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To answer a recent question of why so many students falter… For a recent string of emails, I conclude that the reason so many smart med students fail the Step 1 is because mainly their study "technique" is ineffective and wrong. Most students HAVE the right ingredients: Brains, Effort, Materials, etc. However, many are studying incorrectly. So many have, Dr. Goljan's Notes, Kaplan, First Aid, etc., but they are reading the material like a magazine or a mystery novel. NO! You MUST ATTACK each concept. Many just report that they "memorize questions". That may have worked wonders in high school and college and even medical school since many teachers REPEATED QUESTIONS almost word for word on tests. But the NBME is very powerful. They charge literally an ARM and a LEG for the test so they have so MUCH MONEY to ask people (professors and doctors) to write an "ENDLESS STREAM" of questions so students do not have any "short cuts". You cannot just read these Hy Concepts like a newspaper like the New York Times. You must attack them and dissect them…make up flash cards, make certain guesses BEFORE looking at the answer, quiz friends with them, make up a “board game” with them, etc. But that is why this message board is SO KEY. We can ask each other for their exam experiences, and then make up legal questions/concepts to help others. However, know that you need that key ingredient of TIME and MONEY to give yourself adequate preparation. You NEED a SOLID window of studytime to pass. If you do not have it, ask for it and beg your family and friends for it. Live with a friend/family in their basement to save money and buy time to study UNINTERRUPTED w/ TOTAL CONCENTRATION. If you cannot find time and money to study, it may be a waste of time and cost you your mental health. Please ask others to pray for you. However, know that you are not alone and many of the students I knew who finally reported passing did so even after more than TEN ATTEMPTS at the USMLE Step 1. Seriously, I called the NBME to verify it! OVER 10 ATTEMPTS! If they could have the dedication and finally passed, they achieved a dream even if they don't even go on to practice medicine! Abandon your dreams of doctoring only after ALL LIFE SUPPORT measures are taken. I think of it if I am caring for an ICU baby. I won't give up my efforts at saving his or her life until there is no heartbeat for an hour or more! Sincerely, Tommyk

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Subject: Tommy's Concepts

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To answer a recent question of why so many students falter…

For a recent string of emails, I conclude that the reason so many smart med students fail the Step 1 is because mainly their study "technique" is ineffective and wrong. Most students HAVE the right ingredients: Brains, Effort, Materials, etc. However, many are studying incorrectly. So many have, Dr. Goljan's Notes, Kaplan, First Aid, etc., but they are reading the material like a magazine or a mystery novel. NO! You MUST ATTACK each concept. Many just report that they "memorize questions". That may have worked wonders in high school and college and even medical school since many teachers REPEATED QUESTIONS almost word for word on tests. But the NBME is very powerful. They charge literally an ARM and a LEG for the test so they have so MUCH MONEY to ask people (professors and doctors) to write an "ENDLESS STREAM" of questions so students do not have any "short cuts".

You cannot just read these Hy Concepts like a newspaper like the New York Times. You must attack them and dissect them…make up flash cards, make certain guesses BEFORE looking at the answer, quiz friends with them, make up a “board game” with them, etc.

But that is why this message board is SO KEY. We can ask each other for their exam experiences, and then make up legal questions/concepts to help others.

However, know that you need that key ingredient of TIME and MONEY to give yourself adequate preparation. You NEED a SOLID window of studytime to pass.

If you do not have it, ask for it and beg your family and friends for it. Live with a friend/family in their basement to save money and buy time to study UNINTERRUPTED w/ TOTAL CONCENTRATION.

If you cannot find time and money to study, it may be a waste of time and cost you your mental health. Please ask others to pray for you. However, know that you are not alone and many of the students I knew who finally reported passing did so even after more than TEN ATTEMPTS at the USMLE Step 1. Seriously, I called the NBME to verify it! OVER 10 ATTEMPTS! If they could have the dedication and finally passed, they achieved a dream even if they don't even go on to practice medicine! Abandon your dreams of doctoring only after ALL LIFE SUPPORT measures are taken.

I think of it if I am caring for an ICU baby. I won't give up my efforts at saving his or her life until there is no heartbeat for an hour or more!

Sincerely,

Tommyk

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