I am currently 4 weeks into dedicated Step 1 studying, which has been quite tiresome but I have managed to stick to my schedule and goals. As these weeks have flown by, here are some of my top tips on how to most efficiently study:
- Devise a schedule beforehand – super important to stick firmly to your schedule and have it well laid out in advance so that when the time comes, you are not lost as to where to start. Having a schedule also holds you more accountable for getting things done, and making sure you cover everything over the span of your dedicated study time.
- Baseline diagnostic self-assessment – before diving into your study schedule, I’d recommend beginning with a practice test. Yes, this did not make much sense to me at first either considering you are starting at ground zero with little knowledge, but it really gives you a sense of where your weaknesses lie, and how the test runs which is half the battle.
- Practice tests – when designing your schedule, be sure that you are taking practice tests consistently. I started out with once a week in the first 4 weeks, then increased towards the last 4 weeks as by then I have learned most of what I needed to learn, and need to focus more on test-taking than anything else.
- Self-care – probably THE most important point. It is inevitable that you WILL get burned out from Step 1 studying, and I know many people who take a day off a week as their break day to not do any studying at all. I prefer to take longer breaks daily rather than one whole day off, and I treasure those breaks which keep me sane and motivated.