The Ideal Learning Method for Crushing USMLE Step Exams

In addition to using the best test prep resources to study for USMLE Step 1, you need to learn how to use them effectively! By using the method I’ll share with you, you’ll be able to learn, memorize, apply and synthesize the information you need to accel on Step 1! I used this during my pre-dedicated and dedicated studying. This method was passed on to me from my Step 1 mentor so I can’t take credit for it. Of note, this method worked for me, but since everyone has their own study style, it may not work for you!


Use Boards & Beyond (B&B), Pathoma, Sketchy, or another primary resource to learn/review the pertinent material.


Use Anki to memorize the facts. Lightyear is a great Anki deck that covers B&B’s material. For this deck, you can do the corresponding section after you listened to the videos. The Pepper deck is a solid one that covers Sketchy Micro and Pharm. You can find these decks on Reddit!


Do questions! On the day you finish an organ system, complete 1-2 blocks of Uworld questions for that organ system. But, don’t try to finish all the Uworld questions on that system. Instead, continue doing your content review (move onto the next organ system when you’re finished). Learn and memorize your new organ system in the morning and Uworld questions for the organ systems you’ve completed in the afternoon. If you’re early in your studying, you can use USMLE-Rx and save Uworld for dedicated.


Once you finish the next organ system, add that subject to your Uworld questions. Continue to learn new material in the morning and do questions in the afternoon (i.e. you could be learning renal in the morning and doing cardio and pulm questions in the afternoon). Eventually, you’ll finish your first pass of content review, but still, have practice questions from every organ system available. Since you should be closer to the exam at this point, you spend more time doing questions.

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions!


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