Studying for Step 1 can easily become all-consuming. A seductive pitfall is to see every moment not spent studying as time wasted. The purpose of this post, however, is to hopefully convince you that the opposite is, in fact, true. Time spent away from overt Step 1 studying actually enhances one’s ability to efficiently prepare for this important part of our medical licensing exams. The key—admittedly easier said than done—is effective planning. So here are a few tips about resources and scheduling.Read More
When I was practicing for my Step I exam, I often found myself frustrated. I would take what seemed like a simple case, find some minute detail, and then pick some crazy complex answer. Eventually, I found a strategy that helped me get over that: treating the patient in the question like a real one.Read More
In this blog post, I’ll be talking about some of the study habits that I used both during the year and during my intensive study period (the time that BU had designated for exclusive Step I preparation). The most important piece of advice I could have for someone preparing for the step exam is to start early. Also, every week or so, designate some time to reflect on how things are going. Ask yourself “What’s working? What’s not working? How do I reduce the second column and augment the first?”Read More
In this blog post, I’ll be covering an extremely important part of your USMLE step I preparation: Materials. In thinking back to my Step I preparation, I realized that I needed four specific tools: Primary sources, a tool to retain information, questions, and a tool for self-evaluation. The specific implementation of this doesn’t matter very much, but I’m going to define what I mean by each of these tools and provide examples of what worked best for me.Read More
Over the years that I’ve tutored for Cambridge Coaching, I’ve loved working with SAT, MCAT, and GRE students. Each test has different challenges and subtleties and tailoring each student’s preparation for maximizing success is always an interesting challenge. I’ve taken each of these tests, and use my experiences in helping students learn. But, for all of these tests, it’s been some time since I’ve actually taken them.
The most important standardized test for medical students is the USMLE Step I exam. As a medical student (and a tutor) who just completed Step I, I wanted to write down my thoughts and experiences about the test and share them in a coherent way that could help medical students who I wouldn’t have the chance to interact with directly. So, I’ll be posting a series of posts on this blog that talk different things that I found helpful during my preparation.Read More