Getting a residency in the USA

What specialty you will apply and score you will need to match:

Getting a match in the USA is very competitive, you have to obtain an excellent score to secure the residency spot. Program directors use the score as a tool to select candidates to call for the interview. The minimum passing score for Step1 is 194. According to NRMP Overall, U.S. allopathic seniors who matched to their preferred specialty have mean USMLE Step 1 score of 232.8 (s.d. = 17.5).

Here is what you need to know for Step1 & Step 2 score. 





The average time it takes to prepare for each exam:

Step1: 7 to 9 months

Step2 CK: 6 to 8 months

Step2 CS 2 to 3 months

Step3: 4 to 5 months

As we all know that USMLE step1 is not only one of the difficult USMLE exam, but also program directors pay close attention to the Step1 score. Here what you need to know about the step1 preparation. 


As we all know the USMLE exam is a very conceptual exam, it is not the memorization test. Also, it will test your core conceptual understanding of each topic. Kaplan provides you exam specific information. I highly recommend that before you use any resource go over on Kaplan 1st. Make sure you know each topic very well. Build a strong understanding to integrate the concepts between subjects. If you are reading the pharmacology cancer drug, try to understand how will it interfere with protein synthesis and how will it prevent cancer. After you review any high-yield topic, I would suggest verbalizing the topic. Explain the topic in your own words. 

Question bank

Every student has this question, should I use Kaplan Qbank or Uworld? I would suggest that more questions you will do, batter you will be prepared on the day of the exam.  I truly believe that Qbank is your best friend. Use Qbank as a tool to recall not just to learn from the mistake. As you progress in your study try doing questions to know how much you retain from what you learn.  Use Qbank in time mode and mix subjects. You need to understand how you will feel on the day of the exam. Do not use the Qbank in an environment where you have distraction around you and do not use the Qbank when you are too tired for instance (at the end of the day). Again, Qbank is a tool to recall what you learn. Once you are done with question block go back to read explanations of all answers, correct and incorrect. From the explanations, your goal is to learn your mistakes and how the exam writer created the question, how the examiner integrate the question content. As you start, your score may not be up to your expectations, but with the hard work and dedication, you will reach the targeted score. 

FirstAid for the USMLE Step 1:

Once you build a strong conceptual understanding, you will need to start memorizing the information. The First Aid is a go-to book to memorize the content. You should review FirstAid at least 3 to 4 times before the USMLE exam. 

Dr. Muhammad Shah