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

Member Profile

Divya Verma (2018)
Member Type: Student, Junior Member Campus: Chicago
Advice
I was a dedicated class goer throughout most of M1 and all of M2 year. It was my way of keeping myself focused and on schedule. I'd spend mornings in lecture and I would spend every afternoon studying what we had just had in lecture that day using the supplementary materials that everyone loves (Pathoma, First Aid, Picmonic). Weekends were usually time for more questions and more generalized review. Things would ramp up close to exam time, but I tried to make sure I always spent time on myself - cooking, running, sleeping and spending time with friends/loved ones.

During dedicated, I scheduled out my days by system - I put the stuff we had just had during the Spring semester early on because I knew those topics would take less time and would simultaneously give me a good amount of time to review things that don't really fall well into systems categories (biochem, immuno, etc). Every Saturday, I took a practice exam and then typically took the rest of the day off. The second to last week I reviewed the most high yield and most challenging topics (to me) which were cardio and respiratory. Then the last week, I reviewed heme/onc because at least subject wise, it was my favorite and I knew it would be less stressful to study something I didn't struggle with right before the exam. The last few days were just general review and I think I did 1-2 practice tests that last week. The day before Step 1, I stopped studying at about 2PM, then spent the rest of the day watching TV, exercising, and making sure everything was in order for the exam.

I chose to not schedule each day out in excruciating detail because it stressed me out if I knew I hadn't done what I had set out to do that day. During dedicated, I alotted a certain number of days to each system but still didn't schedule my day out hour by hour (though roughly I did questions in the morning, basic sciences in the afternoon, and back to systems (via First Aid/Pathoma) for an hour or two at night).

I think for me, treating school like a job throughout the year made step a little bit less daunting. Make sure you're taking time for yourself as you study, and while you may have to tell your friends/family that you're a little bit less available leading up to Step, that does not mean that life outside of school completely stops in May. Deal with your problems (because it is extremely hard to compartmentalize when you're under a ton of stress), keep loving your friends/family, and keep taking care of yourself!

OH! and maybe the most important thing - try to make sure you have something to look forward to after the exam! I made sure to leave a week between Step and rotations, and spent a much needed week in Arizona where I didn't look at a computer screen even once. Go on vacation, go visit family, do something! You will definitely need it and deserve it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, rants, etc: verma13@uic.edu