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USMLE Step 1 Survey Completed by Class of 2011

(completed after taking the exam but before receiving score)

What was the most valuable source of information for you in selecting an exam date and planning
your review for the Step 1 exam?
Advice from UNCOM administrators (e.g. Drs. Hill or Moore) 5%
Informal conversations with upperclass students who had taken the exam 59%
Reading previous student surveys on the UNCOM website 6%
Commercial products (review books or web sites) 12%
Other sources (preceptors, ICE advisers, etc.) 2%
The USMLE website 0%
I never found any good sources of advice. 16%

When did you start reviewing specifically for Step 1?

I started after the end of the last core of the year (Hem/Onc). 81%
I started during or after Spring Break, but before the end of the last core. 7%
I started during the Semester Break or in the second semester before Spring Break. 8%
I started reviewing during the first semester. 3%

Did you utilize a boards review book or series while preparing for Step 1?

Yes 100%
No 0%

If you responded "yes" to Item 4, which of the following books/series did you find to be the most
helpful? (Please mark only those resources you used extensively. Mark up to three responses.)
Appleton & Lange Review for the USMLE Step 1 0%
Board Review Series (LW&W publisher) 27%
First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 95%
High Yield series (LW&W publisher) 10%
Kaplan Medical USMLE Step 1 43%
NMS Review for USMLE Step 1 series 0%
Pharmacology Flash Cards 9%
Step-Up: A High-Yield Systems-Based Review for USMLE Step 1 series 1%
Underground Clinical Vignettes series 0%
USMLE Road Map series (Lange) 0%
USMLE Step 1 Recall: Buzzwords for the Boards 2%
Were there any books or series that you tried to utilize but did not find to be useful? (You may leave
this blank or mark as many as three responses.)
Appleton & Lange Review for the USMLE Step 1 0%
Board Review Series (Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins publisher) 4%
First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 4%
High Yield series (Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins publisher) 4%
Kaplan Medical USMLE Step 1 61%
NMS Review for USMLE Step 1 series 0%
Pharmacology Flash Cards 9%
Step-Up: A High-Yield Systems-Based Review for USMLE Step 1 series 0%
Underground Clinical Vignettes series 4%
USMLE Road Map series (Lange) 4%
USMLE Step 1 Recall: Buzzwords for the Boards 4%

Did you participate in an off campus boards review course?

Yes 3%
No 97%

If you answered "yes" to Item 8, would you recommend the course to other UNCOM students?

Yes 67%
No 33%

Did you use a "question bank" in your preparation for Step 1?

