Studying for the USMLE Step Exam can be one of the biggest challenges medical students face. We have some tips to share that will hopefully make it much easier for you:
1. Focus on your weaknesses- As you begin studying, keep a list of all the concepts that are challenging for you and go overthem several times in the days leading up to the exam. Consistent repetition has been proven to be a very effective learning method, especially if practiced verbally and with self-assessment included. If it is a concept that requires a lot of memorization, then you must continually rehearse the material and may also schedule in another review of the topic before the exam, just in case.
2. Make and stick to a study schedule- In the midst of our busy lives, it can be difficult to manage our time efficiently. This is why creating and adhering to a schedule is extremely important. We all understand that you will get behind, things will come up, and lots of other unexpected things can happen. However, it is important that you keep your focus on studying and preparing. This why it is paramount that you start studying as early as possible. If you stay ahead of schedule, you will be able to find more down time for your other activities
3. Find a study buddy or join a study group- There is nothing better than surrounding yourself with people who want to achieve the same goals as you. Finding a study buddy or joining a study group can increase your chances of success when taking your Step. Being able to have someone that you can talk about the material with will help you gain a better understanding. Also, venting your shared frustrations with another student can help reduce stress and even help motivate you to keep going.
4. Find or create your study zone: Find a good place to study and make it your own. The more time you spend in that place, the more it will become associated with the work of learning. Make sure this place isn’t filled with distractions or comfort. It can be easy to lose focus when you have cell phones, televisions and other devices in the vicinity. At IMGC, we allow students to use our classroom as a study center during weekdays. If you are in the Atlanta area and looking for a place to study, you should stop by.
We hope that these tips help you excel on the Step exam. Good luck and we hope that you achieve your goals in the medical field!