Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses

Choosing the right USMLE Step 1 prep course is the most important decision you will make on your journey towards passing your exam.

You will be spending many hours studying, so it’s crucial to find the course that best fits your learning style and background. The difference between successfully passing or failing the USMLE Step 1 exam largely depends on how well your study materials prepare you for it.

Using a prep course that isn’t a good match for your learning style can cause you to score lower or even fail your exam, costing you months of study time and additional exam fees. CRUSH is here to make sure that doesn’t happen!

Here’s the good news: we have personally researched and reviewed every major USMLE Step 1 prep course on the market to make it easier for you! The comparison chart below will help you decide which online course best fits your needs.

Some of the links on this chart are affiliate links, meaning I get small commission (used to fund this website) when you purchase by clicking through. Don’t worry though, by using the USMLE promo codes and USMLE review course discounts you’ll get the best possible deal.

USMLE Step 1 Course Comparisons & Discounts

USMLE Step 1
Courses
Smash USMLE review course BoardVitals Step 1 becker usmle
RANKINGS

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

OVERALL
RATING
COMPANY Smash USMLE Board Vitals GraduateX USMLE Kaplan USMLE Becker USMLE
PRICE  $399  $179  $289  $1,999  $1,500
DISCOUNTS Save $129.50
Show Coupon
Save $17.90
Show Coupon
Save $57.80
Show Coupon
None
PRACTICE QUESTIONS 2,000 1,600 1,500+ 2,000  2,000+
FULL-LENGTH PRACTICE EXAMS
VIDEO LECTURES 250 Hours None 200 Hours 200+ Hours
PASS GUARANTEE
FREE SMARTPHONE APP
PROGRESS TRACKING
STUDENT SUPPORT Instructor Email Support Email Support  Email Support Instructor Email Support  Email Support
ONLINE ACCESS PERIOD 12 Months 6 Months 12 Months 3 Months 12 Months
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ANALYSIS
Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review
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2017 USMLE Step 1 Training Course Rankings

1. Smash USMLE

SMASHUSMLE

OVERALL RATING: 

Popular and Engaging Video Lectures: Smash USMLE founder, Dr. Adeleke Adesina, has an impressive following among medical students, who love his upbeat and straightforward video lectures and explanations. Some of his most popular videos have been watched millions of times on YouTube!
Extensive Question Bank: The Smash USMLE Question Bank includes more than 3,500 practice questions to help students prepare for the Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams. Detailed explanations help students learn why specific answers are right or wrong. The test bank can also be reset twice, and questions are reviewed regularly to ensure they are up-to-date. Practicing thousands of quality questions is a great way to raise your score on the USMLE!
Performance Feedback and Analytics: The course dashboard makes it easy to monitor your progress and evaluate your performance as you study for the USMLE exams. One glance at the pie chart shows you the percentage of videos you have watched, and software keeps track of your performance on the practice questions so that you can tailor your studies to those areas that would benefit from additional practice.
Basic, Low-Budget Videos: The streaming videos in this course may be popular and dynamic, but they are not in the same league as the professional videos created by more well-known review companies. Adesina’s accent is also somewhat difficult to understand in certain videos, although his English is very good.

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2. Board Vitals USMLE

BoardVitals Step 1

OVERALL RATING:

Exam-Like Practice Tests: A timer helps students keep track of their progress on each question and the overall exam. You can move back and forth among questions, which are designed to match the difficulty level of the questions on the actual exam. You can also choose between the Timed Mode and the Review Mode when answering practice questions or taking a practice exam.
Large Question Bank with Explanations: Detailed explanations and answers for every single practice question form the core of this prep program. You’ll have access to 1,500 board review questions to prepare for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Questions are written and reviewed by practicing physicians, medical faculty, or come from 3 leading medical publishers.
Adaptive Learning Technology: You’ll get individualized question recommendations based on your performance. After you’ve answered practice questions and taken a practice test, you can compare your performance to that of other students. Your performance allows the program to suggest specific practice questions for additional study, so that you can focus on those areas that will benefit most from review.
Great Price: For the quality of the material, you can’t beat the price. Priced between $79-$199 for up to 6 months of access, this course is a bargain and could easily be combined with other study materials. The pass guarantee makes this offer even better: Board Vitals offers free extended subscriptions to your course if you do not pass the exam for which you are studying.