Yes 98%
No 2%

If you responded "yes" to Item 11, which question bank did you find to be the most useful? (please
mark only one response)
Exam Master On-line (on McGoogan web site) 3%
Kaplan Q Bank 68%
NBME Comprehensive Basic Exam 4%
USMLE websites 26%
USMLeasy (McGraw Hill publisher) 0%
Please make additional comments about scheduling the test and planning
a review schedule for Step 1 that would be helpful to other students.
4-5 weeks of study was recommended by other students and was too long in my opinion. I got
tired or studying, taking Q bank tests and got burned out toward the end. 3-4 weeks seems about
right for me. Others delayed their test a few more days to get more studying, so schedule
according to your own feelings, not on the advice of others.
6 weeks is too long to study, schedule it 4 or 5 weeks after the last core. You will never be able
to study enough that you feel ready! Schedule the test as soon as possible- because the dates fill
up fast.
I just decided that I wanted to have a little bit of a summer, but I also needed a few days off after
Heme/Onc ended, so I decided to take mine a little over a month after class got done. It felt like
the right amount of time for me, anymore and I would have been burned out.
I reviewed for about 6 weeks and thought the time was appropriate. I was able to review the
material in the amount of time as well as have additional time at the end to refresh myself on
detailed info such as micro and pharm. Having 6 weeks allows you to take breaks along the way
which definitely helps avoid burnout. However, you do feel that you forget some of the earlier
material that you reviewed.
I took it as late as possible and I think that was a good idea if you are ok with not much time off
before June term.
It is best to schedule boards as early as possible if you have a specific location where you want to
take the exam.
My first step in preparing for boards was developing a schedule with a classmate based on those
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4 weeks of intense studying (8-10 hours per day) with only 1-2 days off, was the perfect amount
of time. Try to make it through First Aid twice and use many resources as possible. Pathology
should be the majority of time devotion.
6 weeks was plenty of time. You don't need to study specifically for step 1 during m2 - just study
well for the cores and this will be more than sufficent
After about a month I felt lots of burn out--6 weeks of studying seemed too long.
Deep Study -->--> Focused Practice Questions -->--> Review Study -->--> Global Practice
Questions
Do not take more than 5 weeks to study for Step 1. Most people I knew took 4-5 and thought it
was plenty. Any more will burn you out and waste the precious break time you have before
starting third year.
Do the High Yeild series and thats it... maybe spend the last 5 days on first aid.
Do whatever makes you comfortable but realize everyone is studying a lot regaurdless of what
they may portray.
Don't give yourself too much time to study! 5-6 weeks is plenty. After that everyone starts to get
burned out. I took the test after 6 weeks and I wish I had done it a week earlier.
Don't schedule your test more than 5 weeks from the day you started studying. 4.5 weeks would
be ideal. You don't learn much more after you have been studying for 3-4 weeks.
Don't wait until the end of the last core... too much information. Review first aid as the year goes
and be sure to do a few practice questions every day as the year goes by. Otherwise, no
scheduling advice.
Get started with the NBME website over Christmas break so that you can have your forms to Sue
Pope by the first day back in January. Once you're scheduled and good to go, try not to worry too
much about boards during the second semester--you need to focus on each core and prepare for
those exams. I found that boards were really only a distraction during the M2 year!
Hard really to say, just have to do what works for you.
I found that studying review books on the weekends was ok, but it will never help you do well on
core exams. So just studying really well the second year and really knowing the information will
help more than just reading something over and then not applying the information. If you don't do
a very large number of sample questions your really really hurting yourself. I took the test really
late, and I didn't need to. I was really well prepared coming out of second year. Also, just because
you can cram pharmacology doesn't mean you should. I didn't, I spent a lot of time during the
year with it and it really paid off.
I just took the number of pages in FA and divided it by how many pages I thought I could do in a
day (~12) giving me six weeks to get through everything and have a little more than a week of
review.
I made myself a schedule of each thing to review. It helped to keep me on track and make sure
that I reviewed all the material. The last week I just did practice tests, which helped to get me
used to the style of questions.
I originally set an earlier date but it turned out I needed to reschedule my exam for a week later. It
was easy and not a big deal, so remember that your date is not set in stone. My goal for review
was to become familiar with the First Aid review book, and by familiar I mean memorize it, and
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I scheduled my test at the very beginning of June and felt like it would have been nice to give
myself one more week of studying time.
I scheduled the test at the beginning of the second semester, and pretty used first aid and kaplan
q bank. I studied about 8 hours every day.
I started taking quizzes during the first and second semester just covering the information we
were studying at the time. That helped to not only figure out what was important for the USMLE,
but it was also useful for the cores.
I studied for step one for 32 days. The last exam of the year was Friday and I started studying
Monday. Don't take any time off after the last core because it's not really time off- you are just
stressing that you should be studying for boards, but you're not. I thought 4 weeks was the perfect
amount of time. You don't want to take too much time, because you begin to forget everything
you reviewed the first week, then you just end up playing catch up trying to re-review everything.
I studied every day from 8 am until 11 pm. I took an hour for lunch and a work out and listened to
Goljan audio over dinner. I read first aid on the day's subject, then did 50 kaplan q bank
questions. Read all the explanations on q bank, even the qs you get right, and even all the
obviously wrong answer choices!!!. You will learn tons of important stuff!!! Write anything
relevant in your first aid. Started with 3 days biochem, 3 days micro, 1 day genetics,1 day
immuno, then one day for each organ system (cardio, respiratory, etc- i think there are 10?). Took
2 days for pharm- one before all the systems, then again after. Psych and behavioral science (ICE)
can go in the same day. You're left with about 6 days to review anything you need to- I reread
First Aid, which was very helpful bc by that point i had tons of additional info in it. oh and be
sure to relax the day before the test!

