Thursday, May 03, 2012

Tips for the 2012 USMLE Step 1 Exam

This guest post from MedStudentBooks gives a few tips for Step 1 preparation as well as mentions a few resources they have put together for students preparing for USMLE Step 1.

The USMLE Step 1 exam and the studying for it is often times seen as the most stressful period during medical school. Luckily, the team at 
Med Student Books ( is dedicated to providing insightful and money-saving information using the direct experience of upper classmen within this unique educational setting. 

While there are a lot of opinions out there, the best come from groups of medical students who have already taken step 1. With that in mind, the 
USMLE Step 1 Series is kicking into high gear to bring the best study tips from evidence and direct experience. 
While individual study habits and learning strengths should tailor each student's specific Step 1 study schedules, a few basic concepts apply to all. 
  1. Creating a comprehensive but flexible schedule is the most important first step that should be completed before studying. 
  2. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 should be at the foundation of all study plans, but should not be used as the only book. It is a starting point, to be annotated to create a complete Step 1 resource. In-depth specialized books should be used to complement First Aid deficiencies. Specific recommendations can be found at this post.
  3. USMLE World is the recommended question bank. 
  4. Relaxation and avoiding burnout is vitally important and often times overlooked. 
Along with great tips on getting a competitive edge for Step 1, is also currently hosting a Step 1 Exam Survival Sweepstakes in collaboration with one of the largest medical book publishers, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins. The prize includes several books recommended by, along with gift certificates and some other items that are helpful during board study time. The contest ends May 7, 2011, and further details can be found at the above link. 
Lastly, we recently released a 
Step 1 Percentile Calculator designed to help students keep track of progress with question banks and books over the course of their studies. Other new and exciting applications are currently in development, and several more posts in the Step 1 Series will be coming out shortly. Check back to over the course of the Step 1 study season for more ways to increase your score. 

Learn more at Good luck on Step 1!

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