https://crushtheusmleexam.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/tran-mau-tri-tam-57714.jpg 466 700 James Edge https://crushtheusmleexam.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Crush-The-USMLE-Logo-300x120.png James Edge2018-08-23 22:50:432018-07-05 00:08:44USMLE Step 1 Study Tips
USMLE Step 1 Study TipsBecause your time is so limited, we want to give you a short, direct informative guide to help you succeed and achieve the USMLE Step 1 score you have aimed for. Don’t panic, we have laid out all you need to know below. USMLE wants you to see medicine differently, make it practical. Firstly, you should know that USMLE will not test your memory, but your ability to apply basic sciences knowledge in a clinical scenario (vignettes). That means that questions will not sound like: “What drug class does scopolamine belong to?”, but rather: “Scopolamine is prescribed as a transdermal patch for a patient leaving for a cruise vacation. Which comorbidity would be a contraindication?” That means that USMLE questions are not direct (first-order) ones, but rather second or third order questions, in this case: A drug commonly prescribed for motion sickness (cruise trip), but is contraindicated in closed-angle glaucoma. Or let us put it another way: “Which receptor will cause the side effects of this medication on patients with glaucoma?” You will get the hold of this as you go, without a doubt. Your score should be aimed according to your specialty. Like in any country, some specialties are particularly more competitive in the United States. Numbers do change from year to year, but there seems to a be pattern to Radiology, Dermatology and Plastic Surgery always requiring higher scores, starting from 240. Other specialties such as Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Physical Medicine require scores starting from 220, roughly. The average score in the United States is of 220. So if you haven’t decided which specialty to go, we recommend you to aim for 240. If you have, on the other hand, get the latest information on the average matching score. Anxiety is a part of the deal, but let’s put things into perspective. Secondly, feeling overwhelmed is a commonly exacerbated symptom amongst students taking the USMLE, therefore, here is a formula we can’t recommend enough: 2 months of Video Lectures from a Prep Course of your choice with Review books + Question bank of your choice (do it 2-3 times) + Parallel to the first two: Read First Aid Step 1 at least three times, taking notes. The last month before the exam you will be working a lot, mostly with your notes and with First Aid, basically, this formula prepares you for that period. Pacing your study and following CRUSH’s simple rules is a time-saver. Thirdly, let’s us lay out five golden rules when it comes to your study schedule:
- Start from the subject you are less comfortable with (Biochemistry, for example);
- Study 50 minutes, rest 10. Or if you prefer, 1 hour 40 minutes, and rest 20 minutes. Those cycles should be repeat four times. You can have two blocks or four cycles each like that a day.
- Resting is crucial. Take one day off from studying weekly: forget about the exam, do other things you also enjoy, even if while doing them you can’t help but diagnose everyone around you now.
- Before exam, do at least 4 full-length exams with timing before your USMLE exam date. This will help you fight away that anxiety like a ninja, you are very prone to succeed if you are acquainted with the real exam conditions.
- When doing a question bank, take notes on every question, write down the concepts, make diagrams.
- First scenario: If you are still a medical student, you might be running out of time between classes and finals, so you need both mobile access, as well as extended subscription time, in that case we recommend Smash USMLE: you can get it for a whole year, watch 250 hours of video lectures and download a free smartphone app. Another great learning venue would be Becker, since it offers a very similar deal!
- Second scenario: If you are an international medical graduate, for example, and are no longer in medical school, you might have more time to concentrate on your exam alone and more intensively, so Kaplan USMLE might be the choice for you, with a 3-month subscription.
- Third scenario: if money is tight, but you still want to make the best out of your test preparation, we highly recommend Board Vitals and GraduateX. Moreover, we offer discounts on them, as well!
- Buy a complete series. By doing this, you can be sure that all the material is covered and that it won’t repeat itself. Also, the repeating design, writing style is also a big plus.
- Buy the best book for one subject from different series. You might need a little more time doing research, but if you feel comfortable with different books from different series, then this is a good way to go.
- You might find out that Kaplan’s books are great, but you’re just not ready to replace Pathoma and Microbiology Made Ridiculously Easy for their respectives in the series.