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some schools don't require the step 1 to move to clinics. however, they do require you to pass an in-school end-of basic science exam. when is it a better time to take step 1, right after basic sciences when you have studied for the in-school exam, or after doing a couple of "big rotations" like medicine and pedi?


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I can't imagine squeezing Step 1 studying in between rotations. I've put in three weeks so far, with one more to go, and from what I hear there is no way you'd ever be able to grab the time during/after a rotation to do this kind of studying. Besides, although Step 1 has clinical vignettes, it's still testing basic science - anatomy, pathophys, pharm etc. and your exposure to that stuff in rotations will be real hit-or-miss.

I have heard that taking Step *2* shortly after doing all the basic rotations is a good idea because of your recent clinical experience, but I've never heard anyone say that clinical experience would help you do better on Step 1.

Darth Vader

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I have actually heard that some students consider it advantageous to take the boards after one or two rotations because so much of the boards ~50% is in the form of clinical vignettes. If I were at a school that gave me the option though, I would prefer to take it after a comprehensive in school exam because of the first year stuff on the boards, as mentioned by the previous poster.


El Gaucho Misterioso
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i second mary's advice...trying to squeeze it in between rotations is no use and it's really testing basic science concepts, and, mostly, minutiae.

most people are taking it in late may and june since rotations usually start in july...at least that's how it works here. md/phd's are lucky since they start research the third year and can take step one at a later date.

good luck, fellow step one-takers

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