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If you've been thinking about taking a USMLE class to improve your study skills, look no further than Varsity Tutors for professional help with your USMLE test preparation. Maybe you're a medical student in the United States or Canada and you're ready to begin studying for steps 1 or 2, or you've already graduated and are ready to begin your USMLE test prep for the third and final step to earning your medical license. Or maybe you're already a physician in a country outside of North America, you meet the criteria of the ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates), and you want to practice in the United States. Wherever you're coming from, it's important to be thorough in your USMLE prep, which is why Varsity Tutors offers USMLE courses for anyone preparing for any step of the licensing procedure.

The USMLE, or United States Medical Licensing Examination, is a three-step standardized exam sponsored by both the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) that provides one track for certifying allopathic medical professionals throughout the United States. It measures a prospective physician's ability to apply medical concepts and interpersonal skills to deliver effective patient care.

Can A USMLE Course Near Me Focus On The Exam I'm Preparing to Take?

If you are preparing for any USMLE exam, you probably already know that USMLE prep can be tough. When you obtain USMLE test prep assistance with the help of Varsity Tutors, you have access to a different kind of USMLE course because the USMLE classes we set you up with feature one-on-one USMLE prep with a knowledgeable instructor, or tutor, who can personalize your USMLE test prep experience based on your needs.

For instance, each "Step" of the USMLE contains plenty of material to sink your teeth into during your USMLE preparation. Here is a closer look at each of the tests you need to take en route to medical licensure:

Step 1

The Step 1 USMLE consists of seven 60-minute blocks of multiple-choice science questions. The total number of questions will not exceed 280, and the test is administered in one gigantic eight-hour testing session (including scheduled breaks). It is generally taken in the second year of med school, when your knowledge of foundational scientific concepts is at its peak. You will be expected to interpret graphical data, identify pathogenic specimens, and apply your academic knowledge in practical problem-solving situations.

Your USMLE tutoring can provide comprehensive coverage of the topics that may appear on the USMLE step you're preparing for. The following list of Step 1 topics should give you an idea how exhaustive that can be:

Topics on Step 1 Exam: *not all topics are included in every USMLE Exam

  • anatomy
  • behavioral sciences
  • biochemistry
  • biostatistics and epidemiology
  • microbiology
  • pathology
  • pharmacology
  • physiology
  • genetics
  • aging
  • immunology
  • nutrition
  • molecular and cell biology

Your USMLE tutor can even provide you with an in-depth overview like the following:

Step 1 Exam Breakdown:

System

Range

  • General Principles of Foundational Science

15%-20%

  • Immune System
  • Blood & Lymphoreticular System
  • Behavioral Health
  • Nervous System & Special Senses
  • Skin & Subcutaneous Tissue
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Respiratory System
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Renal & Urinary System
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Puerperium
  • Female Reproductive & Breast
  • Male Reproductive
  • Endocrine System

60%-70%

  • Multisystem Processes & Disorders
  • Biostatistics & Epidemiology
  • Population Health
  • Social Sciences

15%-20%

Process

Range

Normal Processes

10%-15%

Abnormal Processes

55%-60%

Principles of Therapeutics

15%-20%

Other

10%-15%

Step 1 Exam Physician Tasks/Competencies:

Competency

Range

Medical Knowledge/Scientific Concepts

55% - 65%

Patient Care: Diagnosis

  • History/Physical Examination
  • Laboratory/Diagnostic Studies
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis/Outcome

20% - 30%

Patient Care: Management

  • Health Maintenance/Disease Prevention
  • Pharmacotherapy

7%-12%

Communication

Professionalism

2%-5%

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

4%-8%

That is a lot of material, but a private tutor can help you break your USMLE prep into more digestible chunks. For example, if you are confident in your knowledge of the immune system but have a harder time with behavior science, your USMLE classes can concentrate on behavioral science to improve your study efficiency.

Since Step 1 is essentially a standard (albeit long) science exam, many of the study techniques you may have used in high school or college may be applicable in your USMLE test prep. For example, flashcards might prove useful in memorizing all of the medical terminology you need to know, while active reading skills could help you get more out of assigned readings. Your USMLE preparation revolves around you, so don't be afraid to speak up if you want to tackle something differently!

Step 2

Step 2 of the USMLE is separated into two different exams: Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) and Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills). Step 2 CK is very similar to the format of Step 1. It includes eight 60-minute blocks of multiple-choice questions for a testing session lasting nine hours including breaks. The total number of questions will not exceed 318.

Bodily systems comprise anywhere from 85-95 percent of the questions on the exam, so you should anticipate concentrating on them during your USMLE prep. All material is presented through the lenses of physician tasks and disease, and you start to see questions about potential medical specializations such as reproductive health and pharmaceuticals. Overall, your USMLE test prep for this section is likely to be comparable to that for Step 1.

In contrast, the Step 2 CS uses a completely different format. It is a practical exam where you will meet with 12 standardized patients to assess your ability to collect medical histories, perform physical examinations, and share your findings with both patients and colleagues. You will have 15 minutes with each patient, and 10 minutes more to type up a "patient note" including three likely diagnoses and recommended next steps.

