grad said that even in school they were encouraged to do so. Well guess what. first time he failed with 176 next time he didnt even study(he and me both have full time jobs together) took exam a month later in PA and guess what? his score was 220. He was rushing because he had interview last month and decided either they will not get my transcript let me just try.  
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  tireddoc04 - 01/20/16 12:26
  i am not exagerating. second day for me was almost all obgyn , followed by peds and maybe 20 im qs. nothing else. how do you pass an exam like that? surpriesed i even got 189. my ccs was a dot on right side=almost pefect.
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  avemaria13 - 01/20/16 18:31
  I got an increase of 21 points from my last step 3 exam( 184). now I got 205. I took the exam 3 months after my first failure.  
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* Re:Passed 207 my 5th time
  snaggletooth77 - 01/20/16 18:43
  Good job avemaria. I think you mentioned not feeling well the first time. Can you plz elaborate on what if any materials added, anything about recognizing same/similar exam qs 2nd time, etc...thanks  
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