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How Can a Cram Fighter Coach Help You?

We discuss how to seek help with your Step 1 study plan and list scenarios that might warrant getting help from a USMLE coach.

We asked Cram Fighter coach and UC San Diego medical student Spencer Fuller about how med students can use coaching to cope with the struggles associated with Step 1. Spencer told us that many students see Step 1 as life-defining, which naturally generates anxieties. Spencer told us that talking to older medical students about their Step 1 experience can be a big help, a good source of perspective about a loaded exam such as Step 1.

Talking to peers is certainly different from talking to coaches. “Step 1 can be a taboo subject among medical students,” said Spencer. “The environment is as if you are supposed to put on a brave face, spend thousands of dollars on resources, and start studying. But this is not the right attitude to have about the test.” Spencer emphasized that reaching out for help can be an important part of preparing for Step 1. Below we present Spencer’s advice for when to utilize a USMLE coach.

If you are feeling uncertain or anxious about your study plan, it’s good to check in with a someone who understands the test really well and who has professional experience in helping others through their journey

Spencer Fuller, Cram Fighter coach, medical student at UC San Diego

Under what circumstances might a medical student need coaching during their Step 1 preparation?

“First, almost anyone can benefit from coaching,” said Spencer. “The coaches at Cram Fighter are well-trained, have done well on the exam, and are committed to helping others succeed by sharing their experience. They understand that Step 1 is everyone’s own marathon, so you need a plan that works for you. Coaches gather information to understand where you stand and where you want to be. That is accomplished by individual sessions in which coaches help you create your own personalized study plan, taking into account factors such as your particular needs and learning styles.”

Spencer explains that you might want to ask for help if you feel uncertain about your study plan. After all, a coach is an expert on the exam. “If you are feeling uncertain or anxious about your study plan, it’s good to check in with someone who understands the test really well and who has professional experience in helping others through their journey, like a coach,” said Spencer. “If you already have a decent study plan in place, but, based on a practice exam, feel you are not doing as well as you had hoped, checking in with someone who can give specific feedback can help a lot. An experienced coach can help you diagnose issues and find solutions for them.”

“The last point I want to make is that Cram Fighter is a really powerful tool. Many users, including myself at one time, don’t realize the many features Cram Fighter has to offer,” said Spencer. “For example, you can create overlapping study blocks to take you through resources at different paces. A coach can help you set up a study plan for the first time, modify a plan you already have, or help you use Cram Fighter to your advantage.”

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