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3 Reasons to Have a Study Partner for the USMLE

Medical students discuss the benefits of studying with a partner when preparing for the USMLE Step 1.

As your Step 1 exam date looms, it is important to keep in mind that you and your peers are in this together. Cody Nathan, a medical student at Temple University, says “In undergrad, I was a solo studier. But for med school and for Step 1, having someone else there with you to help organize your information is great.”

You may wondering: “What are the advantages of studying with a partner?” Below are the top 3 reasons Cram Fighter users report for studying with a partner during their Step 1 study periods.

1. Studying Alone Gets Tedious. Studying With a Partner Can Help

Ken Noguchi, a medical student, peer tutor and author of SideNote, says that “Even for people who are more solitary, I would encourage them to do at least some work with people. It breaks up the monotony of your dedicated study period.”

Hazel Asumu My study partner and I literally sat down and made our Cram Fighter schedules right next to each other. We wanted to make sure they were the same.
Hazel Asumu, University of Florida

You are bound the encounter monotonous tasks as you review material during your dedicated study period for Step 1. With a partner, you can make sure you don’t miss important information. “My study partner and I went through every lecture together at least twice,” says Ross University medical student Adam Manly. “It helped clarify points of confusion that I would have normally skipped over by myself.”

2. Review Material More Quickly

Two heads are better than one. When in comes to time management, studying with a partner can be a big help for increasing your efficiency. Alex, a Cram Fighter user who scored a 254 on Step 1, says “I reviewed the answers on the CBSSA self-assessments with a partner, and this sped up the process significantly.”

Ken Noguchi Having a study partner also helps you get through those days when you wake up and don’t feel like studying
Ken Noguchi, Medical Student, Author of SideNote

3. Study Partners Keep Each Other Accountable

Cody Nathan Having a study partner also helps you get through those days when you wake up and don’t feel like studying
Cody Nathan, Temple University

Having a study partner can keep you motivated as well. “Having a study partner also helps you get through those days when you wake up and don’t feel like studying,” says Cody. “You know they’re in the library waiting for you so it encourages you to keep going.” Some students take studying together one step further and create parallel study plans. University of Florida medical student Hazel Asumu says “My study partner and I literally sat down and made our Cram Fighter schedules right next to each other. We wanted to make sure they were the same. I think having a study partner can be great for helping you stay accountable.”

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