USMLE Preparatory Advice from Students

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“I’d recommend studying no more than about 5 weeks. Any more and you will start forgetting things you learned earlier. I caution you to take what your classmates say about their exam with a grain of salt, because every exam is different. Also, “buzzwords” are not typically used on Step 1. Rather than use the words “smudge cells”, for example, they’ll probably just show you a blood smear.”

“Have a planned study schedule that you stick to. If you fall behind, you’ll have a hard time getting through everything and still being able to review material.”
“Do not use First Aid or the all-inclusive books as the sole study aid. If possible, use the High Yield books.”

“Start early, stick to a schedule, try not to become overwhelmed with all available resources. Pick a couple for each subject because in my experience you cannot absorb it all. Use First Aid as a scaffold – it really is helpful for recall association.”

“The last week/few days before Step are very distracting – don’t give yourself too much time to study, 4-6 weeks worked for me. But be prepared mentally for the anxiety the week before the test – focus on easier subjects to review.”

Category: Exam Tips , USMLE



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