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USMLE Step 1 Forum USMLE Step 1 Discussion Forum: Let's talk about anything related to USMLE Step 1 exam


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  #1  
Old 04-05-2015
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Default Study Method

Hi doctors, I hope y'all are fine!
I've just started studying for my USMLE Step 1 exam and at this moment I'm reading Kaplan Books. My question is.. Did someone take notes during the reading of these books or not? And a 2nd question.. Did you see the kaplan videos along with the lecture notes or at the end/ the beginning of your first reading? I don't know what to do cuz I know taking notes would be more time consuming so if someone could give me an advice I would appreciate it !
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2015
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This is what I did.

I watched the video then read the book, every chapter I finish I would read it from FA and then I would annotate what's still in my head and not in FA or annotate thing that help explain point in FA.

Then I would read kaplan again and also with each chapter I finish I reopen FA later on, on that same day. Now, while reading kaplan the second time I write notes that I like (which are not on FA, how do I know? I already read it) on a separate paper so that when I'm reading FA for the second time I don't forget to write down those notes.

Also, It's not just about writing notes down. I got loads of pictures that I took from kaplan, printed into small images (9 images/paper) and then pasted them to my FA.

It's tedious, boring, time consuming BUT i just love the look on my book with all of those notes!



One very important point, if annotating or writing notes down is an over kill for ya, then just don't! it's not worth it spending a whole day feeling bad that you still got to annotate. If it makes you feel more comfortable not to write notes just don't (enjoy this study process). I can assure you that Qbanks got loooaaaads of info for you to write down that you haven't written.

It's your choice. There's no BEST way of doing it. Tailor it.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2015
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well I personally found most of the notes i took from kaplan into First aid useless, because in the beginning you tend to want to memorize everything, and you end up filling your FA book with a lot of low yield stuff. My advice is:
1- during your first kaplan read, only note down the things that helped you understand a difficult concept, buzzwords, etc.. Don't spend a lot of time noting down all the extra info in kaplan because they might be low yield stuff.
Do it with a pencil because you might later need to erase them from your first aid to make way for high yield stuff from UW
2- once you start solving questions (UW namely), this is when the religious note-taking should begin, add every bit of extra info into FA. And this is when you'll start appreciating that you didn't fill your FA with low yield stuff

About the videos, I personally think that watching kaplan videos while trying to simultaneously follow from FA to be a great combo. It was a bit difficult at first but later I found it very rewarding
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Old 04-07-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amir26 View Post
well I personally found most of the notes i took from kaplan into First aid useless, because in the beginning you tend to want to memorize everything, and you end up filling your FA book with a lot of low yield stuff. My advice is:
1- during your first kaplan read, only note down the things that helped you understand a difficult concept, buzzwords, etc.. Don't spend a lot of time noting down all the extra info in kaplan because they might be low yield stuff.
Do it with a pencil because you might later need to erase them from your first aid to make way for high yield stuff from UW
2- once you start solving questions (UW namely), this is when the religious note-taking should begin, add every bit of extra info into FA. And this is when you'll start appreciating that you didn't fill your FA with low yield stuff

About the videos, I personally think that watching kaplan videos while trying to simultaneously follow from FA to be a great combo. It was a bit difficult at first but later I found it very rewarding
I usually prefer reading the notes first, then progressing to the video, and then noting down points that were spoken impromptu, during the lecture. FA i read each topic as and when i'm done reading, and watching the Kaplan video.

I prefer reading first, cuz its more of an active learning. Videos is more passive, and alot of the kaplan videos are fast. Like Micro and Pharm. So a little warm up with the notes helps me!
FA i just annotate the key points in the right margin or the bottom spaces. I try to keep it concise but it does get overboard!

As for UW, I maintain a dedicated notebook, and try to section them. But halfway down, I found that writing the notes is very tedious. Thirty question notes takes about >2 hours!! Still figuring that out.
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