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Preparing For Step 1

Sorry I have been MIA a bit lately, but it is for good reason...two words, Step 1. If you are a medical student, you have either already taken it or are dreading the day. If you are not a medical student, Step 1 is our first medical licensing exam. Allopathic students take the USMLE and osteopathic students can take just the COMLEX or both. I am scheduled to take both in June. I will do another post explaining why I chose to take both in the future :-) We finished our semester last week and began our dedicated study period. It is really nice to not have to worry about classwork, but one week in and I already want to cry! Real talk, studying this much just really is the worst. But it will be worth it, and that is what keeps me setting my alarm for insane hours in the morning! Staying positive can also be really hard. Some nights I will find myself down some bunny trail of forum links about students being upset with their self-assessment scores in the 240s and 250s. I have to step back and remind myself that there is no point in comparing my progress with random people in forums from 2009. I am just going to have to try my hardest and be happy with the score produced from those efforts. Ugh, is it June 11th yet?

Here is a bit about my current schedule and resources...


I am still trying to hammer down what is going to work best, but so far it has gone a little something like this...

7:00am- wake up

7:30am- meet at school for coffee (One of my girlfriends meets me at 7:30 for coffee...kind of like an accountability partner!)

8:00am-12:00pm- work through question bank on current topic

12:00pm- lunch (Hallelujah!)

1:00pm-5:00pm- First Aid (I am a big fan of finding random YouTube videos of topics I don't understand. There are so many great ones out there!)

5:00pm- dinner and break (Today I am using this time to write this post...and shower haha)

7:00pm-12:00am- Pathoma and question bank

Now, before you think I am a robot of some sort, I do take short breaks in between chapters, videos, question blocks. I will chit chat with some friends in the lounge over coffee, sneak in a little wedding planning, or even work on the blog. Also, dog videos on Facebook give me life. And some days I end my day a little earlier, but I aim to get at least 10 hours of studying a day.


Right now, it is all about the big 3:

First Aid- The holy grail of board prep. Right now, I am using it as an outline. I start each subject by reading the chapter, and then use it to make notes while doing my practice questions. It is the base of my studying.

Pathoma- I don't there is a medical student out there who doesn't sing Dr. Sattar's praises. His lectures are gold. I really wish I would have used them more during 1st and 2nd year.

UWorld- Most of my time is spent working through UWorld. I am going through it by the current subject I am studying, and then I will go through it random once I am finished. I would say most of my learning has been through reading the explanations for each question, whether I got it right or wrong. Our school has also provided use with ComQuest, which I have only recently started using, so I will update this with my thoughts once I get further into it.

I would like to figure out how to fit in a few workouts during the week, so if any of you med students have any tips or tricks on that, let me know! Actually, send me ANY tips about anything boards related :-)

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