NYCS Review

When it comes to medical certifications like the USMLE, you can never be too prepared. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to look into the idea of brushing up on your medical knowledge before taking the exam; after all, it can play a substantial role in determining your future career prospects. But how can you prepare yourself for such a difficult exam? New York Clinical Schools Prep USMLE is a company that seeks…

Lecturio Review (USMLE, MCA,T, & NCLEX)

Overview: Preparation for the USMLE is a daunting task. With so much material to learn and a ton of potential resources available, so many test-takers waste valuable time simply deciding which resources to use. Enter Lecturio. Lecturio is a fully comprehensive medical curriculum and medical boards review resource that covers all pre-clinical and clinical material required for the USMLE Step 1, COMLEX Level 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, and COMLEX Level 2 (as well as…

5 Tips for Great Residency Letters of Recommendation

Best Tips for Residency Letters of Recommendation No matter what application you’re preparing right now, there is one thing I can guarantee is true: You’ve been preparing for this application for years. Between classes, training, school activities, MCAT, SAT, USMLE (or any other number of test acronyms), it’s been a long road to get to this point, and you’ve put in a TON of effort. You’ve checked all the boxes: Grades? Check. Test scores? Check.…

Best USMLE Step 1 Question Banks

Starting a career in medicine is no easy feat. Whether you’re interested in becoming a doctor, a nurse, or any other medical professional, the educational requirements are steep and will often incorporate a combination of university education, postgraduate education, and additional certifications. One of these certifications is the USMLE, a notoriously difficult licensing exam that comes in multiple parts. Looking to pass the USMLE? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back: One of the best ways…

USMLE vs. COMLEX

What is the difference between the USMLE vs Comlex

What’s the difference between the COMLEX vs USMLE?

If you are just starting the process of acquiring a license to practice medicine in the United States, be prepared: Medical licensing in the United States can be confusing.   For US-based allopathic students, the path forward is fairly straight forward. But if you fall outside of that category (US-based osteopathic student, international medical graduate (IMG)), the path forward is likely a little more convoluted. Let’s consider a simple case first: International Medical Graduates.   For all physicians licensed to practice in the US (with few exceptions), you’ll be required to enter a residency match program (either allopathic or osteopathic programs) and complete additional clinical training. As it currently stands, international medical graduates (IMG’s) are only eligible for the allopathic National Residency Match Program (NRMP) and thus should only consider taking the USMLE, not COMLEX (the licensing exam for osteopathic physicians). So, as of now, it’s a relatively simple answer for IMG’s: Take the USMLE exam, not COMLEX.  

Who should take both the USMLE and COMLEX?

What if you are an osteopathic student based in the US? You currently are required to take and pass COMLEX in order to practice as a osteopathic physician and be eligible for an osteopathic residency program. However, osteopathic students have another option: Take the USMLE AND COMLEX.   Many students may wonder why it would be worth subjecting yourself to multiple exams (3 for COMLEX, and 4 for the USMLE including Step 2 CS). Students decide to not take the USMLE for many reasons: It can cost A LOT of money – cost preparation, exam registration, travel, additional fees. It can take A LOT of time – anywhere from a week to a few months depending on when you decide to take the exam. An allopathic residency isn’t something they want to pursue.   However, there are multiple reasons students decide to take it: If you time it correctly, it can overlap with preparation for each COMLEX level, limiting additional study time required. It makes you eligible for allopathic residency programs AND osteopathic programs, expanding your options for post-graduate training. It can increase your competitiveness for both types of residency programs if you perform well. USMLE Competitiveness It can be taken at any time during your training as it is not required for graduation from osteopathic programs. If you are still on the fence about doubling down and taking the USMLE, try to answer this one question:   What do you want to do for your residency training?   At the end of the day, your choice of specialty, program location, type of residency will dictate whether or not it’s a good idea to take both exams. If you’re interested in something highly competitive (dermatology, plastic surgery, radiation oncology), in many cases it makes sense to broaden the number of programs for your application, especially for very specialized fields. Because there are many more allopathic residency programs than osteopathic, if location for residency training is important to you, it may make sense to take the USMLE increasing your chance of being able to match in a specific location. Residency is a difficult and exciting time in your training, so it’s worth considering what your goals are as early as possible to make sure you can take appropriate steps to prepare for the necessary exams.   Based on your answer, you may decide the USMLE is not for you. If, however, you decide to take the USMLE in addition to COMLEX, it is important to have a plan. Here are key things to consider:
  1. Timing – Because there is a sizeable amount of overlapping information across both COMLEX and the USMLE, many students opt to take them at the same time, or in close proximity. Because COMLEX is required for graduation, it’s often recommended you focus on passing those exams first. Upon completing COMLEX, students often go directly into a brief study period for the USMLE and take the exam soon after. However, some students opt to take the USMLE first as it is considered to be more difficult, and then take a brief period to study COMLEX specific topics, such as OMM, before sitting for COMLEX.
  2. Overlapping information – similar to timing, the overlap of information allows the use of similar resources. In selecting resources, follow this mantra: “As much as necessary, as little as possible.” Select the fewest number of resources you need to ace both COMLEX and the USMLE. Know them inside and out. Being familiar with all the material through the entirety of the study period will help on both exams.
  3. Question styles – COMLEX questions and USMLE questions test much of the same material but with different styles of questions. It is important to expose yourself to both styles of questions before each exam. Using QBanks specific to each is an option followed by many students. Alternatively, students choose a single comprehensive QBank (such as Kaplan’s USMLE Qbank) and use National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) practice exams to learn question styles.
  In the end, it’s always worth speaking to an academic advisor to discuss what your goals are and the best way to reach them. School advisors can also give insight as to how test preparation fits into your school’s curriculum and what previous students in your program have had success with in the past. For IMG’s, there are advisory services available through US based companies that help develop a plan and help prepare applications for the residency match program. And many of these services can include help in preparing for exams.   It’s also worth noting that the ACGME and AOA (the governing bodies for allopathic and osteopathic residency programs, respectively) have reached an agreement that will allow a single application service and match program across all types of residencies. This program is set to go into effect in 2020, but it is still unclear exactly how this will impact COMLEX and USMLE examinees, both US-based and abroad.

