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How to schedule breaks?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by Gmaddy, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. Gmaddy

    Gmaddy Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Hey guys,
    Does anyone have opinions/tips on how to schedule breaks during the actual exam?
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  3. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    Opinions differ, but I think it is best to take a brief break between each block, and a lunch break after block 4.

    Make sure to skip the tutorial to get a full hour of break time.
  4. WayChanger

    WayChanger Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2005
    Also keep in mind that any unused time from blocks is added onto your total breaktime, so if you're speedy, that's some more buffer time. =]
  5. obiwan

    obiwan Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    is the tutorial the same thing seen during the nbme practice tests?
  6. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    It is the same as the tutorial associated with the "150 questions" you can download from the USMLE website.
  7. Nodelphi

    Nodelphi Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    If you just do the tutorial long enough to do the audio test will you get the balance of time remaining credited to your break time?
  8. TerpMD

    TerpMD 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    UMD 2010
    I've also heard that you should do the tutorial just long enough to check your headphones.
  9. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    I took a break (~4-10 minutes) after each block and had something small to eat instead of a regular lunch--kinda sucked though that I had no idea the tutorial counted for part of the time. Don't know how I let that slip my mind, but definitely took the entire thing just to make sure I didn't miss anything
  10. R_C_Hutchinson

    R_C_Hutchinson Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2003
    Probably a dumb question, but can someone post a quick rundown of how breaks work?
  11. Cards21aceking

    Cards21aceking 5+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    The way I understood it was that you get 1 hour outside of your 7 hour-long blocks. So, if u use 15 min for the tutorial, then there's 45 minutes for breaks/lunch throughout the day. Only use 5-10, then you'll get 50-55minutes of break.

    I haven't taken the real thing, but that is the assumption that I have going into it on Thurs.
  12. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2003

    The only thing is that you can't spend more than 15 min on the tutorial...but why would you want to?
  13. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    When you start the tutorial, the timer is set and an end point for Step I is set 8 hours later. You can only spend up to an hour in each of the 7 blocks, so there is a leftover hour that is used for breaks, tutorial, or just leaving early. If you finish a block early, the ending time hasn't changed, so you earn that much more break time.
  14. ally1

    ally1 Member 5+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    Hi I found the website where you download the free 150 questions, but can't seem to find how to view the actual tutorial. I wanted the full hour of break time.

    anyone have the exact link on how to view the tutorial? Also, if you view the tutiorial BEFORE exam day, do you just exit the tutorial screen on the REAL step 1? How does that work.

    much thanks
  15. gostudy

    gostudy Black covfefe. No sugar, no cream 10+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    I'm pretty sure you have to download the questions (plus the program) to view the tutorial. It will come up as an option in the "FRED Orientation System Launcher" window.

    As far as test day, I'd suggest you not skip the tutorial alltogether even if you've seen it before if only to make sure that the headphones work and are audible and that any video/media is visible. Wouldn't want to be stuck with an AV question during the real deal only to find out the headphones don't work (although it seems based on reports there are like only about 3 possible AV questions you could get).
  16. Hassler

    Hassler Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    You can take a break in between blocks, but not during one. When you've completed a block, the screen will display a message asking you if you want to take a break or continue with the test.

    I only spent 3 min on the tutorial, but did it just to make sure everything was working properly. I took breaks once every 2 blocks at the beginning but then once every block after block 4. This was a good strategy for me because I was fresh in the morning but then towards the end, I was tired and needed to walk around and stretch.
  17. Doko

    Doko holla atcha boy! 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2002
    Where am I?
    ... so let me get this straight... say you finish a block with 15 minutes to spare. when the screen comes up asking if you want to break or continue with the test, and you click "break" then you get an additional 15 minutes added to your break time before you start using your actual allotted break time?
  18. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Any extra time you have left at the end of a block gets added into your pool of break time. There is no distinction between your allotted break time and extra break time you get from finishing a block early. You can spend the break time any way that you wish between the blocks.
  19. mudphudwannabe

    mudphudwannabe Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    If you finish 15 minutes early, that will be added to your total break time. Just to be clear, though, you should not be finishing 15 minutes early. ;) If you have this much extra time, you might as well spend it double checking your answers because extra break time is not going to help your score. I finished a few blocks a couple minutes early because I had already double and triple checked everything and couldn't bear to look at it any more. The minimum break time is really plenty - you will be so hyped up you won't be dilly-dallying on breaks. :) I think I finished with 20-30 minutes of break time left and had plenty of time for lunch, bathroom breaks, etc.
  20. Doko

    Doko holla atcha boy! 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2002
    Where am I?
    do you guys use the short-cut keys at all? UWorld is supposed to have the exact same interface as the real test, but aside from being able to type the letter answer choice, you can't use the spacebar to move onto the next question...

    just wondering if you guys had utilized this.
  21. Helo

    Helo 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    ok so i had 10:30 mins left for my last break. i took my good 'ol time and when i came back to the computer, I signed in, only to find that my total time left for the day was less than the 60 mins for the last section. my break had been too long and in essence it ate into the time for my last block. i basically blocked out the fact that i felt like i was screwed and i motored away at the questions finishing with about 7 mins left...altho it worked out in the end, if you're a slow test taker like me, try to avoid this mistake...good luck!

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