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How To Get The Most Out of First Aid?

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 is one of the most popular sources for Step 1. It helped so many medical students to pass the board. Now if you read many forums and blogs people might have different opinions. But, you have to realize that First Aid improved so much over the years, and now it is pretty much a complete guide to passing the board. So if someone said that First Aid is not enough, then you should ask when they took the exam. Maybe, that person took the exam awhile back when First Aid wasn't complete. But I can tell you that First Aid was enough for me to score high on the board. Here are the answers to some of the questions you guys asked me:


How many times should you read First Aid?
If First Aid is the only source that you are using, then you should be reading it at least 5 to 7 times during your overall preparation time. Remember, you can never go wrong with First Aid. My preparation heavily depended on First Aid, and it helped me to score high on Step 1. 

 

How long should you take to go over the entire First Aid?
It depends on your reading speed. The first time when I read First Aid it took me around 21 days to read the entire book. But if you keep on read it over and over you will be able to finish it in 8 to 10 days. Now, I will warn you that first few times it might not make sense but as you keep on reading it, you will be able to connect the dots and enjoy reading it. 

 

Two weeks before the exam First Aid or USMLE World?
I stopped USMLE World two weeks before the exam and just focused on First Aid. You should finish your last reading of the entire book two days before the exam. And just go over the high yield materials that require memorization on the last two days. 

What to read during the last month if you used sources other then First Aid for preparation?


Honestly, if you read any other sources like Kaplan or Goljan for preparation, you should stop reading them on your last month and just focus on First Aid. It will help you to maximize your point. So even if you read some other sources make sure at least on your last month, you read First Aid. It also gives so many clues and mnemonics. 

 

Is First Aid Enough?
Yes, it is enough if you use it with USMLE World. Make sure you write down any material from the USMLE World that is not on the First Aid. This way you wouldn't miss any important points. Now don't write the entire explanation from the UW. Just write down the important clues that guide you to the right answer. And read them over and over while going over First Aid. 

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