Peeshee

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Hi,
I will be taking the USMLE Step 1 in the summer of 2002 and would like some advice on how to prepare. My school has a review course which lasts about 3.5 months, but besides that, what should I do? I was thinking of doing the Q Bank questions and First Aid.
Also, do you think it is better to study one subject at a time? For example, in one week, I would study anatomy and the next week pharmacology. Is that recommendable or is it better to integrate?
By the way, I am attending a foreign medical school, if that makes a difference.
Thanks so much!!!
 

J.S. Legaspi

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Kaplan QBank is a must in USMLE review. It's so helpful in the explanations and plus its format is similar to the real exam. As for the format to study in, that's totally up to you, whether it be subject based or system based. Just as long as you understand it in the end. Supplement your studies with Qbank and of course First Aid. Are you taking a Kaplan course? They have good material to study from also. Hope this helps a bit. :)
 

Fanconi

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I kinda think it's good to integrate. I used Kaplan's study books and Qbank (didn't take the course) and did fine. I like the books because they are arranged by organ system, rather than by subject (anatomy, physiology, etc).
 

tulanestudent

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First Aid, BRS Path, and lots and lots of questions. QBank is great, but tough, so don't get discouraged by scores, just learn from doing questions and learning from the explainations.

Since you already have such a long review course planned, you don't need a thourough subject review on your own too. I'd just hit your weak areas only. My theory is that you can't predict what your test will have on it, so focusing on your weak points and not wasting time on stronger areas is most high-yeild to ensure you get the most questions right on test day. You can find weak points by doing a full-length test like Kaplan offers, which I would reccommend if you don't mind spending the money, b/c it also gives you some stamina on test day since you have gone through a long test during your preparation.

By the way, I took it last summer and got 195, not the best I guess, but considering that I'm typically not a great test taker, I was happy to solidly have passed.
Don't waste money on too many books, as most students agree they bought too many.
 
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tulanestudent

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as for your subject by subject question, I found body systems to be the best way to study. Like spend a certain amount of days on GI, including path, phys, pharm, anat, even breifly embryo, then move on to another body system. Things like Biochem don't really fit a body system, so you have to do that separate I guess. Remember teh test is most heavily weighted on clinically phrased questions, meaning more of the pathophys stuff will be emphasized. There are some good sample study schedules on <a href="http://www.medschool.com" target="_blank">www.medschool.com</a> that break down 2,4, and 6 week study plans.
 
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