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The 2 Golden Rules of Studying Step 1 During COVID

Activity Forums USMLE Step 1 Forum The 2 Golden Rules of Studying Step 1 During COVID

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Dan S., MST USMLE Tutor 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    It can be pretty easy to feel overwhelmed with everything in the world. Regional testing sites? CS is cancelled for the year above you? What will mask and break policy look like?

    It is enough to drive one into an anxiety spiral. How can we all stay sane and effective? I put forth these two short simple best practices:

    1) Overcommunicate and Underassume – Policies and procedures about the test, the test day, and your role in it are going to change week by week, state by state, and even day by day! Make sure to keep in constant contact with your schools academic advisory apparatus and the testing center.

    2) Prepare otherwise if COVID did not exist – Cardiovascular physiology will still be the same, pandemic or no pandemic. Do not let uncertainty change your study plan. Write a solid schedule using all the best practices and align it with your test date. If it gets moved back, well you get a bonus. If things change for some reason, you will be ahead of the curve. Do not assume it will get moved back because if it does not then you are playing from behind.

    And as always, seek out help for mental health early and often as needed. You deserve to be here, and you are going to do great!

    Dan S., MST USMLE Tutor
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    USMLE ExpertMD or DOContributor

    Great points, David! To your last bit about mental health, I would say many of our other posts speak to this, but I would just add that during long-term studying without a clear end date, building time off into a study schedule becomes extra important. You are much more likely to stay motivated and focused for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, than to try and stay motivated and focused for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. Make some time for exercise, eating well, seeing family and friends (in a socially distanced, safe way), etc.

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