I'm not sure how 5th semester is done at AUA but self-study time is important. Even UMHS students complain about 5th semester but only because the ICM material taught was "gold" for step 2 CS not for step 1 but thats why we have Kaplan after ICM halfway through the semester. The timeframe of self-study is extensive during the ICM period and with kaplan later on. We're given 2 diagnostic exams and 1 by option halfway through the semester to see where you are with your studying.
Step 1 [no rest for the wicked]