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How many hours a day did you study the summer before your STEP 1?

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TakotsuboOkazaki

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Note: I did not start Zanki until M1 summer.

Typical Summer Day for Me:

1 Sketchy Micro Vid
Associated lolnotacop ANKI (20-40 cards)
100-200 New ZANKI cards from M1 blocks
Reviews, though I was chronically behind...

Maybe 2-3 hours of focused work, longer if I was being a s&[email protected]

Step score: 255+

If you do nothing else learn Micro over the summer. That’s 82 pages of FA you’ll never have to look at. I don’t think I missed a question on micro after that summer except for chikungunya (not covered in sketchy RIP) and salmonella sometimes bc wow that boi is tricky.
 
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Hi_I'mPaul

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9 hours a day over summer? You trying to burn yourself out before M2 starts?

I do similar to what ktyler did

1 sketchy pharm or path vid (I finished sketchy micro during M1 and kept up with lolnotacop cards)
Associated Zanki pharm or Conaanaa's deck for sketchy path.
100 new Zanki cards on the B&B vids I watched that day
All reviews

Takes 3-4 hours and I do whatever I want for rest of day :)
 
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Kumorebi

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Note: I did not start Zanki until M1 summer.

Typical Summer Day for Me:

1 Sketchy Micro Vid
Associated lolnotacop ANKI (20-40 cards)
100-200 New ZANKI cards from M1 blocks
Reviews, though I was chronically behind...

Maybe 2-3 hours of focused work, longer if I was being a s&[email protected]

Step score: 255+

If you do nothing else learn Micro over the summer. That’s 82 pages of FA you’ll never have to look at. I don’t think I missed a question on micro after that summer except for chikungunya (not covered in sketchy RIP) and salmonella sometimes bc wow that boi is tricky.
Whoa was listening to the podcast two docs talk today and they talked about chikungunya
 
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altblue

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to all the summer studying naysayers here, not everyone has a photographic memory, or at least a brain that can store and spit out random chemical intermediates and interleukins like nothing else.

for some people, hell most people, it isn't possible to get 260 in 2 months of light studying + dedicated. there's a reason that only 15% of students get a 250+ and that 50% of students get less than a 230.
 
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efle

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to all the summer studying naysayers here, not everyone has a photographic memory, or at least a brain that can store and spit out random chemical intermediates and interleukins like nothing else.

for some people, hell most people, it isn't possible to get 260 in 2 months of light studying + dedicated. there's a reason that only 15% of students get a 250+ and that 50% of students get less than a 230.
Yeah but even if you want to be generous and complete a full FAPS first pass + an extra qbank like Rx before dedicated... you don't need to be doing 9 hours/day in M1 summer to get there
 
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slowthai

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to all the summer studying naysayers here, not everyone has a photographic memory, or at least a brain that can store and spit out random chemical intermediates and interleukins like nothing else.

for some people, hell most people, it isn't possible to get 260 in 2 months of light studying + dedicated. there's a reason that only 15% of students get a 250+ and that 50% of students get less than a 230.

This is what I've been saying. Few of us have the superstar cramming/test taking ability to pull off a 260 using the traditional wait until spring of M2/dedicated studying method. If you're more or less the average student, you have to be willing to do what few are willing to do to smash it. That doesn't mean that you have to study over the summer, but you're going to have to put in that work one way or another. I personally prefer to do it sooner rather than later. And again, it takes less effort to maintain your knowledge than to relearn everything.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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Also in the 0 hours boat. I understand that for some people studying will help them, but my brain needed a break. Summer wasn't that long for us anyway (like 6 weeks) and we still had a full year of learning ahead before Step. 9 hours a day sounds completely excessive, I would have absolutely burned out and fast.
 
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slowthai

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I'm doing 9 right now, mostly because of my study buddy, and I'm starting to feel overwhelmed because it's summer and I have research projects on top of this

Serious question: what are you and your study buddy doing that requires 9 hours a day of studying over the summer? If it truly takes that long, I question the value of that studying, unless you did nothing the entire year or you're trying to get insanely ahead or something.
 
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calivianya

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I planned to study last summer, but I had a major life event happen, and just spent most of the summer in bed with my covers pulled over my head instead.

