USMLE Test Prep Guide: Best USMLE Prep Courses, Books, and Study Material

 
Best USMLE Prep Courses
 

In the most straightforward words, USMLE Step 1 is a one-day computerized assessment. The test is conducted to gauge whether you understand and can apply the vital concepts of medicinal practices and fundamental sciences. Across the medical schools, Step 1 is regarded as the most challenging and detailed examination over all the examinations. Hence, it is vital to prepare well for Step 1. To get the right training and knowledge, you can enroll yourself in the best USMLE Step 1 prep course. Having the proper training and expertise is paramount to your success in the examination. So, we sat down with a team of twenty-seven experts who have cleared their USMLE Step 1 examinations from around the world and shortlisted the five best USMLE prep courses.

 

The good news is we have personally verified, researched, and reviewed all the prevalent USMLE prep courses in the market, and only following thorough research are we presenting these best USMLE prep courses for you. So, let us get started and help you find the best USMLE Step 1 prep course.

 

Table of Contents

 

Top Courses For USMLE Exam Prep

1. USMLE STEP 1 Course [Lecturio]

 
USMLE STEP 1 Course
 

What is this course all about?

Wondering why of the many best USMLE prep courses on this list, this one by Lecturio ranked at the top? Well, we have a reason. This Lecturio course comprises an eclectic mix of tutors. All of the tutors associated with the course have been trained from some of the most recognized and prestigious universities around the world. Another likable thing about this Lecturio course is that as a learner, you get zero-cost access to some of their most exquisite resources without having to swipe your card. Let us try to understand both their free and premium offerings to help you make a better selection.

 

a. Free Account

If you opt for this course’s free version, you get access to their resources without any obligation. To use their Free account, you do not even need a credit card. However, you should know that you do not get access to all the features in the free account.

 

So, what can you expect from the free account?

 

If you opt for the free account of this course, you will get your hands on:

  1. Two-hundred and fifty concise, short, and super easy-to-follow video lectures, which are of a total of twenty hours.
  2. One thousand quiz questions, which will appear in front of you while you take the video lectures. These questions can help you assess your understanding of the concepts taught in the class.
  3. Spaced repetition quiz that helps you know when and what you should repeat to better your preparation.
  4. Lecturio book matcher that syncs your medical lectures to the Lecturio videos.
  5. Access to the Lecturio’s iOS and Android application to conveniently access the lectures anytime and anywhere. You can even download the lectures and watch them offline.

 

b. Premium Account

Need more than what you get in the free account? Shop for the premium account of the Lecturio. In the premium version, you get unlimited access and all the functionalities of the free account. In addition, you will also get access to the below-listed features in the premium account:

  1. Over five-hundred and fifty concise, short, and super easy-to-follow video lectures, which are of a total of five hundred and fifteen hours
  2. About eighteen thousand quiz questions will appear in front of you while you take the video lectures. These questions can help you assess your understanding of the concepts taught in the class.
  3. More than 3400 USMLE® STEP 1 & 2 CK Question bank, along with proper explanations to the answers.
  4. COMLEX® Level 1 & 2 Question bank with explanations for a better understanding.
  5. An exam-like interface to help you prepare better for the actual test as the questions follow a timer, test, and tutor mode.
  6. Bookmarks that can help you personalize your course curriculum.
  7. Access to the Lecturio’s iOS and Android application to conveniently access the lectures anytime and anywhere. You can even download the lessons and watch them offline.

 

Reviews by Azizah:

Since getting Lecturio Premium, it’s been amazing. I’ve learned a whole bunch of new things and can’t wait to get through to the other courses. Lecturio is a very beneficial online learning program; it’s so interesting as it’s interactive and visually stimulating, with no boredom from long texts, nor any large PDF-like time-consuming books. I really like it, and I would definitely recommend others to start using it for their studies too!!

 

 

2. USMLE STEP 1 Course Based on First Aid 2020 Edition [SmashUSMLE]

 
USMLE STEP 1 Course Based on First Aid 2020 Edition
 

What is this course all about?