FREE USMLE Practice Test Online

FREE USMLE Step 1 Practice Tests Smash USMLE Step 1 Review The USMLE Step 1 Exam is your first board exam to take during medical school. Start off right by taking your studying seriously and being consistent with taking USMLE Step 1 practice questions.

FREE USMLE Step 1 Questions

Here are 50 free USMLE Step practice test from the Smash USMLE Step 1 question bank.   What was your score? Are you ready to take the USMLE Step 1 exam? The USMLE Step 1 Exam is administered over the course of one day consisting seven 60-minute sessions. Each session will have 40 or fewer questions. The following topics are found on this exam:
  • Anatomy
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
In addition to the above topics, the USMLE Step 1 Exam also covers interdisciplinary areas related to the following:
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Nutrition
  Smash USMLE provides a USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses and Qbanks which have 2,000+ USMLE Step 1 practice questions. These questions are written in the same format found on the exam and have detailed explanations like the ones you’ll see here.  Each of the categories found on the exam is covered by the Smash USMLE question bank and will provide you with hands-on experience for what to expect on the testing day. Want more practice? Compare the best USMLE Step 1 review courses here.

Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses

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 USMLE 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.

USMLE Step 1
Courses
Top USMLE Prep Course - Smash USMLEPass Program Best USMLE Prep CourseBest USMLE Prep CoursesTop USMLE Exam prep Course - BoardVitals Step 1Top New USMLE Prep Course Becker USMLE
RANKINGS

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

OVERALL
RATING
 
COMPANYSmash USMLE Pass Program USMLEKaplan USMLEBoard VitalsLecturio USMLEBecker USMLE
PRICE  $1995 $1,795 $1,299 $1,169$2,999 $1,599 $179 $134$299.88 $1,500
DISCOUNTSSave $200
Show Coupon
 Save $130
Show Coupon
Save $500
Show Coupon
Save $45
Show Coupon
PRACTICE QUESTIONS2,000+ 2,0002,0001,6002,000+ 2,000+
FULL-LENGTH PRACTICE EXAMS
VIDEO LECTURES250 Hours 150 Hours200 Hours5,500 Quick Videos200 Hours
PASS GUARANTEE
FREE SMARTPHONE APP
PROGRESS TRACKING
STUDENT SUPPORTInstructor Email Support Instructor Email SupportInstructor Email Support Instructor Email SupportEmail Support Email Support
ONLINE ACCESS PERIOD12 Months 6 Months10 Months6 Months12 Months12 Months
READ MY FULL
ANALYSIS
Read Full Review Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full Review
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 SEE THE BEST LIVE-ONLINE USMLE COURSES HERE!

Best Live-Online USMLE Step 1 Courses

USMLE Step 1
Live Online Courses
COMLEX Pass Program ReviewBest USMLE Prep CoursesUSMLE Live Prep Course
RANKINGS

#1

#2

#3

OVERALL
RATING
COMPANYPass Program USMLEKaplan USMLENYCS USMLE PREP
DIFFERENTIATOR
One-on-One Personalized TutoringMost Comprehensive Course FeaturesBest Value For Live & Live-Online
PRICE$4,300 $3,870 $3,999 $1,899
DISCOUNTSSave $430

Show Coupon

NoneNone
METHOD OF INSTRUCTION8 Weeks of Live-Online Instruction7 Weeks of Live-Online Instruction5 hours a day, 5 days a week
for 8 weeks
COURSE FORMATClass Options 8:30am-5pm EST (Monday-Friday)Class Options 11am-9pm EST  (7 Days a Week)Class Options 11am-9pm EST  (7 Days a Week)
PASS GUARANTEE
STUDENT SUPPORTDedicated Instructor Email SupportInstructor Email SupportDedicated Instructor Email Support
ONLINE ACCESS PERIOD4 or 8 Weeks7 or 14 WeeksN/A
READ MY FULL
ANALYSIS
Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full Review
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Best USMLE Step 1 Course Comparisons & Discounts

1. Smash USMLE Course Online

Best USMLE Exam Prep Course 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.

