Are you getting ready to take the UMSLE Step 1 exam? Or are you in your first year and trying to figure out how to best prepare? Either way, there really is a systematic approach to scoring very well on your USMLE Step 1 exam, and it isn’t just studying from a review book and doing a couple hundred questions.
Follow these FIVE steps and you will be well on your way to scoring above average on your Step 1 exam:
Step 1 – Start early
The best way to ensure you score well is to get started early. If you use your first couple years of the basic sciences as your prep time, you will be so far ahead of 99% of your competition that you will almost be able to pick your score. If you can take your class notes and devise well-shortened notes that will help you study come exam time, then you will have study notes to go along perfectly with your study guide of choice.
Step 2 – Review often
Once you have mastered certain topics, don’t just assume it will stick forever. Instead, pick one day every month during your basic sciences to go back and do a quick once-over so that all the important information remains fresh.
Step 3 – Do questions with purpose
Don’t just start doing questions before you USMLE Step 1, instead purchase a full year at a time and use them as you are studying for your class exams. This way, you will have extra notes that will help cut down your study time when the big exam comes along.
Step 4 – Review question notes frequently, don’t just re-do the questions
Many will suggest re-doing question banks over and over again, but this is simply memorization, and is in fact not a good use of time. Instead, take meticulous notes from each question you do and then use those as your source of studying. You can also save plenty of money by taking good notes instead of just going over the same questions again and again.
Step 5 – Rest adequately before your exam
Studying up to the minute of your exam is not necessary, and in fact may hurt your score. Instead, prepare yourself adequately and completely well beforehand and then take two to three days off before your exam. When you can discipline yourself to rest as well as you study, then you will take advantage of the positive benefits that come with proper rest.
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