U-S-M-L-E STEP 1; For some students this may be the most challenging exam to prepare. With a whole lot of preparation material available, many students are at a loss at what to do. While preparation plays a pivotal role in the success on the exam but avoiding the loop holes is equally important too. Below we highlight five important mistakes that should be avoided during the preparation for Step 1, many students make these mistakes which results in their lower scores: 1.Memorization or Rote Learning Remember that the most important aspect of preparation is that you are able to apply your knowledge and concepts while answering questions. Though, a portion of Step 1 also tests straight facts,majority of the questions require applied knowledge. Keeping this in mind,students should focus on conceptual learning and not just memorization without understanding the core knowledge.Rote learning leads to a huge mind block when doing questions so make sure that you are not making this mistake. 2.Not Spending enough time for Practice Questions Be very sure not to make this mistake or you are bound to be in trouble! Research has found that solving questions improves retention of material. It is as important as the studying itself. Make sure that you read the explanations and annotate them for future revision.Skipping questions or explanations is another huge mistake students make. 3.Not doing random timed question blocks While solving questions in tutor mode will enhance your understanding but not doing random timed blocks will deprive you of the exam-like stress and time management. Practice doing random timed question blocks so that you can be familiar with the exam stress and how to do well with it. 4.Unnecessary low yield facts Many students think or receive advice from their peers that if they learn each and every word of First Aid, they will have better scores. While First Aid does require deep study but spending too much time on unnecessary facts can divert your attention the from high yield material and I am sure no one needs to tell you that there is a lot of material to study and to retain. Try not to fall into the trap of unnecessary facts especially in the final weeks of study . 5.Not making out time for self Last but not the least , many students do not make time for themselves and suffer a study burnout. To avoid this have a consistent pattern of study each day while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Balance is the key here. Make a point to sleep early and rise early.Exercise regularly.Eat healthy as they say you are what you eat.Step 1 is just a exam so you should take it as a exam but not at the cost of your health or well being. Good luck for your exam!