I think your study schedule needs to be individualized to you. After two years of medical school
you should know how you study best. Taking that into consideration, I would find a review book
that you like, use that to focus your studies and supplement when needed. And DO stick to a
schedule. There's no room to procrastinate. Work hard, then play hard.
I thought four weeks was a more than adequate amount of time to review. Schedule your date
according to what makes you comfortable and stick to that date, don't go changing it around all
the time.
I took a week off after the final core and then began studying.
I took the exam on June 1st and felt that 4 full weeks of studying were enough.
enough
I took the test on June 4th. I am very happy that I left plenty of time before rotations to take a
couple trips and attend my friend's wedding. Studying for Step 1 burns you out, so don't allow too
much time to study for the test.
I would make sure that you give yourself no more than 5-6 weeks to study. If you take longer,
you're likely to forget the things from the beginning and also likely to get burnt out. More is
definitely not always better.
I would recommend limiting your number of resources as it can be overwhelming to study from
several sources for a subject. I found that you cannot rely on First Aid as your only source of
board review. You must supplement it with outside information. Also, remember to build in
study breaks and time to take practice exams to monitor your progress.
It was very difficult to decide how long it would take me to get through the review material that I
wanted to. Keep in mind that you can reschedule your exam if there are openings as long as it is
more than 5 business days in advance. Also, don't give yourself too much time, I peeked at about
4-5 weeks of studying and I felt like I was just forgetting material after that point.
It would be helpful if I had known to schedule my exam before Creighton reserved the testing
center. I think students should know that there is only one center in Omaha to take the exam, and
if they want to take the exam in Omaha they need to sign up for boards well before January.

It would have been helpful it we had recieved the official talk about registering for boards much
earlier. Because all of the dates that I wanted to take it in omaha were already full I had to go to
Lincoln. Talking to the class at the beginin of the second core would be a reasonable time.
Make a schedule early and do your best to stick to it.
Make sure that in your planning process you also make a plan for test day. Read the information
provided to you about what you can and can not bring to the test center, how many blocks there
are to the test, the time limit, and break time allowed. Don't be afraid to use the break time. You
definitely need to give your brain a break once in a while during this test.</p>I think by far the
best thing I did was to develop a plan for exactly how my test day would go. For instance, I took
2 blocks and then a 10 minute break. Then 2 more blocks and a 30 minute lunch break. I
finished up the last 3 blocks in the afternoon, but I had planned to allow myself a break if
needed. Knowing exactly what I was getting into and exactly what I was going to do helped me
to feel a little more in control of a situation that is scary and confusing. My mind was a little
more at ease and it allowed me to focus more on the test.</p>
Make sure you plan out what you are going to do each day so that you at least cover everything
once. Don't wait till the last minute to take your exam. Give yourself around 4-5 weeks because
anymore then that you have a good chance of burning out.
Middle of June was just about the right amount of time for preparation and vacation afterwards.
Would have been nice to have more help and advice from faculty and admin on this process and
the test itself.
My advice would be to make sure that you leave enough time to get through the material more
than once before going into the exam. I'm sure that every student differs as to how much time that
requires. I studied for one month and wish that I had started earlier.
Pick a date and stick to it. Give yourself a decent amount of time to review at the end (1 or 1.5
weeks) and know that everything will take longer than you think it will. Having the extra time at
the end already built into your schedule will give you some wiggle room if needed.
Plan for 4 weeks intense or 6 weeks with breaks or weekends off. Make sure that you do as many
questions
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Schedule your exam date early or as soon as you can because dates go fast! Get a review schedule
from an upperclassman and modify it to fit your schedule!
Scheduling the test was difficult because dates had been blocked off for us at the Omaha test
center, but we weren't told that. When I tried to schedule my exam, I was told those times were
unavailable, so I ended up scheduling my exam in Lincoln. I didn't start studying until the
Monday after the last core. On Sunday, before I started scheduling, I made a schedule of which
topics I would cover on each day, as well as the pages in my assorted review books that
corresponded to those topics. Then I stuck to the schedule no matter what, which ensured I
covered every topic. This allowed me to get through all of the material in 3 weeks, and then
review my weaker areas during my last week before the test. I did 3 days of biochem and 3
days of micro, which was split into 2 days of review for each and a day of qbank for each. Then I
did systems (cardio, respiratory, renal, etc) for 2 days each. The first day for each system was a
review of the relevent anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. The second day I did
all the qbank questions for that system. I had done a free diagnostic exam earlier in the spring,
so once I'd reviewed everything, I was able to do the diagnostic exam again to see if I'd made any
progress. Then for the last week I just reviewed weaker areas, reread First Aid, and did LOTS of
qbank questions.
Set a plan and stick to it. Don't push back your exam
Studying for your classes throughout the year is as good a boards studying method as any, plus
you may do well on your core exams as well. I recommend giving yourself 4 or 5 weeks to study.
Make a schedule, or ask an M3 or 4 for theirs, and stick to it. Don't change your test date, because
here's what's gonna happen: you'll start reviewing biochem, and two days into it you will freak
out. You'll take some practice questions and think, "Oh dear sweet 8 pound 6 ounce baby Jesus
I'm not even going to pass this test." Then you'll keep studying and things will come together and
by the time you've been studying for 3 or 4 weeks you'll come to the realization that you know
what you know and you'll do however well you're gonna do and you'll just want to get the test
over with.
The advice given to me by previous students and the advice I would also pass on is, try to take the
test as close as possible to June 1st. I felt like one month was the perfect amount of studying. I
put in long days but I felt prepared and still was retaining what I was looking at.
The information you are expected to know for the exam isn't as in depth as the exams we take for
core. So I think the key is to make sure that you go over every topic, at least briefly, to ensure that
you are fresh on the topic. Don't worry so much about knowing the tiny details. Then, if you have
time left before the exam date you can start reviewing more in depth.
There is a organized step by step review guide floating around. If you follow it to a T you WILL
do well.
Think about what works best for your and your own sanity. I took some time off for about a
week, studied for a couple weeks, took another small break, and then studied up until my test in
mid-June. This worked for me because my brain needs occasional breaks and because it allowed
me to spend time with my family and friends.</p>
Try to do around 8 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. I recommend starting right away, the Monday
after your last exam. 5 weeks from your final exam to step 1 is about ideal. This way you don't
waste time
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before rotations (the best part). Don't feel bad about taking a day off if you need it. The best way
to prep for step 1 during the year is to do well in your cores. Learn that, and you're helping
yourself on step 1. In the last 2 weeks of classes, plan what sources you will use for review for
step 1 and have them ready to go when you finish classes. Conversations with upperclassmen
may be able to help you figure out what sources may be best. Don't let other people and whatever
sources they use stress you out. There are a million books out there and everyone does something
a little different. Just make a gameplan and stick to your guns. I know it sounds horrible, but the
time will fly by and then you'll be done. Just give a good effort towards your gameplan and things
will go fine.
Use review questions with the different cores
What I found the most helpful was going through first aid in the order it was written and doing it
twice. For example, Read biochem for 2 days take 50 questions on Kaplan Qbank, then read
embryo take some questions etc. until I had gone through the whole book. That took 3 1/2 weeks
and then I had 2 weeks to reread it. I picked a lot up the second time and then did more questions
on Kaplan. The first time through first aid, I used other books like High-Yield embryo, neuro and
gross anatomy, BRS Phys and Path to supplement areas I was weaker in.
You only really need 4-5 weeks to study for boards. Any more than that is too much. I got
through all of the material in 4 weeks and had the last week to review what I wanted. I would
recommend studying an organ system a day. I put my weakest subjects at the end of my schedule,
such as, Biochem, Micro and Immunology so that they were in my short term memory during the
exam.

