The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a standardized three-step examination program in the U.S. sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Board. Doctors or Physicians with an MD (Doctor of Medicine) Degree must pass all three steps of the USMLE to earn medical licensure to practice as a doctor in the U.S. Achieving an MD program from an accredited medical school allows students to pursue a career as a doctor.
Medicine is one of the most competitive professional domains in the world, primarily because medical school admission requirements are extensive and stringent for top medical schools. Therefore, to secure a seat at your dream medical school, you must start your preparations early, as it will be instrumental in passing the USMLE examination and becoming a licensed doctor. Interestingly, Caribbean medical schools have a high acceptance rate that allows students to complete their MD program and thoroughly prepares them to qualify for the USMLE examination. It is important for students graduating from Caribbean medical schools to prepare extensively for the USMLE exam if they dream of attaining residency or practicing medicine in the United States. If you are pursuing an MD, you are likely to be preparing for the USMLE examination along with it.
After two years in medical school studying complex medical topics and basic science details, you are ready for the USMLE Step 1 test day. After completing the clinical medicine program, you will become eligible to appear for the USMLE Step 2. The years of dedicated study and hard work for a single test day will require additional preparation to help you’re your test day run smoothly. Irrespective of step 1 or step 2 of the USMLE, you need to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally to deal with the feelings leading up to the test day. Here are a few things to do on your USMLE test day to ensure your performance is not affected, which could cost you crucial points.
Fix your sleep schedule
USMLE tests typically take place in the morning. Therefore you will have to adjust your sleep schedule to ensure that you get adequate sleep to keep you physically and mentally healthy.
Figure out your route to the USMLE testing center
It might seem like a very small detail, but figuring out your transportation and route to the examination center in advance can lessen your stress on exam day.
Don’t try to cram on your USMLE test day
Learning on exam day can make your brain tired. On exam day, your brain will have an intensive 7+ hours of workload when sitting the exam. Therefore, reserving your cognitive energy is highly recommended.
Wear clothes with minimum pockets and carry water
Do not wear a jacket to the test center as it is considered outerwear that is not allowed inside the room. Avoid clothes with pockets, as you will have to turn them inside out after every break.
If you get stuck on a question, mark it and move forward
Do not spend too much time on a question if you think you are stuck with a question. Spending too much time on a question you are unsure about might stop you from attending the one you know.
Make sure to take breaks
Taking breaks can allow your mind to relax and you can return to the examination more confidently.
Remember to plan something enjoyable after the test is over
Many students feel overwhelmed right after the exam. Sometimes if students are worried things went badly, they try to remember the question and look for the correct answers. This can cause anxiety and it can be a better idea to focus on doing something nice for yourself to get your mind off things.
These are some things you can do on your USMLE test day to help you succeed in this challenging exam.