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

Member Profile

Michelle Apple (2014)
Member Type: Student, Senior Member Campus: Rockford
Specialty: Obstetrics and Gynecology Program: Stanford University Programs
Advice
1. Main goal: NO REGRETS!!! Don’t worry about the numbers necessarily just put in as much time and effort as you can. My entire thought process was to not look back on Step 1 with any regrets. It is an extremely important exam and has the potential to determine and influence many opportunities and decisions in your life. Every time I would get tired or frustrated, I just kept telling myself to keep going because in 6 weeks it will all be over and I wanted to look back knowing I gave it my absolute best.

2. Give yourself something to really look forward to when it is over. Although I knew I should work hard for the sake of the exam itself, sometimes on the hard days it is nice to be able to tell yourself, there is something in the near future you are looking forward to for some bonus motivation. Go on vacation, spend time with family and friends, DO SOMETHING FUN!

3. Prior to designated study time (earlier in M2 year):
a. Goljan: Read and/or listen to Goljan with the path units you are doing in class. If you haven’t already been doing this, do it for the current sections and catch up on the sections from last semester when you have time. I had listened to and read all of Goljan before the 6 weeks of studying started and found it gave me a very solid base.
b. Questions: Start doing questions on a QBank when you have time after coming back from winter break (I would not recommend starting this before Jan. or Feb. as you won't probably won't remember it anyway). I started with Kaplan QBank and then switched to UWorld when I hit my designated 6 weeks of study time. I went over the questions in depth including incorrect answer descriptions and wrote in anything I didn't know that wasn't in First Aid into my First Aid book.
c. DIT: If you are going to use a resource like DIT, do it correctly with the worksheets and everything they tell you do. I thought this gave me a great base to work off of and oriented me to First Aid. I did 2/3 of it during the year and then the last 1/3 the first 1.5 weeks of studying. Also, if something wasn’t in First Aid and I had to look it up, I wrote it in, so I could review it later.
d. NBMEs: For these 2 weeks, put all other Step 1 stuff aside and only focus on these. The more you get this info down, the more prepared you will be for boards. These 3 exams cover the meat and potatoes of Step 1, so learn this info well to make your life easier later.
e. After NBMEs, I took the weekend off, and started hitting Step 1 material hard on Monday, but give yourself a little break because you have a long 4-6 weeks ahead of you.

4. Designated study time:
a. Where and when? Find a place where you are productive and that is open the hours you want to study. I studied at school (which I found helpful because I was around other students since I tended to get more distracted when I was by myself in a room) every day from about 8:30 am to 11:30 pm. If I needed a break, I went somewhere else for the day (Starbucks, Rock Cut State Park or somewhere outside if I just had reading to do).
b. NBME Vouchers: I used one the first Monday after the NBME subject exams to use as a baseline (don’t get discouraged by this score, it will go up- mine went up about 40 points), then I used my 2nd one 2 weeks before my date (4 points higher than my Step 1 score) and then did 3 blocks after of UWorld to simulate full-length exam- (glad I did it once but once was enough), and bought a 3rd for 1 week before my date (same as Step score)
c. Daily Schedule:
830a-1130a: UWorld block and go over
1130a-12p: Lunch
12p-8p: 1st 10 days- DIT
After that- read/memorize First Aid- slowly and in detail; cover to cover at least 2x, reading also what you wrote in
Last week before Step- after I had been through First Aid 2x, I did more UWorld questions and NBME pdfs
8p-11p: UWorld block and go over it
11p-12a: Watch TV, relax, and go to sleep
This was my typical schedule, but with basketball, softball, working out (with Goljan) occasionally interspersed when I needed a break. Also don’t be afraid to take a day off if you have a family event or something. Everyone needs a break once in a while.
d. Goljan Audio: For 6 weeks, I listened to Goljan whenever I was driving anywhere ALL the time and got through my 2nd run of Goljan this way. It was awful without music but definitely worth it in the end.
e. Summary of materials: Goljan book and audio, First Aid, DIT, and UWorld were almost exclusively the resources I used. If you know First Aid cold and do the UWorld questions, you WILL do well on Step 1. If you are not understanding something in First Aid, watch the Kaplan videos about that topic (esp. Biochem and Physio).

5. Day before exam: Try to relax, watch TV, call your friends and family, do some light reading on things you wanted to memorize last second if you feel like you need to study, go to sleep early and prepare everything for test day

6. Exam Day: I took about 5 minutes after each block to eat or drink something and try to break it up and then 30 minutes for lunch after 4 blocks. Don’t get discouraged and be confident.

7. Other Tips:
a. This exam is much more about M2 material than M1, so don’t stress about trying to remember or relearn M1 details. Everything you need to know from M1 is in First Aid.
b. Learn and understand Biochem early on, and then relearn it or memorize it the week before or week of the exam (it’s one of those things you won’t have to remember in depth after Step 1 so just suck it up and memorize it towards the end so it’s ready to go on game day)
c. Try not to stress too much. If you put in the time and the work, then you will get the result you deserve. Lean on your classmates, this 6 weeks sucks, but everyone is going though it together.
d. Eliminate distractions! I check Facebook religiously, so I completely shut down my account for 6 weeks. Also, I studied downstairs at school where I have no cell phone reception, so that I only talked to people when I went outside and needed a break.
e. Sleep 8 hours a night, eat healthy, and exercise. These things will help you get through all 6 weeks without being too run down when you get to test day.
f. Find what works for you and stick with it. I also got overwhelmed by the immense amount of resources available, but you do NOT have to read every book about every subject. Just pick a couple of good resources and study them in their entirety.

If you have questions, email me at mapple35@gmail.com and GOOD LUCK!