TAKE ME TO BOARD VITALS USMLE

3. GraduateX USMLE Step 1

OVERALL RATING:

Large Question Bank: GraduateX’s USMLE Step 1 course give students access to a vast bank of practice questions. For a fraction of the price, you get almost as many questions as the larger, more comprehensive courses. You’ll have plenty of time to get through all of the different sections, so don’t worry about trying to squeeze all of your studying into a short window.
Mobile: Don’t worry about being in front of the computer for your studying—you can take your USMLE prep on the go with the GraduateX mobile app. While it’s not anything earth shattering, it has all of the basics. So, enjoy your access to the study materials when you’re out of the office or not at home, as you’ll be able to knock out some key lessons while commuting or traveling.
Limited Course: While this prep tool is great for people who are great at studying at their own pace and with written content, there’s a lot that’s missing from this review program. For example, there’s no video content and it covers only the first step of the USMLE. However, there’s plenty of materials for students who have a handle on the information and really just need some repetitive reinforcement and test-taking tips.

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4. Kaplan USMLE Step 1

kaplan usmle step 1

OVERALL RATING:

Large Question Bank and Video Collection: Kaplan Medical’s USMLE Step 1 course give students access to a large number of exam-like questions in a Qbank and include an extensive video library with 2,000+ questions. Cut hours off of your review time by watching videos at 1.5x their regular speed. The high-quality videos are informative and entertaining, making the large body of material less daunting.
Diagnostic Exams, Quizzes, and Practice Exams: There are many opportunities for students to test themselves on the knowledge they must master before they sit for the exam. Diagnostic tests, shorter quizzes and full-length simulated exams give students practice and targeted feedback on their ability and performance.
Mobile Friendly: All lectures can be viewed from your iPhone an Android device, making it easy to get your study hours in, no matter where you are located. The Step 1 Qbank includes a free app for you to work on practice questions and check answers as well.
International Student Friendly: Kaplan Medical has first-rate options for International Students who are preparing to apply for a residency program in the USA. Live, Live Online and On Demand options are supplemented by immersive In Center learning opportunities and study centers with state-of-the-art facilities, computers, internet access, and helpful staff to answer questions.

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5. Becker USMLE Review

becker usmle step 1

OVERALL RATING:

Live Online Classes: Becker’s live online classes show expert medical faculty explaining concepts in real time in the evenings and weekends. This is a solid solution if you can’t attend a traditional classroom course but need more structure than a self-study course, but you’re going to overpay for this offering. You’ll get 275 hours of instruction, including integrated cases, and you’ll also get access to eCoach for 9 months, in addition to the large question bank.
Large, Highly-Rated Question Bank: The Step 1 Qbank contains more than 2,000 exam-like questions that are frequently updated in accordance with the latest exams. Students report that the questions are on par with other highly-rated question banks offered by competitors. The low price makes it worth purchasing the question bank alone as a supplement if you choose not to buy the entire course.
Guarantee: It’s hard to not mention the lack of a real guarantee for passing the USMLE—with the amount you’re paying for this course, they should basically hold your hand through the certification process and throw a little party for you once you pass. Instead, you have to jump through hoops and even if you qualify, the refund isn’t sufficient given what you originally paid.
Price: This course is priced way out of many people’s range—it’s almost absurd how expensive the course is, given that there are much better (and cheaper) options out there. I wouldn’t recommend this solution for anyone, as it’s way overpriced and something that will throw you into debt without guaranteeing that you’ll pass the exam.

