I got a lot of emails of where to study and how to study for the USMLE Step 1. It’s basically the same questions being asked over and over again so I’m going to give you an outline of how to study for this test. A lot of you are lost on how to study and what you need to do in order to get your self on the straight path. So please read this post carefully and try to understand each step.
Please consider these points:
Dr. Najeeb VideosUnderstanding your basics sciences foundation the first step. That means you should know what is what for every subject. For example, the definitions of every little things such as pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas. You should know the -itis at the end means inflammation of any thing like hepatitis, cholcystitis, etc. My best source would be Dr. Najeeb’s Videos hands down. Some of you asked if you should watch every one his video and my answer is going to be yes if you don’t understand anything. Dr. Najeeb’s videos are extremely slow and long and it’s frustrating but you can speed it up, but you should have to watch only once. And please take notes whenever you watch videos. For Behavioral Science only I strongly recommend Kaplan Videos. For the pathology subject, use pathoma by Dr. Husain Sattar.
First Aid for the Step 1
This book should always be next to you. DO NOT try to read it by yourself. Use the latest version of DIT (Doctors in Training) videos to understand on how to read the book, because for an average beginning medical student the book cannot be understood. When you write notes on your First Aid book make sure you write notes that you can understand 2 years later. I advice you to be considerate of your notes because you will need it for the USMLE Step 2 CK studying. Don’t waste time on if you should buy it or not and just order it online if you are too lazy to go the book store.
USMLE World Question Bank
This question bank for the USMLE Step 1 is extremely important for you to get. There is no way around it. It is the golden question bank but you need to not only understand your basic foundation but also applying it.
NBME ExamsIt’s very important that you take these exams to see where you are. These tests will tell you how well you know your basic foundation knowledge. I also recommend you try the USMLE World assessment exams which is available on the USMLE World website; their assessment exams are very good also.
My method and steps on studying for the USMLE Step 1:
- Watch the medical videos, which I recommended, and take notes.
- Go through DIT videos to understand First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 book and take notes.
- Do USMLE World question bank in mixed, timed, and random mode. Go over every single questions, right or wrong, and take notes on everything. Write those notes in your First Aid book. If you don’t have enough space in your First Aid book then take it to the nearest Office Depot and get them to unbind it and put it in a 3 ring binder like how I did.
- Take an NBME exam. Usually start out doing NBME version 11 and higher. Look at what subjects you are weak in and go over that subject until you understand it.
- Go through DIT videos again but this time do USMLE World question bank simultaneously. For example, if you do DIT videos in the morning, then do a block of USMLE World question bank in the afternoon and go over them. This should be your second time doing both DIT and USMLE World question bank. Make sure you always do the questions mixed, timed, and random mode.
- After finishing both DIT and USMLE World questions, take another NBME exam, but a different version of the exam. You should be improving. Also, now do USMLE World Assessment Exam version 1.
- Now do USMLE World question bank one more time in mixed, random, and timed. You should be scoring above 70% by now. If you are still weak in a certain subject then go over that, now you should just be memorizing from the First Aid book.
- Take another NBME exam and USMLE World Assessment Exam version 2. Make sure your NBME score predicts your score to be above the national average which is 221+.
You may disagree on my studying steps, but that’s how I did it. And when you follow my steps, make sure you give it time because there is no shortcut to this. You have to give it time and you have to understand the concepts first. If you need to ask certain questions, please ask me your question on the comment box below and please put your name down. Asking your question in the comment box will help others with their answers, thanks.
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