USMLE Tip

You might hear your professors saying that USMLE Step 1 is one of the most challenging exams you’ll ever take. Your performance on this exam will set the stage for you to match in your desired residency program. Here is one suggestion. After you finish the 1st round of Kaplan, take the NBME exam to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses. M. Shah

USMLE Tip

More likely you will be asked to apply a concept to an unfamiliar scenario, something that’s very difficult to do purely from recall. While memorized facts may help to some degree, you will do much better if you to understand WHY a memorized fact is important rather than just the fact itself. M. Shah

USMLE Tip

The boards usually use tricky language to make the exam more challenging. Many students concentrate on high yield facts and underappreciate how important language skills are. One way to avoid language errors is to read questions carefully. Another way is to develop good reading and vocabulary skills, skills you can’t gain by drilling flash cards or watching videos. Many students ignore textbooks now that video learning is broadly available, but there are good reasons not to ignore textbooks altogether. M. Shah

USMLE Tip

Step 1 is not your only chance. Many weak test takers have become prominent, highly-successful physicians. And students with low scores can still get into competitive residencies through research or other avenues. Also, after Step 1 comes Step 2CK, CS and Step 3 and then internship, residency, and fellowship. The opportunities to compete in medicine never stops. M. Shah

USMLE Tip

Knowledge + quick recall = Great score. M. Shah

USMLE Tip

Create a week-by-week study plan. Organize weeks by subject, and only concentrate on weak subjects. Watch videos, take notes and Use Qbank on covered content. Meet with a study partner. Having a study partner with whom you meet once or twice a week can help keep you both on track, and it gives you a way to discuss what you’ve learned. Remember, teaching is the best way to learn. M. Shah