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Old 10-02-2013
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Help need help on planning how to study for STEP!!!

OK so i am trying to make a plan on how to study for I want to do Goljan audio, DIT videos, do uworld questions and take notes on it before im thinking I will finish all of the note taking by December, then I will study for a few months using the notes i took and then take the Step! So:
First off, how does my plan seem?
Second off, I dont know if i will have time for Kaplan videos (I did some physio videos, I still have Endo and the intro videos to do for physio, I want to finish up Immuno videos, Also im thinking of doing Pharm videos)...BUT with all of these videos im scared I wouldnt have enough time for all of them! Should I just read the books instead? I dont know what to do! PLEASE HELP!!!!

I would like your thoughts on this cuz I need help on planning my study schedule for Step!
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Old 10-02-2013
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KAPLAN videos are helpful. But time consuming.
GOLJIAN is quite lengthy also. But you can absolutely do them both. Just set your videos on a faster play option.

i think you have a good plan. Just start something first which i would suggest Kaplan videos [PHYSIO, PHARM, BEHAVIORAL, BIOCHEM] + FA.

Goljian + FA

Uworld + FA ( BUT make this not touch uworld till you have gone through FA at least once or twice. )
~When FEAR knocks, let FAITH answer the door.~
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Old 10-03-2013
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Hi Layla,

At first glance, it seems as though you may be approaching this with too many potential tools, which may be confusing and frustrating to you. The first thing I suggest you do is determine your strengths and weaknesses, by taking an NBME exam. The reason why this is a good idea is because if you want to use kaplan videos, which are lengthy and voluminous, it is IDEAL to use them for the subjects in which you are weaker. If you determine, through an NBME, which subject areas you will need more help with, then it makes the choice of using Kaplan for certain areas much easier to make, instead of just randomly picking and choosing... Try that first and you will see that it will give you a clear picture of what purpose kaplan will play in your prep... If you find that you are fairly weak in most areas, perhaps choosing kaplan as the primary 'note taking' tool will suit you best. If this is the case, use kaplan to create your detailed notes in conjunction with USMLE World.. you should absolutely be using UW right from the beginning - this qbank is an essential 'learning tool', and should be applied to your preparation as early as possible. If you are a fan of the First Aid (FA) then also use this foundation-building time to add detailed notes to your FA, so that when the time comes to put away the big books you have everything nice and handy.

If you start this now, by December you will have a very great set of notes, which is what you wanted. Give yourself time to really master this material, and you may choose to pick up another question bank to continue practicing the application of your knowledge to questions while simultaneously building your test-taking stamina.

Once you have put the time in and really have a rock-solid foundation of the basic sciences, then if you choose to do so a high-yield prep program will be of best use to you. There is no sense in jumping into a prep course like DIT if you don't already have that solid foundation, but once the foundation is in place, you will get more use out of the high-yield focus that the FA and/or prep programs typically follow.

One last thing... you are worried about running out of time or taking too much time... Just put a plan down on paper, so you know exactly what to do and when (ie. map everything out). This way, all of your time will be accounted for and you can actually see that in fact you can get through a large volume of videos in a short period of time as long as you stick to your plan and work diligently to meet your goals. You have a lot of time, so if you spend it wisely you will find that you can accomplish massive amounts of work every day!

Good luck.

Dr. Paul
The USMLE Success Academy

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