It has been over a year since I took the USMLE Step 1 exam . Believe it or not, I still have flashbacks of the dedicated process that I wouldn’t want to relive but I also have a sense of pride in the fact that I can smile about it today. I have so much insight now looking back and there are so many things I would’ve done differently to prepare for step 1.
Step 1 USMLE Practice Questions Strategy
For starters, I would’ve taken my first NBME sooner. I wished I had taken the first NBME half way through Spring semester and about 2-3 months before my dedicated study period. Additionally, I would’ve taken less NBMEs. Those exams brought me more anxiety as my scores fluctuated. They weren’t truly predictive of my final score as I had hoped and looking back, I wasted a lot of time looking up explanations when I could’ve spent time studying. I would’ve focused on quality versus quantity. Frankly, I was more focused on finishing U World than spending time thoroughly reviewing questions. Most importantly, I would’ve taken more breaks. I should’ve rewarded myself with a day off each week or even a half day. I made myself feel guilty for taking breaks and my burn out got the best of me until I was forced to take a few days off and recharge.
Realistic Expectations for Step 1 USMLE
Lastly, taking advice from people on YouTube with scores of 250 + was not a good idea. I think this is important because most of the people that are posting their scores of 250, 260 or 270 are students who are typically “gunners” and those who do nothing else but study all day every day (which isn’t bad but I love a multifaceted lifestyle). They most likely started their first NBME with a score of 240. That’s not the norm and they’re actually the exception. Trying to follow their study model was actually not in my favor because their study plan started from such an advanced standing and I needed to review some foundational content and topics to get me to an optimal score range. In the video below, I’ll explain further about these study strategies that helped me exceed by goal minimum score.