So you did make your mind up for USMLE exam! You are now all surrounded by your laptop, USMLE study resources, study notes, energy drinks, etc. and you’re all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to prepare for steps of USMLE! But, did anyone tell you what is USMLE Step 1 exam day like?
Or do you know of the dos and don’ts for the USMLE Step 1 exam day? If not, don’t worry as we’ve just got you covered!
The details that we’ll be discussing further aren’t some gold mine of information about USMLE. But yeah, if you get them right, they might be of help.
STEPPING OUT OF YOUR HOME
When you leave home and head towards the prometric center, it’s not just you but a series of daunting thoughts running through your mind that accompany you. And it’s absolutely fine to have that. Take a deep breath and tell yourself ‘You got this!’ and move ahead.
Upon reaching the prometric center, you will get your documents verified at the reception (Letter of appointment from prometric center, ID Proof & Scheduling permit). Subsequently, your belongings can be kept inside the locker the key of which will be provided to you along with a plastic bag to place your edibles.
ENTERING THE EXAM HALL
You will then move to a hall after you have gone through the aforementioned process. In the hall, you are supposed to leave your plastic bag. As far as your edibles are concerned, you may carry something easy to go with like protein bars, energy drink, water bottle, etc.
Prior to entering the test zone, make sure you take a tour of the restroom. The reason here is that you should be aware of the direction of the restroom and its proximity.
SECURITY CHECK AND ENTERING THE TEST ZONE
USMLE step 1 exam is complex and so is its security check. The security check commences with the verification of your ID followed by checking of your clothes, pockets, eyeglasses, et cetera.
After that, you are required to give your fingerprints which will output a unique code which you are supposed to write at a few places.
Post the security check; you will sign for yourself along with putting in a sign in time and aim for the cubicle so designated to you.
Inside the cubicle, you are provided with a pair of noise cancellation headphones. However, you may use your own if you feel comfy doing so.
You can further add up extra 15 minutes by skipping the tutorial, thereby availing a 1 hour break time during the exam which is 45 minutes otherwise. One never knows how useful these few extra minutes could be! You can watch the tutorial beforehand by clicking here.
AIMING FOR THE USMLE STEP 1 BLOCK 1
(There are a total of 7 blocks encompassing the USMLE Step 1 exam and administered in an 8 hour session. Block is nothing but a group of questions not exceeding the limit of 40.)
Now you are all geared up to take the USMLE Step 1 exam. You are answering question after question and your confidence knows no bounds by this time. But there always come some USMLE exam questions you do not know the answer to.
So what do you do now? Simple, you use the old school funda! Just skip such questions and go for those you know the answer of, it’s as simple as that!
However, the thought of not being able to answer it keep pestering you right into your mind. Still, do what is told and get back to them once you have gone through the entire block.
If you’ve found an answer to it, then hurray! If not, then it’d be strongly recommended to take a break considering that you’ve run out of time.
During the break time, do whatever you feel like doing. Freshen up, stretch yourself a bit, and grab a piece of your protein bar and get back to your cubicle.
AIMING FOR THE USMLE STEP 1 BLOCK 2
Before entering the cubicle, there will again be a security check which can be annoying at times.
TAKE NOTE - A free bit of advice; if you wear spectacles then leave those in the cubicle itself during the break time as it will save some time during security check. You will have to sign in again to enter into the cubicle.
If you still have got some time to spare, then do some meditation (Or whatever mental conditioning suits you) so that you can remain composed and start the block afresh!
Now, take a deep breath and get on to the answering part. Needless to say, stick to the same routine as that of the USMLE Step 1 exam Block 1.
DEALING WITH THE REMAINING BLOCKS
Adhering to the same routine will ensure smooth-running of the security check, break time, etc. Minimal intake of caffeine and glucose during the interval will keep you energized throughout the day and you can expect very decent USMLE exam scores!