At number two on our prep courses list is the Smash USMLE Step 1 prep course. With this course, you get three main membership plans. This includes:

  1. Lifetime 120-month plan
  2. Six-months plan, and
  3. Three-months plan

 

Some of the key benefits of shopping for the three-month plan are:

  1. USMLE STEP 1 review course
  2. Free USMLE STEP 1 prep book
  3. More than two-hundred and fifty hours of video lectures covering all the USMLE content.
  4. Access to the USMLE question bank, which comprises over 2300 practice questions
  5. Seamless ability to keep a tab on your video lecture progress
  6. USMLE flashcards to stimulate better retention of the concepts.
  7. USMLE study guide
  8. Anytime access to a personal tutor
  9. Personal consultation with an MD, which is worth approximately 2000 USD
  10. Prep Guidebook with the calendar

 

On the other hand, the six-month plan of this Step 1 prep course will provide you access to all the above-listed features, along with an extra feature of exquisite SMART MD VIP membership. If you shop for the lifetime membership, you get all of this, in addition to two more features of test-taking strategies and NBME performance analysis. More so, the Smash USMLE Step 1 study material is indeed one of the most comprehensive ones available in the market. So, with this, achieving success in your exam will be a convenient dream.

 

More so, the Smash USMLE platform provides you with Question Bank membership plans for one month, three months, six months, and a year with 2200 STEP 1 questions. Except for their one-month plan, all the other plans give you the freedom to reset the question bank twice. So, for practice, you can take the questions two times.

 

 

3. USMLE STEP 1 Course [Pass Program]

 
USMLE STEP 1 Course - Pass Program
 

What is this course all about?

The next USMLE test prep course on our list is the Pass Program USMLE. It is an excellent USMLE Step 1 prep course and has a success rate of over ninety percent. Further, this USMLE Step 1 prep course has 121 NBME score points increase on average. Overall, with this USMLE test prep, you can benefit multi-fold. The course can help you review basic medical science in an organ system-based format.

 

What’s more? This USMLE test prep course will teach you how to apply all you have learned in clinical situations. Upon taking this course, you will get the best-in-class practice for your USMLE exam. There will be many questions selected randomly that you will have to do to gauge your understanding of the contents studied in this USMLE test prep course. These are COMLEX or USMLE questions.

 

Moreover, in this course; the learning is not passive. Your instructor will impart all the knowledge interactively. The best part about this course and the instructor is that you are continually motivated to ask more questions.

 

Every day through this USMLE test prep, you will be learning one topic, and the instructor will illustrate one broad concept, along with some smaller ones. Every student of the USMLE test prep course will then acquire one-on-one sessions on a weekly basis.

 

The Pass Program’s course is available in three formats: live online, live onsite, and on-demand. We will speak about the digital USMLE Step 1 prep course only.

 

In the live USMLE Step 1 prep course, you will get a choice between a five-week program, an eight-week program, and a twelve-week program. You can avail of the on-demand videos at just a one-time fee payment.

 

Some of the topics that will be covered in this USMLE Step 1 study material are listed below:

  1. Gastrointestinal Physiology and Pathology
  2. Membrane Physiology and Second Messenger
  3. Vascular Physiology and Pathology
  4. Endocrine Physiology and Pathology
  5. Electrolyte Physiology and EKG Physiology
  6. Neuromuscular Physiology and Pathology

 

 

4. USMLE® STEP 1 Prep [Kaplan Course]

 
USMLE® STEP 1 Prep
 

What is this course all about?

At number fourth on our list is the Kaplan USMLE test prep course. The books in this course revolve around breaking down the question bank into smaller chunks, which can help you gradually build up your score. With Kalpan, you get three key preparation methods. Here we will address all three of them one by one.

 

a. Qbank

In the Obank preparation method of this best USMLE Step 1 prep course, you will be working on 2800 exam-like questions. It follows a test-like interface along with strategy sections, which can help you prepare better for the exam. Some of the key features of this method adopted in the USMLE Step 1 study material are:

  1. Two full-length simulated exams
  2. Instructive videos by Dr. Armando
  3. 3D BioDigital images and animations
  4. Answer explanations

 
At times, the instructors will provide you with a question bank and their solutions without providing you with an explanation of the answers. In the absence of the explanation, students happen to only mug up the answer, which does not prove fruitful for them.
 

b. On-Demand

If you opt for the on-demand preparation method, you can conveniently customize your study schedule with content review. Some of the features that you study in this method of the Kaptest prep course include:

