How Much Should You Study to Get a 99 in Step 1?

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When I started my prep way back in 2005, I wanted to know how much I should know in order to get a 99. I started going through exam experiences of people who got 99’s, listing down all the study materials they used. A pattern started to emerge. They were all more or less studying the same materials. However, later I noticed a very disturbing pattern emerging. People who did not get 99’s and most of those who failed studied the same things. So why the difference in results?

I have always told anyone who asked me how to get a 99 that it is important to be strong in all 7 subjects. The percentage correct you need to get a 99 is so high, every question counts. You need to overstudy but overstudy smartly and not haphazardly. You cannot study everything and studying the right things is important.

In order to get a 99, you need to study both high yield and low yield stuff. Just studying high yield stuff will not be enough. You need to master the high yield stuff and study as much of the low yield stuff as you can without forgetting the high yield stuff.

You need to study concepts at the right level of detail. You may be studying the concepts that will come out in the exam, but if what you know about the concept is not detailed enough, you still won’t be able to answer the question.

In order to insure that you study the right stuff at the right level of details, you need to chose your study materials wisely. There are reviewers that has the right stuff but lack details. Then there are very detailed reviewers that contain too many stuff you don’t need and will never come out in the exam. Studying all that is a waste of time. You need reviewers that cover the right stuff at the right level of detail but its rare to find that in one reviewer, so a lot of times you need to mix and match reviewers. We will talk about reviewers in a future post.

Of course just studying all the right stuff in the right level of detail is not enough. You need to be able to memorize and recall them very fast and in a random manner. You need to understand the concepts so well you can use those concepts in analysis to answer questions no matter how much they are jumbled. We will talk more about how to do that in future posts.

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    askdoc

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