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Whether you're ready to complete step 1, 2, or 3 of the USMLE, Varsity Tutors can set you up with one-on-one USMLE prep courses to help you study. We specialize in helping students like you connect with private USMLE classes that may be adapted to your unique needs, making us one of the most trustworthy names in the test prep space!

Passing each step of the United States Medical Licensing Exam, or USMLE, is required for anyone who wants to become a licensed medical professional in the United States. The exam consists of three "steps" designed to complement one another in order to assess a physician's ability to apply medical knowledge and demonstrate patient-centered care.

The USMLE is sponsored by both the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) as a single exam that gives doctors a standardized path to licensure across the United States, no matter where they trained.

Whether you're a student in med school in the U.S. or Canada planning for steps 1 or 2, or you've earned your degree and are excited to start preparing for step 3, getting help through a Varsity Tutors USMLE course could give your test preparation the boost you need. Varsity Tutors also offers USMLE courses to professionals from outside the US and Canada who are enrolled in or have graduated from a medical school that meets the ECFMG requirements.

Each step of the USMLE requires you to either answer questions or perform skills for a full day, or two full days in the case of step 3. That means not only covering a vast amount of content, but also demonstrating the stamina needed to be a medical professional. There's no reason you should have to prepare for any part of the USMLE on your own when Varsity Tutors can offer comprehensive USMLE prep classes with a knowledgeable instructor. Because of the private tutoring setting, each USMLE class can be planned based solely around your particular study needs.

This makes the USMLE course set up for you by Varsity Tutors much more adaptable than a generic USMLE course. USMLE tutors can evaluate your understanding as you go through each subject, and prepare USMLE class sessions that focus on the concepts or skills you find challenging. Once you've mastered a particular subject, you can instantly move on to the next one. This provides maximum studying efficiency, and as a busy medical student or professional, your time is already limited.

Would Taking A USMLE Course Near Me Help Me Understand What I Need To Know?

To get an idea of what each exam looks like on test day, review the information below:

Test 1:

  • 280 multiple choice questions
  • divided into seven 60-minute blocks
  • One day test session

Test 2(Clinical knowledge):

  • 316 multiple choice questions
  • divided into eight 60-minute blocks
  • One day test session

Test 2(Clinical Skills):

  • 12 patient cases: 15 minutes for each patient encounter plus 10 minutes to record each patient note
  • Administered at six test centers in the US - Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia(2)
  • Composed of three subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Integrated Clinical Encounter, and Spoken English Proficiency
  • One day test session

Test 3:

Day 1:

  • Approximately 233 multiple- choice test questions divided into six 60-minute blocks. Each contains approximately 40 questions
  • One-day test session.

Day 2:

  • Approximately 180 multiple-choice test questions, divided into six 45-minute blocks, each containing approximately 30 questions
  • Thirteen computer-based case simulations. Each simulation is allotted a maximum of 10 or 20 minutes of real time
  • One-day test session

All of those tests are gigantic, so let's take a closer look at how a USMLE class could help you prepare for them:

Step 1

Step 1 is the first USMLE exam taken, generally during your second year of medical school when foundational scientific concepts are freshest in your mind. It is a basic science test evaluating whether you have the academic knowledge necessary to act as a medical professional. You may need to interpret medical charts and graphs, identify and differentiate pathogenic specimens from their normal counterparts, and apply your medical knowledge to real-world problem-solving situations. You have probably been answering similar science questions since high school, so your USMLE prep course may approach it like a standard science exam.

For example, you might review flashcards during your USMLE prep classes to learn all of the requisite medical terminology. Alternatively, your sessions could concentrate on the Latin roots of medical words to help you decipher the meaning of any unfamiliar terms you encounter on test day.

Likewise, your one-on-one USMLE class may be adapted to your unique learning style. If you are more of a visual learner, your instructor might use scale models and other visual aids to help illustrate how the body's core systems work. If you are more of an auditory student, your tutor may instead provide informative lectures with oral repetition to emphasize the most important points. Either approach is valid, but large USMLE courses generally force students into a particular approach instead of adapting to their unique needs.

Step 2

As noted above, Step 2 of the USMLE is divided into two tests: Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) and Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills). Step 2 CK is comparable to Step 1, except it's a little bit longer and begins to approach topics through the lenses of medical specializations such as pediatrics and family medicine. All of the clinical science material on the exam is viewed through the prism of physician task and disease to make it more practical for a medical student approaching the finish line. A USMLE class can help you prepare for these topics in the same way as listed for Step 1.

Step 2 CS utilizes a completely different format. You will meet with a total of 12 standardized patients while experienced physicians evaluate your ability to collect medical histories, perform physical examinations, and communicate your findings to patients and colleagues alike. If interpersonal skills have never been your forte, you might roleplay with your instructor during USMLE prep courses to gain experience with what you need to say and how to say it.

