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

Member Profile

Jason Huang (2017)
Member Type: Student, Senior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Urology Program: University of Illinois at Chicago
Advice
Well-structured (but not too structured) Step 1 studying schedule
1. Determine your resources and which will be your primary and secondary sources

2. Determine the time you will commit

3. Determine the schedule (loose)

Resources:

I used UWorld, Pathoma, and First Aid, with UWorld as my primary resource. I strongly believe that having a strong handle on each question of UWorld should prepare you for a score in the 240s. Knowing the extra details (i.e. going through each answer choice and supplementing questions with secondary resources) will get you better and better scores. I dedicated my study time to knowing all of UWorld (my primary resource); I supplemented UWorld with Pathoma if I didn’t know a topic. I used First Aid to learn the Micro, Pharm, and basic sciences. But I always made sure to go with UWorld material if I couldn't learn the Pathoma/First Aid. Other people will recommend other resources, but every student I’ve spoken to from many medical schools will recommend UWorld. All students I know from UIC will also recommend Pathoma and First Aid. Tertiary resources I used were Deja Review Pharm (for extra facts on certain drugs; as far as pharm goes, antibiotics, GI meds, and cardiac ones were the most important to me) and Goljan’s Rapid Review Pathology (many of the hardest Step questions to me were ones with pictures, and Goljan has many good representative pics for most pathologies, especially GI and dermatology).

Time to commit:

Overall, from personal experience and speaking to peers, 6 months is the absolute maximum amount of time I’d recommend spending. This is regardless of your learning style. For most people, 4 months of total studying will be adequate, including the 6 weeks of committed studying time. If you take the exam in early June, take 1-2 blocks of UWorld in December/Early January to get a feel of how fast you can go through the blocks. Aim to have UWorld done about 3-4 weeks before your exam date, so you can review and re-do UWorld once or twice. About 6-8 weeks before exam date, take a practice exam once a week. Remember the first 2 should not be high scores—if they are, then it’ll be hard to improve; otherwise, you should increase your score by about 30 points. Have the last practice exam finished 2 weeks before your exam date. Then spend the last week optimizing your brain; you’ll be very tired and burned out from studying and in learning mode, where you may miss many questions simply due to mistakes—in my practice tests, this dropped my score by about 10 points. I spent the last few days relaxing and going through questions leisurely in order to make sure I missed as few questions to dumb mistakes as possible.

Scheduling:

Have a structured study plan—but not too structured. I set overall general goals as outlined above, then aimed to study beginning at 7-8am for 8 - 10 hours a day at the library with a group of friends at the library, and I’d work out at break. In the evening, I’d chill, watch a movie, or go for a drive to get away from the study area. I always took 1.5 days off per week for my sanity. Structuring my UWorld plans, I would do about 4 days of just going through blocks in Timed mode, and then reviewing them about every other or every 2 days. This is the portion of my advice I feel the least strongly about; I learned best this way for Step 1, but I learned better using Timed Tutor or just Tutor for Step 2 CK.

Please let me know if you’re interested in my method or have questions!

Jason