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Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2003
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hi guys,
being a medical student from India, who's trying to pass the USMLE Step 1, I am just little bit confused about how you guys study. First, once you do go over your text books during your course do you again go over the same things in a different set of review books, before the exam.
And guys could ya help me out a bit, just tell me what books you guys use for Anatomy, Physiology, Biochem, Patho, Microbiology, Pharma and Behavioural Sciences, during your actual course and what you plan to use for review. And what are the good Question Banks available? Also which ones are your fav and your worst subjects? thanx a million. free indian curry to people who help me out!


Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2002
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Most people do not use textbooks heavily when studying for Step I because textbooks are muuuuuuuch toooooooo loooooooong.

When studying for class exams in med school, some students use textbooks (there are many different choices), some students use review books, some use both. Many rely heavily upon the lecturer's notes, which are printed and passed out in class.

The one review book that everyone gets is FIRST AID FOR THE USMLE STEP I. Although it is not cheap at US$39.99, it would be unwise to NOT get a copy. It is a good place to begin, has a lot of advice and also tells you what are some of the good subject-specific review books to use.

It is also essential to get access to a lot of practice questions. The most highly recommended is KAPLAN Qbank. This is unfortunately very expensive, but it is thought by most to be the best source of practice questions available.

Consult with the back of First Aid to see what are some choices for review books related to specific subjects. Or just do a search of this forum.


Easily intrigued. Fickle.
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Apr 6, 2001
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how are we going to get free curry? that's a good one!

anyway, the answer you want is posted on several threads-

In addition to First Aid (a 'must have'), I think most people use BRS (Board Review Series) and the "High Yield" series books.

BRS for Path (by Schneider and Szanto) and BRS Physiology are highly recommended from fellow members.

High Yield series for Anatomy, Embryology, Behavioral Science (some recommend BRS for Behavioral sci though), Neuroanatomy and micro (many like "Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple")

I've read High yield Biochem is not quite enough- many like Lippincott's Illustrated Review for Biochem. I've also read praise for Kaplan's lecture notes.

I'm not sure what people prefer for Pharm. Kaplan's lecture notes maybe?

I'm not sure what to tell you for Cell Biology and Histology. I read someone recommend BRS for that as well.

Oh yea, the above poster is right about First Aid and Questions (esp. Kaplan's Q-bank) VERY IMPORTANT

Good luck
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