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USMLE Step 1 2016: Official Phloston advice

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Invictus1911

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This message thread is for Phloston. I've read numerous of your posts and some questions about board prep. 1) When doing a first pass through UWorld, do you recommend choosing questions by subcategory or big categories. Example: GI vs. pathophys, phsy, pharm of GI (excluding certain topics such as micro, biostats, etc). This is just an example.
2) You mentioned Kaplan is good for only doing certain sections such as micro and molecular biology; would you recommend it only for the sole purpose of getting those sections.
3) After you finish a problem set of 44 questions. What do you recommend for reinforcing concepts so that you don't forget a problem set that you may have done 4 weeks ago.


I'm sure I will have more, but just wanted to start a thread so that I can easily locate and ask you questions.
Thanks! Anyone else, please chime in, if it's sound advice.
 

Phloston

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This message thread is for Phloston. I've read numerous of your posts and some questions about board prep. 1) When doing a first pass through UWorld, do you recommend choosing questions by subcategory or big categories. Example: GI vs. pathophys, phsy, pharm of GI (excluding certain topics such as micro, biostats, etc). This is just an example.
2) You mentioned Kaplan is good for only doing certain sections such as micro and molecular biology; would you recommend it only for the sole purpose of getting those sections.
3) After you finish a problem set of 44 questions. What do you recommend for reinforcing concepts so that you don't forget a problem set that you may have done 4 weeks ago.


I'm sure I will have more, but just wanted to start a thread so that I can easily locate and ask you questions.
Thanks! Anyone else, please chime in, if it's sound advice.

I'm humbled that you mentioned me here. Thanks.

1) Always do random mode going through UW. Tutor vs timed mode is more of a grey area, but timed is better in most circumstances. So timed random. If you want to get a boost in subject areas (e.g., alongside MS2 classes), do a different QBank in subject-specific mode, like Qmax (Rx) or Kaplan. But I still advocate always doing QBanks in random. It's better reinforcement seeing material spaced out over weeks to months vs all at once.

2) For the sole purpose of doing those sections? No. But if you do have time and can get through Kaplan Qbank, those areas are particularly good in Kaplan. Kaplan's downfall is notably in anatomy and physiology, two areas where it goes way overboard. Kaplan's a dangerous QBank to spend too much time on. If you only have time for two QBanks for Step 1, go with Qmax and UWorld. If you can do all three, great. But if you're crammed and are considering Kaplan just for a couple subject areas, don't bother.

3) As I said, just continue doing questions in random mode. Studying for Step 1 is about remembering, forgetting, remembering, forgetting. Sometimes you need to see things multiple times to remember them, which is why spacing concepts out, at random, is ideal. For instance, as opposed to finishing all of your cardio questions in a QBank in three days, getting three questions on rheumatic fever at random intervals over six weeks is more effective.

Hope that helps,
 
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Invictus1911

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That makes a lot of sense! I will probably ask more questions over time. Thanks so much for being open to answering the questions.
 
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