TAKE ME TO BECKER USMLE

6. UWorld Step 1

uworld step 1

OVERALL RATING:

Extensive Question Bank: UWorld’s Step 1 question bank includes more than 2,200 practice questions. It’s an excellent learning tool with frequently updated questions. All of the questions also come with detailed explanations, and students can compare their performance to other UWorld users to see how they measure up.
Self-Assessment Exams: Created by physicians, the self-assessment exams closely resemble the format of the Step 1 exam and consist of 4 blocks of 46 multiple-choice questions. Although the USMLE exam contains 7 blocks, completing several of UWorld’s self-assessments will give you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses. Each assessment comes with a detailed analysis and an approximate 3-digit score.
Free Mobile App: The convenience of a free mobile app is always a popular feature with students. Practice questions from UWorld’s extensive Qbank can be accessed from smartphones and tablets whenever you have a few minutes to spare. The app is compatible with iOs and Android and your progress is synced to a central database, so you can move seamlessly between devices while you study.
No Video Lectures or Additional Materials: This course does not include video lectures or additional review materials to help you go over the material in a more structured way. UWorld’s approach to studying consists of practice questions, self-assessments, and the feedback generated from your performance on these tasks.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UWORLD


 

 

 Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses

Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses Practice Questions Price
Becker USMLE 2,000+ $1500
Kaplan USMLE 2,000 $2399
Board Vitals 1,600 $179
Smash USMLE 2,000 $1295
Doctors In Training 1,020 $825
U World Step 1 2,200 $429
Graduate X 1,500 $289
Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses
Written by: James Edge
5 / 5 stars

 

gold top five

USMLE Step 2 CK Prep Courses

gold top fiveYou will be spending many hours preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CK, so it’s crucial to find a study guide that best fits your learning style and background. Don’t let a prep course that is not compatible with your learning style get in the way of passing this important exam!

Your goal is to pass the Step 2 CK exam the first time you take it, so you need to pick the course that is the best fit for your schedule and individual learning style. Otherwise, you will waste money and many hours of studying with materials that won’t help you succeed. Our job at CRUSH is to arm you with enough information to choose the course that is best for you!

For this reason, we have personally researched and reviewed every major Step 2 CK prep course on the market! The comparison chart below will help you figure out which online course best fits your needs.

Step 2 CK Course Comparisons & Discounts

Step 2 CK
Courses
Smash USMLE review course BoardVitals Step 2 CK    becker usmle
RANKINGS

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

OVERALL
RATING
COMPANY Smash USMLE Board Vitals Kaplan Step 2 Doctors In Training Becker USMLE
PRICE  $399  $199  $2,399  $799 $1,500
PRACTICE QUESTIONS 2,000  900+ 2,000 350  2,000
FULL-LENGTH PRACTICE EXAM
VIDEO LECTURES 200 Hours 120 Hours  55 Hours  200 Hours
PASS OR MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE
FREE SMARTPHONE APP
PROGRESS TRACKING
STEP 2 CS ONLINE OPTION
STEP 3 OPTION
DISCOUNTS Save 10%

Show Coupon

Save 10%

Show Coupon

 
STUDENT SUPPORT Instructor Email Support Email Support Instructor Email Support  Live Chat, Email, & Phone Support  Email Support
ONLINE ACCESS PERIOD 12 Months 6 Months 3 Months 45 Days  12 Months
READ MY FULL
ANALYSIS
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Best USMLE Step 2 CK Prep Courses

USMLE Step 2 CK Courses Practice Questions  Price
Becker 2,000  $1500
Kaplan  2,000  $2,399
Board Vitals 900+  $199
Smash USMLE 2,000 $399
Doctors in Training 350 $799
 
Best USMLE Step 2 CK Courses
Written by: James Edge
5 / 5 stars

 

USMLE Step 2 CS Courses

top 2Choosing the right USMLE Step 2 CS prep course is essential if you want to pass the exam the first time you take it.

It will save you both time and money if you take the time to explore the various online options before you commit to a specific prep program. If you choose a prep course that isn’t a good fit for your learning style you won’t be as well prepared for the exam. You might even fail the test and have to start all over from square one. CRUSH wants to make sure that doesn’t happen!

So, the good news is that we have personally researched and reviewed every major USMLE Step 2 CS prep course on the market to help you make the right decision! The comparison chart below outlines the pros and cons of each course and will help you choose the course that complements your strengths. Check out our recommendations below!

