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need help with Kaplan Q-bank


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2003
Hi guys, could you help me by answering some questions abt Q-bank. According to you guys, it is absolutely essential to get the Q-bank for a good Step1 score. As you probably know by now, I'm from India, and for us it's pretty expensive, so I wanted to be absolutely sure before buying the Q-bank. What do you exactly get, in, terms of material, from the Q-bank? Do I download the material, or do I have to be online everytime I use the material. How many online tests do I give? And how much 'studying' do I have to do online? Is it possible to use Q-bank from computer internet connection from an internet cafe, since I don't exactly wanna rely the pathetic, unreliable (and cheap) connection I use currently? Thanks. Senior members who have used the q-bank are especially elicited for advice. thanx again.


Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2000
  1. Attending Physician
QBank is good for getting used to the computer-based testing format and for keeping track of your performance in ways that would be difficult to do on paper--by organ system, by subject, your performance on questions in which you changed the answer, and so forth. It is considered critical, but I'm not so sure the material in the questions is critical to Step 1, because in my experience the real exam was quite different and I didn't feel that the facts I picked up from QBank questions really helped me.

So if it is prohibitively expensive for you, and if it will take up a lot of your time and concentration having to go to an internet cafe to do it (yes, you have to be online the whole time), you might be able to skip it. Get a good book with test questions like NMS; some also come with CD-ROMs which may provide a similar function to QBank, although I can't say firsthand.


Membership Revoked
15+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2004
If you have internet access and the cost is not too high, I'd definitely do q bank. Q bank is just a large bank of practice usmle questions. If regular internet access will be expensive or if q bank is too expensive there, you can purchase NMS or the board simulator series as a substitute for practice questions.


Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2002
Qbank is an online database of 2,200 sample questions with explanations of the answers. It costs $450 to get it for six months (I think), cheaper if you get it for 3 months or 1 month. So it is expensive, and you need a reliable Internet connection in order to use it.

You do need to use <I>some</I> sample questions. Most people who told me they did really well on the Boards say they went through all of Qbank. However, if it is prohibitively expensive or impossible for you to use, there are some question sources that are less expensive (but not as comprehensive or like the "real" questions). Good stuff has been said about:

- NMS series by Lippincott, 6th edition

And these two I've also been told are good, with fewer reviews than NMS:
- Blueprints Step I test
- Board Simulator Series

Each of those would cost between US $30-50. Still not cheap, but not as expensive.

There is also a set of released "old" USMLE test questions downloadable from USMLE.org . This you can use for free and should use it to practice. :)
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