  1. Two simulated exams along with one diagnostic exam
  2. 2600 post-test and warm-up questions
  3. Over 220 hours of on-demand lecture video
  4. Qbank with 2,800+ USMLE-style questions

 

c. Instructor-Led

The last method adopted in the USMLE Step 1 prep course involves a set of instructor-led classes. These classes are divided into live online sessions along with a few on-location live lectures. However, as we are providing you with details on the online USMLE test prep, we will speak mostly about the live classes only. Some of the significant features covered via the USMLE Step 1 prep books in this method include:

  1. Two simulated exams along with one diagnostic exam
  2. Over 220 hours of on-demand lecture video
  3. Personal medical advising
  4. Over 270 hours of live online lectures with some of the most recognized educators.
  5. 2600 post-test and warm-up questions
  6. Qbank with 2,800+ USMLE-style questions

 

 

5. USMLE STEP 1 Board Review Questions and Practice Tests [Board Vitals]

 
USMLE STEP 1 Board Review
 

What is this course all about?

The last one best USMLE Step 1 prep course list is this Board Vitals course. With this course, you can access over 2700 USMLE STEP 1 board review practice questions. All the test questions have been written to simulate the time and complexity of the questions from the actual test that you will take on the day of your USMLE Step 1 exam.

 

In the USMLE Step 1 study material that you receive with the course, you will see the question bank, which rightly mimics the exam content outline for the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) USMLE STEP 1 Exam. In this prep course for USMLE Step 1, you get four primary course subscriptions for you to select from. So you can pick from a 6-month Master plan, a 3-month Prepare plan, a 1-month Cram plan, and a free plan.

 

In this course, each of the four plans, including the free one, lets you personalize the practice tests by subject. Further, you can also keep a tab on your progress with the advanced reports and analytics. There is also an option to time your test. This can help you mimic real test conditions and compare your progress in the test with the national average.

 

Some of the topics that you will study in this prep course include:

  1. Renal/Urinary System
  2. Reproductive System
  3. Respiratory System
  4. Musculoskeletal System
  5. Gastrointestinal System
  6. Cardiovascular System

 

Furthermore, the educator for this course also makes an effort to provide you with comprehensive evidence-based and detailed explanations with every question. This is necessary to ensure that you not only know the answers but also understand them. One of the most likable things about this best USMLE Step 1 prep course is that with every paid membership that you buy, the Board Vitals will vaccinate a child on your behalf. This can be your way to fulfill your social responsibility and give back to society.
 

Reviews by Stefanie B:

It includes a great naturopathic doctor prep (NPLEX)! Used it for NPLEX 1 and excited to use it again for NPLEX 2!

 

 

Best USMLE Step 1 Prep Books

Now, here is a quick guide to the best prep books for USMLE Step 1 that you can shop for in addition to any one of the above-listed courses. These books mentioned here have been tried and tested by several thousands of students over the years and have helped most of them materialize their dreams.

 

Some of our top-recommended books include:

  1. Crush STEP 1: The Ultimate USMLE STEP 1 Review
  2. USMLE STEP 1 Made Ridiculously Simple
  3. USMLE STEP 1 Lecture Notes 2020: 7-Book Set (Kaplan Test Prep)
  4. USMLE STEP 1 Qbook (USMLE Prep)
  5. First Aid for the USMLE STEP 1 2020, Thirtieth edition

 

 

Conclusion

So, these are the top five best USMLE Step 1 preparation courses that you can check out if you have an impending medical exam. In addition to the exam selection, we also recommend you shop for one or more of the above-listed five USMLE study materials. Of course, when you shop for the course listed above, you will get the study material, but you need some extra books for acing the exam. So, you can explore the options presented above and make your selection.

 

Now, a lot of you may be wondering if it is fine for you to study and excel in the exam all by yourself. Well, in all honesty, it is quite possible to study for the exam by yourself, and even clear it, but having a dedicated preparation course can undoubtedly amplify your chances of seeing success. More so, we do not recommend wasting a lot of time in making a course selection. You can pick anyone from the listed options, and you will not regret the decision so made. Lastly, please remember, more than making choices, it is the time that you dedicate to studying, which can make all the difference. Having said that, we will take your leave and will return with more such helpful guides in the future.

 

Best USMLE Prep Courses Reviewed by 27 USMLE Prep Experts 4.5

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