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Step 1 Study Tips. Ashley Prosper, MS3 January 5, 2010. When do I start?. Things to consider System exams are tough Learning the material for your system exams helps you do well on your boards You will have 7 weeks of ICS to review. My decision. I started studying the first day of ICS

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    1. Step 1 Study Tips Ashley Prosper, MS3 January 5, 2010

    2. When do I start? • Things to consider • System exams are tough • Learning the material for your system exams helps you do well on your boards • You will have 7 weeks of ICS to review

    3. My decision • I started studying the first day of ICS • Took my exam on June 22nd • Had a total of 12 weeks of studying time • In hindsight this was probably too much time, I may have benefited from taking the test 1 week earlier. Burnout eventually kicks in!

    4. What do I use? Please do not fall into a buying frenzy. You don’t need much! • The necessities: • FIRST AID for the USMLE STEP 1! • USMLE World • Extras: • Goljan Rapid Review • Kaplan QBank

    5. FIRST AID • The most comprehensive review book you can find • (nearly) everything you need to know is in this book • Required ICS textbook • The best $ you will spend (on step1 books)

    6. USMLE World • Online Qbank self-tests • Software looks exactly like the real USMLE • Questions are similar in difficulty if not slightly harder than those on the real exam • Roughly 2000 questions • $185 for 3 months

    7. Goljan Rapid Review • I preferred reading Goljan’s book to listening to his audio tapes • Much if not all of the information is already in your First Aid • This is most helpful if you can’t stand looking at First Aid anymore • Consider using it alongside your class notes for system exam studying

    8. Kaplan Qbank • Separate user interface • Questions test details • 2400 Questions • 3 months for $189 • Note: I started with Kaplan and used U-World once I’d finished Kaplan Qbank.

    9. Where do I start? I used Vinny Dhillon, MS4’s schedule: • Week 1: Biochemistry/Genetics, Path • Week 2: Endocrine + Repro • Week 3: Heme/Immunology + Embryo/GA • Week 4/7: Neuro + Psych/Behavioral • Week 5: Cardio + Renal • Week 6: GI + Respiratory • *Study consistently throughout each system (as applicable): Pharmacology, Micro, some Pathology and GA

    10. In addition to reading • QBank every night • 40-50 questions/night on average • Review the answers to each question and add material to your FirstAid if necessary • Remember that in the beginning, you’re using QBank as a learning tool, not a test of your knowledge

    11. When to take the test • Most students aim for the week of June 14th +/- 1 week • Consider your learning style, how ready you feel toward the middle of ICS and how much time you want off before 3rd year • Aim to take your test on time. Pushing it back becomes a vicious cycle.

    12. Registration • Register this month, spots fill up quickly • Apply for a testing permit through the NBME website • Testing permits are in 3 month blocks, i.e. May-July or June-August • Once you’ve received your permit, pick a test date at a Prometrics center

    13. Extra preparation • Practice “Free 150” exam at a Prometrics center • Practice sessions are held at Prometrics centers so you can get used to the environment • $52 fee • Separate registration permit from the actual exam • The exam materials are available for free even if you don’t register for a practice session

    14. Extra prep. continued • Figure out what you want to eat on test day • Try out these foods ahead of time and make sure they agree with you • Bring snacks with you to the test center, buying lunch is risky • Start waking up at the time you’ll need to wake up on test day at least 1 week in advance • Bring a jacket, the test centers are cold • Plan something fun after the exam, no matter what you deserve to celebrate!

    15. Things to remember • Studying for the USMLE is a long, time-intensive process • You’ve been preparing for this test since August of 2008, even if you didn’t know it! • Everyone doubts themselves and feels overwhelmed at some point while preparing • Our school does very well historically, you too stand to do well