Αξιον Ωφελειν τους Αλγουντας.” --Be Worthy to Serve the Suffering.

Member Profile

Lindsay Zak (2013)
Member Type: Student, Junior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Pathology - Anatomical and Clinical Program: The University of Chicago Hospitals
Advice
By no means am I saying this is the right way to prepare for step 1. We are ALL very different in how we study, so I suggest asking multiple people their study schedule and study tips. Use the information you get to construct a mock schedule for yourself. However be prepared to be fluid with your schedule. Things change and you must change with them.

My Books/Resources (in order of what I used most -----> least):
- First Aid -- I took the binding off of my FA and had it hole punched (do at kinkos or the like). This allowed me to add supplemental notes to FA. It also allowed me to take high yield pages out of the binder to use as last minute prep (i.e. morning or day before the exam)

- UWorld q bank -- I only did it once (I actually didn't finish because I feel like I went too slow -- I had about 80 questions left). Just to let you know, I did 48-96 random questions each day in test mode (either 1 or 2 blocks). This allowed me to simulate the actual exam every day. I also used a mini white eraser board to take notes/calculations because that's what they give you on exam day. I then reviewed the questions for about 2 hours after each block and added high yield notes to first aid that I learned from each question.

-Goljan Rapid Review Pathology and audio - I listed to the audio once during the school year and then again during the weeks before Step 1. I took notes for each lecture but I never had time to review them again.

- Doctors in Training series -- this is pretty costly (~$800) and NOT for everyone. I like listening to information I need to know because it helps me retain it better. However I talked with other people who did DIT and they did not find it as helpful as I did. I watched the videos in the order they were presented and studied accompanying material in a similar order. I usually watched the videos at night (5 pm and later) because I got burned out toward the end of the day.

- BRS physio

- Goljan Rapid Review Biochem - great biochem review. I read this during practicum and supplemented with FA. Between those two resources and UWorld, you will be able to answer the majority of the biochem questions.

-NBME practice tests - I only did 2 (the one the school gives you and another one 1.5 weeks before the exam). I decided to do the latter practice test because I was literally freaking out about even passing. It definitely calmed my nerves so if you feel this way towards the end of studying I would recommend taking at least one (~$50 per test).

- Microbio cards - 5 micro cards every morning

- BRS Neuroanatomy - know your brain cross sections and pathways!

- BRS anatomy - somewhat helpful but not as helpful as everything else

- Pharm charts (used minimally) and pharm cards - 5 pharm cards every night

Study Schedule (this was changed many times throughout the weeks but usually it resembled this -- keep in mind I studied at home):

6-6:30 Wake Up/Shower/Breakfast
7-7:45 am uworld questions (1 block)
7:45-10 am review block
10-1 read in FA/accompanying resources/Goljan
1-2 Lunch break
2-6 either read in FA/other resources or do another UWorld block
6-? DIT material / dinner

Study schedule: I used the DIT plan to help schedule the order in which I studied. I started studying biochem over "spring break" and finished it in practicum. I then started with my next more difficult topics once practicum ended (i.e. cardio, behavioral science, etc.) and studied easier material closer to the exam (especially the topics you learn late in M2 year).

Other tips:
- Try to stay calm. I tried to have about 30 minutes at the end of each day to unwind. Towards the end, your nerves start to take the best of you, so have coping mechanisms in place (tea, hot shower, tv, etc.)
- On test day: The lockers are tiny so plan accordingly. Do not bring too many books with you -- I never looked at one during the breaks.
- Arrive early to the testing center (~ 30 minutes). If you get there early, you will likely also get called early to take the exam so don't be surprised.
- The very worst part of the test day is just waiting to start the exam. After that, you will operate on auto-pilot.
- Make sure to take a few days after the test to relax and mentally prepare for M3 year. Schedule a vacation and don't change your test date/plane tickets. A few extra days of studying will not make a difference at the end.
- We all get through this bad time one way or another. But work hard for a few weeks and it will be one less thing to worry about once residency applications start.