7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 26, 2002
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I took Step 1 last year-here's my advice:
-It was very heavy in Pathology and Physiology.
-1st year stuff (gross, embryology, histo) was barely covered; high-yield books were plenty for those.
-Don't forget about behavioral science and statistics- there was a decent amount of that on mine. It can make the difference between a good and a great score.
-Pharmacology questions vary, though they seem to like cardio drugs.
-Biochemistry was clinically oriented- mostly diseases of metabolism; there were no hard-core mechanisms on my test.
-They love clinical vignettes so practice tons of those. Q bank and the USMLE CD were helpful.
-At our school, we take NMBE's at the end of each 3rd year rotation and they seem to be leaning more and more toward problem-solving and clinical cases, so the more you practice, the better.
-Try to read "First AID for the Boards" in the last week before the boards. It is an amazing, easy-to-read book that I feel really hit Step 1 head on.
Good luck!

Ralph Wiggum

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15+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2002
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Questions, questions, questions! Do as many sample questions as possible! Read the explanations even if you get the question correct. If I had it to do all over again, I would have done a ton more questions and less reading outlines.
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Jul 31, 2000
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•••quote:•••Originally posted by Amy:
•Thanks for the advice! When did you guys start studying for the boards??•••••Technically, you start studying for the boards once you start med school because everything, and I mean everything, from year 1 and 2 are fair game. 2nd year stuff does tend to be more heavily emphasized of course. Most people at my school did not start studying for the boards until 2nd year ended (May 9th, to take the boards in mid to late June). I imagine that if you have less time between 2nd and 3rd year though, you would need to start before 2nd year ended. Definitely use board review books to study for your 2nd year classes, you will need to get used to using them for the boards.


El Gaucho Misterioso
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15+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2002
North Country
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yeah, a lot of upperclassmen say that if you've "done the time" during your first two years, then you have an edge when it comes to studying for the boards because most of the material will be remotely familiar already. thanks for the many words of advice. i got my exam sat... -s.
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