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

Member Profile

Daniel Yang (2013)
Member Type: Student, Junior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Internal Medicine Program: University of California (UCSF)
Advice
It's been nearly 3 years since I've taken Step 1 so I won't be able to comment on the specifics of my study schedule. However, I can describe my basic approach that was also very successful for me while studying for Step 2 CK.

1) If you feel confident that you've learned the material well once during the school year - than I would spend less time re-reading your textbooks and the lion share of your time doing questions on USMLE World. I'd say I spent >80% of my time on the qbank. By doing hundreds, even thousands of questions you'll reinforce the basic concepts and you'll also pick up on esoteric medical factoids that you may see again on the actual exam. Those questions might make the difference between a strong score and a really outstanding score. I tried to be disciplined when doing questions by making sure I read through each answer carefully - including both the correct and incorrect answers. I took notes on the answers, hoping it would prevent me from making similar mistakes later on. Don't worry too much about how many questions you're getting right/wrong. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes. You'll likely remember a question you got wrong more than you will a question you got right. I don't remember exactly - but it took me maybe half a day (2-3 hours) to complete a set of 50 questions and reading through the answers carefully. Doing questions is certainly time-intensive, but it pays off in the end. And of course, if you feel weak in a particular subject than by all means go back and re-learn those basic concepts.

2) Make sure you take care of yourself when studying for the test (i.e. make sure you get a good amount of rest every night, make sure you eat regularly and well, and take a break when you feel tired!) In my mind, studying for Step 1 is like a marathon - you'll want to pace yourself. I studied a 3-4 hours in the morning. I took a break from lunch and then did yoga religiously. I then spent another 3-4 hours in the late afternoon/evening and took the night off. I think you're biggest enemy is burn out. Let your friends and loved ones know that you'll be going through a really intense month or two - that you may not be as available emotionally or otherwise. But try not to completely block out the rest of the world, you'll certainly need them for support.

I hope this is helpful! Best of luck!