Step 1 Score Not Improving

What To Do If Your Step 1 Score Is Not Improving

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Are you struggling to reach your Step 1 goal score and feel as if whatever you do it’s not improving? I know exactly how that feels and I am about to share with you some tips on how you can improve them. 

In this post, you will learn effective strategies on how to have a better score and hopefully, it will help you understand how to approach Step 1 when things may not be going your way. 

Wait a minute! “If you want this post in a video format, you can check out my YouTube video below! Make sure to subscribe for weekly content if you enjoy this one!” 



Step 1 Score Is Not Improving


This is a question that I get a lot from you guys. Whether it’s in the comment section, through emails, or through instagram, which is basically…Step 1 Score Not Improving

“The test is getting closer and I am not seeing progress. I’ve started to plateau. More importantly, my grades started to go down and I’m nowhere close to where I want to be. What do I do?”

But the problem is, plateauing happens when you study over a long period of time. 

The real question is what should you do when there’s such a big discrepancy, especially when test day is approaching? 

FYI: Want to learn how to study for Step 1? Check out our ultimate guide to walk you through the entire process here. 

How To Improve Your Step 1 Score

Step #1 

First thing is to identify your weak points. These are often topics that you were really struggling on for the last few weeks of your prep. 

FYI: In Step 1 Academy, we talk about the dedicated review 2.0 system more. 

I’m just going to give you some examples. We’re going to say maybe you are struggling with cards. Maybe you’re still just struggling with Repro or Pharm, right? Those are some of the main topics. 

But let’s say you’re doing well on Biostats, so how do I take this and coordinate a new study schedule for you? 

If you still have a couple of weeks left, I would suggest that at the start of your day, begin a question block.

Go into UWORLD and do 40 random questions and keep it timed. 

The reason I say to keep it timed is that these topics are going to lead to the most anxiety during testing. For the topics that you struggle with – you’re also going to struggle with timing.

If you focus on having just one question block a day, then you can go ahead and focus on your weak points, this way you can improve on both your anxiety as well as your timing.

Step #2

Go ahead and start reviewing your missed questions.

In Step 1 Academy, we talked about various ways to review. 

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Step 1 Academy here

Step #3

Use a reference to fill in the holes. Now if you think about it, this is actually the second iteration of these weak points for you.

Maybe you’ve missed the same cardiology question a few times, so this is probably the second time that you’ve gone through it. 

If you still somehow miss it, then it’s encouraged that you go through a reference, like First Aid, or watch a YouTube video or go through Sketchy

If you’re struggling with Pharm or Micro, just go through those resources to help fill in the blocks like Pathoma, etc. 

Step #4

Throughout your day I would recommend repeating (doing another 40-question block of your weaknesses) this process. 

Again, the main idea is to get closer to our desired score. We do this by gradually improving our weaknesses. 

We can focus more of our time by just watching videos and hopefully in Pathoma and Sketchy will do the trick. 

But in reality, closing this gap by working on our weaknesses multiple times, especially during the last few weeks is truly what’s going to help. 

So What Do You Do If Your Step 1 Score Is Not Improving?

Step 1 Score Not Improving

So let’s review what to do when your Step 1 score is not improving. 

One is to identify your weak points. 

Once you do that, try to do one to two random UWORLD blocks on those topics using a reference material that you’re still missing despite going through it a second time. 

And then in regards to how to make sure you’re staying strong on your other topics, I would say, do one block a day. It’s not necessarily around your weak points, it is kind of still testing you for a test day. 

This is going to help you limit your weaknesses and help keep you strong for test day. 

Hopefully, this helped solidify some of the things that you may be doing. But if you’re considering spending more time watching or using a resource, I would recommend just simplifying it completely and going through what you are struggling with. 

Focus more on your time at the start and the middle of the day. And then, using the last part of your day to just do a generic form of studying. This way, you can keep yourself strong and ideally get close to your goal score.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

If you enjoyed this post, go ahead and check out these articles as well:

How To Study For Step 1 [Get A 250+]

How To Study In Medical School [Ultimate Guide]

Step 1 Is Now Pass-Fail – The Good, Bad, & Ugly

Get A High Step Score [Top Step 1 Resources]

I hope you guys learned a lot and thanks for reading!

Until next time my friends…


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