DONE with the USMLE!

Just came home a few hours ago from the prometric center after finishing the USMLE! I am EXHAUSTED! During the actual test I was surprised at how awake I felt, but once I came home, I hit the bed for a quick nap. I brought a power drink and coffee but hardly drank those during the test because my anxiety and adrenaline was running. I’ll give a brief rundown of what went down.

I got to the center 45 min early (I know, I’m a freak about arriving to things early) but it worked out well because I was able to start early. They gave me a key for my locker, I checked in, and sat down to start the exam. They gave me both headphones for audio and noise canceling headphones (they did not fit my small head very well but helped cancel out most noises). 

I got through the first and second block without taking a break. I felt like I had enough time to finish all the blocks but I definitely did not have enough time to go over all the questions I marked. I was marking a lot more questions than I usually do in a uworld block, which made me really nervous…but I think I was just being really cautious. I had a little less than 10 min to review my marked questions which is pretty reasonable but I wish I could’ve gone over more obviously. I took a 5 min break after block 2 to pee and grab a sip of water. Block 3 and 4 were a blurr really. Took a 5 min break after block 3 and a 25 minute break after block 4 for lunch. During all the breaks I felt like I couldn’t really relax and I usually went back into the room before 5 min was up because I was so anxious about getting to the exam. I took a 15 min break after block 5 and a 10 minute break after block 6. It felt really really fast once I was done with the exam and I did not feel great after it. I honestly do not know how I did or if I even passed. I had to make educated guesses on a majority of the questions. However, there were some very straight forward questions that I was expecting on there also. My test had a lot of molecular biology which I though I had covered in my studies but apparently not. I was fearing ethics after doing NBME 15 but most of them were doable. Almost no biochem. But otherwise, I can’t say that it was really heavy in any particular subject. I had the most trouble with the molecular biology questions and endocrine questions so maybe I felt like there were a lot of them but actually, I probably just spent more time thinking about those. Overall, I felt like the test was harder than uworld but easier than NBME 15 (which I thought had so many obscure questions that I’ve never seen the format or concepts for at all). I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best for this one >.<

If I had to do it all again, I would want to do all of kaplan. I saw a good number of questions that were definitely mentioned in the few videos I watched from kaplan. At first they may seem like very lengthy, dense videos, but I found them to be very helpful on the exam. I would have also looked at molecular bio questions more. 

Welp, I’m taking this night off and on to the next one next week!

The final hours

It’s finally here! 13 more hours until my USMLE and I really can’t wait to take it. I’m not really nervous now, but we’ll see if that changes tomorrow morning. Today I went over some high yield notes and pages from FA that I marked for review. I also did a block of uworld (had to) just to make sure I’m not failing things. I’ve got everything prepped for tomorrow and I’m mentally (if not academically) prepared for this. It’s been a long 6 months coming. The rest of the day I spent resting and working out. I did arms and shoulders of p90x today. Yesterday was plyometrics, which is my FAVORITE video from the series, and I was still feeling the burn on my legs today. I feel like everyday I’m improving my endurance and strength which is amazing. Literally everyday a new muscle, that I never knew could be worked out, is aching (in a very good way). I’ve tried many programs before and I usually quit before the first week was up, but this time I feel really great about p90x. I’m thinking about switching out the yoga day though : / It’s just way too much for me and it’s the only video that really feels too long and boring. I might just do some HIIT and stretching on that day instead.

Anyways, off to eat some dinner, watch some TV and get a good rest before my exam tomorrow!