Step 2 CS Course Comparison Chart

Step 2 CS
Prep Courses
RANKINGS

#1

#2

OVERALL RATING
COMPANY Kaplan Step 2 CS UWorld Step 2 CS
PRICE $700 $70
VIDEO LECTURES  12 Hours Live  Physical Examination Videos
FORMATS  Live Online Course  Online Course, Self Study
COURSE BOOKS
CLINICAL CASES
MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE
TUTORING OPTIONS
STUDENT SUPPORT  In-Class Interaction & Instructor Email Support Email Support & Forum
ONLINE ACCESS PERIOD Thru Course Completion Date 2 Months
GET STARTED START NOW START NOW
Step 2 CS
Prep Courses

#1

#2

Kaplan Step 2 CS UWorld Step 2 CS
$700 $70
 12 Hours Live  Physical Examination Videos
 Live Online Course  Online Course, Self Study
 In-Class Interaction & Instructor Email Support Email Support & Forum
Thru Course Completion Date 2 Months
   

 



 

Best USMLE Step 2 CS Prep Courses

USMLE Step 2 CS Courses Video Lectures  Price
Kaplan 12 Hours Live  $700
USMLE World  Physical Examination Videos  $70
USMLE Step 2 CS Courses
Written by: James Edge
5 / 5 stars

 

USMLE Step 3 Review Courses

Choosing the USMLE Step 3 prep course that is the best fit for your individual learning style is the most important decision you will make when it comes to passing this final USMLE test on the first try.

You will be spending many hours studying, and the difference between successfully passing or failing the USMLE Step 3 exam could well depend on how well your study materials prepare you. A prep course that isn’t a good fit for your learning style might result in a lower score or even failing the exam, costing you months of study time and additional exam fees.

Here at CRUSH the USMLE we have personally researched and reviewed every major Step 3 review course on the market so you don’t have to!

Step 3 Course Comparisons & Discounts

USMLE Step 3
Courses
BoardVitals Step 3
RANKINGS

#1

#2

#3

OVERALL
RATING
COMPANY Kaplan USMLE Board Vitals Doctors In Training
PRICE $999 $199 $249
PRACTICE QUESTIONS & EXPLANATIONS 900 1,200 500
FULL-LENGTH PRACTICE EXAM
VIDEO LECTURES  60 hours 10 hours
100% PASS GUARANTEE
FREE SMARTPHONE APP
PROGRESS TRACKING
STUDENT SUPPORT Instructor Email Support Email Support Live Chat, Email, & Phone Support
ONLINE ACCESS PERIOD 3 Months 6 Months 45 Days
DISCOUNTS Save 10%

Show Coupon

GET STARTED START NOW START NOW START NOW



 

Best USMLE Step 3 Prep Courses

USMLE Step 3 Courses Practice Questions  Price
Kaplan 900  $999
Board Vitals  1200  $199
Doctors In Training 500  $249
USMLE World 1400 $350
USMLE Step 3 Review Courses
Written by: Bryce Welker
5 / 5 stars

 

USMLE Discounts and Coupon Codes

On the fence about signing up for USMLE review courses? Why not get discounted study materials and online courses? Sign up here for discounts and coupons to save on your USMLE preparation journey. But, hurry, as deals like 10 percent off on all Smash USMLE products or 20 percent off Becker’s USMLE Step 1 Online Course aren’t going to last!

Becker USMLE Promo Codes

20% OFF Becker USMLE Step 1 Review – Promo Code: PREP20

30% OFF Becker USMLE Step 1 eCoach – Promo Code: ECOACH30

30% OFF Becker’s Step 1 Question Bank – Promo Code: QBANK30

20% OFF Becker USMLE Step 1 Live Online Courses – Coupon: ONLINE20

Board Vitals Coupon Code

BoardVitals coupon

Save 10% OFF all BoardVitals study materials!

This includes their USMLE Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 Practice Tests and Question Bank.

Coupon Code: CRUSHEXAM

Smash USMLE Discount Code

Smash USMLE review courseGet 10% OFF all Smash USMLE products!

This includes their USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK Question Banks and Course Memberships.

Coupon Code: USMLE10

USMLE Discounts
Written by: Bryce Welker
5 / 5 stars
becker usmle

Becker USMLE Review

RATING:

Becker USMLE offers a number of decent products for medical students who are taking the USMLE exams. The company’s options include live, live-online, and self-study courses, none of which are done especially well. Becker’s self-study option (eCoach) for the Step 1 and Step 2CK exams is an abbreviated course that includes over 200 hours of multimedia material, eBooks, access to the Step 1 question bank, audio lectures and summaries, all in an online self-study format.

