USMLE preparation mistakes

What are the common mistakes students make during the preparation of the united states medical licensing exam?

Dr. Muhammad Shah

Dr. Muhammad Shah

Passive study:

You set your goals to read a certain amount of the pages, and while you're reading, if your brain occupied with lots of different thoughts you will not retain much. The entire process is full of stress and anxiety. Certain days you perform up to your expectations and reach your goals, but many days you feel the fear, stress, and uncertainty. You need to earn the mastery to become an active learner, which comes with practice. When you read the topic, try to understand what the author is explaining and ask questions to yourself, such as, what else you know about this particular topic.

Regarding high-yield concepts, I strongly suggest verbalizing the topic into your own words. If you are unable to explain that means you did not retain the concept and you will need to reread it. You're reading the book, watching the video, or attending the live lecture, you must be an active learner. The laser-sharp focus will help to retain more, and it goes into long term memory. The passive study wastes your time. If you have a goal to achieve 250 + score you have to use your time very carefully. The only way to get your goal is to be consistent with your study plan. This journey will be challenging, it will bring the barriers, hurdles but only if you keep your eyes on the targeted score and you work hard, I'm confident with your hard work you will reach the target score.

Insufficient quantity of the questions:

The purpose of doing questions is to recall what you learn. On the day of the exam, you should not have a thought that I wish I would have done more questions. Average student use around 4000 - 6000 questions before the USMLE exam. Do the questions in the morning hours and read explanations of correct and incorrect answers. It's always a good idea to do questions in mixed and timed mode. I strongly suggest reading the questions carefully. Try to understand how the question writer created the question. Every topic has certain hallmarks and examiners use those hallmarks to generate questions, and your task is to find out what are those hallmarks in each topic.

Exam timeline:

You need to take the exam when you're fully ready to reach your goal. Do not rush into taking the exam when you are nowhere nearby reaching your targeted score. Plan in advance how much time you will need to review the content and how much time you will need into the practice.

Focus on memorization without understanding:

Many students believe that the FirstAid and Qbank will be enough to get the desired score. The FirstAid is an excellent book and I highly recommended, but it's a book that helps you to memorize content it has all the high yield information, but it's also very superficial. It would help if you learned to content very well before you jump into the FirstAid.

Lack of confidence:

Do not compare yourself with others. During the initial phase of preparation do not judge yourself. Every day is an opportunity to improve. For some of you, the duration of the journey will be short, and for some of you, it will be a long journey. As I said earlier, if you be persistent and committed, you will be unstoppable reaching targeted score. Finally, confidence is not part of personality; it comes with practice. More information you will retain in more questions you will do you will be confident on the day of the exam.