Why You Need a Schedule to Study for the USMLE Step 2

  • /Reviewed by: Amy Rontal, MD
  • We asked our users to share why they thought that having a study plan was essential to succeed on their board exams.

    Below are three reasons to use a study schedule in order to stay on top of your studies while preparing for the USMLE.

    You become more efficient

    Burk Schaible, a medical student at the Western University of Health Sciences who scored 249 on Step 2, says that “the most stressful part about studying for board exams is planning an effective schedule. Some would argue that you can simply count the number of pages in a book and divide them by the numbers of days that you study and save the money for a resource like Cram Fighter. However, the best option about Cram Fighter is that it allows you to adjust your schedule if you fall behind or want to add additional resources (question banks, books, flash cards, etc.). This feature allows you to stay on schedule and stay focused, taking one day at a time. By using Cram Fighter, I was more efficient, had less stress and achieve my goal. I plan on using Cram Fighter for all of my standardized tests.”

    I think I ended up covering more material before each shelf exam than I would have if I hadn’t used Cram Fighter. Medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine

    Helps avoid procrastination

    Deena Wasswerman, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, claims she’s “terrible at self planning.” “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. It also prevented me from falling into my usual procrastination tendencies. My exam score actually greatly exceeded my expectations, so thanks Cram Fighter for helping me make a schedule that fits my life.”

    Keeps you organized

    A student from Tulane University School of Medicine claims she did better on her exams this year because of Cram Fighter. “Seeing all the material I’d chosen to study presented as small, discrete tasks I could check off every day made it feel much more feasible to get through, and gave me a clear picture of what I’d need to accomplish each day to reach my goal. I think I ended up covering more material before each shelf exam than I would have if I hadn’t used Cram Fighter. I have always used to-do lists to track my responsibilities for school, but especially during the busy schedule of third year, with changing work hours on rotations every day, it became especially important to have a system that was organized, efficient, and flexible. I have loved the ability to plan for each of my individual rotations using Cram Fighter. Each block, I would decide what resources I wanted to use to study, and how many practice questions I felt I’d need to do, and put it all in Cram Fighter. It broke it down into daily tasks for me, which really helped. It was also really great that I could schedule customized catch-up days as often as necessary, build in vacation time, and rebalance my schedule if I got behind.”