Its live online prep course consists of a USMLE Step 1 review that includes 275 hours of live online lectures, 30 hours of integrated cases, access to eCoach, a question bank, textbooks, and one NBME exam with assessment.

Pros

1. Live Online Classes

Step 1 students who want a more structured course can sign up for 10 weeks of daily live online virtual classes (in the evenings and on weekends for a total of 275 hours) and 30 hours of live online Integrated Cases with an expert medical faculty member. This course also includes access to eCoach support for 9 months, which would be helpful if the support was actually competent.

2. Annotated Audio Lectures and Video Introductions

becker step 1

Becker’s multimedia instruction covers more than 200 hours of material in its review. Medical school faculty discuss the study material contained in the lectures in great detail.

The “Fastplay mode” allows students to view annotated audio lectures at regular, 1.25x and 1.5x speed, which kind of shows the lack of engaging content if it needs to be sped up so much.

3. Question Bank

becker usmle

Becker has a question bank with more than 2,000 exam-like questions. While the bank is decent, you’ll pay about $100-$300 depending on how many months you want to subscribe, which is a pain for people who want this included in the course price.

Detailed explanations help you understand which answers are correct and why, and your results are tracked so you can see your progress and spend the most time on your weaker areas.

4. Free Resources and Demos

Becker’s courses are more expensive than average, but you can take advantage of offers to sample the Step 1 eCoach Demo for free.

This is a way for students to check out the content and layout of the course to see if it is a good match for their learning style without paying the obnoxiously high price for Becker’s offering.

Cons

1. Price

Becker’s Live Online course is priced at $3,949, making this prep course a large investment and one of the most expensive options among the competition, by quite a bit. For what you get, it’s overpriced, especially considering the lack of any type of pass guarantee. It’s not anything we would recommend, unless your last name is Gates or Buffett.

If you are within commuting distance to one of their live review courses, the live review is the least expensive (without hotel room) at $3,399, but let’s be serious, who wants to pay that much for just the course.

2. No Money-back Guarantee

The “Becker Promise” offers students who failed to pass the USMLE after enrolling in Becker’ USMLE Step 1 and Live Online Review Courses the option to repeat the applicable review course for $1,500 off the regular retail price. There are many requirements and stipulations, which makes it difficult to know whether or not you will qualify for the Promise. Please see their website for additional details, but we’re going to guess that you won’t qualify for this terrible guarantee.

3. Interactive Chapter Review Questions

After each online video, students get an opportunity to answer review questions to gauge how well they understand the content of the lecture. This feature helps make students aware of any weak areas so they know when to go back and revisit specific material, but the way the information is presented isn’t ideal. Other courses do it better, trust us.

4. 3D Graphics and Animations

Becker uses technology to enhance studying and comprehension of complex processes and concepts with full-color illustrations, motion graphics and 3D animations, but the presentation is extremely confusing. Becker went overboard on this, making its course more expensive without adding any tangible value.

Conclusion

Becker USMLE’s online study material and live-online courses are disorganized, but take advantage of technological advances in graphics and animations. However, the cost is passed off to the consumer, as this offering is out of many people’s price range.  

The main drawback of Becker’s courses are the price and the quasi guarantee that it tries to pass off as an actual way to get your money back. Although students will get some quality materials, Becker’s courses do include an almost overwhelming amount of information. For what you’re paying, you really should get a better organized offering, a good guarantee, and something that justifies such an expensive asking price.

COMPARE THE TOP USMLE COURSES NOW!


Becker USMLE Review Breakdown

BECKER USMLE REVIEW
STRENGTHS 
1. Live Online Class
2. Annotated Audio & Video Lectures
3. Interactive Chapter Review Questions
4. 3D Graphics & Animations
5. 20% OFF USMLE Step 1
6. 20% OFF USMLE Step 1 Question Bank
Becker USMLE
Written by: Bryce Welker
3 / 5 stars