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Old 03-29-2015
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Default USMLE Success Academy Live Course - My Review


I am going to try and type extremely fast and get my thoughts out on paper and if there are typos or grammatical error please forgive me and donít make fun Ė they are only there bc I need to get back to studying for Step 1, but have been wanting to write this out and I donít feel like studying, so with that said, here is my review of the USMLE Success Academy (USA) Live course.

First to start Ė I am an IMG (US citizen) and got back from my Caribbean school in Dec '14. I will start by saying I am extremely slow in that it takes me forever to learn a topic, which I hate, but when I finally learn it through repetition and re-writing notes, I have it down and move on. Sad to say, I am deff not the strongest student and barely managed to get by 2nd year, meaning I had to cram a lot of things and practice questions in for my last final in order to pass it and move off the island. I now realllllllly wish I took more time to learn things the right way and make concept maps and like Step 1 review notes during basic science. I have really good Path maps that I made in 2nd year so that alone is saving me hours of time by not having to rewrite ish out, but I wish I started doing good notes in 1st year. So yeah, with that said, you can see the kind of student I am (try not to judge please)

Now in regards to the 3 week course - first the price is great compared to Kaplan and Becker and the times offered, every month, are even better, for me at least. Donít forget this course is not like Kaplan and Becker where they teach all of basic science all over Ė USA will focus on high yields and still provide you with the other info, but its not covered in class.

So they will give you 3 binders (1 per week) with their notes in the form of powerpoints slides. There are 3 slides per page, front to back, and next to the slides are really more indepth notes regarding the topic. On average 500ish pages per binder. The indepth notes contain info that would be liked asked on the exam. You know how students will say, know FA, but also know more than FA, b/c FA just gives you topics and you need to know everything about that topic and the different ways they can ask that topic. So the binders that are given are like FA with all the info youíll ever need to know about the topic. Now thatís not enough bc you also need to, of course, study UW (u-world) bc UW is 2000ish questions, but 5 possible answer choices each with their own explanation, so really more like 10,000 questions. You know what I mean.

As for the class, so it goes from 8-3pm, Mon-Fri, with 30 mins lunch breaks. There are 5 mins breaks at the top of each hour to let you recoupe. They will tackle a subject each day and you follow along the binders but here is the MAJOR KICKER, 1. A lot of important things are said out loud so you cant just take these binders home, you need to read them along with the professor teaching them, bc I annotated a lot of stuff said out loud. Also like tips and tricks to tackle certain topics and questions are said out loud. They really focus on high yield info that you need to know and to apply that as fast as you can so you can move on to the next question. No one ever talks about how long the vingettes are in real exam but they do and they want you to be efficient in tackling each and every question and answering them and moving on. A lot of very useful mnemonics are given and also things to focus, such as in behavioral - now I am not going to say how they told us to tackle behavioral, but I will say I now fell 100% more confident when I see a behavioral question.

Ok moving on Ė you take comprehensive exams that are comprised of questions that are written by the professors that basically test you on the material given and said out loud during the course. Those are helpful bc they give explanations to most of them too. You take a NBME at the beginning of the course to gauge you and you will take another on 14 days after the course is over and you review all 3 binders at home.

You live in the Wyndham Hotel literally a 4 min walk away. I took the course in the winter which sucked, but like I said, you live 4 mins away so I wasnít outside for that long. The hotel is completely adequate in terms of living there. They hotel is a little understaffed but they work hard. Rooms are relatively clean and you get a desk to study on, a big tv, and a big mini fridge and microwave.

Also, after class each day, you have to review what you did that day and do a block of UW. So you are extremely busy.

In the end Ė I will deff recommend this course to students who feel their knowledge is inadequate. I am still reviewing my binders and doing UW and looking at Pathoma/Robbins here and there, but really focusing on what I given. You will have to sit down seriously and really read and review bc there is no easy way out of it. I wish the damn exam would test us on everything. Ive had friends tell me their exam focused heavily on Anatomy, Embryo, and Biochem, and had very little Path, and then Iíve heard the complete opposite. Its frustrating, but you just need to know everything just incase they ask you that one question about something.

I wanted to write this bc I too was a student on this forum looking for a peer review of the course and the only good one I found was written by Dr.KnifeHappy - I will probably edit this post bc some other things will pop into my head as time goes on.

Please donít ask me for the notes, if you want them, you should take the course. I guess you can PM if you have questions. Try to just ask them on the forum. If I donít respond right away, its bc im studying as I am mentally preparing my self to sit for the real exam in a couple months.
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The above post was thanked by:
bklyn23 (04-16-2015), Comyspice (08-31-2015), drshaun (01-14-2016), snowwhite1980 (12-03-2015)


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