Which question banks for Step 1 should I use? How do I use it to make sure that I get more than 250 in my Step 1?
I get so many comments in my inbox and YouTube channel about different topics, but these two questions are the ones that I get the most, especially as test day comes closer.
So I made this article to finally give you answers to those questions.
And not only that, if you stick around until the very end, I’ll share with you something that will have all your step 1 questions answered in one resource.
So, stay tuned and read on until the end of this blog post.
Top Question Banks for Step 1
What are we waiting for? Let’s get right into it.
I’m going to give you my top four Q banks that I love using.
I will also be sharing verification on how to use them.
Here they are.
Now my favorite and the first Question bank that we’ll be talking about is USMLE Rx.
I know a lot of you are probably expecting me to talk about UWorld. Of course, that’s on our list.
However, USMLE Rx is my favorite for several reasons.
Well, you know, Step 1 is a very scary test.
So, to make it a little bit less scary, you want a resource that can help build your foundations and help build that confidence.
It’s really where most of us struggle. We have a hard time getting to that steep learning curve that you have to when you’re prepping for the exam.
And the advantage that comes from using USMLE Rx is it’s made by the same creators of first aid.
So, when you read the book, you can use both first aid and USMLE Rx to really nail your foundations.
This really works if you’re a student like me who can’t take all the information about first aid and memorize them.
It’s also very useful that first aid has a lot of the high-yield materials that will show up on the test.
So USMLE Rx definitely gets an A on my book.
It has over 2,400 practice questions and it’s by far the cheapest of all the question banks that I’ve tried.
So, I’d say, it’s perfect for students studying during the first and second year of med school.
Now, the second resource that we’ll talk about that a lot of students also use is Kaplan.
The same as the USMLE Rx, Kaplan has about anywhere from 2100 to 2400 practice questions, which works really well.
The one thing to consider is that their questions are a little bit more detailed and tougher.
So, while USMLE Rx is probably a little bit easier than the natural exam, Kaplan is a little tougher than the actual Step 1 exam.
In terms of grades, I would probably give it around a B to maybe a B+.
I used it for a few months during my second year of med school and I can really say that the questions are a little bit more difficult.
And I think in that first phase when you’re studying for step 1 with your classes.
You would want something that will kind of build your confidence again and help you nail down to higher grades.
I’d say that the nitty-gritty details are probably not necessary.
Let’s be honest, everyone uses the next resource that we’ll talk about during step 1 dedicated which is, UWorld.
Now talking about UWorld, I will point this out.
You should not be using UWorld prior to your step 1 dedicated unless your dedicated is not enough time to prep.
I would not start using UWorld for a few reasons.
One, it’s extremely expensive.
As of writing, UWorld is at about $399 for around 90 days. That’s pretty steep for a question bank.
Now, with that being said, it’s also one of the most realistic question banks to help you prep for step 1.
So, with that price tag and only that limited amount of time frame, you don’t want to use those high-quality questions to help you during your initial part of Med School.
Instead, you would want to be using other questions to help build your foundation.
Then, you can use UWorld to really nail down the information that’s necessary for the exam.
So again, in terms of grading those three, I would put UWorld as an A to an A+ because it does the most realistic job of helping you prepare for the real exam.
Then, USMLE Rx would be second and pretty close to UWorld.
And then Kaplan would kind of fall and still be number three.
Now, there’s one that just came out recently and it’s called the BoardVitals.
It’s not very much known for now but one thing that I saw about this Qbank is that it’s way cheaper than the other question banks in the market.
They offer their resources for a monthly price of $59, which is evidently lower than Rx, and they also offer it for a 3-month subscription of $109 and $179 for 6 months. So, it’s pretty affordable.
However, unlike the previous Qbanks, BoardVitals only has 1,750 questions in bank.
The advantage is that these questions come with detailed explanations.
Looking at reviews of some of the students who have tried BoardVitals, most of them would recommend that you mix this with another Qbank.
Many pointed out that there are questions from this question bank that could not be found in the others.
And there are surely some questions from the other banks that will not be found in BoardVitals.
So, a lot of them would recommend this as sort of like a back-up question bank.
How to Use The Different Question Banks for Step 1
Now, let’s talk about how to use these different question banks.
First, you’ll have to consider if you’re new or if you’re in the first or second year of med school. Then, you just have to have some time to be dedicated.
I would then recommend checking out USMLE Rx first.
This is most useful if you are trying to use first aid with your class and you just not sure how to. USMLE Rx is a good supplement to it.
Here’s how you can use it.
Let’s say you’re on your cardiology block as a second-year med student.
You can start doing cardio questions in one afternoon or half-day of the week. And then, practice your step 1 studying that way.
This is one way you can build your foundation that first aid is trying to do but doesn’t always do the best job.
Basically, you are quizzing yourself on first aid with practice questions that are board level.
Then when it comes down to dedicated, switch over completely to UWorld.
Repeat UWorld or Switch over to a New QBank?
This is another question that a lot of you, guys, might have when it comes to using question banks for Step 1.
The question usually goes like this.
“Do I do UWorld a second time during my dedicated or should I use another question bank during that time?”
Guys, you have two options and two things you can do.
Option one is to do it a second time during your dedicated.
This works really well for students who may not be able to memorize these 2,400 questions.
Over time, you can work on quizzing yourself on some of the most realistic yet challenging questions for step 1 using UWorld.
On the other hand, the second option is to switch over to USMLE Rx. This is what I did.
The benefit of doing this is it’s going to build your confidence again going into testing.
Now, I am a student who thrives upon confidence-building versus knowledge building. Thus, the reason behind my method.
It may work for many of you, but to some of you, option one may be the better choice.
So, I basically use UWorld in my first five weeks of dedicated and that did the trick.
Then, now I just need to make sure I can like get out of anxiety mode, so, I would switch over to USMLE Rx.
Building Your Confidence Towards Test Day
This is a simple takeaway that I want to share with you, guys.
During the last week or two before test day, just focus on building your confidence that you know the basics.
Then you go on the test day saying, “Yep, I know they give me questions I’m going to get, and the tough questions are going to be tough for me and every one next to me.”
So again, its super valuable if you thrive upon that confidence-building since that is how I would structure step 1 study.
To recap, my method is to use USMLE Rx at the start during your first and second years.
Then, do UWorld during your dedicated and if you still have extra time, you can do one of those two options I shared above.
That’s basically how you would use question banks to study for step 1.
Interested in an All-in-One Step 1 Resource?
Check this out.
I am in the process of creating a new Step 1 resource that will answer all your questions about Step 1.
I am putting together a selection of videos about the different step 1 concerns you might have.
It ranges from different Step 1 topics, to specific study strategies, advance study methods, time management, study schedules and so much more!
Now, to be able to do this, I would need your input.
Sign up for this survey and input all the questions that you have about Step 1 so I can include it on that resource.
Also, don’t forget to LIKE this video below.
If I will get 50 likes on this video, I will surely start working on this resource for you, guys.
Want to Get More Helpful Study Tips?
I hope this post helped you decide on the best question banks for Step 1.
And if you want to get more helpful study tips, you can check out these other blog posts below.
How To Study For Step 1 [Get a 250+]
Best All In One Step 1 Resource – Physeo Review
The Best Step 1 Resources [How To Get 250+]
A More Efficient Way to Study In Medical School
How To Study in Medical School [Ultimate Guide]
How To Use NBMEs For Step 2 CK
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Until next time friends!