as90

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Jul 8, 2011
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Hi everyone,
I a 3rd year medical student who originally intended on taking both the USMLE 1 and COMLEX 1 last year. However, due to several circumstances, I decided it would be best to take COMLEX 1 and see how I did before taking USMLE 1. I did fine on the COMLEX level 1 but I think taking the USMLE 1 will be a bit more advantageous for me at this point after talking to several of my preceptors and rotating at a DO residency-affiliated hospital.

I am not going to be going into something particularly competitive but I want to keep my options open. I have 2 months of light rotations ahead of me followed by a winter vacation. I was contemplating re-freshing my mind with the material and taking the test (early January).

However, the dilemma, I face is the re-applying (I am out of my eligibility period and extension period will not cover me that far out). I was wondering, if I were to re-apply to take the exam, would I need the approval of my school? I am afraid they may deny me as they may say that I need to focus on shelf exams and COMLEX level 2 PE/CE. My shelf scores have been very good so far (90's) and I did quite well with 2nd year material. I have heard of people taking it late 3rd year too so I am not sure how they went about it. I know I will be liable for the cost, but I think with a couple more NBME practice tests and some more review, I think I can tackle the exam well. Plus, I feel like I have been exposed to some great preceptors who have changed the complicated way I approached the basic sciences to a more holistic and straightforward way.

Thanks in advance.
 

ChrisGriffen

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I don't think anyone on this site will be able to answer your question better than the your school admin. I have heard of students taking Step 1 as late as 4th year, but I have no idea what the circumstances were. Shoot an email to your student affairs and see what happens.
 

Mosonik

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Feb 1, 2012
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I don't see why you wouldn't just move on and focus on the USMLE step 2. It would still maintain the open options you are looking for.
 
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Mr Avante

Sep 3, 2012
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Hi everyone,
I a 3rd year medical student who originally intended on taking both the USMLE 1 and COMLEX 1 last year. However, due to several circumstances, I decided it would be best to take COMLEX 1 and see how I did before taking USMLE 1. I did fine on the COMLEX level 1 but I think taking the USMLE 1 will be a bit more advantageous for me at this point after talking to several of my preceptors and rotating at a DO residency-affiliated hospital.

I am not going to be going into something particularly competitive but I want to keep my options open. I have 2 months of light rotations ahead of me followed by a winter vacation. I was contemplating re-freshing my mind with the material and taking the test (early January).

However, the dilemma, I face is the re-applying (I am out of my eligibility period and extension period will not cover me that far out). I was wondering, if I were to re-apply to take the exam, would I need the approval of my school? I am afraid they may deny me as they may say that I need to focus on shelf exams and COMLEX level 2 PE/CE. My shelf scores have been very good so far (90's) and I did quite well with 2nd year material. I have heard of people taking it late 3rd year too so I am not sure how they went about it. I know I will be liable for the cost, but I think with a couple more NBME practice tests and some more review, I think I can tackle the exam well. Plus, I feel like I have been exposed to some great preceptors who have changed the complicated way I approached the basic sciences to a more holistic and straightforward way.

Thanks in advance.
I don't see a reason why you should be denied such opportunity.
 

cliquesh

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Nov 2, 2007
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You should be fine, I imagine. I know someone who took step 2 at the end of 3rd year and step 1 in the beginning of 4th year. Since you're not a USmd no strict rules apply to you.
 
Oct 15, 2013
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agree.I know someone who took step 2 at the end of 3rd year and step 1 in the beginning of 4th year.
 

Charlie Hustle

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Dec 11, 2011
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OP, I think it's manageable with a couple of light rotations and winter break if you can really hammer down and stick to a solid study schedule. It doesn't sound like you're requesting time off from your rotations to take the exam, so I don't see why your school could deny you. Good luck, and keep us updated.

To all of you first and second years reading this thread, it will really be to your benefit to take the USMLE Step 1 at the end of your second year. Yes, some people take it during their clinical years due to various circumstances and do great, but it's just another headache that you really don't need. You'll never have more free time to study for Step 1 than during second year, and you'll be less removed from the material when you hit your dedicated study period. You're going to be studying the same material for COMLEX Level 1 anyway, so just go ahead and take both exams within a couple of days of each other and get it over with. I can tell you it's already kind of a drag forcing myself to study and do questions after a 12+ hour shift. I can't imagine how miserable it would be to have to study the urea cycle once I finally got home.

Do yourselves a favor and just take the USMLE Step 1 after second year.
 
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