Now that I’m more than halfway through my winter semester, I should really be at least halfway done with my USMLE Step 1 study plan. However, things rarely go the way we hope they will. At this point, I am sadly behind schedule.
A number of factors contributed to falling behind. I still had to keep up with studying for school, which was no easy feat since we just finished our musculoskeletal and hematology/oncology blocks. I was still planning this semester’s AMWA events and that took quite a bit of time. Also, my Capstone project has been taking up more time – especially since I’ve started submitting abstracts for presentation. Add all of these commitments together and my time for studying for Step 1 gets squeezed out. In the end, I really shouldn’t be making excuses for myself, but I’m not sure how I could have managed to stay on schedule with how much other stuff I had to do.
On the flip side, although I am behind schedule, at least I’m making progress in reviewing material. I know that some of my classmates have elected to wait until dedicated study time to begin really studying and while that may work for them, I don’t think it would work for me. So, even though I may not be where I had hoped in my first pass through First Aid, at least I have reviewed some of the material.
We just started our Behavioral Science block, which is only 2 weeks long. What concerns me the most about this is that even though we just started, it feels I should have been studying hard for the exam weeks ago. I’m not used to short blocks and it’s making trying to keep up with my Step 1 study plan a bit harder. I’ve heard a lot of people say that Behavioral is the easiest block, but I know that there are aspects of it that I need to learn and cannot just reason out from common sense.
It’s scary to think that there are less than 2 months remaining until Step 1. I started panicking a bit at the start of the semester, but not enough that I felt like I needed to kick it into high gear. But now, I’m starting to think that I should be making sacrifices in order to get through more material. I still make sure to go to the gym every single morning (and I’ve decided to stick to the early morning routine – so now I go to the gym at 5AM instead of the evening) and I aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every evening, but I’m starting to wonder if I need to cut into my gym time or my sleep time in order to make sufficient progress.
Do you have any advice for me?
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All of the opinions expressed here are the author’s and hers alone, and do not represent necessarily those of Kaplan or its employees.