Please make comments about review book here. Also, if you used a book
or on-line resource that is not on the list provided for Items 5 and 6,
please identify which other resources you used or attempted to use in
your review.
First Aid is the best fast review. Misses some minor details, but that's what Q bank questions are
for.
First Aid was the best of all the books I used. I think it is easy to get buried in a stack of review
books and get less out of your effort by spreading it thin over a large number of books than
limiting yourself to only one or two review books and learning them well.
Goljan lectures with correlating pathology slides
I also found the Rapid Review of Pathology by Goljan to be very helpful.
I only used Kaplan products because I paid a ton of money for them and there was so much
information to get through that I don't know how I could have used any more. The Q bank that
came with Kaplan was great too because it had one diagnostic exam and one full length 7 section
exam.
I used Rapid Review pathology by Goljan which I found to be excellent. In addition, I had access
to Goljan's audio lectures.
Kaplan Qbank and First aid were very sufficient.
The pharmacology flashcards I purchased were not very extensive. I didn't feel they were useful
for all the medications on the test.
use the first aid book throughout the year and make notes in it while you are in each individual
core- this will help when you review it at the end of the year.
Don't have too many resources. Pick one set of review books and stick with them.
Dr. Goljan's Pathology Review Lectures
Everyone raves about FirstAid but it is really only useful if you know the material and just need a
quick review. The material may be high yield but doesn't really provide explanations. If
something is unclear you have to go elsewhere for clarification.
First Aid and practice questions.... All you need.
First Aid is a good review source, but not very thorough.
First Aid is amazing! It has almost everything you need. It is a little lacking in some phys areas,
so BRS phys is a nice supplement. The kaplan books are good for detailed explanations, which
first aid definitely doesn't give. first aid is mainly listing of facts, so it's very dense. kaplan books
are good for helping with topics you are struggling with, and can definitely help explain the
pathophys behind the subject very well.
First Aid is an excellent review but I found an additonal source with more indepth information to
be very helpful on certain subjects.
First Aid is good but I wouldn't rely soley on it. I highly recommend listening to the Goljan
Lectures. I had questions on my exam that were exactly what he said was going to be on there. I
think I was at an advantage over other students who did not have the lectures because he really
explains what you need to know for the exam. He also makes things easier to understand.
First Aid is probably the closest thing to a must that there is available for step 1. I also used
Goljans lectures and path review book, which were nothing short of fantastic.
First aids format is not near as helpful as i had heard... and the format of the Kaplan Q bank is not
like the exam.
Get Ed Goljan's Rapid Review of Pathology and listen to his audio files!
GET Goljan RAPID REVIEW OF PATHOLOGY. It is amazing!
Goljan lectures and his book, rapid review of path, was great
Goljan Rapid Review Pathology is really good too. Kaplan has lots of information, way too much
to get through if you wait until the end of the year to start studying.
I also extensively used Kaplan's QBank and USMLEWorld questions. I did not find Kaplan's
review books helpful. They went into great detail over everything (even simple concepts). Hence,
I found it more helpful just to use FirstAid, and if I wanted more details I utilized Robbins.

