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3 Ways Cram Fighter Can Help You Crush USMLE Step 1

Medical students share how Cram Fighter helped them make the best possible study plan for USMLE Step 1.

When creating a USMLE study plan, students often find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Intuitively, we all know that having an effective study plan is critical for performing well on an exam, but developing such a plan can be time-consuming and stressful.

Cram Fighter user Michael Douglas of Loma Linda School of Medicine explains the importance of having a study plan: “I actually finished what I set out to do. A lot of people say, ‘We’ll see how it goes.’ They didn’t get through the material because they didn’t realize how much they had to do. Or, they didn’t realize that they gave themselves too much material.” He also says, “People use Excel documents and all this stuff. It’s really hard to change it. They say, ‘I’ll just use this for now.’ They get behind on it.”

Michael DouglasA lot of people didn’t get through the material because they didn’t realize how much they had to do.

Michael Douglas, Loma Linda School of Medicine

Deciding how much material to cover each day

Creating a study plan by hand requires a tremendous amount of foresight. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of resources you need to review. With a tool like Cram Fighter, you can break down your selected resources into a manageable set of tasks for each day. This helped medical student Ethan Young score a 250 on Step 1. As Ethan suggests, “Cram Fighter turned what seemed like an impossible amount of content and studying into a feasible study plan with realistic goals.”

Ethan Young “Being able to check off all of those tasks at the end of the day was a good feeling.”

Ethan Young, University of South Dakota School of Medicine, Step 1 Score: 250

Accounting for interruptions in your schedule

Much can happen in the course of a three to six month study plan. Events in your personal life can surprise you and interrupt your study plan. You may realize you have less time than expected. You may even decide you need to add another resource to brush up on one of your weak points. Deena Wasserman of the University of Pittsburgh, who scored a 249 on Step 1, describes how a Cram Fighter study plan can be responsive to changes: “I’m terrible at self planning, so I need a structured schedule in order to get things done. But I also need flexibility because life happens. Cram Fighter was the perfect tool for me to be able to work my study schedule in while still on clerkship rotations and having other responsibilities. Cram Fighter helped me create a plan that fit my life.”

Deena Wasserman Cram Fighter helped me create a plan that fit my life.

Deena Wasserman, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

You can find out more about how Cram Fighter can help you when you are falling behind.

Staying on track with confidence

Cram Fighter makes sure you cover everything you need to do on time, instead of coasting through resources and jumping around. Deena says having a task list each day “prevented me from falling into my usual procrastination tendencies.” In addition, instead of letting overdue tasks accumulate unchecked, Cram Fighter allows you to redistribute them over the rest of your schedule.

On the other hand, if you aren’t sure how much you need to be doing each day, you may feel some anxiety and uncertainty. You may feel you should be studying more to stay on track. Matthew Levitsky of Tufts University says that having a Cram Fighter study plan eliminates this unneeded stress.

Matthew Levitsky Thanks to Cram Fighter, I knew exactly what I had to do every day—if I finished early, I felt no guilt that I was taking the night off.”

Matthew Levitsky, Tufts School of Medicine

The perfect study plan has a lot of important qualities. We recommend that your study plan be flexible enough to account for changes and well organized to keep you on track. As a tool for your board studying, Cram Fighter provides all of the support you need to create a plan, account for interruptions, and stay on track.

About the Author

Erica Forrette is the former Director of Marketing at Cram Fighter.