Step 1 is one of the most important exams you’ll ever take, and you want to be prepared. When it gets down to the wire, what are the most important items on your to-do list?
1. Test Day Due Diligence
You don’t want any surprises on test day. Check your Step 1 permit and make sure everything looks right, and that the name on it matches your ID exactly. Then, double check your registration on Prometric. Maybe triple check it, just to be safe. Then, figure out what your transportation time will be to get there. Give yourself a cushion of about 45 minutes, just to be safe. If you’re traveling far for your test, double check all of your flight and hotel info, and make sure you have a good time cushion in case of a flight delay. If possible, visit where you’ll be taking the test to get a little more comfortable with your surroundings.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
If you have enough time before your test, apply for a USMLE Step 1 Practice Permit. This will let you practice taking an actual test in the location where you’ll be taking the real thing eventually, which can be a great help mentally. If you don’t have time, or that’s not an option because of travel time, don’t worry! There’s still plenty you can do. Write at least one NBME to help you figure out where your weaknesses lie and how long the test might take you.
3. Work on Your Weaknesses
Now that you’ve written an NBME for practice, use that to help you assess your weaknesses. To get them up to snuff before you take Step 1, use your study resources – including Picmonic! The Picmonic Learning System has been proven to help increase information retention, and it can help you take out your weaknesses one at a time.
This one might seem impossible, but relax! Make yourself a schedule, and make sure that you’re giving yourself breaks to avoid burnout while studying for Step 1. As long as you’ve followed the previous steps, you will be good to go come test day.
5. Do the Darn Thing
The only thing left is to do it! Go into it with a realistic yet hopeful attitude, and you will get the Step 1 score you’ve worked for. We believe in you!