Is taking an LOA for step 1 better than taking usmle after mbbs?

Sep 25, 2014
Hi, I am an international medical student with little to no prep for step 1. I was told (and also read through research) that getting US clinical experience is very important and can be done in the form of usce or observership, but that usce is so much more valuable. I am at the end of basic sciences and will begin clinicals next week. Is taking an LOA for step 1 so that I can score well and then be able to do my electives in the states a wise decision? Or will it be overshadowed by my delayed graduation date...

I have read in this forum that there is even a particular question on ERAS which asks why it took you longer than the degree's normal duration to complete it.

Please help. Really desperate for advice.