Some Quick Philosophical Advice About Step 1

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15+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2003
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Here's something that everyone who is constructing their study plan for Step 1 needs to remember:

Be honest with yourself. Be honest about what kind of person you are and how your approach things.

What do I mean? Well during the first two years of school I never studied until the very last second, which in turn involved tons of cramming, stress, and chaos. The result: a very average class standing.

I had a paradigm shift when I set up my board study plan: I was honest with myself. I said to myself: "You're disorganized, have poor concentration, love goofing around, and often don't stick to one plan and make new ones. So does that mean you're going to be one of those people that can study for 10-12 hours a day for 4 weeks? NO!"

So, I spread my study plan out over 6.5 weeks. I only studied 6-7 hours a day. I relaxed. I goofed off. I was able be to disorganized because I was honest with myself and gave myself time to do so. The result: 257/99

To everyone who's like me: Don't think that you can suddenly change the type of student you are in a matter of weeks. The person you are now is the person you'll be when you study for the boards. Be genuinely honest with yourself about who you are, and things will fall into place.

Arctic Char

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15+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2005
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good stuff. congrats on the score!

i have to admit that i have been banking on "shifting gears" for step 1 this summer . . . but even if i'm not able to, i have plenty of time, especially given what you've said. so i guess thats good.

again, thanks for sharing and good job! any chance you want to share your sources and methods? PM if you can.


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Aug 15, 2005
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Agreed. I am pretty disciplined when it comes to studying, but I know that around 3 pm my brain just SHUTS OFF. Initially, I ignored the signs my body was sending and kept ploughing through. Especially because everyone around me in the library was so hard at work, nobody else seemed to hit an afternoon slump! I would read the same sentence 10 times and still not understand it. Now, I spend this unproductive time of my day going to the gym or going for a run, and study in the evening instead. A simple adjustment made so much difference!