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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are two major approaches (or let me call them methods) when it comes to what books are needed to prepare for USMLE Step 1.

Method 1 (Kaplan Lecture Notes)

This method is the most common method seen among IMGs and it has been tested to produce high scores throughout the last 5 years or more.
Kaplan Lecture Notes for USMLE Step 1 are 7 books each deals with one or two disciplines: namely (Physiology; Pathology; Microbiology & Immunology; Biochemistry & Genetics; Anatomy, Embryology, & Neuranatomy; Behavioral sciences & Biostatistics; Pharmacology).
So this method entails cramming on these 7 books (+their DVD lectures) and also First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 to backup the preparation.

Advantages:

  • You'll get a compact 7 books to cram and no need to get lost finding the high yield information from other resources.
  • Gives confidence as you are not missing any high yield info.
  • Less time consuming than method 2.
  • Proved successful by many many students in the past.
Disadvantages:

  • Kaplan lecture notes better to be accompanied by the DVD lectures. These lectures are not sold commercially and it's provided only for the students who take the Kaplan course and this is expensive. Of course you can find illegal downloads of these DVDs or from your friends. As for the lecture notes you can buy them from Amazon.
  • Some students (and First Aid authors) believe that relying on a single series to cram step 1 is not a good way, though I disagree with this.

Method 2 (Various Resources)

This method is more popular among American grads (but also increasingly seen among IMGs). It has also proven to be a very effective method of preparation.
It entails looking for the best book in each subject (like for example by following our polls and see what is the best physiology book or the best pathology book and so on).
The current top ranked books that students rely on using this method are:

Of course in each of the subjects ranking changes from time to time but these are the current winners. Note that I did not mention the gross anatomy book because simply I don't know what's the current highest rank reference.

Advantages:

  • You get the best in each.
  • You will cover every little detail that may come in USMLE.
  • Some experts believe that question makers look up these books before they put the MCQs for the USMLE.
Disadvantages:

  • More time consuming than method 1. (almost double the number of pages).
  • Topics might get repeated as for example you may read the sleep stages in BRS physiology and again in High Yield behavioral sciences while in method 1 you'll read topics in one place.

Needless to say, that these two methods are not mutually exclusive, like for example many students (specially Indians) think that Kaplan is great except for it's pathology and neuroanatomy sections. So they supplement method 1 with Goljan pathology (the book, the notes, and/or the audio) and High Yield Neuroanatomy.

Remember that after reading the books you have to do questions and see our Best USMLE step 1 Qbank poll to help you choose.

What is my choice? Method 1.

But for you, The final choice is yours!
 

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Great! Thank you sooo much for all complete informations.

Dear Steptaker,
I would like to thank you for being so kind and helpful dedicating your time giving a complete information about the sources, would you please tell me in each method generally needs how many weeks or month, considering 10 hours study a day?

With warm regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dear Steptaker,
I would like to thank you for being so kind and helpful dedicating your time giving a complete information about the sources, would you please tell me in each method generally needs how many weeks or month, considering 10 hours study a day?

With warm regards.
Generally speaking method 1 is more compact and less time consuming. However, no single timing that folks follow, it all depends on graduation freshness, prior knowledge, dedication, hours per day, ...etc.
I looked at your profile and I realized that you are an old IMG and therefore I can probably tell you that you need 6 months minimum of complete 10 hours per day study time to get over 95 in USMLE Step 1.
Get the Kaplan Notes and start reading right now. Then you'll definitely start facing questions then you can always ask us here in this forum.
I also want you to look at this thread as it may give you an idea about the median time needed for step 1 preparation.
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-step-1-forum/364-time-needed-prepare-usmle-step-1-a.html
 

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method 2 is far more better!!! never stick to only 1 publisher for everything!!! btw i m an img

pathology in kaplan really sucks!!! it really misguides!!! Goljan z necessary for patho.... high yield buks are really gud!!! kaplan is only gud bkz of its dvds....
 

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pathology in kaplan really sucks!!! it really misguides!!! Goljan z necessary for patho.... high yield buks are really gud!!! kaplan is only gud bkz of its dvds....
really? im supposed to start kaplan patho in a while. y do u say it sucks? in what way does it misguide u? pathology is one of the largest questioned subject in the usmle exam ryte?
 

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really? im supposed to start kaplan patho in a while. y do u say it sucks? in what way does it misguide u? pathology is one of the largest questioned subject in the usmle exam ryte?
emmm it misguides bkz pathology z highest asked subject and this book doesnot contain many things that are important, high yield and addressed at goljan in detail.... many guys just blindly relying on kaplan study only kaplan get misguided and if dont luk at anyother thing e.g goljan theyll get hooked in true sense!!!
 

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Thank u so much Step taker..

Generally speaking method 1 is more compact and less time consuming. However, no single timing that folks follow, it all depends on graduation freshness, prior knowledge, dedication, hours per day, ...etc.
I looked at your profile and I realized that you are an old IMG and therefore I can probably tell you that you need 6 months minimum of complete 10 hours per day study time to get over 95 in USMLE Step 1.
Get the Kaplan Notes and start reading right now. Then you'll definitely start facing questions then you can always ask us here in this forum.
I also want you to look at this thread as it may give you an idea about the median time needed for step 1 preparation.
http://www.usmle-forums.com/usmle-step-1-forum/364-time-needed-prepare-usmle-step-1-a.html
Thank u so much step taker...for ur so good & simple advices abt usmle..thnx alot for ur all efforts..!
 

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Dear steptaker

i am planning to pass the exam about next 1/5 to 2 year ( cause i'm working ), is it too long? will the refrences change during this time?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It may or it may not

Dear steptaker

i am planning to pass the exam about next 1/5 to 2 year ( cause i'm working ), is it too long? will the refrences change during this time?
It may or it may not. Check back with us by the time you start to prepare and we'll tell what books are recommended by then.
If you plan to start now and continue for reading for two years then your best bet is to read the currently recommended books.
Out polls are active and the number of votes are dynamically changing, check our Best USMLE Books Section
 

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Dear steptaker!!

I have decided to appear for my step 1 in mid or end of October...and m preparing for the exam solely from Kaplan lecture notes plus d first aid n shud complete with my course by 15th August...then am thinking to practice just questions from u world for 2 months n simultaneously revise my course which I think I wud be able to do like for minimum 3 times..I dint have much time in hand and I studied as much as possible in the given time..its pretty tight situation I know..but do u think with this study plan I can get 90+ in my step 1?? and what more do u suggest if I aim for 95+??
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dear steptaker!!

I have decided to appear for my step 1 in mid or end of October...and m preparing for the exam solely from Kaplan lecture notes plus d first aid n shud complete with my course by 15th August...then am thinking to practice just questions from u world for 2 months n simultaneously revise my course which I think I wud be able to do like for minimum 3 times..I dint have much time in hand and I studied as much as possible in the given time..its pretty tight situation I know..but do u think with this study plan I can get 90+ in my step 1?? and what more do u suggest if I aim for 95+??
Yes, your plan seems to be good. However, there's noway that you can guarantee a 95+ score unless you check your performance with NBME.

Also, I suggest that you do anther qbank instead of repeating USMLEWorld three times. I suggest you do Kaplan qbank then you do USMLEWorld.
 

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How Much the Reading mat Kaplan has changed

My querry is simple.
Ur idea seems good..but the kaplan lecture notes u r talking about, i have a 2001 version.do u think a lot has changed in the new material??
 
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