Here is the guide module for the USMLE STEP 1 Preparation
6 – 8 months (Varies on how much effort you put in; How many hours you study in a day.)
Kaplan books + Kaplan Video Lectures, First Aid, Kaplan Qbank (optional-1month subscription which has a qbank, 2 full simulated exams and 3 self assessments, deals keep on changing), UWORLD QBANK( Most Important), BRS Books (You can use for the subjects in which you scored on a lower range in Uworld qbank), Behavioral sciences book by Cornard Fischer, PATHOMA for pathology( Don’t use Kaplan Pathology), Goljan (135 pages rapid review), Self assessment forms( nbme 7,12,13,15,16)
- First you have to study from Kaplan books along with the video lectures.
- You should cover like 40-50 pages a day.
- Whatever extra points you find in video lectures you should write it down on Kaplan books, so that you don’t need the lectures the next time you go through the videos.
- Do First Aid (It should take maximum 12-13 days for the first read.)
Revise the Kaplan books the 2nd time but this time without lectures as during the first time you had already wrote the points from the lectures. After that, you will also revise first aid again.
- Now you have two options if you want you can go with a KAPLAN QBANK 1 month subscription and then start UWORLD.
- If you don’t have too much time in your schedule, as many students need to cover step 1 in a short time, then you can start UWORLD right away.
- Do UWORLD in TIME MODE, RANDOM, MIXED just as the blocks on the exam.
- Don’t do subject wise as you should prepare yourself for the main exam from day one.
- You should score more than 70 %. This means you are in good shape.
- UWORLD will tell you in which subjects you are weak.
- You can study those subjects from BRS books once you are done with UWORLD.
- Write the points from UWORLD on your FIRST AID.
- Once you are done with UWORLD.Then READ FIRST AID again in 6 days and give a NBME SELF ASSESSMENT TO SEE WHERE YOU STAND.
- Give an easy one like nbme 12 or 13, keep the most predictive one for the end like nbme 15 or 16.
- See how you score on it and then do UWORLD for the second time.
- You can buy the subscription again and solve it or you can just revise the old subscription which you had already solved, the second one is better as it will save your time and will fulfill the purpose of learning the UWORLD by heart. GOING THROUGH UWORLD TWICE IS IMPORTANT.
DO ANOTHER SELF ASSESSMENT NBME AGAIN TO SEE WHERE YOU STAND. You can do an NBME 7 OR 15 at this point.
If you are scoring more than 250 at this time. Then you are in good shape and you can appear in the exam.
If you get a low score and don’t know what to do at this point. You can go through Kaplan books and first aid again.
And believe me if you go through all the Kaplan books the third time, you will get a bump up in 10 marks in the next nbme you do.
You can also do UWSA as a self assessment, but keep in mind it may over predict a bit.
• NBMEs predictive value changes each year. You should ask recent exam takers which nbme is the most predictive. Nbme 7 used to be predictive then nbme 15 came out and recently its nbme 16 which is considered the most predictive. But do keep a track on it by staying in touch with recent exam takers.
• REMEMBER NBMES are just A SELF ASSESSMENT. Your score on an nbme can be +/- 10 points on the real exam.
• USWA self assessment is good too. But it overpredicts a few marks for step 1.
• Study 10-12 hours a day. But quality study is important. If you are doing 40-50 pages in 6 hours during your first read you are good to go. You don’t need to study 10 hours daily, as long as you are following your study schedule and covering the syllabus.
• FIRST AID IS VERY IMPORTANT. It’s like an index to all the Kaplan books. That’s why it should be revised again and again.
• PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION is the key to success.
• If you get a score of 250+ on step 1 you are in excellent shape for the residency match.
• No gaps should be given during this study schedule, as you will start forgetting things.
• DO EVERYTHING ONLINE. DON’T DO ANYTHING OFFLINE. AS online Qbanks and SELF ASSESSMENT will give you an idea of how the real exam is. Investing some money for the preparation is better then getting a low score in step1.