If I could go back and change things, I’d master micro. That was my original plan, and micro is so time consuming that it would have really helped if I’d had that done before second year started.
 
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ExcitatorySynapse

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I planned to study last summer, but I had a major life event happen, and just spent most of the summer in bed with my covers pulled over my head instead.

If I could go back and change things, I’d master micro. That was my original plan, and micro is so time consuming that it would have really helped if I’d had that done before second year started.
I am sorry to hear that you had a difficult time, I hope things are better now.

RE: the OP - I really don't feel like doing any, my research involves learning a lot of new stuff and I'm tired from the school year. I figure if I come into MS2 fresh, I'll be ready to grind.
 
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altblue

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Yeah but even if you want to be generous and complete a full FAPS first pass + an extra qbank like Rx before dedicated... you don't need to be doing 9 hours/day in M1 summer to get there
there's a happy medium. you can put in 2 to 6 hours a day and still enjoy your summer. it's up to personal preference but personally i'd rather do that than balance heavier Step studying with m2
 
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g3tb0mbed

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Personally did not study at all the summer between M1 and M2, although if I was to do anything I would have done Sketchy Micro. Started anki on day 1 of M2. Most important thing is to keep up with your reviews no matter what. Got my score last week 260+

Edit: And don't set a limit on anki reviews. That pretty much defeats the purpose. Even though some days anki alone would take me 4+ hours it is 100% worth it in my opinion.
 
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g3tb0mbed

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jesus, every single day? is that how long doing anki takes people, half a day every day of smashing spacebar???

Yep mostly towards the end when reviews piled up, some days with 800+ reviews. That anki time is time that you are studying tho and so much of the actual exam is straight recall that I believe anki is priceless. All of my friends who did anki religiously, kept up with reviews, and matured a majority of the deck scored 250+ without exception but thats n=6 or so.
 
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slowthai

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jesus, every single day? is that how long doing anki takes people, half a day every day of smashing spacebar???

It really depends on when you start, your pace, and your settings. If you start during early M1 at a slower pace (like 50 news/day) and optimize your settings, you can spend 2-3 hours (or even less) the majority of the time, I believe.
 
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aiali

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Serious question: what are you and your study buddy doing that requires 9 hours a day of studying over the summer? If it truly takes that long, I question the value of that studying, unless you did nothing the entire year or you're trying to get insanely ahead or something.
Man, She wants to finish the whole of sketchy and pathoma before M2 starts and finish going through First aid once, with all the practice questions from Rx for pharm and micro...
The past couple of days I started to feel like it was way too much because like, I wanna do other things.
 
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slowthai

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Man, She wants to finish the whole of sketchy and pathoma before M2 starts and finish going through First aid once, with all the practice questions from Rx for pharm and micro...
The past couple of days I started to feel like it was way too much because like, I wanna do other things.

I understand the desire to go way ahead (I've been doing it too), but there's something to be said for taking a break (whether that's no studying or lighter studying) and spreading things out. Like I decided to take some time off from everything except for Zanki. When I pick back up at the start of M2 it'll be pedal to the metal again.
 
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efle

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Yep mostly towards the end when reviews piled up, some days with 800+ reviews. That anki time is time that you are studying tho and so much of the actual exam is straight recall that I believe anki is priceless. All of my friends who did anki religiously, kept up with reviews, and matured a majority of the deck scored 250+ without exception but thats n=6 or so.
I also know a bunch of 250+ scorers and all but two loved anki too. They'd told me their total reviews before (crazy numbers like 200-300k) but I figured they must be blowing through the cards really fast. Didn't realize it eats half your day for most of MS2.

Starting to make more sense to me why my classmates were so willing to ignore group sessions to anki instead. Participating in the normal preclinical day and then having 4+ hours of rote memory studying when you get home would be soul crushing.
 
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Ho0v-man

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Master Zanki sketchy micro and the pharm up until now. if you find anki is your thing, start a schedule have completed all the cards for your previous blocks in M1 by the start of M2 or by the end of third semester.


4 hours/day a year out is pretty intense. I started Zanki January of first year and just kept up with reviews and added sketchy micro from first semester. This was usually done by 9 am every day and that’s all I did.

