I’m finally preparing to sit for the dreaded exam that I’ve heard about non-stop since I began my med school career years ago- the USMLE Step 1. My friends suggested a million different ways to prepare for this exam, but I had to just sit down and decide what was right for me.
I began Step studying about 6 months ago with Doctors in Training (DIT). I personally thought this course was a good review of all the high yield material that slowly drifted from my brain over the past 2 years. I knew that some quizzes and videos were not going to do the trick so I needed to supplement with a good question bank. There’s a huge difference between listening and understanding information, and actually being able to answer a question regarding the same topic. I decided to go with UWORLD since my peers seemed to have the best outcome with it. I feel like DIT and UWORLD combined are what really took my Step studying to the next level. I found myself doing 3 UWORLD blocks (132 questions) everyday on top of DIT videos, and reading First Aid when I could.
This repetitive schedule literally took me to the brink of exhaustion, but at the same time made me feel more confident about sitting for this exam than ever before. When I began this journey, 20 UWORLD questions seemed like an endless abyss with no light at the end. But towards the end, 132 questions just seemed like a quick warm-up.
I’m at the point where all I can hope for is that all the work I put in will actually pay off in the end. I know now that while it is important to acquire as much knowledge as one can for this test, it’s equally important to build up your mental stamina for the marathon ahead.