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Cracking the

USMLE!!
FARAZ KHAN LUNI M.D.
University of Toledo, Ohio
Internal Medicine

USMLE Step 1 score 99 (266)


USMLE Step 2 score 99 (263)
USMLE Step 3 score 99 (234)

DISCLAIMER!

No fixed formula of
success

Listen to others

Do what suits you

Avoid Stress

Sort out family issues

Decide what you want

Long process

Avoid Stress

Sleep well

Take out time to relax and exercise

Dont postpone exams unnecessarily

- Maximum of four reads

How to study

Hard work pays off but smart


studying pays off even more

Study Partner or group

Make a timetable and stick to it

Time Table
Have 8 Hours of Sleep
- Fixed sleeping schedule

Time to relax

Time to exercise

Study in breaks

Time Table

9 AM
10-2:30
Hours)
2:30-3
3-6
6-6:30
6:30-9
Hours)
9-9:30
9:30-10

Wake up
Study
TV
Sleep
Tea Time
Study
Exercise
Eat-TV

(4.5

(2.5

How to study

Library

Dont over prepare

How to study

Not many Buzz words

Clinical scenarios

No Rattas please

- No need to memorize every line

Step 1 subjects
(in order of importance)

Pathology
(Highest yield)
Microbiology
(Bacteriology high yield,
Viral Groups)
Behavioral Sciences
(Our Achilles' Tendon)
Pharmacology
(Personal Classification
Notes)
Immunology
(Immune deficiency
diseases high yield)
Physiology
Biochemistry
(First Aid is our aid)
Genetics
Anatomy
(YES!!! Lowest yield

Which books to use

Kaplan Lecture Notes (Along with


DVDs)

Kaplan 100 cases of ethics

Epidemiology and Biostatistics for


the USMLE (Appleton and Lange)

Goljan Pathology (Old Edition)

Which books to use

Original First Aid

Kaplan Q bank (Not Q book)

UWorld MCQs (ONLINE!!!)

DONT use High yield series, Greys,


Harper,Guyton, Ganong!!!

First Read

Orient Yourself

Dont panic if you dont remember

Slowest read

Should take ~3 months


~ 10-15 more days if DVDs

First Read

Kaplan Series

Kaplan 100 cases of ethics

Epidemiology and Biostatistics for


the USMLE (Appleton and Lange)

Goljan Pathology (Some recommend

Lectures)
- New edition too detailed!

First Read

DVDs

Alternate way of studying

NOT necessary for good scores

Make additions to Kaplan

Do not write every word

First Read

DVDs

Watch once

Increase speed, Capture (Power


DVD)

Behavior sciences is a must!

Decide for yourself

Second Read

Revise

Should take ~ 2 months (with Q


Bank)

Dont waste time on DVDs

Second Read

Original First Aid

MUST use it!

NOT a replacement for Kaplan

Great retention and revision tool

Second Read

Kaplan Q bank (Book Format)

Understand question pattern

Topic by topic

Identify high yield topics

Note new information

Third Read

Should take ~15 days


U World ~ 13 more days

Kaplan + First Aid

U World Online (
www.usmleworld.com )

Third Read

Sample exam

(www.usmle.org)

NBME

Predictive Value

USMLE World

Always Online (Dont use book)

$99 package

Smartest $99 ever spent!

Can also give self assessment (Extra


$30)

USMLE World

Learning tool (Not Evaluation)


High 60s ~ High 90s
Exam day matters

Identify Weaknesses

USMLE World

www.usmleworld.com

Extra Information
- Make notes

Gives feel of the exam

Schedule near the real exam

USMLE World FAQs

Not getting good scores

U World Vs Real Exam

My friend got a low score

Day before the Exam

Stop studying by 6 pm

Relax

Stay away from position holders

Sleep early

Day before the Exam

Dont use long acting sedatives


(Valium)

Go see Prometric centre at least a


day before

Exam Tutorial

Dont cross question yourself

Step 1 Exam Format

8 Blocks

1 st Block Tutorial

7 Block MCQs (46 MCQs per Block)

Exam Format

15 Min Tutorial

45 min Break

1 Hour per Block

If you finish earlier time added to


break time

Block time is CONSTANT (1 hour)

Exam Day

Reach early

Use restroom

Dont study on exam day or in exam


break

Take juices, snacks

Panadol Extra (A lifesaver!!)

Exam Day

Skip tutorial

- Check mouse, sound, monitor

Time management

Breaks

Exam Day

Have a positive attitude

All blocks WONT go well

Dont evaluate yourself

It seems crazy but ENJOY your exam

How to attempt
questions?

Read the last line first

Look at the options

Then read the whole question

Highlight

How to attempt
questions?

Dont waste time

Use mark option

Tick any answer

Dont leave any unanswered


question

All the information is in Kaplan and


UWorld

Under Grads

Time for Concepts

Proper Text Books

Kaplan

Dont compromise your Med School

Under Grads

Should I go for the Steps?


Pros
Information fresh
Save time to residency
Cons
Only 1 USMLE attempt (Unless you
Flunk)
Neglect of college studies
Stressful

House Job

Pros

Backup
Learning
Pakistan Option
PMDC
Financial

House Job

Cons

Does not affect scores


1 extra year
Less Study time
Not a big boost to your match
chances

House Job

Do or not?
Visa Status
Family Issues

AKU or Civil

How to study?
Time
Wards

FAQs

Should I give Step 1 first or Step 2

Old edition or new one

FAQs

Is USMLE Step 1 studies good


enough to pass FCPS

Should I delay my exam

FAQs

Audio Visual Questions

Slides

USMLE Step 2

USMLE STEP 2

Attempt within 3-4 months of step 1

Questions from step 1 syllabus

Shorter syllabus

USMLE STEP 2

Studying smartly is the key

Beware of mistakes in Kaplan

Time management very important

Subjects

Medicine (Highest Yield)

Pediatrics (Medium Yield)

Obstetrics and Gynecology (Medium


Yield)

Surgery (Lowest Yield)

Psychiatry (Lowest Yield)

What to focus on?

What is the next best step

What is the next best test

What is the most accurate test

What is the most likely diagnosis

How to manage

What to study?

Recommended
Only Kaplan Series
UWorld Mcqs (Either online or Book)
Master the Boards (Not used by me)
Not Recommended
No Dvds except Cardiology and
Gynaecology
No First Aid

How to study?

Three reads more then enough

Timing

1st read ~ 2 months with UWorld


2nd read ~1 month
3rd read ~ 13 days

How to study?

U World with first read

Everyone gets whipped in U


World

Understand pattern

Identify high yield topics

Step 2 Exam Format

9 Blocks

1 st Block Tutorial

8 Block MCQs (44 MCQs per Block)

USMLE Step 3

2 Day Exam

First Day
Second Day
Scenario

Best time as soon after Step 2

MCQs
MCQs + Clinical Case

USMLE Step 3

UWorld

Kaplan
Step 2
Or
Step 3

Master the Boards

Result and Etiquettes

Result comes after 3 weeks on


Wednesdays
9AM EST

DONT call person to ask result

Anything less than 99 is NOT a


disappointment