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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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Old 10-27-2019
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Default Last Minute Tips for USMLE Step 1 Test

These are some tips that will make a difference in your USMLE score and they work for all steps. These tips are collected and approved by many of the students that successfully passed USMLE on the first attempt and got the highest scores.
Please read them carefully and try to apply them as they are for your test to get a high score.

Donít study new subjects on the last day

On the day before the test, donít study any new subject. Just review highlights for the test and read some questions and answers without trying to answer them on your own (passive reading).

Have fun the evening before the test

All students who got a high score agreed that spending the evening of the day before the test on an activity other than studying is very helpful. You can watch a movie, hang out with friends or even read an interesting book. This will help you sleep well and organize your knowledge.

Go to bed early and donít panic if you canít sleep

Donít go to bed too early or too late. Just go to bed early enough to get 8 hours of rest. Donít drink any caffeinated beverage at least 6 hours before the time of sleep. Donít panic if you canít sleep. It is very common and doesnít affect your score. But you need to be at least relaxing in bed for continuous 8 hours.

Donít waste the 15 minutes of orientation

During your preparation for the USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK, you should watch the video of orientation several times to get used to the model of the test. You can find this video on the official website of USMLE practice materials. This practice will save you 15 minutes that you can add them to the break time during taking the test.

Read the scenario and the last question carefully

Donít jump to the question without reading the scenario. Going back and forth between the question and scenario is a waste of time. During your preparation, you should read a lot of questions to improve your speed of reading and comprehension.

Try to answer the question before you read the choices

Assume an answer for the question before you read the choices and then look for it. If you find it, it will be most probably the correct answer. Then, read quickly the other choices to be sure of it.

Donít leave any question unanswered

If you donít know the correct answer, choose the best guess and mark it. Donít leave it blank. There is no minus score for the wrong answer.

Donít waste your time on hard questions


Time is very important. If you are not sure of the answer, choose the best guess. Donít go back to the scenario and read it again. It is a waste of time. Mark the question so; you can go back to it if you have some time left after you finish all the questions of the block.

Use the break time wisely

The break time is 45 minutes. You may choose them anytime between the blocks. My recommendation is to divide them into 5 minutes between the blocks and 15 minutes after the fourth block for light lunch. After each block, donít think of any question you answered. It is gone. You canít change it. Think only of the fun you will have it tonight after a long tough time.

After the test


Now you are done with the test. Go home, take a shower and spend fun time with family and friends. Donít talk or think about the test. Move on to your next goal.

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