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How To Prepare for Step 1 in 4 Weeks

Here are 3 tips for preparing for the USMLE Step 1 in just 4 weeks.

If you are one of the many students studying to take the USMLE Step 1 in just 4 weeks, especially due to pandemic-related rescheduling, Cram Fighter is here to help. With a 4-week USMLE Step 1 study schedule, you will have enough time to complete a substantial study block, but as the saying goes, preparation is 90% of the outcome. Here’s how you can develop a 4-week Step 1 schedule to ace your exam.

Choose your resources wisely

A 4-week Step 1 study plan gives you enough time to complete a textbook, lecture series, and qbank of your choice. To see examples of how to combine these resources, check out our 4-week sample schedules shown with different resource combinations. Most students will use First Aid, either Pathoma or Boards & Beyond, and UWorld, but you can also optionally include Sketchy or other supplemental resources if you have the time.

Make a personalized study plan

Your board exam study plan should be suited to your specific needs. We recommend using our sample schedules for inspiration and then creating your own study schedule according to your own needs & specific customizations with Cram Fighter. One common way to personalize your schedule is to customize the subject ordering. If you take a practice test before your 4-week plan begins, you can assess your weak subject areas or body systems, and prioritize them as you need to on Cram Fighter’s sorting options page.

Proactively schedule free study time and catch-up days

Studying for a high-stakes exam, especially during a global pandemic, is bound to be stressful. Be kind to yourself and make sure you have time to recharge on a weekly basis. Setting up weekly catch-up days and scheduling time to relax is key to your success. Plus, a catch-up day can help you ensure you complete overdue tasks without the usual pressure of a regular study day. Consider rebalancing your schedule or moving overdue tasks to your catch-up day so that you can get back on track.

We hope you find our advice helpful as you create your own schedule. To set up your 4-week USMLE study schedule, sign up for a 7-day free trial at

About the Author

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