The Bottom Line: Smash USMLE offers an enticing package with their high volume of practice questions and excellent analytical tools. Their video content is decent as well, although it could still use some improvement.

TAKE ME TO SMASH USMLE

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OVERALL RATING: ★★★★★
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2. Pass Program USMLE Step 1 Course

Pass Program Best USMLE Prep Course

OVERALL RATING: 

Help When You Need It: There is a great team of instructors that are ready and willing to help with any question you have. Of course they will not tutor you, but if you’ve missed a key concept, you may reach out and get detailed answers in 10-20 minutes.
Access: The USMLE Pass Program by Edumind includes 1 year of access. This is something that other providers have cut back on so keep an eye out when you’re comparing with other courses. It is very important to ensure you have all the time you need and so you don’t have to buy another course after yours expires.
Entertaining Lectures: Francis is a teacher that knows how to motivate students. His classes will actually keep you engaged and even excited at times.
Not Too Long Or Too Short: Lessons pacing is ideal, not too little, not too long. This ensures you get just enough information but overwhelmed.

The Bottom Line: The USMLE prep course created by Pass Program has been tailored to meet the needs of students by being engaging and informative. Lessons aren’t too long or too short, and the instructors are helpful and entertaining.

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USMLE Pass Program Discounts

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3. Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Prep Course

kaplan usmle step 1 USMLE review

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.

The Bottom Line: In addition to their vast library of practice questions, video content, and simulated exams, Kaplan offers a more convenient USMLE test prep experience with their full mobile compatibility.

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Kaplan USMLE Promo Codes

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4. Board Vitals USMLE Step 1 Review Course

BoardVitals Step 1 - USMLE Review Course

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.

The Bottom Line: BoardVitals has a great USMLE prep course that contains realistic test simulations and is backed by effective adaptive learning technology. Best of all is that these features come at a very low price.

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5. Lecturio USMLE Step 1 Study Materials

OVERALL RATING:

Study Schedules Included: Lecturio provides a comprehensive USMLE course that is customizable to an extent. Best of all they include step-by-step study schedules optimized to ensure you stay focused and learn everything you need to succeed.
First Aid Match: The Lecturio Bookmatcher offers the fastest way for you to find relevant video lectures for topics in your First Aid® textbook. Simply entering the page number of your First Aid® for the USMLE Step 1 or by scanning the relevant page with a smartphone, you are instantly guided to all applicable videos for your current topics.
Adaptive Learning: Memorize key USMLE information faster with the Lecturio adaptive algorithm that tells you exactly when and what you need to repeat to score higher. Their system also allows you to stay on track with regular notifications for questions due.
Integration Issues: Lecturio’s learning components and features ar  essentially separated, which means you’ll likely be devoting nearly all your time to navigating Lecturio. If you’re short on time, you may want to look elsewhere. The only other con is the discussion of test taking strategies leading up to test day and on test day. The strategies discussed don’t necessarily apply to all tests (namely, they do not apply to taking the USMLE Step 1 in the USA). Take this lecture with a grain of salt and always verify with your test center what their protocols and rules are.

The Bottom Line: Lecturio’s USMLE study materials are a solid option with adaptive learning tech, a mobile app and thousands of Qbank questions at an affordable price. Better yet you can start with their monthly plan for less than $50!

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6. Becker USMLE Step 1 Prep Course

becker usmle step 1 exam prep course

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.

The Bottom Line: Students looking for a high-quality USMLE course that is conducted live online will appreciate what Becker has to offer. Unfortunately, their high price and lack of any guarantee may be cause for concern.

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7. UWorld USMLE Step 1 Prep Course

best usmle step 1 prep 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.

The Bottom Line: Unless video content is a must-have, students will appreciate what UWorld has to offer in their USMLE Step 1 prep course. Expect lots of practice questions, self-assessments, and a handy mobile app.

LEARN MORE ABOUT UWORLD

Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Course

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 Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Courses Online

Best USMLE Step 1 Prep CoursesPrice
Becker USMLE$1500
Kaplan USMLE$2399
Board Vitals$179
Smash USMLE$1295
Doctors In Training$825
Lecturio USMLE$300