Jul 14, 2009
5
0
Status
Medical Student
Hey everyone,

I have been looking around and havent found any posts on this so lets hope for everyone's sake that this isnt a repost.

I have been looking for a comprehensive source of material for USMLE/COMLEX Step 1, and i feel like using a single source rather than this and that book would be more helpful, although i do plan on using some supplemental sources of course. Anyway, im trying to find a resource that speaks to you like its teaching you almost from scratch. i came across this Kaplan Step one Home Study kit and i was wondering what anyone's thoughts were on this series. The one thing i do know is that they have both subject and system based and i really like that.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. does anyone know if Kaplan sell their review videos?
 

psammomabody

5+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2009
34
1
Status
Medical Student
I used these books for my step 1 studying period. I personally really liked them and got through them once in about 4 weeks, doing ~80-100 pages a day. These were my major study source. I also used FA 2008, first 8 chapters of Goljan RR, and used Netter's and a neuroanatomy atlas for reference.

However, these books are too expensive for what they are (like $500 from kaplan). I got them from someone in the class above me totally unmarked for about $150. If you have to spend $500, I would probably recommend going with FA basic sciences and organ system books over the Kaplan series. Kaplan is VERY dry - all black and white, very few pictures, wherease FA is at least in color and looks "prettier" to read. I have no idea why they charge $500 for these books. The FA books are like $80.

Let me know if you have any more specific questions. Hopefully I'll have a good report on my score! Should be getting it tomorrow.... yikes!
 

jackets5

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2005
1,189
11
Status
Here is my opinoin. Im Carrib student and our school makes us take a kaplan course as part of our 5th semester. Kaplan books i feel are definately lacking in path. For example i used the RR Path when our kaplan lecturer was doing path and alot of things he added to the kaplan text that he said was very important or people have said is showing up on exams was right there in the Goljan text. Kaplan path lacks alot of the mechanisms that Goljan has and what i have seen show up in Uworld. The kaplan Phys book is massive, we have Phys starting saturday and im again considering just using RR phys and FA as the prof lectures. I think the kaplan books are trying more to reteach the basic sciences instead of focusing more on board material which is what the RR or BRS books tend to focus on more.
 

fergustsi

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
340
0
Fort Worth, TX
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Kaplan books are best used, imo, with the live course. they add so much information in the live lectures to those books, you wouldnt believe it. Kaplan is also very good and getting you to the 220+ mark.


Hey everyone,

I have been looking around and havent found any posts on this so lets hope for everyone's sake that this isnt a repost.

I have been looking for a comprehensive source of material for USMLE/COMLEX Step 1, and i feel like using a single source rather than this and that book would be more helpful, although i do plan on using some supplemental sources of course. Anyway, im trying to find a resource that speaks to you like its teaching you almost from scratch. i came across this Kaplan Step one Home Study kit and i was wondering what anyone's thoughts were on this series. The one thing i do know is that they have both subject and system based and i really like that.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. does anyone know if Kaplan sell their review videos?
 
OP
A
Jul 14, 2009
5
0
Status
Medical Student
I hope for the best for you psamommabody.

Ill definitely consider the FA set. I actually found a couple of sellers with the 2008 home study set for a good price, do you think this will be too old if i use them through to 2010?

As for the kaplan books being weak in some stuff, im definitely going to supplement it with other things, i just want a generally comprehensive single source you know? Im also planning on doing many question banks so that i can start to fine-tune whatever i learned, including weeding out the errors and filling in the blanks.
 

doogoshly

5+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2009
100
0
Status
Medical Student
if i had to choose one, i'd say FA for sure. but optimally, you should do FA and uworld.
 

fergustsi

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
340
0
Fort Worth, TX
Status
Resident [Any Field]
i think i have a set of last years comlex set. if you wanna pay shipping you can have it "free". let me make sure i have it first of all.
 
OP
A
Jul 14, 2009
5
0
Status
Medical Student
I just got the Kaplan videos and i think i also got the books on pdf that go with the videos. Im wondering if i should even bother with the home study books now or if the books for the videos are good enough. Or would it be even better to use both?

Ive been hearing the FA books have a lot of errors though.
 

fergustsi

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
340
0
Fort Worth, TX
Status
Resident [Any Field]
videos + pdfs sounds an awful lot like an ebay purchase. tisk tisk, that sounds illegal.


