Perrotfish

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Alright, I'm now starting second year which, in my school's compressed cirriculum, means I'm 9 months away from taking the Step 1. I'm trying to figure out when I should be reviewing what. Most people seem to say I should start studying 2-6 months in advance of the exam, but I don't really know what that means. How many hours a day should I expect to be putting in 6 months in advance of the test vs. 2 month in advance. Where should I start in terms of reviewing? Should I start with physio? Should I look at Christmas break as a vacation or a cram session? Anyone want to share their experiences?
 

SeminoleFan3

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Get a copy of Clinical Micro Made Ridic. Simple, and work through that with your immunology/micro class. Get a copy of Goljan's Rapid Review Path, and go through that with your path class. If you can obtain the Goljan audio from someone in your class (~40hrs), go through that with path as well.
I didn't start studying for Step I until 5 or 6 weeks before, and I did fine. The above advice is what I wish someone would have given me at the start of M2.
 
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Perrotfish

Perrotfish

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Alright, so my plan as of right now:

This week before school starts: review Acland DVDs and skim the Anatomy BRS, partially to study for the boards but mainly because I've forgotten a lot of the vocabulary and don't like looking like a schmuck

August 1 - Thanksgiving break: Put together a USMLE review group, meeting once a week and covering topics from First Aid.

Thanksgiving break: 3 days to race through BRS physio, 4 days of vacation. Learning micro, path, and pharm for the first time.

Thanksgiving break - Christmas break: back to the review group and pharm/path

Christmas break: 6 days for BRS Embryo and Biochem, the rest of the time for vacation.

New Years day through end of March: 1 afternnon/week group study of first aid, 1 day/week individual study based on q banks, 1 afternoon/week review of micro (made rediculously simple) or path (goljan).

April: 24/7 studing, focusing mostly on Q banks and first aid but with some path, physio, and micro review thrown in. Go through the physio BRS one more time as well.

May 1: Take the test, move on with my life.

Sound reasonable?
 

ZagDoc

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Alright, so my plan as of right now:

This week before school starts: review Acland DVDs and skim the Anatomy BRS, partially to study for the boards but mainly because I've forgotten a lot of the vocabulary and don't like looking like a schmuck

August 1 - Thanksgiving break: Put together a USMLE review group, meeting once a week and covering topics from First Aid.

Thanksgiving break: 3 days to race through BRS physio, 4 days of vacation. Learning micro, path, and pharm for the first time.

Thanksgiving break - Christmas break: back to the review group and pharm/path

Christmas break: 6 days for BRS Embryo and Biochem, the rest of the time for vacation.

New Years day through end of March: 1 afternnon/week group study of first aid, 1 day/week individual study based on q banks, 1 afternoon/week review of micro (made rediculously simple) or path (goljan).

April: 24/7 studing, focusing mostly on Q banks and first aid but with some path, physio, and micro review thrown in. Go through the physio BRS one more time as well.

May 1: Take the test, move on with my life.

Sound reasonable?
Sounds like way more than I did. But if you think you're up for it, go for it. But you need time to take a mental break during the year too... you WILL burn yourself out if you always try to squeeze in boards stuff during your time away from classwork.

What I did: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=8292712&postcount=613
 

McGillGrad

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The ideal plan this early on would be to simply solidify connections using high yield review books and USMLERx questions (or any other source such as Pretest or PathWeb). It is still a little early to see the whole picture because you haven't completed all of your courses.

You shouldn't worry about pharm until the end, and especially after you finish solidifying physio because pharm is pretty straight-forward once you know your phys.

The best possible strategy now is to follow your classes in BRS while doing the Rx/Pretest/etc questions for about 1 hour a day. Believe-it-or-not, you are doing the best possible prep by making sure to spend enough energy in your classes so you don't forget everything after the final.

This strategy allows you to spend a serious 4 weeks after finals to Review and understand, (instead of relearning concepts whilst studying for step).

Class-specific (although I don't know what you've finished thus far):

Path ==> Read class notes, read Robbins section (should only be a page or two) then read Goljan RR and listen to his audio...do questions

Physio ==> Read class notes, read about same concept in several primary sources, read section in BRS Phys...do questions

Pharm ==> Read class notes, watch Kaplan Pharm videos, Read FA section of pharm, DO MANY QUESTIONS and you'll rock it.

I would not try to look at low yield topics (Anatomy, Random Embryo etc) until you get closer to step. It is not an efficient use of time. Review Med micro instead (in FA and CMMRS.)
 

KYMedGuy2011

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Jul 7, 2007
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The ideal plan this early on would be to simply solidify connections using high yield review books and USMLERx questions (or any other source such as Pretest or PathWeb). It is still a little early to see the whole picture because you haven't completed all of your courses.

You shouldn't worry about pharm until the end, and especially after you finish solidifying physio because pharm is pretty straight-forward once you know your phys.

The best possible strategy now is to follow your classes in BRS while doing the Rx/Pretest/etc questions for about 1 hour a day. Believe-it-or-not, you are doing the best possible prep by making sure to spend enough energy in your classes so you don't forget everything after the final.

This strategy allows you to spend a serious 4 weeks after finals to Review and understand, (instead of relearning concepts whilst studying for step).

Class-specific (although I don't know what you've finished thus far):

Path ==> Read class notes, read Robbins section (should only be a page or two) then read Goljan RR and listen to his audio...do questions

Physio ==> Read class notes, read about same concept in several primary sources, read section in BRS Phys...do questions

Pharm ==> Read class notes, watch Kaplan Pharm videos, Read FA section of pharm, DO MANY QUESTIONS and you'll rock it.

I would not try to look at low yield topics (Anatomy, Random Embryo etc) until you get closer to step. It is not an efficient use of time. Review Med micro instead (in FA and CMMRS.)
Absolutely agree with what I bolded (and pretty much everything else too). It's easy to read about the hundreds of review texts/audio/etc that everyone is using during 2nd year on here and feel like your plan is inadequate. I got advice from a few students in the class above me about this time last year and they all essentially said the same thing: the best prep during the school year for step one is do to well in your classes but in a manner that allows for grasping of concepts and "good" learning and not in one that consists only of weekend cramming before exams. It may seem like common sense but I felt like the material during 2nd year was more crammable (if that's a word) than material I had 1st year so the temptation to do nothing for several days following an exam was there. If you can do a little every day (and get through the material for each exam several times) you're more likely to hold on to it for step one, and you spend less time freaking out the days before an exam.

I also bought FA this time last year and tried to go through sections that corresponded to what we were covering in lecture at that time so I could make notes that clarified things that seemed vague in FA. Definitely reccommend that. It also gives you an appreciation for the material that is most important for step one (often does not correlate to the emphasis placed in class on different subjects) as well as topics your courses may skip altogether (somehow Tuberous Sclerosis slipped through the cracks for my class).

I felt like the above was all I had time for during 2nd year, but if you have time to use other books like BRS for different courses, that'd be great too. I also wish I'd taken some time throughout the year to review physio and neuro from 1st year. Biochem came back much easier for me during my review period than either of those two (although reviewing some key concepts here would be helpful too). If you have time to review 1st year material, I'd spend it on those two (or 3).

Best advice I can think of: no matter what you do during 2nd year, make sure you have enough energey to really hit the ground running next May or June (whenever your year ends). You build up the framework for a good USMLE score during years 1-2, but what you do during those 5-6 weeks of review is critical.