I also used the Goljan lectures that I found online. </p>First aid is an amazing resource. Know
everything in the book. </p>
I also used the Goljen path review book but didn't find it to be very helpful. There was a lot of
information for quick reference but the content was not sufficient to get much out of it.
I felt that Kaplan Medical was too in depth. I had six weeks. I couldn't be stuck on one topic for 3
or them. I needed something that would take me through everything and quickly. First Aid
worked.
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and the First Aid. However, they ended up being too lengthy and I found I did not have the time
to read them and take from them what I needed.
I reviewed with the kaplan books and then reviewed again with First Aid
I thought kapaln Q bank questions were similar to the actual exam.
I used Deja Review USMLE Step 1 throughout second year. It was very easy and helpful to quiz
over the material. I didn't have enough time to use it during boards study.
I used First Aid, BRS physiology and biochemistry, and Rapid Review of Pathology by Goljan.
The path book is absolutely a must. I would recommend using it to review core material
throughout the year. It's not only good for boards, but also core material as well.
I used First Aid, High Yield Anatomy, BRS Physiology, and Rapid Review of Biochem. I also
listened to the Goljan pathology lectures and read the handbook he uses with his lectures. This
was especially helpful because he explains what kind of questions they ask for each topic, and he
has a lot of hints.
I used the Kaplan Lecture notes, not the home study books. This set was quite useful when
paired with First Aid. The topics that I felt I should give more attention to could be easily
reviewed with Kaplan, and the topics that were just simple review could be reviewed with First
Aid. </p>I also used the Goljan audio for some of the subjects that I felt were a little bit tougher
for me to grasp. I took notes into the First Aid book and then it was easy to just go back and
review what he had said.</p>
I would not recommend buying the Kaplan textbook series unless you plan to work with these
during the course of the school year for M1 and M2 study. There is just not enough time to
review all of the material provided.
If you are the type of person that likes to read a good amount of text about the topics, I suggest
the kaplan home study guide. I didn't like just reading outlines for the first pass through of the
info so reading text was best for me. For the second pass through I used Rapid Review Pathology
by Goljan which is ESSENTIAL for path, First Aid, and BRS Physio
In addition to First Aid and BRS Physiology &amp; Pathology, I found Clinical Microbiology
Made Ridiculously Simple very helpful. It's a big textbook, but I breezed through the whole thing
in four days, and when I was done I really felt like Micro was my strong suit.
Kaplan Lecture Notes/Online Lectures = Deep Study First Aid = Review Study
Kaplan Medical would have been useful if I was one that started earlier.
Kaplan's MedEssentials was very useful as a supplement during M1 and M2 years-- very
complete with lots of tables and graphs. Deja Review was also nice for rapid review (Very
similar to the Recall/Buzzwords series.
Limit your resources. First Aid was essential for me, and I only used BRS Phys, BRS path, Lilly
Cardio, Lippincott's Biochem, Microbiology Made Rid Simple, and Gojlan Rapid Review Path to
clarify points in First Aid. There is enough info in First Aid to keep you busy, because it may be
slim but no matter how long you study you won't know it all, and if you have to know as much as
possible from one concise source, I'd choose First Aid.
Rapid Review series
Rapid Review was probably the best resource I utilized
Rapid Review: Pathology by Goljan is a great reference to have. Don't try to read it cover to
cover, but when you come across something in First Aid you don't quite understand, RR: Path is
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audio. It's not necessary to listen to every lecture, but he can take a topic you don't understand
(like renal), and make it a no-brainer after 1-2 hours. You can probably get a copy of this from
the internet, an M3, etc. I also highly recommend First Aid Q&amp;A - it's a question book that
goes along with the sections on First Aid to help you hammer home concepts after you go
through a section of First Aid. Finally, USMLE World is a great online question bank. The
consensus seems to be that USMLE World is the most challenging question bank, and in
comparison, I thought the actual USMLE was a bit easier than the USMLE World questions.

