5 ways to prepare for the USMLE


Are you getting ready to take the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE)? These five steps outline practical tips for preparing, including useful resources.

  • Take a USMLE prep course: USMLE test prep courses can offer insight into what will be on the exam. You may wish to take the course two to three months before your exam date for adequate preparation. Experts recommend purchasing a USMLE exam book, such as First Aid for the USMLE, to supplement the course and taking the Step 1 exam in June. Kaplan Medical offers in-person and online events featuring information on USMLE Steps 1-3 and other USMLE-related topics. AMA members receive 30 percent off Kaplan Medical’s Step 2 CK High Yield and Qbank courses.
  • Set a goal: Determine what your current score is and decide what score you want to aim for when you take the exam. According to the USMLE, the mean score for first-time examinees from accredited medical school programs in the United States is in the 220-240 range.
  • Take practice tests: Working through test exams in advance can help you hone your test-taking skills and identify areas for additional study. The Kaplan Medical’s QBank products offer practice tests and give a breakdown by topic of how you did so you can work on target areas.
  • Time yourself: Only so much time is allowed to take the USMLE. Time your practice tests to make sure you’ve set a good pace for a better overall score outcome.
  • Prep on the go: Turn down time into a higher score using Kaplan Medical’s Qbank integrated mobile app for iPhone® and Android™ and lectures optimized for iPad® and iPad mini. The app is free for Qbank subscribers.

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