The USMLE is a career-defining series of tests for medical students. If you intend to take a USMLE exam, you should practice good study habits to ensure that you are adequately prepared to take the test. Here are some basic study tips that will help you along the way.
1. Study According to Your Learning Style
When studying for a USMLE exam, be sure to do so in a way that best caters to how you learn. Everyone learns differently, but a student’s learning style typically falls under three categories: Auditory, visual, and kinesthetic-tactile. There is often overlap with two of the three categories, as well. If you are not sure what your learning style is, taking an online test can give you a general idea of how you learn best.
2. Create a Study Schedule
USMLE preparation is intensive, but cramming vast amounts of information into irregular sessions will not properly prepare you for the exam. Consider creating a study schedule to help you retain what you’ve studied by introducing new material in bite-sized pieces. Being a med student with a lot on your plate, it may be hard to stick to your study routine at first, but it will become easier as time goes on. You can even form a study group with other med students to help you stay on track.
3. Improve Your Test-Taking Skills on Practice Exams
Taking practice exams will allow you to apply what you’ve learned in a test-like setting, which will familiarize you with the USMLE’s format. This will increase your confidence in your test-taking abilities and minimize your chances of losing points on the real exam due to nervousness. Even so, it is completely normal if your practice exam scores are higher than your real test scores because you are taking the mock test in a more comfortable environment.
Engaging in these practices will help you stay on top of your USMLE exam prep without taking too much time away from your other important academic responsibilities.