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195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was a silent user of various USMLE communities including this one. Reading through various threads and discussions with my Medical School seniors I have gathered a lot of useful information which I thought would be useful for future USMLE STEP 1 takers:

Time Period required:

Time required on average is from 7-9 months varying form person to person and depending largely on individual potential. Everyone is different and knows him/her self best.

Some highly recommended books:

If you have a solid foundation during your medical school these are the best books which will help to complement this foundation

  • Kaplan series lecture notes with videos for all subjects
  • BRS physiology
  • High Yield Neuro Anatomy
  • First aid for embryo and histology
  • Goljan Pathology with audio lectures are a must
  • CMMRS helps you retain a lot of Micro after 1st read with levinson then complemented with Kaplan of course
  • Sticking to Kaplan should suffice for Molecular Biology. Techniques should be referred from High Yield Molecular Biology as they are poorly explained in Kaplan.
  • Overall Kaplan's enough for Biochem and Pharma
  • Same goes for Genetics and this section should never be taken for granted as a lot is tested from here
  • For behavioral kaplan along with first Aid and high yield biostatistics
  • First aid to revise all the subjects
  • Kaplan Q bank, USMLE World and NBME forms should suffice for question banks
The standard recommendation for study is
  • 1st read of Kaplan lecture notes with Kaplan Dvds with a few exceptions/additions as mentioned above
  • 2nd Read Kaplan lecture notes with First Aid and Q banks.
  • Practice as much MCQs as you (Kaplan Q bank, USMLE world Q bank, USMLERx Q bank)
  • 3rd Read with First Aid revision and more practice of MCQs
  • NBME, UWSA & other online MCQs practice
Different Individuals study in a different way with more and less number of reads but this is the basic and most widely recommended way.

Subjects tested most:

Pathology, Pharma, micro/immuno tested the most followed by neuro anatomy, Biochemistry(particularly genetics)

Level of difficulty:

It is quiet similar to the Kaplan Q bank and NBME forms but way easier than U world

Ideal time for taking the exam:

Again this varies from person to person and different people have different priorities but to me middle of 4th year(3rd Proff) is the ideal time to take the exam since basic science knowledge is fresh and besides it opens up options for good elective rotations as most require the step 1 score these days. So those in 1st/2nd year at the moment should consider this and start preparing!!

195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
All those users who have already taken the test please make additions to make the preparation guidelines for current students even more effective!
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