You may have heard of UFAP, a popular acronym for Step 1 resources, which stands for UWorld, First Aid, and Pathoma. Tufts medical student Matthew Levitsky says “The base of my study resources was UFAP. I used these resources based upon what I heard from older medical students.”

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Why choose UFAP?

Over a quarter of Cram Fighter users who took the Step 1 incorporated these resources into their study plans. Why do students preparing for Step 1 find UFAP so useful?

After I took Step 1, I felt I would have been fine just using UFAP. The key is not how many resources you use, but how you utilize the ones you do use.

Alex, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Step 1 Score: 260

Students find that UFAP comprehensively covers the content tested on Step 1. Matthew says “UFAP includes the most efficient resources with regards to exposing students to high yield information.” In addition, Loma Linda medical student Michael Douglas finds that “Pathoma fills in the holes that First Aid leaves out.” Alex, a student at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Medical School, agrees with using UFAP as well. “I did supplement the UFAP resources with flashcards (Lange Pharm and Lippincott Microcards) and SketchyMedical,” he says “but after I took Step 1, I felt I would have been fine just using UFAP. The key is not how many resources you use, but how you utilize the ones you do use.”

Incorporate the UFAP resources into the perfect USMLE study schedule from Cram Fighter.

UFAP: But not necessarily in that order!

UFAP is certainly a popular combination of resources, but how students arrange and optimize them varies widely. Each student has a unique approach. Kaitlyn Blackburn of Lake Erie College of Medicine says she gave question banks more attention closer to her exam date. “The first half of my studies was mainly reading,” she says “while the last portion was a lot of question bank work, which I had to work up to.”

“Don’t freak out if other people are using resources that you aren’t.”

Julia Chen, Loma Linda School of Medicine

Some students go through their resources more than once. Matthew, for example, says “I went through UFAP twice, once while classes were going on and once during dedicated study period.” Alex says he benefited from multiple passes of his resources as well. “I went through each one 3 times. Each pass allowed me really solidify the concepts being presented in each and to nail down some of the smaller details.” Julia Chen, a student at Loma Linda School of Medicine, used UFAP as well. She recommends knowing a few resources very well, but she also says “Don’t freak out if other people are using resources that you aren’t.” UFAP may serve as the backbone of your study plan, but customizing and personalizing your schedule is always an option.