We asked University of South Dakota medical student Ethan Young how he used his study plan to reach his goal for Step 1.

What study strategies or tactics helped you score a 250 on Step 1?

I think one of the most important things I did was develop a plan and started it early. Six months in advance of the exam, I began trying to do about 10 questions per day from the USMLE-Rx question bank. This doesn’t seem like much but it really helped me become acquainted with the format of board questions as well as boosted my knowledge. When it came time for intensive studying, I made a plan using Cram Fighter. I utilized resources such as Pathoma, First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, and the Doctors in Training lecture series. I completed the USMLE-Rx question bank one month before my exam and transitioned to the UWorld question bank, which I finished in the remaining four weeks. This schedule required a lot of dedication as it was very time consuming. Ten hours or more each day was not unusual, but it was well worth all of the effort!

How did Cram Fighter help you reach your goal?

Cram Fighter played a very important role in my studying. Each day I had a checklist of lecture videos I needed to watch, pages I needed to read from First Aid, and questions I needed to get done. It turned what seemed like an impossible amount of content and studying into a feasible study plan with realistic goals as long as I stayed on task. Plus, being able to check off all of those tasks at the end of the day was a good feeling.

It turned what seemed like an impossible amount of content and studying into a feasible study plan with realistic goals as long as I stayed on task. Plus, being able to check off all of those tasks at the end of the day was a good feeling.

What suggestions or tips can you give to students who will be studying for the exam in the future?

My main suggestion would be to make a plan and stick to it. There are a ton of different resources out there and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Find a few resources you like and utilize them. Lastly, give yourself enough time to prepare. This is not an exam you can just cram for a couple weeks in advance.

This is not an exam you can just cram for a couple weeks in advance.