I just got the Kaplan videos and i think i also got the books on pdf that go with the videos. Im wondering if i should even bother with the home study books now or if the books for the videos are good enough. Or would it be even better to use both?

Ive been hearing the FA books have a lot of errors though.
 

mq123

Blah username =/= blah me
10+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2007
294
1
BuyMoria
Status
Medical Student
I hope for the best for you psamommabody.

Ill definitely consider the FA set. I actually found a couple of sellers with the 2008 home study set for a good price, do you think this will be too old if i use them through to 2010?

As for the kaplan books being weak in some stuff, im definitely going to supplement it with other things, i just want a generally comprehensive single source you know? Im also planning on doing many question banks so that i can start to fine-tune whatever i learned, including weeding out the errors and filling in the blanks.
I got a 2004 Kaplan books set from an upperclassman for free. I've heard that those are really good and thorough in some areas (like biochem) and not so good in others (like pathology). The separate Qbank books is also good for added practice questions.

I also know that some people did use the older editions like 2004 and did just fine, so that shouldn't be a problem for you using 2008 versions. I'm just going to ask around and use these books for some, but not all, subject areas.

Hope this helps.
 
OP
A
Jul 14, 2009
5
0
Status
Medical Student
Once again thanks a lot for everyone's help. Ive been looking into the First Aid Basic Science and Organ systems books, and im even considering replacing my home study plan with that. The two plus sides i hear for these books is that they are very thorough, and the second thing is that they replace the need to annotate FA.

One major negative, actually the only negative, that ive heard about is that it is a first edition and riddled with errors.

Speaking of annotating, I was thinking to annotate my FA when i do questions, that way the info i put in will be more focused.

Anyone have any insight?
 

defcon8

Information ≠ Knowledge
10+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2008
97
1
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Once again thanks a lot for everyone's help. Ive been looking into the First Aid Basic Science and Organ systems books, and im even considering replacing my home study plan with that. The two plus sides i hear for these books is that they are very thorough, and the second thing is that they replace the need to annotate FA.

One major negative, actually the only negative, that ive heard about is that it is a first edition and riddled with errors.

Speaking of annotating, I was thinking to annotate my FA when i do questions, that way the info i put in will be more focused.

Anyone have any insight?
First, let me say that I would advise against replacing the home study course with the FA books. You are already aware of the major issue with the books, being that the are riddled with errors, so if dont have a problem with that, then I can make some suggestions:
1. The book is lacking certain very important and high yield topics, some obvious ones being pleural effusion and polycystic kidney disease for example. The latter is only mentioned in the review section of a chapter, the former not at all. Having said that, my suggestion is to use it along with the review FA to ensure that it has covered all the topics listed, and just refer to another text for the few items missing.
2. At a glance, the FA books are obviously more appealing than the monotonous black and white texts of kaplan. This makes for a much easier read which is ideal if you have less time working with. The caveat is that it is noticeably less detailed in certain subject areas such as physiology and anatomy. Pathology is superior to kaplan in certain subjects. Pharmacology, though less detailed than Kaplan may be more representative of what you will be tested on by the boards.

Overall, if the numerous errors dont phase you, I think the FA books may be practical for a more comprehensive review if you are working with little study time once used alongside the FA review book to ensure everything is being covered. Kaplan Home Study Course is a more reliable and more comprehensive series, which I recommend over FA if you are working with a longer study time as it is longer and not as pleasant to go through. Both, if used properly, will get you a 99.
 
OP
A
Jul 14, 2009
5
0
Status
Medical Student
Defcon, love the 99 idea, haha. I actually am starting quite early right now, so i do have the "leisure" of spreading my work a little more. One thing i considered was using the first aid set after the home study to correct it. Surely, i will be using books like BRS physio or RR path alongside the kaplan/FA.

Im thinking to hold off for a couple of months to buy the FA set and crossing my fingers that a 2nd edition comes around.

One thing i feel is for sure is that if i use the FA set last before i start racking out questions, it will definitely be quick to go through seeing as how i will hopefully have seen the material enough times in a comprehensive manner before using it. This i think will also help in picking out the errors.

The advice is much appreciated.