The First Aid book is extremely helpful and specific. Use alternate books to reinforce the points
that are not clear. Also, I would recommend using this book throughout the year.
The Kaplan books that I used had a nice review of every subject that took me about 2.5 weeks to
go through. It formed a nice basis for answering questions from the Q-bank, and review high
yield matierial
The Kaplan Medical books are not good study tools. They are far too detailed and really don't
correlate to what is stressed on the actual exam. First Aid and Rapid Review of Pathology are
great, as are BRS Physiology and Biochem. </p>
To prepare (and I felt pretty well prepared), I used First Aid, Kaplan Q-bank, Wikipedia, and the
text books I had from class as a further review source if needed. Most of my time was spent in
First Aid.
Use FirstAid as an outline for your studies and then supplement when needed.
Used Review books (like BRS pathology, Rapid Review biochemistry) to fill in First Aid areas
that I was weak in.
Whatever you choose, buy the kaplan q-bank online. 2600 questions.
You do NOT need to pay money for an extensive review book package. Buy First Aid, either
USMLE World or Q bank, BRS physiology, and Goljan Rapid Review Pathology (or BRS Path).
If you have too many sources you will just be slowed down.

If you attended an off-campus course, please identify where you did the
off-campus boards review course, and write any comments you have
about that course.
As an FYI, Kaplan did not offer a course in KC this year. I had planned on taking this course.
I used the USMLEWorld question bank and practice exams....the tutorial mode was especially
helpful because it simulated the test experience but also provided right/wrong feedback and
helpful clues about the topics.</p>
I utilized Kaplan's web lectures. Tried to get through as many as I could in the mornings per
what subject I was studying at the time, then took the afternoons and nights to review using first
aid and QBank.
Kaplan internet course. Pretty hardcore but if you pay attention and stick to a schedule it pays off

Kaplan online. Just wasn't worth the time.

Please make comments about question banks here. Also, if you used a
question bank that is not on the list for Item 12, please note which other
question banks you either used or attempted to use in your review.
Do as many questions as possible. There were many questions on the test I knew from Qbank.

I completed about 1500 questions on the Kaplan QBank. Honestly, it would have been helpful
to do the questions during the cores and then redo the questions during the final weeks leading up
to the boards. Kaplan gives you the option to create tests by topic as well as to take unused
questions only, missed questions, or all questions. Read all of the answers as you can learn a lot
of material by doing questions. I chose to complete take questions based on the subject area I
was studying to reinforce the material. I found this to work for me. However, taking a random
set of practice questions also would help you to continually revisit all topics.
I think Exam Master was a good question bank to use. I had every intention of purchasing the
Qbank from Kaplan but didn't really think it necessary after using Exam Master.
I used both USMLEWorld and Kaplan Qbanks. USMLEWorld is identical format and has
questions set up closer to the actual Step 1 exam than Kaplan's questions and program. Kaplan
was also good, but USMLEWorld was the better Q bank in my opinion, but both will prepare you
just fine.
Kaplan questions suck. They are ridiculously detailed and the vignettes are much longer than
those that are found on the real exam. The ream exams questions are much more straightforward
and if you have a head on your shoulders and passed the first two years in the upper 2/3rds of the
class then you are already well prepared. Relax and don't stress out.
Q-bank is helpful; do as many practice questions as you can. Try to do some every day. If you
do Kaplan's Q-bank; do it in tutor mode most of the time, because you can still submit your
answers (unchanged) and find out your score; after reviewing the comments. If you will be
pressed for time; also do the timed mode.
The Kaplan Q bank was pretty helpful because the questions were formatted in a similar fashion
to the actual test, and the level of difficulty was comparable.
The review questions were very good to use. I answered the questions without looking at any
source, then reviewed the material for all the answers.
USMLE world was both excellent for reviewing material and simulating the exam. The
questions were appropriately rigorous and everyone I talked to preferred USMLE to the Kaplan Q
bank. I also took to NBME exams. These were beneficial as they allowed you to simulate the
exam and gave you an idea of your progress.
You have to use a Q bank, it's just something that is necessary if you want to be really prepared
for test day. Most people use Kaplan or USMLE World
<a href="http://www.wikitestprep.org/">http://www.wikitestprep.org/</a></p>I also used kaplan
Q bank and found NBME exams online.</p>
awesome
Do either Qbank or USMLEworld and be sure to get through all of the questions as you go along.

