Okay! Now I could literally fill up an entire page again on my experience on the day of the exam. But I’m going to keep this very concise and give you bullet points of the DO’s and DON’T’S
- Get a good night’s sleep one day prior. Have a well-adjusted circadian rhythm. A sleepless night and anxiety won’t get you anything.
- Wind up all your last-minute revisions by the evening of the previous day. You have to resist the urge to keep going through FA. It messes with your mind and confuses you even more.
- Comfortable clothing is the way to go. Preferably no pockets.
- FOOD- Please carry food and enough drinks to keep you hydrated. Anything that makes you feel good. Chocolates, cookies. Whatever. It actually makes a difference.
- Plan your breaks appropriately. Take a break after every block if you need it. I did the same.
- Don’t panic staring at the questions. Try and guess an answer even if you’re not sure. Try NOT to skip and leave too many questions unanswered till the end because that can stress you out.
- Pee when needed.
- Never re-enter the exam room from a break just for the heck of getting done with the test. Re-enter only when you feel fresh enough for another block.
- ENJOY after the exam regardless of how it went. You deserve it.
- No USMLE predictor (online) can predict your actual score.
- PANIC, PANIC, PANIC!!!!
- Have some faith in all the efforts you have put in for this one day. It will pay off in the end. Don’t let your worry get the better of you. (And then finally wait for 3-4 painful weeks for the results to arrive).
- It’s a long journey and it tries your patience at practically every other level. From an ECFMG certification to the application and whatnot. But that’s what you have friends for. Having a study partner helps you get through this exhausting process alive and breathing.
- It’s tougher when you’re all by yourself with no one to handle those frequent panic attacks and nightmares. Yes, we all go through them and it can mess with you.
- And the only silver lining at that time is the support of your family and friends who believe in you more than you believe in yourself.
So don’t lose hope! And HAPPY STEP 1 DIARIES to all!!