As with many other components of medical school, one of the commonly cited challenges of Step 1 involves identifying key and/or core resources to guide your studies and sufficiently provide you with the foundational, high yield knowledge that will be critical to your success on test day. See below for a few insights on how to prioritize and use some of the most popular resources that BCM students have historically found helpful in their preparation for the USMLE exams.
Note: this is not a comprehensive list of resources and it’s not uncommon that students will find success with resources that are not listed here. Whether you choose to exclusively use the resources listed or if you decide to incorporate other resources into your study plan, be careful not to overwhelm yourself and risking resource overload.
Advice From Other Students
The following are words of wisdom and best practices from other students:
“I think an understated aspect of studying for Step 1 is to make sure you are making time for yourself. For me, this consisted of me protecting the amount of sleep I got each night, making myself exercise every day, and having time during the evenings that I was not studying. I made achievable goals every day that I felt I could reach, mentally allowing me to “win” the day and feel good going into the next one.” ~ Dylan Fall, c/o 2022
“I started dedicated with a failing STEP score and was able to bring up my score to a point that I was happy with. At no point in my preparation did I think I was 100% ready to take the exam, but I did feel that I had studied what I could and I was OK with whatever could happen on test day which helped me perform well on test day. I scored 10+ points above my highest predicted score, so don’t always take to heart what your practice scores tell you.” ~ Alina Mohanty, c/o 2022
“I varied the order of tasks I accomplished every day. If UWorld wasn't clicking, I did anki, and vice versa. If a certain subject was giving me grief, I went back to the basics to fill the knowledge gaps. I didn't try to push through something if I felt it wasn't working. On a similar note, I listened to my brain. If things weren't clicking, I took a break or a nap and came back to it. Usually this would work, but if it didn't, I called the day a wash and took it off (within reason, of course). I found it was unproductive to try and push through studying when my brain didn't want to cooperate, and usually a day of rest did the trick and things made sense the next day.” ~ Michele Cabeza, c/o 2022
“Instead of focusing on score metrics, I would recommend using this as an opportunity to chase and fill your knowledge gaps. Do something serotonin-boosting each day for wellness. Good luck – have faith in your abilities!” ~ Anjay Batra c/o 2022