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

Member Profile

Schon Roberts (2014)
Member Type: Student, Senior Member Campus: Rockford
Specialty: Emergency Medicine Program: Nellis Air Force Base
Advice
First and foremost all M2s should learn the material that they are learning right now well. Not only is M2 material high yield, but also very applicable for your medical career. When to start studying for Step 1 is tricky and a decision that has a lot of factors in it. I know people who did well starting in March and I know people who did well starting earlier than that. For me repetition is the key and I have to see the same material from a number of sources. To that end I started in Jan and studied a little bit every day before escalating my study time in March and then going full out after shelf exams at the end of the second year. I am listing materials below from what I feel to be most high yield and essential to things that maybe students should think about studying if they want more material or have more time.

1. UWorld: Absolutely essential. Has over 2000 questions and very close to what you will see on the exam. I always did these timed and initially was doing a block a day. After finishing I increased that to two blocks and constantly redid the questions so I would be able to focus on the key stems of the questions.

2. Goljan Audio: great to be listening throughout the whole year. Listened to them several times and then once more all the way through with his manuscript and High Yield questions and slides the last month before the test.

3. First Aid: Should be your bible. Read it over and try to memorize as much as you can from it. I would annotate in this book and constantly update it from questions and other sources. Don't worry about getting to overboard on adding unnecessary things in the book. There is a reason that the book is as concise as it is. Every word is fair game and I don't know how many questions I got on the exam from reading this book.

4. NBME Vouchers: a good way to gauge your progression. I took two of these, one a 6 weeks before I took step 1 and another 2 weeks prior. They help you to focus on what you need and let you know where you stand as well as give confidence. If possible to do all of the questions I can only imagine that that is that much better. Rather expensive though and I imagine that one could obtain these questions elsewhere as they have been on previous Step exams.

5. Kaplan Videos: Of these I feel that Biochem and Pharmacology are the highest yield. I watched all of the Pharm videos in the three days preparing for the pharm shelf and found it was really helpful in rehashing all of the drugs. I listened to Biochem an hour a day for the last month and found it very helpful as my Step had 25-35 Biochem questions on it. Other videos are okay, but often have a lot of detail that is unnecessary. Found the anatomy to be helpful, but I don't know that there is anything that they taught me that First Aid wouldn't have gotten me on Step 1.

5. Kaplan question bank: another set of questions. A little more detail picky than UWorld, but another source once you exhaust all of the UWorld questions. Anatomy questions were especially helpful.

6. DIT: Not a huge fan, but I did go through this. Good for quick facts and helps you get through First Aid the first time, highlighting things that are more high yield than others. I did like that it is active and constantly quizzes you.

7. Other question sources: Tulane Pharm questions, Pretest series, BRS Pathology, Robbins Pathology question books. All good for the shelf exams which in turn help for step.

9. Goljan Pathology: great if you like bullet points.

10. Micro Made Ridiculously Simple: Another resource for micro if this is your weak point.

All in all more is less often. I listed a lot of the resources that I used, but don't feel as though you have to do them all. Don't get overwhelmed, be positive, take it step at a time, and know that this time will pass. Things that I would not spend as much time on would be Embryology and Histology as they tend not to be very high yield. Don't brush off Statistics or Behavioral Science as these are easy points and very high yield. First Aid does a great job of teaching you what you need to know for these 4 subjects. Obviously the importance of Path, Pharm, and Micro cannot be overstated.