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

Member Profile

Khanh Nguyen (2013)
Member Type: Student, Senior Member Campus: Peoria
Specialty: Internal Medicine Program: Barnes Jewish Hospital
Advice
Hi all,

So I spent 5.5 weeks of dedicated time on STEP 1 studying, with an average of 10-11 hours per day. Prior to this, I was able to go through most of First Aid once during the latter half of the spring semester. Otherwise, I did not do much STEP studying. If I had to do it over, I would start preparing for STEP earlier with First Aid and the USMLEworld Qbank. I would also have given myself a full 6 weeks so that I could take a day or two off or more breaks in between. It was definitely getting very monotonous and I was feeling worn down at the end. A 1 day break would've been nice.

Before starting, I outlined a schedule of what I wanted to cover during the 5.5 weeks, i.e. 3 days of biochem, 2 days GI, 2.5 days cards, etc. It was a rough outline to keep me on track, but I also had built in time to catch up if I was behind. I'm a reader, so I spent the first couple of weeks reviewing First Aid and other review books to make sure I cover most of the material. I dedicated the rest of the time to strictly doing qbank questions and going over First Aid. Towards the end I would try to do 3-4 question blocks at a time, in test mode, to build up endurance.

As far as materials used, I used a few different review books. First Aid was of course the primary source. I made sure to go over it 3-4 times. Other sources I used: Rapid Review pathology, Goljan pathology notes/audio, BRS biochem, BRS physio, and briefly something for immuno/micro, anatomy, and embryology. I would not spend too much time on anatomy, genetics, or embryo, and should've spent less time on biochem. I liked the Rapid Review pathology, but it is very detailed so I wish I had gone through it during the year. I also think the UWorld Qbank is essential for preparation. I ended up finishing the Qbank, but was not able to redo all of the questions I got wrong. If I had to do it over, I would have started Qbank during the year and tried to get through as many questions as I can, then do it again during dedicated study time.

That's pretty much what I did and all the advice I have. Just try to pace yourself, take little breaks often, go to the gym, and know that it ends at some point. Also, I took the day before the exam off.