Some of your simulated patient interactions on test day may also happen on the telephone. This makes it harder, as you cannot see any symptoms or read body language to help you determine what a patient needs. Thankfully, you may be able to call your tutor to practice these interactions during a USMLE prep class.

Once you have enough information to deliver a diagnosis, you need to type up a "patient note" to simulate drawing up a medical record for the patient in question. You must clearly express your ideas in writing within a 10-minute time frame, so you may wish to practice outlining your thoughts in a USMLE course to make sure that you can convey the information effectively.

Step 3

Passing Step 3 is the final step toward earning a license for the unsupervised practice of medicine in the United States, and it's challenging. The first day covers the Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP), including topics such as biostatistics, population health, interpretation of medical literature, patient safety, and medical ethics. This requires multiple academic skills you may wish to review in a USMLE prep class.

For instance, a student who has a hard time deciphering dense medical literature may practice active reading in their USMLE classes to retain more of what they read. Alternatively, somebody who dreads working with biostatistics may review underlying mathematical concepts during their USMLE course.

The second day covers Advanced Clinical Medicine, including concepts such as diagnoses, patient outcomes, medical decision-making, and therapeutics. The test begins with multiple-choice questions but also includes 13 computer-based case simulations that require you to provide patient care in real time.

If you have been wondering how you would react when a real patient is deteriorating before your eyes, the case simulations are designed to place you in that situation. You might want to complete several practice ones during your USMLE prep courses so you're not going in blind.

How Else Can A USMLE Class Near Me Help Me Build My Study Skills?

Another way your USMLE prep class instructor can help you prepare is to administer practice tests using questions like the ones on the exam. The only way to get a realistic sense for how intellectually draining these exams are is to experience it firsthand. In fact, improving your mental stamina may be one of the biggest benefits of USMLE prep classes. Practice tests can also help you identify what your academic strengths are, as well as any areas of opportunity you might want to spend more USMLE prep course time on.

As crazy as it sounds, time management is also an important consideration on the USMLE exams. Since the questions are organized into 60-minute blocks, you are constantly under the gun even though you have a total of 8-9 hours of work to do. Your instructor may show you test-taking tips to help you complete the exam as efficiently as possible. There is no penalty for guessing on any USMLE exam, so you should try to answer every question.

Here is a USMLE sample question to give you an initial picture of what exam items might look like:

A 32-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus has had progressive renal failure over the past 2 years. She has not yet started dialysis. Examination shows no abnormalities. Her hemoglobin concentration is 9 g/dL, hematocrit is 28%, and mean corpuscular volume is 94 μm^3. A blood smear shows normochromic, normocytic cells. Which of the following is the most likely cause?

(A) Acute blood loss

(B) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

(C) Erythrocyte enzyme deficiency

(D) Erythropoietin deficiency

(E) Immunohemolysis

(F) Microangiopathic hemolysis

(G) Polycythemia vera

(H) Sickle cell disease

(I) Sideroblastic anemia

(J) β-Thalassemia trait

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About The USMLE?

All USMLE exams are administered at specialized testing labs except the Step 2 CS, which still takes place in a controlled environment. You are prohibited from bringing reference materials with you to any of these tests, so plan on completing all of your test prep before you sit down for the exam. Likewise, make sure you understand all of the exam's rules before you begin.

For instance, you have 15 minutes to interact with each patient on the Step 2 CS and 10 minutes more to write up your patient note. If you feel that you have collected all of the information you need early, you may leave the patient room and apply the remaining time to your patient note. However, you cannot re-enter the patient room, nor can you use the time saved on one patient on another. Similarly, certain medical tests are prohibited during the exam even if they would be valid for the situation at hand.

The USMLE has regularly-scheduled breaks when you can use the restroom or grab something to eat, but any "unscheduled" breaks will use some of your testing time. Since time is already at a premium, you should probably avoid drinking a lot of liquids the morning of your exam to minimize time lost to nature's call.

Why Should I Trust Varsity Tutors With USMLE Test Prep Near Me?

We offer an exclusive Live Learning Platform that facilitates digital study sessions for optimal efficiency. You can meet with your instructor online and receive face-to-face instruction without the hassle of attending a physical class. We also try to match every student with an instructor who meets their scheduling needs for added flexibility.

There's a reason that doctors are so highly regarded in the United States and around the world. You study for so many years, learn so much, and work so hard to earn your license so that you can help people in the most desperate situations. Allow Varsity Tutors to help you prepare for your future as a medical professional by contacting us today and signing up for a private USMLE prep course that you can start right away. What are you waiting for? End your search for "USMLE prep near me" today!

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