Step-Up Vs. First-Aid USMLE 2000?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by [email protected], Apr 28, 2000.

  1. Hi all. I would like to gather your opinions on Step-Up USMLE Step 1 versus First Aid USMLE Setp 1 2000. I have them both, and like them both.
    I have found few, if any, mnemonics in Step-Up. The mnemonics in First-Aid are very helpful to me. Step-Up is more detailed and Systems based, although still all high-yield material.
    My ideal plan is to get thru all of First-Aid and then "consolodate" it all together using Step-Up.
    What are your opinions on these books?

  2. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I also have them both and I like Step-Up more than First Aid because it presents the material in a more logical way. First Aid is more of a collection of unrelated high yeld info, like a laundry list, all out of any context. It is very hard to memorize it all, even though some of the mnemonics are very good. Step Up puts things into a context with some very cool drawings and diagrams to boot. For instance, the drawing showing the conjugation of bilirubin and the respective disorders along the way. Or the one with the digestive enzymes. All very nicely organized and it doesn't spend tons of pages reviewing other books, which I found extremely annoying in First Aid.

    If I had to pick between the two, I would buy Step Up (I bought First Aid before Step Up was published).
  3. Carbon Klein

    Carbon Klein Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2000
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    Have you considered taking a review course? I hate First Aid and when I tutored a student for his retake of Step One, I advised him against First Aid (he used that before failing Step One). First Aid is probably useful the night or two before the exam, but if you depend strongly on it, then you're in for a crazy ride.

    I have heard "stories" of people who did passed Step One with just First Aid. Of course, they were probably pretty strong before First Aid, so consider your own abilities and study accordingly.

    I started studying my old notes and skimming through text books around Feb (back in 98, when the text was two days long) while taking my Pharm/pathophys/nutrition courses. I started the Arc Venture 4 week intense prep course in May and it finished up the weekend before the exam. I think the course cost me $800, but it was worth it. I was pretty strong going into the course, but I felt much stronger after it. I skipped Histo, Anat, Ethics, Jurisprudence, Stats, Neuro, and embryo during my own studying and Arc Venture helped me pick off the important stuff. I was very strong in path and pharm since I just came off pathophys and pharm. Their immuno and micro (my weakest subject) was really helpful since they summarized all the important points and skipped all the non-relevant junk. I scored in the 90+ percentile and I truly believe that if it were not for Arc Venture, that I would have been in the 80-something percentile.

    If you can afford it, and if they have an open course scheduled, I'd highly recommend this course. It's pretty good.

    If you can't take a review course, then I'd suggest skimming over your old notes and saving First Aid for the week before the exam. Don't sit for hours in front of First Aid right now, skim through it instead. Concentrate on your old notes and text books.

    My student is taking the May 13th Step One. I'm expecting him to break 200 (fingers crossed).


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