My score came out! And despite a lot of post-hoc rationalization of just how much i did not allegedly care, as soon as I actually had the option of clicking “View Score Report”, I no longer wanted to.
Like, at all. Ever.
Even after mustering up the courage to at least click the damned link, I still spent an embarrassing amount of time avoiding the screen and just generally attempting to evaporate due to Internal Conflict overload.
The internal conflict, to be fair, started about 2 months ago with the seriously depressing disparity between my original “go, fight, win!” optimism and the resulting elaborate series of nervous breakdowns when practice test after practice test revealed a reality that didn’t match up.
Which, ultimately, I blame on 1) not actually being a secret genius (DAMNIT I was counting on that), and 2) seriously underestimating the workload required to meet the “average” maximal effort concerted by thousands of medical students who have lived their entire lives in the 95th percentile and are not about to release their unholy death grip on it now.
(Honestly, if I learned one thing while studying, it was that a 224 should be greeted with nothing but respect. An “average” score is a freaking achievement.)
Weirdly, after the Abject Despair of taking my dare-to-be-great expectations and pasting them onto a dare-to-be-average reality, I started scoring higher.
In the end, my NBME practice test scores ranged from roughly 21X – 24X, with a baseline of 207 and one UWorld score of 250 thrown in as hyper-emotional outliers.
So, right, that’s why I was sitting in front of my laptop, eyes shut, throwing around the idea of just never, ever checking my score – or at least just closing my eyes and humming loudly whenever it was brought up.
After all, wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where the 250 was forever a possibility? A world where it would forever be possible that I definitely did not slide back down Average Mountain to my baseline, thus negating all 6 weeks of blood, sweat, and tears?
But right, my point is: eventually, I looked.
And surprisingly, it did. not. suck
Step 1 score: 23X! Which is great news! (To me! For my particular goals and study habits! Without making any judgement calls on it as a score in general!)
(For the lucky people reading this who aren’t familiar with USMLE scoring, this score falls right between the National average and the Metropolis Med average. So I can safely justify either “PARTY ON” or “I have brought great shame upon my family” depending on my goals – which luckily, as I said before, are not high.)
Incidentally, I really do respect the Sacred Med Student Moratorium On Score-Talk in real life. It’s an excellent unwritten rule that prevents all manner of med student psychopathy and drama.
But online social codes are different (where would any of us be without pseudonymous score reports?), and I don’t want to post a non-numerical entry that’s just EXCITED YELLING and risk misleading any future orthopods out there into thinking my relative happiness means I actually killed the test and should be listened to.
I mean, tempting as that implication may be (Action Potential, QUEEN OF THE ORTHOPODS) – the fact remains: M2s, if you want to actually kill Step 1, you’re going to want a better role model.
And possibly also – I don’t know, an actual study plan. (More on that later.)
I don’t know about you, but in terms of being average, it gives me immense relief to reach that benchmark. Average! A state of non-failure! I live! wooot!!!
Congrats! Seriously, thanks for blogging about all this. I’m an M2 gearing up to take the exam late June and the kids here are either “I’ve been studying since the beginning of M2, what are you doing?” or “study? Psssh. I’m so used to failure I’m not even going to try!” Which leaves me with my 12 week study plan very sad. No one here acknowledges that there’s a lot of emotion in the studying process… I’m glad you did well (for you). I ❤ average!