To provide support for those transitioning from medical student to physician, Associate Director of Medical Academics at Kaplan Medical, Joshua D. Brooks, PhD, offers expert tips to prepare for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE®) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States (COMLEX-USA®).
Create a Week-by-Week Subject Calendar
- Break down the calendar into study sprints. Focus on 1 subject during each sprint.
- Assign specific tasks for each sprint. For example, watch video tutorials or review sample questions covering high-yield topics.
- Schedule a specific number of study hours each week. Allot extra time for challenging topics.
Use Study Guides
- Find the types of study guides that work best.
- Ask recent test takers about the study guides that worked well for them.
- Follow the AMA Wire® for study tips and its monthly most-missed exam-prep question.
- Become an AMA member to receive discounts on study guides or exam prep courses.
Find the Right Study Partner
- Choose a motivating study partner, someone to supplement your own expertise and hold you accountable.
- Set up a regular weekly study session with your partner. Review what you have learned and what you need to learn.
- Find a study-session location that enables extended periods of concentration.
Manage Time Wisely
- Incorporate exam preparation into class studies.
- Aim for 5 hours of focused exam preparation each week.
- Limit social media. Make sure cell phones are off during study times.