If you want to practice medicine in the United States, then eventually you’re going to come face to face with the USMLE, the exam sponsored by the National board of Medical Examiners know the Federation of State medical boards. It’s a notoriously tough exam, so the earlier you start focusing on how to pass the greater your chances of success. Even if you’re not a student at Harvard, Stanford on John Hopkins, you can still get just as good grades as they do! Here are some tips for passing the USMLE like the elite:
Practice Like You Play
As every sports pro knows, practice makes perfect only if how you practice is directly relevant to the task you’re going to perform. That’s why practice questions, question banks, and rehearsal exams are going to be essential for your success.
USMLE.org provides free exam practice questions for the participants. They include a tutorial for the students to understand, an overview about the exam and they provide question blocks. Available questions blocks provide a highly pressured environment for the graduates and it helps them to feel the pressure of the exam itself. This is the first resource that you can use to practice the exam. There is a part to this exam known as CCS (Computer-based care simulations). With this site, you will be able to practice and learn how to navigate the computer system which is very important before taking part the exam.
Take Live Courses
These courses provide class lectures along with materials to prepare for your exams. These are done mostly by private institutions such as Princeton Review and Kaplan. They provide Courses for the STEP 3 of USMLE along with Books and Question archives. There are lots of other options available such as Premier review and Dr. Red’s step 3 reviews and CCS workshop.
Use Question Banks
This is very essential to pass the exams. Most examinees believe that these are way important than the books. These archives provide 100s of questions which helps the examinees to practice and practice and practice. There are some companies who offer this facility such as QUPI, Kaplan Qbank, UWorld and USMLE-Rx. When you become familiar with the kind of questions you’ll actually face in the exams, your recall becomes faster and you reduce your stress under pressure.
How to Prepare Like a Pro
This is about how well you can balance your efficiency and your knowledge. This is very important aspect for the test. This skill is critical when you have to pass the CCS exam. For respective simulation the examinees get only 10-20 minutes and this is quite tough. USMLE is not transparent about how they provide grading to the step 3 in the CCS test but it is evident that it requires quickness, fast decision making, understanding proper treatments and being able to get it right quickly as possible.
Keep These Seven Things in Mind Before You Study
- Know exactly how much time you have to study for your exam
- Have a prepared schedule. Include every little information possible that includes your breaks, time that you need to have your snacks, etc
- Take a test early (a practice test) and understand where you are in terms of knowledge and competency
- Practice as many questions as you can from question banks
- Practice on your CCS as much as possible
- Know where you are weak and focus on those aspects
- Take breaks and breathe. This helps you relax your mind.
When You Actually Walk Into the Exam Room, Remember:
- Ensure that you take your Id and your permit with you. People tend to forget and you don’t need that extra stress!
- Have your food with you and in case you need, earplugs too.
- Make sure you answer every questions as there are no negative marks
- Make sure you have answered all exam questions before moving to the following block
- You can skip the optional lesson. This will give some time for you to relax
- Plan your breaks and know what you want to do in your break time
- Have a good night sleep before and after every exam. This is a must.
There are no short cuts. Spend the time to really practice and walk through the process of doing the exam in your head. If you follow the steps and use the tools highlighted above, walking into the exam room won’t be as scary as it may seem right now. After all, you will already have practiced it 1000 times, and practice makes perfect!