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Top USMLE Step 1 Resources for 2022

  • by Sasha Wolf
  • Dec 21, 2021

Navigating the top picks for Step 1 studying

At the end of every year, Cram Fighter tracks which resources students add to their Step 1 study schedules to reveal the most popular choices of the year. Based on thousands of students’ schedules in 2021, you can use this list to prepare for the upcoming changes to the USMLE Step 1 exam in 2022.

Among the biggest changes for 2022 to have on your radar: USMLE Step 1 will transition from numeric score to pass/fail for exams taken on or after January 26, 2022. In addition, the number of lifetime examination attempts for all applications submitted on or after July 1, 2021 will decrease from six to four, making each one of these four attempts even more valuable.

With these upcoming changes in mind, it’s best to evaluate your options and plan your schedule early on so you’ll build a solid foundation of knowledge well before your exam day. Here are the Top 20 resources from Cram Fighter students in 2021 (as of December 2021):

(The following data is compiled from Cram Fighter students’ Step 1 schedules as of Dec. 2021.)

For five years in a row, First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 is the top resource on Cram Fighter! This year, 59.9% of students added it to their study schedule. So, what’s the secret? Well, First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 presents concise information on all the relevant topics from the first two years of med school, making it ideal core resource for guiding your preparation process. No wonder it’s loved and used by so many!

UWorld (56.0%) won this year’s silver medal. UWorld’s popularity skyrocketed from 47.4% in 2020 and is recognized among medical students as one of the best standard Qbanks with 2400+ questions and in-depth explanations. Not only will UWorld test your knowledge, but also your application of that knowledge by training you how to understand test questions, exclude the wrong answers, and do so with appropriate speed.

The third most frequently-used resource is Boards and Beyond with 53.4% of students. Boards and Beyond consistently ranks in the top three for the past three years with more than 400 comprehensive videos and 2300 USMLE-like formulated questions.

SketchyMicro and SketchyPharm proved their popularity once again in fourth (47.1%) and fifth (41.8%) places, respectively. The sixth and final resource that reached the 40% mark is Pathoma, added by 41.3% of students in 2021, compared to 37.8% in 2020. It is currently sixth on our list.

Although this list of resources can help you get a better view of the current trends in preparing for the USMLE Step 1, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of books, Qbanks, videos, and lecture notes! Does this sound like you? A helpful mindset shift is to treat the Step 1 exam not as an opportunity to achieve the highest score, but rather to pass the exam with a firm base of knowledge that will come in handy many times during your successful career.

This means that studying hard for the exam is important, but studying efficiently and productively is essential! To do so, you need to figure out your own personal learning style and then determine what specific resources will help you the most. Our Top 10 resources strongly resemble the one from the previous year because these resources complement each other, so when crafting your study schedule for 2022, you might choose to combine a few together and assure comprehensive coverage across all topics. Cram Fighter is constantly updating the resourcespage and is always happy to include new ones if, in the rare case, you don’t see them available.

Studying hard for the exam is important, but studying efficiently and productively is essential!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the first step in this journey is planning, planning, and more planning! That’s why Cram Fighter is here to build your perfect, personalized, and flexible schedule to help you keep on track.