I also took one NBME exam. It was a useful exercise to build endurance, but I found that the
questions gave me a false sense of security. The actual Step 1 exam was much more challenging
in my opinion.
I did not get through as many Qbank questions as I wanted to. This is absolutely essential. No
matter what happens, I wish I had done more. I implore future students to make Qbank the crux
off their
th i bboards
d prep.
I felt the Kaplan question bank really prepared me. I took quizzes on the "tutor mode" so that I
could read the explanations for the correct answer. There are also released items from USMLE
that you can use for free, but they seemed much easier than the actual test.
I felt the question banks were the most helpful in that they prepare you for what the actual test
day is going to be like. If you have done thousands of practice questions the actual exam feels just
like taking another practice test.
I found that I only was able to use 25% of the Kaplan QBank. It was helpful, but I found that my
focus on the day of the exam was what counted most.
I had the Kaplan Q Bank and USMLE World and found World to be much more similar to the
USMLE than Kaplan.
I liked the Kaplan Q bank though I felt like it would focus a lot on specific topics that ended up
not coming up in the actual test. I did think though that it covered the type of pharm questions
that were likely to come up very nicely.
I mainly used Kaplan QBank with some additional NBME and USMLE website questions.
QBank is really good, it gets you into the mode of thinking one and two steps ahead of where the
question is going. I actually bought QBank Plus which I would NOT recommend, the regular
QBank is just fine on its own.
I only tried Kaplan and found it pretty useful. Goes along with First Aid well
I ordered the Kaplan Qbank, but then had a lot of people tell me that USMLE world was more
similar to the real thing. But, I was really happy that I had used Kaplan in the end. I felt that my
test was really similar to the Kaplan questions that I had been doing, and there were actually
some questions that were almost word for word.
I purchased Kaplan Q-bank and used USLME World a little. I felt like they were both pretty
helpful. People will say that USMLE World has tougher questions, but I thought they were pretty
comparable to Kaplan. Kaplan was plenty tough for me. I also did a NBME practice test which
costs $40, but really gives you a good idea of test format and projected scores. Most will say that
the practice test projected their score within a few points.
I thought kapaln Q bank questions were similar to the actual exam.
I used both Kaplan and USMLE World, and I found USMLE World to be more representative of
the actual exam in format and questions.
I used both Kaplan Q Bank and USMLE World and found World to be much more helpful in
regards to how closely it resembled the actual test.
I used Kaplan and USMLEworld. In my opinion, they were similar in content and difficulty. I felt
they were essential for learning information you don't necessarily pick up on in review books.
The answer explanations are thorough and very helpful.
I used Kaplan Q bank and I thought it was helpful.
I used Kaplan, a little world and, USMLERx. USMLERx > World >> Kaplan
I used the Kaplan Qbank. I thought it was quite helpful and represented what the actual exam was
like. I did all of the questions for a subject area as I was studying it. Once I'd covered everything,
I took the diagnostic exam. I'd done the diagnostic exam earlier in the spring when it was offered
for free, so it was reassuring to see I'd improved. Then I reviewed and did more questions for a
couple days. A few days before my exam, I did one of the NBME exams. The score predicted by
NBME was 32 points i t lower
l than
th theth score predicted
di t d bby K
Kaplan.
l S So th
then I did th
the ffull
ll llength
th
Kaplan exam, with results consistent to what I'd been doing before. I thought the actual Step 1
was more like the Kaplan Qbank, for both types of questions and level of difficulty. The NBME
assessment was harder than the actual Step 1.
I used the USMLEWorld question bank and practice exams....the tutorial mode was especially
helpful because it simulated the test experience but also provided right/wrong feedback and
helpful clues about the topics.</p>
I used USMLE world question bank.
I used USMLE World. The questions are very difficult, and it really was very good preparation
for the exam.
I used USMLEWorld as well as Kaplan. Personally I found USMLEWorld to be more helpful as
the questions were more difficult and required a better overall understanding of the material. This
was helpful on the exam because Step 1 was not as hard as USMLEWorld but more difficult than
Kaplan. The thing I did not like about Kaplan specifically was that oftentimes even if you didn't
actually know the answer to the question, of the choices offered only one would make sense, thus
giving you the right answer if you could see it.
I used USMLEWorld Q-bank. Pretty helpful, explanations are good.
I used USMLEWorld...the questions were almost always tertiary or quaternary questions, but they
really helped prepare my thought processing for the boards. Some questions on USMLE were
near verbatim. Overall I would recommend this resource to anyone.
I wish i would have done usmle world. The questions are harder and more like the test, i've heard.

