Budget Study Plan

Discussion in 'Step I' started by mary, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. mary

    mary Member
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    I need to do really, really well on Step 1, but on a budget. Right now my plan consists of using First Aid, Step Up, and several of the High Yield review books to study from and then doing practice q's from the NMS review and the BSS series. Does anyone else have any suggested additions or alternative study plan (that are CHEAP)? I think sharing ideas on this is a good idea! Thanks for any input!
    Mary
     
  2. Rock Star

    Rock Star Member
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    Mary,

    I'm using first aid front to back, then over again(x3).

    BRS physiology, high yield series, and then kaplan Q-bank for the last 3 months(splitting the cost with another classmate).

    This is an evolving study plan. Would like other ideas though, since boards are five months away.

    happy holidays
     
  3. mary

    mary Member
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    I would reccomend taking a look at Step Up- for me, the info is arranged in a much more intuitive way since the book is a system based review. I still plan on using First Aid a lot, but Step Up gives a nice outline for studying and lots of clinical vignettes.
    So, you are taking step 1 in May? Just curious- Does your school make you take it then or are you doing it voluntarily? I'm putting it off until mid-June, since we have no time to study during regular classes. Good luck! I am sure you will do great!
    Mary
     
  4. Rock Star

    Rock Star Member
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    Mary,

    I miscalculated. I'll be taking it in June.

    Thanks for the advise on step-up.

    Peace
     
  5. BeeGee

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    The High Yield series is pretty solid. Those little manuals are very good at focusing on the highly tested points. Also buy 3 months of Q bank for Kaplan. Im sure that you already have the latest copy of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1. Don't waste your money buying a lot of question books in advance. Do all of the Q-bank(1875+ ?s) then if time permits go out and spend money on the NMS Step 1 Question book. --BeeGee
     
  6. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    These are the books that I used to study for Boards, and I highly recommend them:

    First Aid
    BRS Path
    BRS Phys
    High Yield Anatomy, Histo, Neuro, Embryo, Psych
    Med Micro Made Ridiculously Simple
    Lippincott's Pharm
    Lippincott's Biochem
    The 3-book BSS Series (Organ system review)

    Most of these books you should either already own from your preclinical coursework or you could easily find other med students who would be willing to sell used copies of their books. The only book that I had to buy new was the First Aid for the Boards (which you should get a new copy of, anyway).

    Also, Step Up hadn't been published yet when I took Boards, so I don't know anything about the book.

    IMO, First Aid is not sufficient as your primary book if you want to do really well on the Boards. I still read over the book about 3 times, but I only really remembered stuff from First Aid if I reviewed it after I had just studied the respective topic from my other books. Also, try to get question books as you go rather than all at once. Most people I know bought way more question books than they knew what to do with, and most of their books went unused.

    Last little piece of advice -- from my experience and my classmate's experiences, try not to study too far in advance. Chances are you will not remember many details of what you studied more than one month ahead of time. It's a good idea to do some review during your current classes to get a head start, but keep in mind that you will need to study that stuff again (although you may start at a somewhat higher level of knowledge/understanding when you do study.)

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member
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    ajm,
    I'll be taking the boards this June, and I have all the books you listed except HY Psych (I've been picking them up along the way as M3s and M4s clean out their closets). My only concern is that most of the M3s I've talked to so far used the Kaplan books, not necessarily because the content was better, but just to have one set of books to go through that cover everything (supposedly) and a more structured approach. How did you decide where to start and what to study with the books you listed? I know medschool.com used to have sample schedules, but unfortunately, I never took a look at them before the site shut down. Any advice would be great! Thanks!
     
  8. mary

    mary Member
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    ajm,
    as the person above me mentioned, i also missed out on the timelines from medschool.com- do you remember how you organized your studying? I've been trying to plan, but am not sure how to structure the time. If I don't have a schedule beforehand, I know I will waste too much time trying to figure out how much time to spend on each area. I have heard the emphasis is on path, neuro, and pharm and micro, but I am not sure how much time to spend on genetics, behavioural sci, histo, anatomy and embryo. I'd really appreciate any more input on these areas.
    thanks for all the useful tips- especially about not studying too far ahead of time. I am just trying to review my weak areas from M1, so they are not as weak when I go back in May-June to really study hard. Thanks again for all the great advice!
    Mary
     
  9. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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    It's really too bad that the medschool.com site is still shut down. I actually used their 4-week schedule practically word-for-word, and I don't know what I would have done without it. They had a 2, 4, and 6 week schedule for the step 1, and all of them were organized primarily by organ-systems. I'll try to remember what my basic schedule was and how much time per subject worked for me and then repost later.

    Their schedule isn't for everyone, though. For example, my boyfriend tried the 6-week schedule and couldn't do it because he had a really difficult time with the organ-system approach. We ended up making a new schedule for him by breaking down the time that he had to study into approximately 5-day blocks (give or take) of each subject. In the end, we both got the exact same score!

    I don't know anything about the Kaplan books -- I've never even seen what they look like. Actually, I don't know of any of my classmates who used those books, but that certainly doesn't mean that they're not good.

    I actually wish someone would have told me about not studying too early. I learned quickly that there is a huge difference between reviewing and hard-core boards studying. I think your mind changes before the boards, and you start to learn and remember things much more efficiently when you are doing full-time studying. I also have friends that studied for 2 months, and they found that after 6 weeks or so, they had to go back and relearn the material they studied during the first 2 weeks. It really becomes very inefficient.

    I do recommend reviewing weak areas to fill in the gaps ahead of time, but make sure that you have reasonable expectations. You will not be able to remember the little details for the most part (that comes with the full-time preparation), but it will likely make your real studying that much less painful.

    Sorry for rambling! I'll get back to you about the timeline I used!
     

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