UWorld is a very good resource in studying for USMLE Step 1. The most powerful way to remember content is to be tested, to answer questions. The Q-bank enables you to do this with thousands of questions that are similar to those on the actual exam.

I would recommend using the Q-bank as follows to improve your performance on the USMLE exams:

  1. On typical studying days, answer questions in “study mode” so that as soon as you answer the question, the explanation appears. Always read the explanation, even if you answered correctly! Sometime you will answer questions correctly and not really know why. This will solidify things that you remember, and help you learn the answers to questions you missed.
  2. Take multiple full length timed practice tests that simulate the actual exam:
    • Take seven 60 minute blocks of about 46 questions with one hour of total break time to use over the seven blocks.
    • Start at the same time of day your exam is scheduled.
    • After you have done 8 hours of testing relax the rest of the day, you will need it!
    • Spend the following 1-2 days reviewing all of the questions that you missed during the practice test. Do not rush through those questions, as reviewing your missed questions is where the real learning occurs. If the explanation given for the question doesn’t make sense to you, look it up in online or in one of your books.
  3. Make sure your study schedule allows enough time for you to complete all of the questions in the Q-bank. There is no point in wasting your money by not even looking at questions you have purchased.  Remember doing questions is one of the most important parts of studying for Step 1.

Try not to get too frustrated during this process. The UWorld questions are very difficult and you will miss a lot of questions, especially in the beginning. Remember that every question you miss is an opportunity to learn something new and better understand your weaknesses. The actual Step 1 questions will be easier than UWorld. Completing all of the question bank and taking multiple practice tests will make taking the real thing feel much easier!

Note: I am in no way affiliated with UWorld. I do not receive money or anything else from them for recommending their service.