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Master the USMLE in 5 Weeks: Your Free Step 1 Study Plan

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An empty calendar for Step 1 study schedule planning.


You’re 5 weeks away from your USMLE Step 1 test day and it’s time to get serious. Very serious. By now, you should be familiar with Step 1 material, test structure, and may have consulted a tutor. Maybe you’ve gone through First Aid, gotten started with UWorld questions, or started using a USMLE prep platform like Osmosis or Pathoma, but now it’s time to buckle down and make sure you’re ready. Let’s jump into our ultimate 5-week Step 1 study schedule!


USMLE Step 1: The 5-week Study Calendar is our most intensive and aggressive timeline for Step 1. This Step 1 study schedule is intended for strong students who have at least a 70% probability of passing on their initial baseline assessment. As noted before, most students have completed 2-4 weeks of dedicated studying prior to beginning this calendar. If you are looking for a longer study period, check out our 10-week Step 1 study calendar.



Before We Jump in, Here Are Some Key Notes About This Step 1 Study Schedule:


  • This schedule requires 12+ hours of studying every day (with the exception of afternoons off after NBME assessments).
  • This calendar focuses on a question-based review. We find that active learning using practice questions is the most efficient way to study for standardized multiple-choice exams. 
  • Flashcards are the student’s own – putting in the time to create a personalized study resource is worth the effort in the long run!
  • This calendar allows students to choose their own supplementary video learning resource and flashcard review platform. If you need help choosing your resources, check out our resource reviews here.



Basic Structure of the Elite 5-Week USMLE Step 1 Study Schedule


Day (about 7AM to 5PM)


  • Morning: UWorld questions + making flashcards  – Practice Questions are your #1 resource! Now is the time to go over questions you missed yesterday and new questions!
  • Afternoon: Continued Qbank Review with Flashcard Creation – Keep pushing with your practice questions! This should take 2-3 hours.
  • Late afternoon: Review your Flashcards & Supplement Weaker Topics – During the day, you probably identified a few weaker topics. Get into your video resource and review the flashcards you made so that you are ready for your mixed review tomorrow!


Early Evening (about 5PM to 8PM)


  • This schedule requires ~3-3.5 hours of study in the evening focused on primarily on review, flashcards, and supplemental learning usually by system.
  • Reviewing flashcards should be an every-evening ritual for about 2 hours.




  • The baseline assessment is critical to pressure test whether the 5-week calendar is right for you. If you scored ~70% or more probability of passing, then this is the calendar for you. If you scored lower, you may want to consider a longer study period.
  • The subsequent NBME and UWorld assessments provide critical exposure to an authentic testing environment, objective data on how you are progressing, and help students practice timing, fatigue, and stress management
  • If the final assessment is lower than an 90% probability of passing, we typically recommend considering delaying your exam for further review.


We hope you enjoy our 5-week Step 1 study schedule! If you need personalized focused help preparing for USMLE Step 1, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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