Studying for Step 1

I don’t think I have ever studied this hard for an exam before. I thought that as soon as the eighth hour of the USMLE Step 1 exam[1]was done last Saturday and I clicked “Submit”, I would immediately feel a huge weight fall off my shoulders. Each of my muscles would gradually release their tension. I would lightly drift to my car and home. The rest of the night would be spent dancing in pure bliss.

Instead, I dreamed of exam questions that night.

Perhaps it will take a couple of days for my body to finally transition back from a high stress mode. Or maybe I will have to wait for several weeks until I get my score to relax completely. Nevertheless, while I may not know yet how I did, I did learn some crucial things in the process.

Find your motivation. It is hard to expend so much time and energy on an exam that tests such a broad range of topics and often includes much extraneous and rare information that you do not expect to be relevant in your future clinical work. In my case, I made it a point to leave some free time between my exam and my next year school to travel. I recognize that I will have fewer opportunities to travel in the future and it will be nice to be distracted and not worry about my score while I wait for it arrive. Yet, most importantly, focusing on my trip during the six-week study period allowed me to be regularly reminded of the bright light at the end of a seemingly endless dark tunnel…

Read full article originally published on Aspiring Docs Diaries

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