Blueprint Prep’s Most Popular Advice in 2017

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • We use our study-planning expertise and our data on USMLE preparation to help medical students ace their exams. Here’s what advice medical students were reading the most in 2017.

    Besides providing one of the best board exam study planners for med students, another of our favorite ways to help med students is to write insightful content, including tips and commentary for students taking USMLE exams. With the Cram Fighter Med Student Blog, we interview med students, analyze our customer usage data, and talk to industry leaders.

    This year, it looks like we were successful in our aim to help med students succeed: our blog attracted 34,805 visitors on 133 separate posts! With our blog, we’ve built a strong collection of useful advice that dates back to 2015. These were the top 5 blog posts that attracted attention of med students in 2017. Below, we list them as ranked by 2017 page views.

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    1. How to Choose the Right USMLE Step 1 Study Resources

    Many students are overwhelmed with the number of available Step 1 resources. This 2016 blog post continues to provide useful advice about consulting Cram Fighter’s list of most popular resources, and taking advantage of free trials offered by these content providers so you can figure out which Step 1 resources would work best for you. In response to the success and popularity of this post, we created an updated list of the top Step 1 resources we see our customers using.

    2. Three Tips for Using USMLE Practice Tests in Your Step 1 Study Plan

    Taking NBME self-assessments through your study period for Step 1 can help you pinpoint your weak areas, get familiar with the live Step 1 test format, and gauge your progress. This article goes into detail on how to use self-assessments to your best advantage.

    3. How to Stay Motivated While Studying for Step 1

    Motivation is a huge challenge for many med students, especially during intense study periods. This post recounts the experience of Alex, a med student who had only 7 weeks until his Step 1 exam. He covered First Aid 3 times in that period, using Cram Fighter. He managed to keep himself motivated by taking breaks and keeping up good habits such as getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and continuing to work out.

    4. Five Essential Resources for Scoring 260 on USMLE Step 1 and 700 on COMLEX Level 1

    With new Osteopathic schools opening at a higher rate than Allopathic med schools, and the number of DO candidates increasing every year, it’s no surprise that many of our customers take both the USMLE Step 1 and the COMLEX Level 1. In fact, it’s often advised that D.O. students take both exams to increase their chance at matching for residency. With that in mind, this interview with Corey, a med student who successfully scored well on both exams, will help you with ideas for your own study plan for both exams.

    5. Why Med Students are Using the UFAP Resources to Study for Step 1

    Our 5th-most popular blog post by page views in 2017, was a post from January 2016! The UFAP acronym (for Uworld, First Aid, Pathoma) appears to have started in 2014 as silly shorthand for M2 advice on Reddit. UFAP is still frequently cited as the cornerstone of resources for people studying for Step 1. In this article, we delve deeper to determine why the UFAP method works, and how students actually apply it. According to students we interviewed, UFAP “includes the most efficient resources with regards to exposing students to high yield information.” These resources are a great place to start when you’re choosing your Step 1 resources.

    About the Author

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