systems-based schedule

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Jaded Soul

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Originally posted by maryamhad
I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a 5-6 week system based study schedule...thanks

Most people do it subject-based because of the paucity of system-based review materials, but I think the "Step Up" review book is system based. Maybe you can build a schedule around that?


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Here is a subject and systems 4 week schedule. I can send you a word file if you e-mail me at [email protected]

Assumption: 28 total days available, including the day before USMLE. If you have greater or fewer days, adjust the schedule accordingly. (For example, if you have 31 days, add ? day to Behavioral Science, ? day to Gross/Embryo, 1 day off, and 1 day to wrap-up.)

General apportioning of days:
Wrap-up (re-review in First Aid) = 2-3 days before your exam
Days off (schedule as rewards for doing your work) = 1-2 days (depending on wrap-up)
Total full study days (excluding wrap-up and days off) = 24 days

Allocation of days by subject:
Pathology = 4 days
Physiology = 4 days (may be less if you are strong in physiology)
Pharmacology = 4 days
Microbiology/Immunology = 4 days
Biochemistry = 3 days
Behavioral Science = 1.5 days
Gross/Embryo/Cell/Histo = 1.5 days
Neuroanatomy = 2 days

Systems Schedule:
Nervous = 3.5 days
Cardiovascular = 3 days
Respiratory = 2.5 days
GI = 2 days
Renal = 2.5 days
Endocrine = 2.5
Reproductive = 2 days
Musculoskeletal = 2 days
Heme / Lymph = 2 days
Basic Concepts / General = 2 days

Note: A ?day? for each subject means an 8-hour day per below. An ?hour? means a full hour with 5 minute breathers as needed. In addition, you will do 2 hours of questions daily.

The order of subjects:
The general strategy should be longer-term memory subjects early and shorter-term memory subjects late. This will vary among students, but a possible sequence is:

Behavioral Science
Day off
Day off
Neuroanatomy, gross/embryo/cell/histo
Wrap-up days (re-review First Aid)
Take USMLE Step I

Order for Systems Schedule:
Basic Concepts / General
Wrap-up days

Suggested daily schedule:
8-12 Study
12-1 Lunch
1-5 Study
5-8 Exercise, dinner, errands, phone calls
8-10 (or 11) Questions

Note: Evening questions should be done from Kaplan Q bank, NMS Review for USMLE Step I (on medrevu.com), and Robbins Review of Pathology. Rotate the question sources, with Q bank and medrevu more often. Do question randomly, and do not link them to what you studied during the day. Initially, do not time yourself, but do the questions to learn and to spend time with the explanations.

USMLE Sample Exam (download from USMLE.org):
Do it timed and simulated (150 questions in 3 hours) 3- 4 days before the actual USMLE. (Do it in the evening question time slot, or early morning and shift your study day forward.) Take it as if it counts; then review it 2-3 times in the next few days to be completely comfortable with the screens, the way questions are posed, and to figure out why you missed what you missed.