How to spend time once a Pass on Step 1 is expected

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Oct 19, 2017
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Studied hard and have scored well into the passing range on a couple of practice exams that are ‘established’ predictors of Step 1 scores. I’m at the beginning of my first pass of U World and currently a few months out from my registered Step/Level dates.

I’m planning on continuing through UWorld and grinding out the next few months like it’s scored with the hope that (1) it will prepare me for the wards and (2) that the correlation between Step 1 and 2 scores are actually causative. Honestly though - P/F Step/Level is a real disincentive to carrying on the traditional way.

Partially looking for reassurance that I’m handling this correctly given the new landscape - and partially looking for someone to voice alternatives. What do you think?

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Take the test, and move on. Step 1 is not reflective of actual practice of medicine. A passing score is a good enough baseline for step wards, and step 2.
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Disclaimer: I am also a second year DO student

Your first priority should be to accurately determine where you are currently at. Scoring well on a couple of practice exams may just be an anomaly, even if they are "established" predicators. I would take a few more NBME's as well as the UWSA's and see how you do on those. With regards to timing of boards, you definitely have to balance having enough time to study vs. not having so much time that you forget the medium to low yield material. Unlike the MCAT, you can reschedule your boards at no cost as long as it is within a certain time frame (for Step I think it is 45 days before your exam date). You could probably get away with taking boards at the beginning of dedicated. Many people at my school are taking boards in May so they can give themselves a summer vacation before rotations.
I think you're right. I'd honestly study just as rigorously, and with just as many score predictors, as you would for a scored step 1 if you were aiming for a high score.

I do remember getting multiple questions on step 2 right because I remembered them from step 1 study - stuff I hadn't come across in my step 2 materials (granted, I didn't finish uworld for step 2). Regardless, it does build. If all people are studying for on step 1 is a "pass" there's a lot you're going to miss or not learn as well the first time. I have a feeling that average step 2 scores are going to drop once we see people who took a p/f step 1, who had focused on just passing step 1, start taking step 2.
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