However, occasionally I encounter people who needs substantial help and really the best way to help them is through a prep course and that’s what I suggested. They need hours of advise and continuous help over months and there is no way that could be done through the blog.
If you think you can do well in this exam on your own and without help, then this post is not for you. If you think you are doing so badly that you need long term help, join the full prep course. However, if you know you need help to do well or even get a 99 and are determined to prep on your own, or you are not sure you need a prep course yet and want to try and prep on your own first. Then I suggest you try this book.
It never fails to surprise me that there are a number of people who think that mentoring a person to pass the USMLE can be done in a matter of just a few minutes or one to two hours. If its that easy, everyone can do it themselves. Yet too often I have people who insists I should mentor them one on one through Skype or chat which would take probably 50 to 100 hours of one on one mentoring and even get offended when I advice them to join the prep course instead.
Anyway, I have been thinking that maybe something intermediate, that will teach them how to study for the USMLE but short of a full course is what they need. It took me over 6 months to write this book. The goal is to teach people everything they need to know in order to do well or even ace the USMLE Step 1.
One caveat however. This book is just a guide and you need to put the tips and techniques into practice for it to be effective. As one of my students put it, it’s just a roadmap and no matter how good the map is the only way to get to your destination is to drive through the road or plough through the jungle yourself. Reading the roadmap alone won’t magically get you there.
So what are the topics discussed in the book.
Part 1, the Introduction talks about what makes the USMLE the USMLE. How tough it is. What makes it tough and general things you need to do to prepare for it. If you want to slay a monster, know everything about it first.
Part 2, Scheduling Your Prep deals with making a realistic schedule and using it to guide your prep. Too many people just plow right into prepping without a schedule. It usually ends with them sitting for the exam unprepared to pass it. You also need to know about the USMLE or wind up creating an unrealistic schedule. Like trying to sit for Step 1 and Step 2 CK within days of each other. Even if you manage to pass both of them, your scores will be far from spectacular.
Part 3 is How to Study. It discusses all the different study methods and techniques you need to master the USMLE Step 1. Topics include how to memorize and retain massive amounts of information and be able to recall them fast. How to anticipate questions and study for them and a lot, lot more. This is the longest part of the book and the most important.
Part 4 to 10 covers how to study the 7 subjects that comprise Step 1 in detail. It discusses how to use the the general study methods you learned from part 3 and apply it to each subject. It also discusses specific study methods applicable for each subject. It lists down suggested study materials you can use for the best prep.
Part 11 is Test Preparation Strategies. It discusses everything you need to prepare for this particular type of exam. It teaches you how to diagnose clinical vignettes. Methods to break down a question so you have a better chance of getting the answer. How to train yourself to go through questions fast and finish all the blocks. Systematic methods and techniques of answering questions on exam day to raise your scores and many more.
Part 12 is What to Do the Last Two Weeks Before the Exam. You need to be at your peak on exam day and this section tells you how to achieve that. Remember, the only thing that counts as far as the USMLE is concerned is how you do on exam day. Everything else before that does not matter. Hence, being in peak condition is important.
You can read the book at my prep site at http://prep.askdoc-usmle.com. For a limited time, it’s available at a discounted price of US$ 12.95 from US$ 19.95. A kindle edition is in the works and will be sold through Amazon probably by July. A video lecture is currently being recorded and will probably total at least 20 hours by the time it is finished. So far about 2 1/2 hours of video has been recorded but is only available through the complete prep course.
The first step to doing well in the USMLE is to know everything about it and how to prep for it correctly. This book is a step in that direction.
Download Sample pdf here.