If I could prepare for Step 1 all over again, I would have started using Med School Bootcamp during my MS1 year as I was just starting to learn my pre-clerkship material. In this way, I would have used MSB to reinforce the foundational knowledge I was learning in my medical school curriculum from the very beginning.
1. What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take Step 1?
If I could share one piece of advice to students prepping for USMLE Step 1 it would be to do as many practice questions and spend good time reviewing each one. In order to do this students will also need to start their exam studying as early as possible. I believe I completed over 6,000 practice questions in the year leading up to my exam, but the true benefits come from the reviewing the question explanations... not the questions themselves. Although it may not seem like you are making progress, you are! Once you sit for the exam, all the critical thinking skills you gained will kick in and help you move through the exam. Also doing practice questions in this way will help you to manage your time and finish each section with a few minutes to spare.
2. How did you use Med School Bootcamp to prepare for Step 1?
I used Med School Bootcamp to prepare during the last 2-3 weeks leading up to my exam date. I relied heavily on the mini review videos which were quick, easily accessible and very high yield. The content instructors had a great way of explaining difficult topics in a clear and concise way that was so easy to understand. These videos taught me how to "zoom out" when reading board style questions. I learned to recognize the details while also not losing sight of the big picture. In this way I was able to answer more questions correctly. I also really enjoyed the board style question breakdowns, because I would pause them, think through each option then resume the video to double check my thought process.
3. What would you do differently to prepare for Step 1?
If I could prepare for Step 1 all over again, I would have started using Med School Bootcamp during my MS1 year as I was just starting to learn my pre-clerkship material. In this way, I would have used MSB to reinforce the foundational knowledge I was learning in my medical school curriculum from the very beginning. This would have made my dedicated STEP study time much much smoother. I also would have placed less emphasis on my practice exam percentages and scores. As you are studying it is NORMAL for your scores to fluctuate up and down as you are gaining steam. It is not efficient or mentally healthy to continuously focus on the numbers when you are in a learning phase. My advice would be to spend good time doing untimed practice questions with review. Then maybe every weekend or every 2 weeks do a practice full length exam to gauge your progress, these are the scores I would focus on.
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