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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

USMLE & Self-Assessment

About the USMLE


Study Tips

Study tips fro USMLE or COMLEX-USA from the AMA
Find tips on test preparation courses to study for medical and licensing exams with confidence

General study tips:

  • Take a practice test.
    • It is important to know where you stand before you start to study. This way you will know your strengths and weaknesses and where you need to focus.
  • Set a goal.
    • Think about the score you would like to get and work toward it. If you aren't sure, the NRMP has collected data to help you get an idea of what medical students did to get into their preferred residency including their USMLE scores.
  • Have a Study Plan.
    • Many resources recommend at least 2-3 months of serious study but to begin studying as early as the start of your first year. When you get within 3 months of your USMLE test, make a study schedule including breaks and meal times. It is important to pace yourself so that you do not get overwhelmed.
  • Use a question bank.
    • Question banks will give you hundreds of questions to help you review the material you need to know for the USMLE. Most will provide explanations to each answer, allow you to take timed or untimed tests, and practice a full test, in question blocks, or in categories.