There’s no point in going through all of pathoma, first aid, and an entire qbank before M2 starts. That’s insane even by sdn standards.
It really depends on when you start, your pace, and your settings. If you start during early M1 at a slower pace (like 50 news/day) and optimize your settings, you can spend 2-3 hours (or even less) the majority of the time, I believe.

I kept it up until 2 weeks before step and was well over 1000 cards most days toward the end. Had a couple 2000+ days. But I also made cards out of acls ekg patterns, and everything in Boards and Beyond and uworld that wasn’t in Zanki so that might have contributed some to it.
 
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slowthai

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I kept it up until 2 weeks before step and was well over 1000 cards most days toward the end. Had a couple 2000+ days. But I also made cards out of acls ekg patterns, and everything in Boards and Beyond and uworld that wasn’t in Zanki so that might have contributed some to it.

Lol, that must have. I'm at 700-750 a day and I'm almost done with Zanki pharm, so it'll only go down from here for the most part until UWorld.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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I also know a bunch of 250+ scorers and all but two loved anki too. They'd told me their total reviews before (crazy numbers like 200-300k) but I figured they must be blowing through the cards really fast. Didn't realize it eats half your day for most of MS2.

Starting to make more sense to me why my classmates were so willing to ignore group sessions to anki instead. Participating in the normal preclinical day and then having 4+ hours of rote memory studying when you get home would be soul crushing.

I'm curious how much this reflects Anki being the best way to score 250+ versus just that it's currently one of the most popular study tools, especially among people interested in talking about their step scores? I also know lots of dedicated anki users who scored far below 250.

Not saying it's not useful (I know it is for most), but I think it's also not the holy grail some people want it to be. Not every strategy is good for everyone. I managed to break 250 by doing almost the opposite of all the recommendations, but I am also fully aware that my strategy would not work for everyone.
 
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slowthai

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While I am not an expert, I don’t see the NBME allowing for these “loopholes” to tell residencies your scores if they do decide to go P/F for class of 2023. It would go against the whole reason they are going P/F, not to mention Step 1 loses its standardization if some students continue studying hard for it and some take it easy in anticipation of P/F. Even if there was a way to sneak your score in, its much easier for PDs to just rank based on step 2 instead of giving any weight to a unreported step 1 score that half the graduating class may not have tried hard on

Did you mean to post this in the other thread? Haha.
 
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efle

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I'm curious how much this reflects Anki being the best way to score 250+ versus just that it's currently one of the most popular study tools, especially among people interested in talking about their step scores? I also know lots of dedicated anki users who scored far below 250.

Not saying it's not useful (I know it is for most), but I think it's also not the holy grail some people want it to be. Not every strategy is good for everyone. I managed to break 250 by doing almost the opposite of all the recommendations, but I am also fully aware that my strategy would not work for everyone.
I think anki cannot take a mediocre test taker and catapult them to the top decile, because knowledge isn't the bottleneck there. Doing multiple qbanks probably helps that area much more.

But if someone is already a great test-taker, anki contains all the necessary knowledge for a 260+ for sure. My school def favors test-takers in admissions so it's been wildly popular and a recipe for success, albeit at the expense of our small group quality. We did post the highest Step 1 average in school history and one of the highest in the country the year after anki became popular, so it seems to be working.
 
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Ho0v-man

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I'm curious how much this reflects Anki being the best way to score 250+ versus just that it's currently one of the most popular study tools, especially among people interested in talking about their step scores? I also know lots of dedicated anki users who scored far below 250.

Not saying it's not useful (I know it is for most), but I think it's also not the holy grail some people want it to be. Not every strategy is good for everyone. I managed to break 250 by doing almost the opposite of all the recommendations, but I am also fully aware that my strategy would not work for everyone.
In retrospect, I think I could’ve scored well without anki if I spent 50-75% of the time I spent indenting the space bar into my hand reading X amount of FA/pathoma, doing more questions or watching sketchy instead. It’s really not necessary if you’re properly organized.

The problem is that it’s hard to know what the adequate time is for this stuff and Zanki really just takes the guesswork out of it. If you had someone who did really well on step basically coaching you through what you should know it would be easier.
 
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Ho0v-man

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I think anki cannot take a mediocre test taker and catapult them to the top decile, because knowledge isn't the bottleneck there. Doing multiple qbanks probably helps that area much more.