I would recommend the Kaplan Q Bank. It can be a very good learning tool if you really read all
the answers and reasons why certain things are correct or incorrect.
Kaplan Q Bank - I found it very comparable to the test, if not harder than the actual test.
Kaplan Q Bank is essential. I did about 2,000 question and it was by far the best thing I did to
prepare for the test. Most of the questions are similar to the question you will take on the exam.
kaplan q bank is great! it has very well-written explanations for every answer choice, as well as
some teaching tabs for the more difficult questions. the level of difficulty was perfect- not as hard
as usmle world q bank (which is which is way more advanced than real boards questions) and not
as easy as first aid q bank. it was expensive (i paid $300 for 9 months) but it was well worth it!

Kaplan Q Bank was very helpful. However, I don't beleve it was the information that I learned
from it that was the key. The practice with the format over the course of thousands of questions
made the actual USMLE exam seem routine. Q Bank did also teach some new material and
associations that I had never learned in class.
Kaplan Qbank was good. A lot of students thought that USMLE was harder and therefore better. I
did not find this to be the case. I thought that many of the questions that I had on the actual test
were very representative of the questions on Kaplan Qbank. USMLE World questions may be a
bit harder, but not always representative of the questions that you will see on the actual exam.

Kaplan's QBook
The Kaplan questions were not as similar to the actual questions as I thought they would be.
The practice test from the NBME Comp Exam was helpful if taken early but the only drawback is
that
h you cannot specifically
ifi ll review
i your answers and d they
h ddo take
k up quitei a bi
bit off time.
i
The Q bank questions, whether USMLEWorld or Kaplan, were the most valuable study aids on
the market. They are not only to test your knowledge, but they teach you as you go. Each answer
has an explanation of that answer and a reason for why it is incorrect. The questions really help to
focus your knowledge.
The Qbank was great. I used USMLEworld. I also bought two practice tests and took one after
the first week of studying and one during the last week to see how I had progressed and I had
improved my score by 20 points. I recommend doing as many questions as you can (at least 50 a
day). Use the tutor mode so you can read the explanations to the answers. It is the same as
studying.
The question bank was extremely helpful
The USMLE World QBank was a really great prep for Step 1. I spent $135 for two months and
got 2000 questions. These questions are challenging, and after taking boards, I am glad that I
went with this bank. You can learn a lot by taking these practice tests and carefully going over
your answers.
USMLE World is the only way to go. It kicked my butt for a month straight but when test day
came, I felt 100% ready. Their practice exams were also good but costed a few bucks extra.
USMLE world was a good qbank for me. I heard that it was a little harder than Kaplans qbank
USMLE World was more difficult than Kaplan Q bank. However, I think both of these resources
were extremely helpful in learning the testing format and learning to think critically about the
concepts. I used Kaplan when I first started studying and I incorporated an increasing amount of
USMLE World questions as the test date approached.
USMLE World was similar to the real exam and really helps re-enforce concepts learned from
review books.
USMLE World Was way harder than the actual test but it prepared me well. The pharm on it was
way harder than the actual test.
USMLE World....the best hands down
USMLEWorld
USMLEWorld is by far the BEST and most test-like. Don't waste time with anything else!
USMLEworld provided an excellent Qbank to review. I also used Kaplan from a friend and liked
the format of USMLEworld better. The questions were very similar on the exam.
USMLEWorld uses the same program that you take boards on, and the question style was harder
than the actual boards. Kaplan's QBank had a difficulty level very similar to Boards.
USMLEWorld was fantastic. It was the most valuable resource I had, so if you learn well from
doing questions and seeing the explanations as to why you were completely wrong, I recommend
it. World has the EXACT format of the actual exam, and the questions are worded similarly and
are of similar difficulty (they're probably tougher than the real thing), unlike some of what I saw
from Kaplan QBank.