6.6k Views • Upvoted by Mitul Mehta. Assistant Professor of Vitreoretinal su…
As people have mentioned, this is person dependent, but I'll list the basics that literally EVERYONE I know that did well used, and my own experience (250+).
1. First Aid (FA)- a great synopsis of the major concepts tested. If you go through the book multiple times and know all in the information within, you will definitely pass the test and probably get around 215. But, it also serves as a great skeleton upon which to add facts from things like qbanks and supplemental materials. This was the foundation of my studying.
2. USMLEworld Qbank- you could substitute Kaplan's here as many like that one more. In talking to others and my experience, UWorld's questions are VERY similar to the real test. The software and visual formatting is exactly like the actual test, which adds some level of comfort on test day. The questions all have great explanations (albeit maybe 0.5% of the questions have a small error that you'll probably recognize right away from your FA reviewing). I would do small sets of these questions while learning from FA/supplemental, and then spent the last couple weeks doing nothing but 50 question sets to make sure endurance was okay and I finished sets in time. This is far and away the BEST way to get your score to the >230 range: questions and more questions. *As I said, plenty of people use Kaplan and like it, I found many of their questions too detailed and ridiculous.
3. Goljan path audio lectures- you can get these online or from classmates. He's a path professor from OSU who taught a review course for Kaplan in the past- and these are his lectures going by organ system describing the important information and how it'll be asked. Not an essential, but provides a wealth of high-yield information if you're looking to increase your score into the 230+ range.
4. Supplemental books- I agree with prior posters,
you can get overwhelmed in books. BRS Phys was good, Micro Made Ridic Simple is good, and many of the High Yield books are good. Just depends on how OCD you want to be, a lot of the info you'll get regardless in the Qbanks, but these can help reinforce your knowledge.
5. NBME practice tests- help gauge where your score is at, and you can get the answers from classmates to help you review too. Not an essential, but nice to make sure your hard work isn't futile.
-High yield topics will become apparent as you do FA and the qbank. Physiology and pathology are the biggest topics, but that's obvious bc the test is to make sure you understand how the body works and what happens when that is disrupted. Micro is another high yield topic that is rote memorization. Other than that, it's hard to point out a particular subject bc everyone's test emphasizes one thing more than others.
-Schedule is dependent on what your goal is for the test and how much school-free time you have. Some schools only give you a couple weeks off to take the test and start third year, others give months. If you want to just pass the test- I'd say a month of doing the first aid book and qbank a couple hours a day will more than suffice and probably get you around a 215 if you really know FA. If you're gearing for 230+ and moreso if you want the 240-250+ (260+ and higher than that, it's a mix of OCD/luck/insanity) you'll need to commit at least a couple months to get the foundational knowledge down pat from FA and supplemental sources taking notes and doing qbank interspersed. At the end, I would finish spending at least a couple weeks of doing nothing but qbank and reviewing. If you're consistently getting 70%+ on bank sets, that's a good marker for 240+ on the test.
Refer to studentdoctor.net for further type-A/OCD advice from other medical students.