It’s understandable if you feel anxious about your upcoming USMLE Step 1 exam. However, there is tremendous relief in knowing that you’re not alone. IMGs from across the world and medical students all over the US, who are dreaming of practicing in the US are busy skimming through resources online looking for tips and tricks on how to prepare for USMLE Step 1. There is a lot of advice available online, some are relevant while some are not. While looking for a head start in your USMLE Step 1 preparation, you may get delusional and fall prey to a lot of misconceptions. Want to know about the three commonest and the biggest delusions about Step 1 USMLE? Read on.
USMLE Step 1 Preparation: 3 Biggest Misconceptions
1. Cramming is the best way to prepare for USMLE Step 1
Wrong. Cramming for a high-stake exam like USMLE Step 1 is the worst thing to do while you prepare for your USMLE exam. While the portion covered for Step 1 exam is vast and covers a lot of topics, it is highly impossible to know what percentage and what type of questions will be asked from each topic or discipline. The best way and probably the only way for Step 1 preparation is to study alongside your coursework for months till you reach your USMLE exam date.
2. Studying for Step 1 with the help of videos, lectures, review books, and Q-Banks yield the same results
One of the ways to prepare for USMLE Step 1 is going through different resources, which are available in the form of Qbanks, online classes, review books and video webinars. However, these study materials do not yield the same results. The best way to learn is through retrieving and reconstructing your knowledge. The single most effective method of retaining knowledge has been proven to be practice retrieval, or the process of using cues to actively recall and reconstruct knowledge (Roediger and Karpicke, 2006). To enable you to implement this process of learning, testing your knowledge helps.
3. All sample questions in Qbanks are created equal.
Now that you know testing is a better way to retain your knowledge, Qbank or question bank can help. There are a lot of Qbanks available, but the sample questions of all are not created equal. There are a few things, you might want to check about Qbanks. Have a look:
What to look for to find the right question bank for you?
1. Ensure that the questions you practice as a part of your USMLE Step 1 preparation directly mirror the ones you’ll get to see in the actual exam. Also, ensure that the questions follow the NBME’s blueprint and USMLE writing style.
2. Ensure that the question bank simulates the real-exam experience. The more you practice the questions that emulate the real-exam day experience, the better you will be prepared for the D-day.
While incorporating effective study strategies,
- You’ll need to practice the skills of learning, recalling, and testing – all in a repeat mode.
- You’ll need to take help of resources such as Qbanks, video webinars, review books, etc., that are easily available.
- You’ll have to remind yourself time and again that it is quality of learning that matters and not quantity.
Moreover, applying a focused and a dedicated approach while studying for USMLE will give you an idea of where you stand, and how much more you need to study to achieve the desired result.
Ease your mind and kick your studying off to a great start by addressing these three biggest delusions regarding USMLE Step 1.