USMLE test day tips

My USMLE Step 1 Exam Experience & Tips

This is the test taking experience of USMLE Step 1 submitted by a USMLE taker. You can read other USMLE takers’ experience here.

Although it is illegal to share questions after one has taken the test, people still indulge in it. It is done in 2 ways:

  • People share their personal experience of the test just after the test. You should ignore these because each person’s experience is different.
  • People post a list of topics that appeared on the test. You should be wary of these because the information may be false. Since USMLE provides a score relative to the scores of all the people who took the test that month, candidates may post misleading topics to confuse subsequent test takers.

My score was 260.


I began preparing 6 months in advance. I solved UWorld and NBME several times. I read FA in its entirety and listened to Goljan and Pathoma. I did not use flashcards or DIT. I used supplementary books for Biochemistry and Immunology because those were my weaknesses. I also used USMLE Rx question bank. I also used PrepEZ Question Bank and USMLE Question of the Day on a daily basis to practice daily questions.

My practice test scores (NBME and UWorld) helped me track my performance. I began with 215 and ended with 265+.

Test experience:

UWorld practice tests look exactly like the actual test with the question numbers on the side. In general, the questions were more similar to UWorld than NBME. However, the test as a whole was not like UWorld. This was because UWorld only has good and often 3-step questions, whereas the actual test also has easy questions as well as poorly-written questions.

Poor test takers panic when they get the bad questions and perform poorly on even easy questions. Good test takers treat each question like a new one and tackle it accordingly.

The bad questions could be experimental and may not count toward your final score.

Satabdi is a content writer and editor with degrees in Biology and English. Her interests include education, health and wellness, and books. When not writing, she can usually be found reading in a corner.

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