But if someone is already a great test-taker, anki contains all the necessary knowledge for a 260+ for sure. My school def favors test-takers in admissions so it's been wildly popular and a recipe for success, albeit at the expense of our small group quality. We did post the highest Step 1 average in school history and one of the highest in the country the year after anki became popular, so it seems to be working.
I think it’s very much an either/or situation. Ideally both if you can.

I took the mcat twice and my highest was a 504. Based on my practice tests, I was lucky as crap to get even that high. And I studied my butt off. I’m just a garbage test taker. The only way I did well was by grinding to the point that test taking didn’t come into play.
 
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slowthai

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I think it’s very much an either/or situation. Ideally both if you can.

I took the mcat twice and my highest was a 504. Based on my practice tests, I was lucky as crap to get even that high. And I studied my butt off. I’m just a garbage test taker. The only way I did well was by grinding to the point that test taking didn’t come into play.

Yep, just brute force your way to a high score. I have the same strategy. Zanki + multiple qbanks.
 
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Sleepingdoc

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I'm doing 9 right now, mostly because of my study buddy, and I'm starting to feel overwhelmed because it's summer and I have research projects on top of this

When I was in med school, I focused on classes... and you learn a lot because class material is the step 1 material... and also if you F-up a class, you get called in a meeting infront of the dean, associate dean and faculty who gets to decide if you really need to be sitting in the classroom, which is not a pleasant experience.

People learn different way... yeah you can do questions here and there while you are in first two years of school, but you need to be really focused in the class material that will be tested on. I really studied for the Step 3-4 months before the actual exam.
 
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g3tb0mbed

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Just wanna add that it’s totally possible to get 250+ without anki. I just feels like anki gives you a structured study plan where you know there is absolutely nothing being left out. If you’re super organized this can probably be accomplished without anki but it just streamlines the process
 
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slowthai

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When I was in med school, I focused on classes... and you learn a lot because class material is the step 1 material... and also if you F-up a class, you get called in a meeting infront of the dean, associate dean and faculty who gets to decide if you really need to be sitting in the classroom, which is not a pleasant experience.

People learn different way... yeah you can do questions here and there while you are in first two years of school, but you need to be really focused in the class material that will be tested on. I really studied for the Step 3-4 months before the actual exam.

Respectfully, it is a different game today, Dr Sleepingdoc
 
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slowthai

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Just wanna add that it’s totally possible to get 250+ without anki. I just feels like anki gives you a structured study plan where you know there is absolutely nothing being left out. If you’re super organized this can probably be accomplished without anki but it just streamlines the process

Agreed. What's also great about Anki is that it's efficient and gives you a high floor. There's safety in using it, because it's proven.
 
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Respectfully, it is a different game today, Dr Sleepingdoc

It is a different game, but also for some of us this does still work :shrug:. I studied almost exclusively from class material (except for some practice questions here and there) until maybe a month before dedicated. There were definitely factoids I needed to pick up from other sources, but I felt like I got a good base from class material.

(again, acknowledging that this is definitely not the case for all schools or all people)
 
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cybermed2424

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I also know a bunch of 250+ scorers and all but two loved anki too. They'd told me their total reviews before (crazy numbers like 200-300k) but I figured they must be blowing through the cards really fast. Didn't realize it eats half your day for most of MS2.

Starting to make more sense to me why my classmates were so willing to ignore group sessions to anki instead. Participating in the normal preclinical day and then having 4+ hours of rote memory studying when you get home would be soul crushing.

to be fair, I would do my anki cards and then nothing else except maybe pathoma or the occasional B&B video. I think reading lectures or watching my school's recorded lectures would be way more soul crushing tbh.
 
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deleted688779

I also know a bunch of 250+ scorers and all but two loved anki too. They'd told me their total reviews before (crazy numbers like 200-300k) but I figured they must be blowing through the cards really fast. Didn't realize it eats half your day for most of MS2.

Starting to make more sense to me why my classmates were so willing to ignore group sessions to anki instead. Participating in the normal preclinical day and then having 4+ hours of rote memory studying when you get home would be soul crushing.


Not saying it's not useful (I know it is for most), but I think it's also not the holy grail some people want it to be. Not every strategy is good for everyone. I managed to break 250 by doing almost the opposite of all the recommendations, but I am also fully aware that my strategy would not work for everyone.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you study? (I'm getting the feeling that you both didn't use Anki heavily?)

