Well, as you may have seen, I passed STEP I on the first attempt. I didn't use a prep course. My prep course was really learning the information diligently while I was in school. BUT, I did put together a pretty rigorous schedule for 6 days/week, 6-8 hours/day. Here was my schedule:
Materials I used:
(and yes, I read all of it,
some more than once, some >3x)
First Aid for step I(FA)
-BRS path (BRSp)
-BRS phys (BRSph)
-Lippincott's pharm (LP)
-Langman's embryology (LE)
-Web PATH (don't got it? GET IT!)
-Dr. Van wormer's notes (pwrpoint)
-Anatomy made ridic. simple
-Behav. science made simple.
-Kaplan path and phys. lectures in mp3 format. (MP3)
-med school amnesia document. (I will put this on the
home page for download)
-an empty comp book to bullet information that
I thought was important.
-many, many, practice questions computer format
every day - listened to lectures to and from my study place - usually 2/day (there were 60 total or so)
first 2 weeks:
FA - 2 hours, 10 pgs/hr
15 min. break
BRSp - 1hr
BRSph or LP (alternated days)- 1hr
lunch (30min-1/2 hr)
Grade questions, even most of the correct ones
Web path (if I was up to it!)
at this rate, FA was done twice in 2 weeks and BRS were completed once each along with over 600 or so questions.
second 2 weeks:
endocrinology, resp, cardiac, CNS, skin, genito-urinary, GI, special senses, musculoskeletal, reproduction, hematology
every day was one subject following this:
BRS path with cross reference to Van Wormer's slides.
Web path (corresponding system)
questions only for the system covered (and grading)
At this rate you are tired and kicking butt!
Last 2 weeks: Weeks 5 and 6
Microbiology (FA)-know back and forth!, Pharmacology (2 days)
Anatomy made simple, Behav. science made simple
at this rate - anatomy was complete, and Behav. sci. is done!
FA and web path
FA and web path
and all the rest FA with a last day review of med students amnesia!!!!!!
There you go. The test was ok. some more difficult than others. BUT BY TEST DAY, you have done 1800 or so questions and are as ready as you can be. It will feel like the USMLE is another practice test, assuming you do enough work. Nonethelss, it still is quite challenging, and definetely the biggest hurdle in your career to date.
For some people, the test was crazy-hard. Not because they weren't prepared, but because the USMLE'ers wrote one hell of an exam...
I hope this helps. REMEMBER, this is just my schedule, and it worked for me! I do only recommend a self-study for those who KNOW they have the discipline and trust in themselves to sit for 6-8 hours/day including saturdays. BTW, I did go out while I was studying, and had a pint or 3. It is what you do when you are not studying that sometimes makes all the difference (not necessarily drinking pints though!!!!)
Warmest Regards and Respect,
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