With an increasing difficulty in attaining even a primary care residency position, it is now more important than even to not only pass your USMLE Step 1 exam, but it is essential to score well above average, especially if you want to get into a competitive specialty like anesthesia, radiology, or dermatology. The common recommendation to score well is to memorize the First Aid and then do some questions, but if you hope to score very well, you have to take a smarter approach than simply following the majority of the people, especially since the majority of people sitting for the Step 1 exam aren’t in fact scoring well above average.

Here are three smart tips that will help you score above 230 on your USMLE Step 1 exam:

Tip #1 – Master all of the high-yield information

The stuff that you see in your study guides is the high-yield information that you must absolutely memorize completely. Make sure that you know the “high-yield” information completely, as this is the first step you need to do in order to at least pass your exam

Tip #2 – Understand and master at least 50%-75% of the mid-yield information

Take a look back at your medical school notes, and pick and choose the stuff that they stressed highly on exams that you aren’t seeing in any of your USMLE Step 1 review sources. This stuff is still potentially going to show up on your board exams so if you can cover it, you can ensure that you gain those extra points that you otherwise would not get.

Tip #3 – Master the smaller subjects like ethics and biostatistics

Many people will avoid studying for the smaller subjects thinking that they won’t negatively affect their score results, however if you were to master this material and then get 10-15 questions correct that you otherwise would not have, then you can boost your score anywhere between 5-15 points. As you know, an extra 15 points on your score can significantly change the chances you have for certain specialties, if they are 15 fewer points on your exam, it can hurt your chances for getting any interviews and residency positions at all, but 15 extra points on your Step 1 exam can be the difference between you getting 1-2 interviews for family medicine and getting 10-15 interviews for a highly-competitive specialty like anesthesiology, radiology, or even plastic surgery.

Follow these tips to help boost your score and increase your chances of getting a great residency position.

Source by Jeffrey Anderson, M.D.


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