The USMLE Step 1 exam is one of the most important examinations in a medical student’s quest for residency. Combining the knowledge and critical thinking accumulated within the first two years, this 8-hour exam not only challenges the mental strength of students but also their physical stamina to withstand long hours of testing. In essence, it serves to foreshadow the challenges that physicians face on a daily basis as they aim to keep themselves focused on providing quality care for their patients during long work hours.
The USMLE Step 1 exam is a marathon, not a sprint. Thus, it requires dedication and commitment on daily basis within the 2-3 months allotted in preparation for the exam. You will spend a significant amount of your day studying and preparing for this exam. As challenging as it may be, remember your 3rd year of medical school awaits, where you will finally be able to enter the clinical rotations and experience what you’ve wanted to do since the first day you started medical school.
As a 3rd year medical student having taken the exam, I hope that the following guidelines and suggestions may nurture your success. It’s not an easy task and your life will change significantly within the time period you devote toward preparation. Stay calm, focused, and collected. The USMLE Step 1 exam is the only thing standing between you and the wards.