3 days

I’ve gone through all of FA in 4 days. Wow. These were the most mentally tiring days of… my whole life. Today was really tough because I had to go through repro and resp, both of which I really hate. Also I’m getting my period in a couple of days and it’s really affecting my concentration. This always happens a week before my period- my mind gets really foggy out of nowhere and no matter how much coffee I consume, I still feel fatigued and concentrating is really hard. This makes me really nervous about the test 😦 but hopefully my endorphins will override all of that on the actual test day. There’s nothing else I can really do about it anyways. My plans for the next 2 days are to skim through my highlights and annotations from goljan, pathoma and brs physio. And then review GI and Repro, which are 2 topics I struggle the most with. I also plan on doing 2 sets of timed uworld questions a day (the ones that I got wrong). Then on wednesday, the day before the big test, I’m going to take it easy. Probably just read the rapid review at the end of FA and shave my legs and get my eyebrows waxed since those details of my life have been neglected for the past month -.-

An update on my p90x progress…

I am officially done with my first week! It’s crazy how different I feel already. I mean I am no where near where I want to be, but my calves are aching, my tiny guns are popping out and just in general, I feel pretty healthy. Today was kempo X day and I’m really not a fan. I’m used to doing really hardcore cardio workouts and this was on a beginner level in my opinion. I did get a sweat in, especially during those jumping jack moments, but I wish there was a little more cardio. I’m actually a huge fan of HIIT so maybe I’m just used to thinking, if it’s not HIIT, it’s a waste of time. 

I’m also not following the p90x diet plan, but I started using the myfitnesspal app and it’s AMAZING! It has EVERY type of food/product that you can imagine. I mean I even looked up “costco seafood stuffed mushroom with shrimp” and it was there! It also gives you a breakdown of your macros (carbs, protein, fats) each day so that you know where your calories are coming from. I find that at 10pm when I’m craving a klondike bar, I look at my calorie intake on myfitnesspal for the day and more often than not, I put down the bar because I know it would bring me over my calorie limit. So it definitely helps me keep track of my calorie intake and I highly recommend using it!

9 days

Today was a hard day emotionally. One of those days where I’m sitting down for the whole day studying and wondering why the hell is my life like this at 23? And maybe I should have gone into dentistry.
I’ve got 9 more days until my usmle and it’s getting really rough to try and pull myself to study anymore. First of all, even though there are a ton of things I still don’t know, I am so sick of doing uworld. I can’t bring myself to read through the whole question, let alone all the explanations which makes me wonder if doing uworld is even helping me at this point. Then I go do a block of comquest and those questions seem much more harder to me even though the questions are shorter. When I get a question wrong in uworld, the right answer was usually my second choice. When I get something wrong in comquest it’s because I have no fucking clue what they’re even asking me. This makes me really nervous because I feel like I haven’t seen these concepts at all during my studying. Am I spending too much time focusing on the usmle? Am I going to be that unfortunate soul to pass my usmle but do terrible on the comlex?
So frustrating trying to study at this point. I’m going to take one more nbme (took 2 already + 1 comsae) and that’ll be my last one before the real thing next thursday. I’m really hoping I do better than my last score. I don’t expect to score 240+ at all because I know i’m not at that level but I just want to do better than my last nbme. Then i’ll feel confident for the real test. I’m going to push through this last week and remind myself that this is only one small time in my life and I have to give it all that i’ve got just for this short time. Then it’ll be all worth it (?).

On a totally different note, I started p90x. I know you’re not supposed to change up your lifestyle routine too dramatically near your test, but i’ve been working out pretty hard for the past couple of months and I’ve attempted p90x previously so I felt pretty good about starting it again. I’m only on day 2 of the classic program but I feel great! Last time I tried p90x (about a year ago) I didn’t have great endurance or strength so I started on the Lean program. Now, with a much better fitness base, I feel much better doing the exercises. My stats are NOT impressive really… I’m a 5’4” 100lb tiny female, but I can get through most of the exercises. I don’t own a pull up bar which makes up a huge part of chest & back workouts, but I just modify with free weight chest/back exercises and I still get a good workout. I’m also trying to modify my diet. I eat a pretty healthy diet, but I’m definitely a carb lover, so I’m trying to cut some of that out. Anyways, I’ve exercised regularly my whole life pretty much but I’m hoping that this program will really push me over my plateau.