You’re 6 weeks away from test day and it’s time to get serious. Very serious. Hopefully up until this point you have already gotten involved and familiar with USMLE Step 1 material and test structure. 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.
***If you’re reading this 6 weeks or less from your test date and UWorld sounds like a peace organization and you thought First Aid is something you learned in 8th grade health class, we highly recommend you contact us immediately so we can help you intensively and efficiently study for USMLE Step 1.***
So, let’s get into it. USMLE Step 1: The 6-week Study Calendar is our most intensive and aggressive timeline for Step 1 intended for strong students who score within ~20 points of their target score on initial baseline assessment. As noted before, most students have completed 2-4 weeks of dedicated studying prior to beginning this calendar.
Before we jump in, here are some key notes about this 6-week Step 1 Calendar:
- This schedule requires 12+ hours of studying every day (with the exception of afternoons off after NBME assessments).
- This calendar focuses on a limited number of high-yield resources: First Aid, UWorld, NBMEs, and Pathoma – We believe that intensive focus on a limited set of resources is key to success
- Flashcards are the students own – putting in the time to create a personalized study resource is worth the effort in the long run.
Day (about 7AM to 5pm)
- Morning: First Aid– Students should read through each section twice during the days allotted for that topic.
- Afternoon: UWorld questions – UWorld Questions are your #1 resource! Going through 80 questions (2 blocks) thoroughly, including making flashcards can easily take 4 hours, so don’t feel like you’re going “too slow”
- Late Afternoon: Reviewing the 2 blocks you just completed is an essential repetition to solidify what you’ve learned and confirm your understanding
Evening (about 7PM to 10PM)
- This schedule requires ~3 hours of study in the evening focused on primarily on review, flashcards, and supplemental learning through Pathoma/Sketchy Micro
- Reviewing flashcards should be an every evening ritual for at least an hour
- The baseline assessment is critical to pressure test whether the 6-week calendar is right for you. If you’re within ~20 points of your target score, then this is the calendar for you.
- The 4 subsequent assessments provide critical exposure to a real testing environment, objective data of how you are progressing, and helps students practice timing, fatigue, and stress management
- If the final assessment is not within ~5-10 points of your target score, we typically recommend considering delaying your exam for further review.