USMLE STEP 1 STUDY PLAN Several facts have to be considered when organizing a study plan for USMLE Step1

: A study plan divided in several rounds improves consolidation of knowledge, as well as integration in a multidisciplinary approach. However is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to go through every round as if the exam was going to take place just after it. Note that just rereading, procrastinating mastering of the subject to a “future” time is a common error. According to the following explanations, a useful preparation is a three round plan: 1. Vertical (subject based) 2. Horizontal (system based) 3. High yield topic based • Crammable subjects should be covered later than less crammable subjects, since it prevents you from burning out too early and helps you to remember this knowledge stored mostly in short-mid term memory.

That’s why the sequence of subjects to study is as follows: First round: 1. Anatomy -Histology and cytology (10 chapters) -Embriology (4 chapters) -Anatomy (6 chapters) -Neuroscience (11 chapters) 2. Physiology (32 chapters) 3. Behavioral sciences -Epidemiology -Statistics -Social life -Legal/Ethical -Psychiatry related: -Substance abuse -Sexual disorders -CBT -Psychodynamics -Testing -Development -Sleep -DSM IV -Patient physician relationship -Organic disorders -Psychopharmacology 4. Pathology -General principles (10 chapters)

-System review (20 chapters) 5. Biochemistry -Molecular biology and biochemistry ( 18 chapters) -Medical genetics (6 chapters) 6. Pharmacology -General principles ( 2 chapters) -Autonomic ( 5 chapters) -Cardiac and renal (7 chapters) -CNS -Antimicrobial (4 chapters) -Anti-inflamatory drugs -Blood -Endocrine -Antineoplastic -Inmunopharmacology -Toxicology 7. Microbiology -Microbiology (9 chapters) -Immunology (17 chapters) 8. Miscellanea • Step 1 is turning into a multidisciplinary view, that’s why an system based should be helpful: Second round: 1. Cardiovascular 2. Endocrinology 3. Gastrointestinal 4. Hematology/ Oncology 5. Immunology 6. Musculoskeletal 7. Neurology 8. Psychiatry 9. Renal 10. Reproductive 11. Respiratory Materials to prepare this second round: • Kaplan read system based • First aid read system based • Textbooks read system based • Other¿? • At this moment it is specially useful to use the case book and enhance test taking simulation (see below).

• Knowing extremely well high-yield subjects accounts for a better result than knowing moderately well all the subjects. That’s why third round is ONLY meant to stress the high-yield topics, so one is completely

self-confident about them before the exam. If you have to choose between doubting in general knowledge or doubting in punctual though high-yield topic, choose the first one. Third round : HIGH YIELD TOPICS. Two first weeks of August. TEST PRACTICE Preparation for Step 1 means not only knowing the subjects, but also being able to use it in THIS exam. It is very important as well to be familial with the exam in terms of type of questions (e.g clinical vignettes account for the 75% of it!), the software, and being trained to use the knowledge to answer concrete questions by gathering data and integrating an answer as well as being able to recall very concrete information ( e.g training in deductive and inductive answering) . This practical training is made by using the different materials indicated below. Most effort has to be made after completing first round. However, cards and diagrams have to be made from the beginning. Tests from the different Qbooks should be taken on Saturdays from the first round. During the first round, this “test practice” should be answered without time restriction, so the question can be understood and the card written down. The model for the cards is a very concrete information withdrawn from the answer to questions from Qbook, and the simple question to which it answers on the other side. The use of this as a quiz prevents from just rereading. Test practice may be carried out on Saturdays, 9 to 14 am. There are 13 days available before June, what means 52 hours of test taking for the first round. On an average of 30 questions per hour (considering that ALL questions have to be checked and cards have to be made) it makes around 1500 questions, which is much below the 4000 recommended. That means that the second round an especial effort has to be made, not only in questions from the Qbook, but from the rest of self assessment options. Keep in mind that Test Taking Strategies account for an important part of the result. These should be stressed upon the second round. • Test taking strategies at First Aid • Card quiz FRED software CBSSA Practice session at a Prometric center

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Free Qbook Anatomy Physiology Behavioral sciences Pathology Pharmacology Cardiología Microbiology Full day test training Review of the high-yield topics Second round (2 days each?)

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