USMLE, as we know, is the licensing exam for practice of medicine in the US. It is mandatory for every international. I wrote another article mentioning the eligibility, structure, and contents of this test, the link to which you will find at the end of this one but for now, let us focus on how you prepare for this test. Important to mention this article is for USMLE Step 1 and not Step 2 or 3.
As we know we divide our efforts based on our priorities and this test is one of the hardest tests in the world of medicine so you have to keep this on the top of your priority list so that you burn the midnight oil for it. You will require patience, motivation, and consistency in large quantities too.
The USMLE step 1 test can be taken at any time of the year but you have to register for the three month eligibility period within which your test will be taken. The test is never held during the first week of January and all major holidays so you can take the time of the test as “not a big deal”.
The course includes mostly all that you study in the first four years of your medical school. 280-310 MCQs comprise the test and most of them are cases or scenario-based diagnosis. This brings us to the point that you have to be pretty good on your clinical skills and must have a mindset of observation like that of a doctor observing his patient. You will require at least 1 year of studies if you study 3-4 hours per day. Or 6 months if you’re willing to study 10 hours daily. The minimum score you would require to be legitimately able to practice in the US is around 220 excluding the process for obtaining a visa as that differs from.country to country.
THE REAL DEAL
As the heading vividly describes. The main thing is where you get the perfect knowledge for this test. Where can I get the course which covers every aspect, every dimension of what will be included in the exam? Well for that popularly we have the KAPLAN series books along with its video lectures. They cover almost all your syllabus in a very sophisticated way and in a decent amount of time. Which takes us to the “BUT”. Every student doesn’t study the same way. We have extras like QBank which provides you a pre-test overview along with BRS series which is gaining alot of popularity these days. There is an enormous book named First-Aid which covers the whole exam but not as nice as the KAPLAN series do, however, there are many doctors who scored fashionably well studying this too. KAPLAN, however, is sometimes confusing due to its highly compressed way of words and thats where BRS series can be alot of help for you. There are however hundreds of books to cover the course but these here are the gold standards for the test.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Now as we are done with the article there are a few points that might prove very helpful for you doctors.
Time management is the key. Be sure you spend your time on your weaknesses rather than what subjects you have mastery upon and note the allocation of MCQs for each subject as you would definitely have to spend more time.on.the subjects that covers the major portion of the test rather than wasting it on systems that don’t matter.
Make your notes or diagrams or mnemonics or charts or symbols or whatever it is you do that makes you remember all that you read. When you have to study 4 years worth of knowledge in one year or for some, half. You have to know your way back around because all this knowledge is very difficult to retain in such a short span of time. Work your way around. Make it as easy as possible to remember as your dreams.depend on it.
Last but not the least. If you think you haven’t prepared enough for the test and have already applied. Take the test as it will give you a sense of your knowledge but do not be heartbroken if you score real.low as you already knew you weren’t ready. Come back harder next year. Come back stronger next year. This is your dream. Don’t give up on it.
And that’s all the guidance and motivation I have for USMLE step 1. I will keep updating you on newer ideas and guidelines in the future. If you have any questions or statements. Be sure to drop them in the comments. Adios!