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

Member Profile

Daniel Golden (2007)
Member Type: Student, Junior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Internal Medicine-Preliminary Program: Kaiser Permanente MedicalCenter-Oakland
Advice
USMLE STEP 1 ADVICE

Before you keep reading, just remember that everyone studies differently. I recommend reading through all the study methods on this site (and others) before formulating your own study plan. My biggest piece of advice is to figure out what works for YOU when you study and arrange your boards schedule appropriately. I learn best from MCQ's and more MCQ's. So I decided to do as many questions as I could and then do them again. I also tend to study hard in the beginning and burn out by the end. I knew that I wanted some time off before M3 year, so I scheduled my boards early (June 1st). I also tried to play golf, watch movies, etc to relax between studying. I believe strongly that test performance goes up if you are mentally healthy. Average I studied between 6-8 hours per day. Again, ask other M3's and M4's what they did before planning your attack. You'll get lots of different answers. That said, read on...

I started studying Christmas break of M2 year. Prior to that the only USMLE studying I did was reading First Aid along with my M2 classes. Remember that the majority of the boards will be M2 material or Physio. People were dropping the ball in the M2 classes to review histology. You're better off studying pathology, pathophys, pharm, and micro hard rather than reviewing M1 material and letting M2 material slip. I did try to briefly review my M1 classes in First Aid during the first semester of M2 year.

Starting at Christmas I worked through Kaplan Qbank over the course of ~1 month. It is ~2200 q's, so I was doing 2 50 question tests per day for 4 weeks. I always did them on random (you'll see that you can choose specific topics) since the boards are random. It got me used to changing gears in my head from one question to the next. I continued doing at least 50 q's of qbank EVERYDAY until my boards. If I was tired and wanted to watch a movie I'd still work through a 50 question test before relaxing. By May of M2 year I knew most of the qbank questions by heart.

Books I used for the boards:

First Aid for Step 1, NMS Step 1 (~1000 questions, did it twice), Board Simulator Series (>3500 questions, did it twice), First Aid for Step 1, BRS Pathology, BRS Physio, Pre-Test Pathology, First Aid for Step 1, Robbin's Question Book, Kaplan Lecture books (I did NOT go to the class, but I read through the lecture books once), First Aid for Step 1 (I really did read it 4-5 times, so I figured I'd list it that many times)