I'm going to post this so you know. I fell for all of the don't study before medical school memes when I was an incoming first year. I regret it. I could have finished all of the step 1 material and RELAXED my whole first 2 years of medical school. Instead, I didn't do anything the summer before medical school, or my senior year of college for that matter because everyone told me to "just relax, it's the last summer of your life". Ha, you'll have several more summers, especially if you study ahead of time. So I came into medical school and was performing 1 standard deviation below the mean during my first year of preclinicals. I was completely STRESSED, and fell for all of the wellness memes... Until I discovered zanki and board prep materials, after which I started performing 1 standard deviation ahead of the mean... And I was completely relaxed with no pressure during my second year of medical school. It wouldn't surprise me if within 3 years, 10% of medical students will have completed all preclinical material before starting medical school; that 10% will secure all of the competitive residency options because they will have that much more time to pump out the 30+ publications, do the networking, prestudy for all of clinicals (shelf exams + step 2), etc.
In sum, I disagree with most of the above. Just so you know, the step 1 studying meta has changed in the last two years. The old arguments for not prestudying were 1) you'll forget everything and 2) you won't know what to study.
1) With Anki you will remember everything, the entire point is long term retention; as such the limiting factor of studying in medical school is now time, those who have the most time will perform the best. How do you get more time? You start before others.
2) With Zanki you will know exactly what is high yield, back in my day we had to sift through a bunch of **** to figure out what was high yield. This is no longer.
I'll give you the answer you're looking for because if you're going to study you might as well study right. Also several students in the first year class at my school finished several zanki sections before coming to school. If you do start this know you can never take a day off from studying again. You have to do your reviews everyday.
1. Download zanki from medicalschoolanki, lurk there and ask them specific questions
2. If you know where you are going to school get the schedule of classes so you can figure out what order they do stuff in. Most schools start with biochem, ours did biochem --> cardio --> resp, etc.
3. Watch boards and beyond videos and do the associated zanki cards, you can also use physeo, etc. a bunch of resources are out there for video learning. Zanki made their cards from costanzo so you can use that too.
4. Do news and keep up with your reviews every single day. If you have 4 months left until first year you can easily finish everything for first year, the physiology and maybe more.
5. During first year do all of the path, micro, pharm sections. If you are at a 2 year program you can finish all learning by end of first year. Then you have an extra year to do all Qbanks, and learn how to take the exam. You can probably get a very thorough run through all of the qbanks couple months before your dedicated begins. Start doing NBME exams before dedicated and try to take your step 1 exam AS SOON AS possible (ideally the first day of dedicated or even before if your school lets you).
6. The grind doesn't stop at Step 1, when you are in your "dedicated" period finish all Step 2 decks and all Uworld questions before third year starts, acquire all honors and the highest of shelf scores, if your 3rd year grades are based mostly on shelves. Which by the way if you're choosing between two similarly ranked schools make sure you figure out which school grades third years mostly on the shelf exams and not evaluations, it will give you less headache and less stress.
7. This is a fool proof way to get AOA, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Also this is how you remain stress free during medical school.
Don't listen to the people posting above that are saying it won't help you for your classes. If you go on medicalschoolanki or search here you will see first hand that people COMPLETELY IGNORE SCHOOL LECTURES AND LEARN ONLY FROM ZANKI. As in all learning in medical school is self-directed. If you do this you will coast by first year, and blow step1 out of the water as long as you keep up with your reviews. I guarantee other people in your class will be doing this, and they will be the top students. I myself wish I didn't fall for all the people saying don't study before medical school. Instead of studying I sat on my ass and did nothing, I wish I did study before medical school. And I wish somebody would have given me the information I just gave you. Good luck.