In this post, I’ll be sharing my Step 1 practice exam scores! Initially, I was a little hesitant about posting them because I know how hard one can be judged on an exam score! BUT, I feel that as medical students, we are SO much more than these numbers. We can not let them define us. Especially with Step 1 becoming pass/fail next year, these numbers will mean absolutely nothing very soon!
It was also important for me to share these for those who are going through the process now. I started off with an almost failing score but ending up with a score a few points from my goal score of 250. So, I wanted to offer some inspiration to those starting off in a similar place.
Lastly, I wanted students to have scores to reference to that are not from people scoring >270, at the beginning of dedicated. Throughout my time studying for Step 1, I was repeatedly discouraged from reading about how people would have these incredible practice exams scores. Hopefully, by giving you some real, average scores to reference to, you’ll restore some confidence in yourself during this difficult time.
Anyway, let’s get to it!
6 weeks out: NBME #17- 205
My initial reaction: OMG, I’m screwed. I had to remind myself that this was just the beginning. Up to this point, all I had done was review Boards and Beyond and some Uworld questions. I felt that I had decent background knowledge, but had no practice applying my knowledge. From this week on, I started going through more Uworld questions while continuing to review content. (See my dedicated schedule for all details)
5 weeks out: Med school’s NBME- 217
An improvement for sure, but still wayy under my goal. I continued to complete Uworld questions, review Sketchy and listen to Pathoma.
4 weeks out: NBME 18- 225
Okay, great. I’m seeing some improvement in my scores, especially after spending some time on my weaker subjects.
3 weeks out: Uworld assessment (UWA) 1- 241
I was ecstatic about this score! BUT, I remembered hearing how UWA 1 generally overestimates your score. So, I tried not to get too excited. This was week 4 out of 7 of my dedicated period. I knew I had a lot of work to do and time was slowing running out. I continued chugging through Uworld blocks and listening to random Pathoma videos at night.
2 weeks out: NBME 21/22- 234
This confirmed that UWA1 overestimated my score. Still, I was a little disappointed with this score. I had completed NBME 21/22 back to back to simulate the actual length of Step 1. Since the real exam is 7 blocks long, I completed 7 instead of the 8 blocks from the combined NBMEs. I had 2 weeks left and anxiety really started to kick in. I was feeling fatigued but knew I had a lot of work to do. At this point, I started to re-listen to Pathoma because I felt like I was missing questions due to knowledge gaps in some areas. I also continued doing Uworld blocks (re-doing my incorrects).
1 week out: UWA2- 239
I forgot to save my score report for this one. Anyway, a 239… Given that the average Step 1 score for U.S. medical students in 2017-2018 was 230, I was content with this score. I knew I had put in a lot of work and tried my best. While it was easy to get upset that I wasn’t as close to my goal score as I wanted, I tried to find comfort in that my scores weren’t trending the opposite way. I thought about pushing back my test date after this exam but was so tired that I knew I couldn’t do a few more weeks of dedicated. At this point, I had one week left until my exam. I was wrapping my studying. I was doing less Uworld and more reviewing of First Aid. I also continued listening to Pathoma.
2 days out: Free 120 questions 85%/245
These questions can be found here and the correlation which was made from someone on Reddit can be found here. Also, there’s no score report generated from these questions. I’ve heard that these set of questions are very predictive of actual Step 1 exams scores. So I was pretty happy. Of course, I still had doubts that I would totally bomb this exam. I had a few more days of studying and reviewing to do then I took the day before my exam off. I tried to get my headspace in the right place. That was the best thing I could for myself at this point. There was no turning back!
Actual Step 1 exam: 245-250
I was very pleased my score! ☺
|3/11||6 weeks out||NMBE 17||205|
|3/14||5 weeks out||School NBME||217|
|3/22||4 weeks out||NBME 18||225|
|3/31||3 weeks out||UWA1||241|
|4/6||2 weeks out||NBME 21||234|
|4/6||2 weeks out||NBME 22||234|
|4/13||1 week out||UWA2||239|
|4/17||2 days out||Free 120s||85%/245|
|4/20||Step 1 EXAM!!||245-250|
Good luck and let me know if you have questions by commenting below!