Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD and Shelby Wood contributed to this post.
From the day most students start medical school, they learn about the USMLE Step 1 exam. As the months go on, talk of the exam becomes an almost daily occurrence. It’s not surprising, then, that many students feel they need to devote as much time and energy to preparing for this exam as possible.
For some, this manifests as weekly USMLE practice questions and frequent skimming of review books as early as first year. Others may spend their entire first summer preparing for Step 1. Some students sacrifice Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring breaks to prepare. On the contrary, other students do little prep before their dedicated Step 1 study period.
So, the question remains: what do you need to know about getting a head start on USMLE Step 1 exam prep?
The following offers some myths and truths to guide you through the process.