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How to pass USMLE Step 1

Discussion in 'USMLE' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Practicing medicine in:

    1- Verify Eligibility and Register

    U.S. medical school students may take the Step 1 exam at the end of the second year of medical school. International medical school graduates must pass the exam if they want to practice medicine in the U.S.

    2- Consider and Schedule the Time Requirements

    Most successful Step 1 exam takers report 4 to 6 weeks (6 to 9 hors per day) to prepare and study to pass the first time. Many who passed reported that spending MORE time than this was a waste of time.

    Make a WRITTEN schedule or calendar for the 4-6 weeks and stick to it.

    3- Consider Your Personal Study Style

    For self starters, buy review books and a USMLE Step 1 flash cards. Sign up for one of the many Qbank websites to practice answering test questions. Always stick to your schedule.
    For those who like a more structured test preparation method, consider registering for a live or online test prep course. These courses can be costly but many boast very high pass rates and many participants report reduced stress and lower test anxiety.

    4- Complete a Self Assessment Diagnostic Pretest

    Before actually beginning to study, you should take a self assessment or diagnostic practice pretest to determine your strong and weak subjects. This will help to clarify what topics should be focused on. Kaplan, NBME and other online sources offer this type of test.

    5- Calculate the Time to Spend Studying Each Subject

    Based on your scores from the Pretest, prioritize how much time to spend on each subject. For instance, if your Microbiology score was 30% lower than Physiology, then you should spend 30% MORE time reviewing Microbiology.

    6- Complete Q-Bank Practice Questions - Then Complete Some More

    The best way to study and prepare to pass the USMLE Step 1 exam the first time is to complete many practice questions under timed, test like conditions.
    A good number of questions to keep in mind is 50 per subject. As each test subject is reviewed, a practice test of 50 questions should be completed under timed conditions. When the next subject has been reviewed, another practice test of 50 questions should be completed including 50 questions from the previous subject. By the end of the test preparation schedule, you will be taking very long practice tests including all exam topics. This method will also help with your test taking endurance.There are many online and written USMLE Q-bank resources.

    7- Take a Break

    USMLE test preparation is time consuming and stressful. Once a day treat yourself to something you like - listening to music, eating a good meal, taking a nap, watching a move, going for a walk. Pampering yourself will help break the monotony of studying and re-energize you to get back to studying.

    8- Prepare for Test Day

    The USMLE Step 1 test day will be stressful. You have spent many weeks preparing for this one day. Reduce all potentially stressful things from your life including ~

    ~ Arrange for transportation to the test site
    ~ Arrange for backup transportation to the test site
    ~ Bring snacks and drinks for break time
    ~ Get a good night's sleep
    ~ Wear a few layers of clothes in case test room is too hot or cold
    ~ Bring aspirin

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

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