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Mar 31, 2018

Low-Yield Subjects?


Hello, thanks for your prior response on studying biochem for step 1. I wholeheartedly agree with your approach that if we sincerely and correctly create Anki cards based on UW/NBMEs (with reviewing Anki daily, doing Pathoma, and reviewing FA days before the test), that's enough to do well on test day.


My question is about memorizing facts that are not in either UW/NBMEs but may be in FA or other resources, and may show up on the test. How can we be sure that we're not missing out by devoting our Anki card creation solely to UW and the NBMEs? Maybe I'm worrying for nothing, but I was just wondering how it's possible that the NBMEs + UW are sufficient to learn everything one needs to know to get an exceptional score (i.e. 260+), especially in the low-yield subjects (biochem, anatomy, embryology, etc). I think I would be less concerned if I was closer to the basic sciences (I'm just about to finish my clerkship year). For example, I've heard of ppl who have taken the test saying that they got very random anatomy Qs or embryology Qs (to be fair, they said it was only a handful though). Thanks again for your help!!


Also, is it required to have a NBME baseline score before schedule the free consult with you?

May 9, 2018

Hi, I'm so sorry for my delayed response! We at USMLE Pro have been very busy these past few months.


I wouldn't worry yourself about ultra-low-yield facts. If you master everything in UW and the NBMEs, and have sufficient test-taking skills (either innately or learned with the help of a study buddy or tutor), you will be set up for success. Personally and in my tutoring, I do not worry about extremely low yield subjects given the excellent coverage given by practice questions. It is more important to hone your test taking skills, as being proficient at process of elimination is a far more efficient way to earn points on very left field questions (by making educated guesses) than overloading your mental resources by trying to memorize everything. Yes, very "random" things will show up, and you may get these wrong, but that won't necessarily stop you from getting a 260+ if your test-taking skills are excellent (I'm sure I got a good number of these questions wrong! You don't have to be perfect to get above a 260!). In my personal and professional experience, it's far more advisable to work on test-taking skills, as these are broadly applicable to many questions; this is what worked for myself and has been working for our students.


It is not required to have an NBME baseline score in order to schedule a free consult, but it is recommended as it's very helpful. You can book a free consult here: https://book.pocketsuite.io/book/usmle-pro-tutors

5 days ago

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