If you aren't confident in your interpersonal communication skills, you might roleplay with your instructor during your USMLE test preparation in order to gain experience. For example, your instructor might take the role of an elderly patient with a history of cardiovascular problems and a stomach ache. You can introduce yourself, ask medical questions, and try to figure out what is wrong with the patient. When the exercise is over, your tutor can review what you did well and where you could improve to keep your USMLE prep on the right track.

Similarly, some of the test day patient interactions may take place by telephone. This makes it more challenging, as you cannot examine the patient or read their body language to help you reach a conclusion. Still, roleplaying with your instructor during a USMLE course may be the best way to prepare for this part of the test.

Step 3

Step 3 of the USMLE is divided into two different testing sessions. The first covers the Foundations of Independent Practice (FIP), including topics such as interpretation of medical literature, population health, medical ethics, and patient safety. There are six 60-minute blocks of multiple-choice questions, and the total number of questions will not exceed 232.

The second portion of Step 3 is more interesting. It covers Advanced Clinical Medicine (ACM), including topics such as patient management, ensuring optimal patient outcomes, and medical decision-making. The testing session lasts nine hours, including approximately 180 multiple-choice questions plus 13 "case simulations" that simulate working with patients in real time.

You're probably more familiar with multiple-choice questions than you ever wanted to be at this stage of your USMLE test prep journey, but the case simulations are new. It can be very stressful to place yourself into the role of practicing physician with minimal background, so your instructor might provide some sample problems during your USMLE preparation to increase your self-confidence heading into the exam.

How Else Can USMLE Classes Near Me Help Me Study?

Often, USMLE tutors will spend time during your first meeting to evaluate your current knowledge and skill level in each topic and skill necessary for the exam you're preparing for. The two of you can then schedule USMLE test prep sessions to focus on anything you're finding especially challenging. Your tutor can track your progress, and easily adjust each USMLE class in real time to reflect your needs. In other words, your USMLE tutor can spend the exact amount of USMLE prep time you need for each topic, making your study sessions far more efficient than they would be in larger USMLE courses.

Many students also take practice exams during their USMLE prep. All of these tests are long, assessing a candidate's mental stamina just as much as their medical knowledge. Completing practice tests under realistic test-taking conditions can give you a realistic sense of what the test is like, helping you plan accordingly.

Likewise, practice exams can help you develop a familiarity with the exam's electronic interface. If you aren't accustomed to computer-based testing, practicing with it may help ease any test anxiety you are experiencing. Furthermore, reviewing your answers during your USMLE test preparation may help you identify academic strengths and areas of opportunity you may not have realized you had.

There is no penalty for guessing on any USMLE test, so you should try to answer every question. That may seem easy considering how long each test lasts, but the fact that the questions are divided into separately-timed blocks means that you are always dealing with a time constraint. Your knowledgeable USMLE test prep instructor may teach you how to identify and eliminate obviously incorrect answer choices so that you can pick something and move on.

Finally, your instructor may demonstrate proven test-taking tips during private USMLE tutoring sessions. For example, some multiple-choice questions contain enough info to answer another question on the test. This is rarely the most important aspect of USMLE prep but could deliver a jolt of self-confidence if you can get one right you otherwise may have answered incorrectly.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About USMLE Test Prep?

The USMLE has special rules that you should keep in mind as you take the exam. You are free to leave the test room during scheduled breaks to stretch your legs and use the restroom, but you are prohibited from bringing things back into the test room with you or referring to your notes during breaks. Likewise, any unplanned interruptions (such as an emergency bathroom break) will eat into your available time. These are the kinds of considerations you'll want to take into account before test day arrives.

Similarly, you are required to show up to the test on time. If you arrive after the initial orientation has been completed, you will not be permitted to sit for the test. Worse, you will be charged a rescheduling fee when you next book a testing date. It is advisable to arrive at least 30 minutes early so that you are able to take the test as scheduled.

If you have any further questions about USMLE test preparation, ask your instructor for a prompt response you can trust!

Why Should I Choose Varsity Tutors To Find USMLE Test Prep Near Me?

We try to match every student with USMLE prep that fits into their schedule. For instance, if you have a prior engagement on Wednesday evenings, we'll try to avoid scheduling any USMLE courses in that time frame. We understand that med students and medical residents don't have much free time and try to keep that in mind when designing our USMLE test prep services.

Likewise, every USMLE class we connect you with includes access to our exclusive Live Learning Platform. Our Live Learning Platform is an online classroom that harnesses features such as a virtual whiteboard to deliver quality USMLE prep anywhere with a solid internet connection. If you have been searching for a way to take the hassle out of private USMLE tutoring, you just found it!

You've worked hard to get where you are. You deserve the best help possible as you complete your long journey towards achieving your dream. That's why Varsity Tutors is excited to connect you with top-notch USMLE test prep assistance. Contact us today and we'll find you "USMLE prep near me" now!

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