Although I plan on giving Anki another try, I did not use it much for my MCAT and it didn't click for me (never once used flashcards during undergrad). It seems like every developed plan on the internet centers around Anki. But also maybe because I didn't really know how to use Anki.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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If you don't mind me asking, how did you study? (I'm getting the feeling that you both didn't use Anki heavily?)

Although I plan on giving Anki another try, I did not use it much for my MCAT and it didn't click for me (never once used flashcards during undergrad). It seems like every developed plan on the internet centers around Anki. But also maybe because I didn't really know how to use Anki.

I personally did basically the opposite of all the recommendations:
- went to lecture in person (mostly, otherwise watched recordings)
- handwritten notes/study guides
- drew all over a lot of whiteboards
- when I did use anki ever, I misused it as just normal flashcards rather than its intended function
- didn't use sketchy, B&B, pathoma, or whatever else the kids are into.

I will however vouch for Qbanks/practice questions, though I didn't do them as early/intensely as many. Didn't use them much first year, second year I used medbullets for a few modules (because free), finished off the remaining questions just before dedicated. Then i mostly focused on UWorld and doing a pass through FA.

I think it's very important to recognize that there are ways to be successful beyond anki. But I will also be the first to admit that I don't recommend my exact study strategy to others - I basically just continued what worked for me in undergrad, but it's not for everyone.
 
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slowthai

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I personally did basically the opposite of all the recommendations:
- went to lecture in person (mostly, otherwise watched recordings)
- handwritten notes/study guides
- drew all over a lot of whiteboards
- when I did use anki ever, I misused it as just normal flashcards rather than its intended function
- didn't use sketchy, B&B, pathoma, or whatever else the kids are into.

I will however vouch for Qbanks/practice questions, though I didn't do them as early/intensely as many. Didn't use them much first year, second year I used medbullets for a few modules (because free), finished off the remaining questions just before dedicated. Then i mostly focused on UWorld and doing a pass through FA.

I think it's very important to recognize that there are ways to be successful beyond anki. But I will also be the first to admit that I don't recommend my exact study strategy to others - I basically just continued what worked for me in undergrad, but it's not for everyone.

Wow, you are smart as heck. Doing it that way would guarantee a low score for me lol
 
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deleted688779

I personally did basically the opposite of all the recommendations:
- went to lecture in person (mostly, otherwise watched recordings)
- handwritten notes/study guides
- drew all over a lot of whiteboards
- when I did use anki ever, I misused it as just normal flashcards rather than its intended function
- didn't use sketchy, B&B, pathoma, or whatever else the kids are into.

I will however vouch for Qbanks/practice questions, though I didn't do them as early/intensely as many. Didn't use them much first year, second year I used medbullets for a few modules (because free), finished off the remaining questions just before dedicated. Then i mostly focused on UWorld and doing a pass through FA.

I think it's very important to recognize that there are ways to be successful beyond anki. But I will also be the first to admit that I don't recommend my exact study strategy to others - I basically just continued what worked for me in undergrad, but it's not for everyone.
That’s almost exactly what I did during undergrad (and ended up doing very well). I’ll give it a try during med school but I do feel discouraged because everyone says the sheer volume of info makes that method difficult. Just kinda nervous about finding the right study method.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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That’s almost exactly what I did during undergrad (and ended up doing very well). I’ll give it a try during med school but I do feel discouraged because everyone says the sheer volume of info makes that method difficult. Just kinda nervous about finding the right study method.

Definitely be willing to try other things, and to drop habits that aren't working, but if it still works for you don't let people convince you to change unnecessarily. I'll admit I didn't ace every exam in med school with this strategy, but that's also partially because a) I'm a procrastinator with a tendency to cram and b) I decided early on that my mental health and having a life were more important to me than test scores. I think that attitude also helped me approach Step from a more relaxed place. This obviously won't work for everyone.

Something else I found helpful that so many people scorn is PBL/small group sessions. I learned a TON by actively engaging and putting effort into those. The topics we covered in PBL (especially ones I had to do presentations on), stuck way better in my brain and I usually barely needed to review them come exam time. A lot of people spent these sessions sitting in a corner doing anki instead, which would have been very detrimental to me personally.
 
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