Your dream has always been to become a doctor, but the USMLE exams stand in your way. You may have been able to pass your exams in school by putting in a few all-night cram sessions a day or two in advance, but these exams require more diligence. How do you tackle the sheer quantity of material? Here are three tips to successfully prepare.
1. Start Studying Now
Before you register for the first available test date after graduation, assess yourself. How much time have you already spent in preparation for the Step 1 exam? If you’re ready for Step 2 or 3, how did you study for the exam before it, and would you say that your strategy was successful? Many professors say that you should begin studying for your exams on the first day of medical school. Be realistic about how much you’ll be able to study each day and choose an exam date that gives you enough study time.
2. Use a Test Prep Program
Instead of trying to randomly study your notes from school, consider a study program like the USMLE Insider prep course. Prep courses have a set curriculum that you follow, experienced teachers that help to guide you, and peers to keep you company. Check out several programs and find one that fits your study style and availability.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Decide now that you’ll spend the money to take a real practice test. A practice test is the best way to a true sense of how prepared you really are. Remember that you’re probably more relaxed taking your practice test than you will be during the actual exam, so deduct a few points from your practice score to account for nerves. Then decide how much more studying you need to do.
Becoming a doctor is within reach. Take the time to prepare well for your exams and you’ll be certified in no time.