Useful USMLE Tips From Personal Experience To Get The Best Scores in Steps

I collected all the tips from my personal experience to help you guys to prepare well and score better in USMLE steps 1, 2CK, CS and 3.

  1. Health: Take care of your health conditions. Even if you have a simple issue like tooth ache or headaches daily that could interfere with your preparation, get them checked.
  2. Clean your study room and desk: If the place where you study is clean, you feel like studying. Sometimes,  I felt better putting legs on the desk while reading. So, do what ever makes you feel relaxed to read well. Sometimes, sitting by the side of the window can help prevent boredom.
  3. Pray: You don’t have to go to place of worship. Just pray when you feel stressed or anxious. You can do it sitting right on your study chair. This helps you relax and start again.
  4. Sleep well: No screen time an hour prior to sleep. Don’t watch smartphone lying on bed just before sleeping. It disturbs your sleep.
  5. Save time: This is the most important. Participate in good facebook groups which help your preparation. You can join our concept only step 1 and 2CK groups to spend time well.
  6. Be comfortable: Don’t wear tight shoes, clothes, etc. They can drain your energy very quickly.
  7. Don’t Smoke or drink excessive coffee: If you are addicted to these, you may develop symptoms close to exam day.
  8. Relax: Several times through out the day, you should relax sitting in your study chair or where ever you are. This really helps prevent fatigue. This point is very important.
  9. If possible take step 1 first, then step 2 CS and then Step 2 CK. There are two reasons for this. The results of the CS take longer time. The fresh knowledge from step 2 CK helps in step 3. You can choose what is best for you based on your situation.
  10. Marry for Green Card: Lot of people do this. You can consider this if you are OK with this plan. Preferably, You should marry a current resident. It is totally up to you. This makes getting residency easier to some extent.
  11. Try to change place of your study if you are getting bored or disturbed. I used to study in so many places that I enjoyed the preparation.
  12. Multiple revisions: You have to plan to read the material and qbank multiple times. That is the only way to do well in exams. When you are reading, always think how you can make your revision quicker. You can highlight, rewrite, make pneumonics etc. for this. This is very important.
  13. Don’t worry if you are an old graduate or if you have not done any clerkships. Scores are the most important things that the application needs. Get good scores. One of my classmates joined residency after 12 years of graduation.
  14. Working while reading for USMLE steps is not easy. There are always exceptions but try not to work and focus fully on USMLE step preparation.
  15. Plan to complete all the components of a great application by September 15 so you can get more interviews. Don’t be in a rush and get in trouble by getting low scores though.
  16. Personal statement takes a long time to prepare. Start preparing personal statement from today.
  17. Be in contact with your medical school mates whether your juniors or seniors. You never know who will be in a position later to be able to help you get a residency spot. Be nice to every person you meet. A nice attitude brings more success than intelligence.
  18. Phone study partner is immensely helpful for step 2 CS. I don’t recommend study partners for other steps. Do what is best for you.
  19. Keep your phone in silent mode while you are reading unless you are expecting an urgent phone call. Keep your phone away in the other corner of the room while reading to avoid distraction.
  20. Read limited resources. Don’t read too may resources and waste your time. Any material you read, you should be in a position to revise later.
  21. Make your own pneumonics. I made hundreds of pneumonics and really they helped me in my exams.
  22. Step 2 CS and CCS cases need more of preparation than just medical knowledge. So, practice them well. I know a few persons who got excellent scores but failed in step 2 cs as they did not practice well.
  23. Don’t compare yourself with others. For some it is easy and for others it is difficult. You should realize this and do the amount of work that is needed in your situation to be successful.
  24. Dream about a golden future. This helps to motivate yourself. Self motivation is the strongest force that could help you in your USMLE journey towards residency.