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Apr 5, 2001
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How exactly do MSII's time the USMLE? I've seen them reviewing for the exam during the regular school year (I assume to take the USMLE as early as possible) and in the summer as there were quite a few med students at the Kaplan center where I had an MCAT review course.

Other than gaining more studying time, are there any advantages to taking the the test later in the year...any disadvantages?

I'm probably getting ahead of myself (I'll be an MSI in August), but I was just curious.
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15+ Year Member
May 5, 2002
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You should ask the MSIIs at your school when they take the USMLE, because it is different at different schools. Generally, MSIIs take it after they finish their classes at the end of their second yr before 3rd yr starts.


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May 17, 2002
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Your school will make some of the decision for you - there's usually a requirement that you must take it before you start third year. You definitely don't want to put it off very long after completing second year anyway. So there's just a small window of time when most MS-IIs take the USMLE, from late May til late June in most cases but almost always by end July.

During the school year, MS-IIs are using First Aid and NMS board review books as aids for their course studying that *also* help in early prep for Step 1. So it's not "Step 1 studying" in and of itself, but studying for school exams and shelf exams too - and all that leads up to Step 1.

Anyone who doesn't like the notion of taking exams for the rest of his/her life should reconsider medicine ;) it often feels like one big test!
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