USMLE Step 1 Preparation Update 62 days left

I am up and running with my daily schedule and I found some time to write a small update.

Here are some advice for your difficult periods when you are studying .

Try to keep going and stay calm, focus only on your next step. Exercise and enjoy some free time also, it is as important as studying.

Besides the importance of a dedicated study time, more important I find the way I study. Here are my tips in how to tackle the vast resources at hand for the USMLE Step 1.

– do not focus on details when you start reviewing a subject. Read it from a single source and capture the „big picture”. Understand it superficially and do not try to memorize all the small pieces that make up the big mechanisms (you will do that after you comprehend the basics regarding it). Go from BIG pieces to SMALLER and smaller ones until you master them all.

– memorization. I do not know if it`s your style or not but it is unlikely to work for this exam. To put things into perspective, let`s say, for example, you only relay on Kaplan Lecture Notes and you will have ~3500 pages to memorize. If you can do it, go for it, but somewhere along the way things will become unclear and you will be prone to errors. Even the quintessential First Aid has more then 650 pages and even learning it by heart can`t get you a high score. [remember that the mean score is 230 – we (IMG`s) need more]

– instead, concentrate on learning the mechanisms behind everything and what you add afterwards will have a different feel. things will add up and become more clear.

– I am not saying that parts of anatomy do not have to be memorized but let`s think for example at the vascularization. If you know embryology you will know then why duodenal ulcers erode into the gastroduodenal artery or why testicular cancers are associated with para-aortic adenopathies, not with inguinal ones (they descend from the abdomen to their final position in the scrotum). Combine memorization with understanding because they complement each other and help you reduce the things that you will have to memorize (like chromosomes/genes and enzymes – who remembers them from the beginning?)

– the best way to quantify your progress is by using a Qbank, and I am sure that any one of the main choices (Elsevier, Kaplan or Usmle World) is good for this job. I use UWorld and not only that I find it useful as a mean of checking my daily progress but it offers reliable information also thru it`s answers so I don`t need to check my notes for explications every time.

-if you are like me and basic sciences were so far away when you started accumulating the clinical based way of thinking just start with them. You know that Biochemistry, Genetics, Immunology and Pharmacology where hard topics to master then, but now you will feel more ” acquainted ” with their role. START from the basics.

To finish it up the most important thing about preparing for almost any exam is that the amount of reading you put into it correlates with your final score so the more you read the more you get!

Have a great weekend and step it up!






4 gânduri despre „USMLE Step 1 Preparation Update 62 days left

  1. Buna!
    Pe cand un post cu detalii despre step-ul asta? Comparatii intre precedentul set de intrebari si cel de acum, pe ce s-au axat, etc.
    O zi buna!


    1. Buna Andreea,
      Este interzis sa dezvaluiesti detalii legate de examen. Eu inca nu am sustinut examenul. Am dar o simulare si nu as fi obtinut un punctaj prea mare. Promit sa revin cu vesti cand voi avea timp. Momentan nu pot sa mai scriu nimic pe blog pentru ca trec printr-o perioada aglomerata.


  2. Buna Sorin! De foarte mult timp sunt interesata sa fac pasul asta de a pleca in America ca medic si apreciez enorm ca cineva in sfarsit scrie despre asta step by step. Ma intereseaza sa stiu si despre Ambasada cum se petrec lucrurile acolo si As vrea sa te intreb in ce moment ai decis ca vrei sa faci asta si cand ai aplicat? Erai inca in facultate sau ai asteptat sa termini? Am inteles ca primul step se poate da si in timpul facultatii – te rog sa ma contrazici daca gresesc. In fine, ma intereseaza informatii referitoare si la nivelul de engleza si aici ma refer la terminologia medicala. Am citit si eu cateva exemple de intrebari si nu mi se parea dificil de inteles insa ma gandesc ca mi-ar fi putin greu la invatat. Exista cursuri de engleza medicala? Sau nu stiu … eu nu ma simt stapana pe mine in romana pentru ca tot sistemul asta grila ne face sa ne pierdem capacitatea de a avea un vocabular medical. Multumesc! Larisa


    1. Buna Larisa, gasesti raspunsul la toate intrebarile de mai sus in celelalte posturi ale mele. Selecteaza din meniu (dreapta sus) categoria dorita si acolo ai cateva posturi despre toate acestea. Nu ai treaba cu ambasada decat daca vrei sa mergi sa vizitezi statele unite, nu ai nevoie de un examen de limba, cat despre engleza medicala cred ca exista cursuri insa nu pot sa iti recomand ceva concret.
      In cazul in care ai alte intrebari le astept aici sau pe pagina de facebook.

      Succes in toate!


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