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Top Tips to get High Scores

Tips for Step 1:

  • Reading Kaplan books for Step 1 should be done while you are still in med school doing your basic years. If you are sitting for the exam after you graduate, you might want to skip this and save time by doing else.

  • Kaplan videos are helpful. I have done them all for step1 but on fast forward speed X2.5. I took a general idea of everything and noticed that all the content is mentioned in First Aid step 1 book. It took me about 6 weeks to do it on this high speed.

  • The only Kaplan videos that I found significantly helpful were behavioral sciences, ethics, and biostatistics. This is perhaps due to the fact that these subjects are not taken very seriously and thoroughly during your basic years. I recommend watching these videos.

  • Pharmacology videos talking about sympathomimetics and parasympathomimetics, drugs and receptors are quite good and I recommend watching them since they give you an idea of how to think when this kind of question shows up.

  • First Aid Step1 book should be studied well, it took me 4 weeks of reading.

  • The most appropriate thing to do after you read step one book for 4 weeks is to start solving Qbanks directly. Yes, after 4 weeks, do not spend more time than that because you will begin seeing that questions are different than the way you think.

  • I did uworld Qbank and Kaplan for 2 months and you learn from your mistakes. It is actually the best way to study for USMLE exams as the explanations they give stick in your mind and are far better than reading core material. I also re-read the notes I had written just before going to the exam.

  • Question ideas are very important so the more you solve, the better. I did a couple of NBME exams but didn’t have much time. If I could go back in time, I would have done other Qbanks in addition to uworld that would definitely give more ideas.

  • By the time you finish Qbanks, give about 4 weeks to revise your weaknesses in questions, do a fast revision of first aid, and then go for the exam.

To summarize:

My advice is to give yourself ample time to prepare using first aid book. Before starting the Qbank, read my notes and make sure you understand the points well. Do USMLE World Qbank at least once, better if twice. Just before the exam, read the notes as fast review and go to the exam. You can find my notes on

Top Resources:

Kaplan Test Bank


Mometrix Flash cards study system

First Aid


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