USMLE Experience

How I Scored 261 in USMLE Step 1?

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

I have scored 261 in USMLE Step 1 exam and I am thankful to people who have posted their experiences on I prepared for 1 year and 3 months because my pace of learning is slow.


  • Goljan Review Book: It helps strengthen one’s concepts and answer questions that one may get during everyday practice. There’s more information than required for the test and I wasn’t able to complete the first 3 chapters.
  • Kaplan Lecture Notes: It provides a lot of details and has tough quizzes. Again, a good resource to strengthen concepts. I was able to work through physiology, anatomy, and pathology (excluding general path) twice.
  • UW question bank: I was able to complete 98% of the book in 3 months in timed and unused mode. I did 1 block a day. It has clear explanations.
  • High Yield Microbiology and Neuroscience: Used as supplementary material
  • First Aid Cases: I did 3 chapters to help me remember concepts.
  • First Aid 2011: I used this for mnemonics and assistance while solving the question bank. I completed 5 chapters.
  • PrepEZ Question Bank: I used this in my free time to test my concept for random questions.
  • USMLE Question of the Day: I practiced these questions on a daily basis because it takes less than 1 minute.

I took a few practice tests 5 days before the test. My scores were:

  • UWSA = 265, 260
  • NBME form 15 = 247
  • NBME form 13 = 252


  • First understand the concepts.
  • Practice random questions instead of topic-wise questions because exam won’t be topic-wise.
  • Do not get demotivated by your scores while solving question banks and practice tests. It will improve with consistent studying. Trust me!

Anxiety may decrease your performance on the test. Take frequent breaks during the test. I was tired after the 6th block because I had spent too long on the tutorial. Mark the tough questions and return to them later.

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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